(macOS) Handling Too Many Application Windows Overload on macOS

My desk has 3 monitor on it—two external and one built into the Mac. They are used like this:

  • Top left
    • Chrome
    • Maybe
      • Inkscape
      • VMWare
      • iTunes
  • Top right
    • Emacs
  • Bottom
    • Terminal
    • WhatsApp
    • Pulse SMS

I tried to keep it simple but it is still easy to forget which application that I’m working with. I wanted a way to highlight the window that had focus and I found it with HazeOver — Distraction Dimmer for Mac.

Probably the most under-recognized piece of software for multi monitor users you’ll only ever care about it after your mac is driving you nuts :).

It is simple: when you turn it one then every other window than the one with focus is dimmed. There are other nice options but I care most about the basics.

Been using it for months and it’s been rock-solid.

Love it!

(Emacs+Org-Mode) Emacs on the IBM AS/400 (aka iSeries)

The IBM AS/400 (aka iSeries) is a combined hardware application server platform. Instead of worrying about the next hot new framework, you have everything that you need to get business done. It is really quite nice in that regard.

Great news: Emacs runs on it.

(Happiness) Recovering From Conversations that Have Gone Totally Wrong

My friend has a free lecture tonight. It is about dealing conversations that go totally wrong. For example, you start out having a nice conversation over the 4th of July weekend and next thing you know the topic of favorite football teams come up. Things just went from casual to serious. Then since the conversation is already going so well somebody changes it to public policies regarding controversial topics. Things just went from serious to critical. Ouch, that isn’t what anybody intended, but it is easy to recover from this.

My friend has a free lecture tonight about how to turn these really intense and downright angry conversations back to where they began: two passionate people who want to share what they value and feel with people who they respect and care for. Check out how—it is possible for all of us immediately.

(Emacs+Org-Mode) Personal Grammar Reminder Affect vs Effect

I always forget a few grammar rules and can’t seem to get them remembered so I wrote an Elisp snippet to help me remember. Langtool catches this but it isn’t worth waiting. It seems silly to me to write a reminder, but, I bet hundreds of us Emacs users face this. The definition is my own, and includes my opinion about how not to use both words!

(defun affect-vs-effect-explanation ()
  "Definition and example of the most frequent use of Affect vs. Effect."
  (interactive)
  (let* ((title "Affect Versus Effect")
         (sep (make-string (length title) ?=))
         (buf (get-buffer-create (concat "*" title "*"))))
    (switch-to-buffer buf)
    (insert (concat title "\n"))
    (insert (concat sep "\n\n"))
    (insert "Affect is a verb. It means \"to have influence upon\". In the present tense
affect is followed by a noun in the form of \"X affects Y\". For example
\"Choosing between tabs or spaces for indentation affects our happiness.\"
In the past tense it is followed by a preposition before the noun.
For example \"Most people are deeply affected by the their choice between
using tabs or spaces for indentation.\"

Effect is a noun. It is an outcome or result of a verb. For example
\"Choosing spaces for indentation had a positive effect on her happiness.\"

There are other definitions for affect and effect and you probably
shouldn't use them.")
    (help-mode)
    (setq buffer-read-only t)))

(Emacs+Org-Mode) How To Probably Configure Everything For UTF-8 In Emacs

There are a lot of snippets laying around about how to configure Emacs for Unicode UTF-8. I’ve copy and pasted all of them at one time of another. Tonight I read the manual about how to configure Language Environments and it is pretty simple:

(let ((lang 'utf-8))
  (set-language-environment lang)
  (prefer-coding-system lang))

(Emacs+Org-Mode) Visualize Org Mode Plain List Bullets As Em-Dash

Org Mode plain lists uses the hyphen (minus sign) character as it’s default bullet. The hyphen is pretty wimpy compared to the Asterisk character so it can be hard to read. Here is some code to visualize it with an Em-Dash instead—so much easier to read!

Continue reading “(Emacs+Org-Mode) Visualize Org Mode Plain List Bullets As Em-Dash”

(Emacs+Org-Mode) Run Two Copies of Emacs To Provide Multithreading

A couple weeks ago I was working on an analysis program in Elisp. I would write the code, run the results out to a file, study the results, make some changes, and go back to the beginning. Sometimes the code would take ten seconds to run. My fault, it just isn’t written for speed. Still I griped about Emacs’s lack of multitheading because I couldn’t do anything for 10 seconds. Then it hit me: Doh! Just start two copies of Emacs, one to run the code in and another to do everything else in.

Sure, that sounds really bad to say it, but I’ll go on: most computers today run with multiple cores and gigabytes of RAM so it has virtually no impact on your operating system to run two instances. Everybody knows this, but my gut says that this is poor OS management and just a bad way to solve problems. But, my gut still thinks about a world where it was excited to double the RAM on it’s 33MHz computer from 4MB to 8MB.

My gut needs to join modern times considering it runs a copy of macOS inside of VMWare all the day while I do everything else, including using two Emacs instances 😄😮.