Skip to main content

RFE: Better tab completion

Dear Lazyweb,

Somebody please extend my shell's (zsh right now) tab completion so that it searches the following and expands as appropriate:

  • Strings visible in any visible terminals

  • Host/path names for any visible terminals

I can't count the number of times I've wanted to copy a file from the current directory in one terminal to the current directory in another terminal, mostly on remote machines.

I'd love to be able to type: 'scp myfile.py remotehost:<tab>' and have whatever directories I have active terminals on included in the list of possibilities that I can cycle through.

No idea how one would go about doing this...The shell needs to communicate with the terminal emulator, so maybe an extension of the terminal-title-setting mechanism would work?

I survived my first half marathon!

Nat and I at the finish line

I ran in the Toronto Half Marathon on Sunday and finished with a time of 1:52:58.4, which is around the middle of my age group.

I was hoping to finish in under two hours, so I'm pretty happy with my results. I'd like to speed up a little bit for next year, and get under the 5 minutes per kilometer mark.

Maybe do a marathon next year?

Strobist: Where Light is a verb

I've been following the action over at Strobist for a few weeks now. The author of the blog, David Hobby, has a great writing style, and is a fantastic teacher. If you're interested in flash photography, I highly recommend you check out his site. There's something of a cult following on Flickr as well, and they've produced some very impressive results!

I've had more than a couple "A HA!" moments when reading his blog, and I thought I'd share a couple of things that finally clicked in my brain in the hopes that it will help somebody else to "click"...or maybe everybody else just gets these things and I'm really slow.

In any case, my first epiphany happened after reading several of his posts and thinking, what's with this guy's unhealthy obsession with aperture? I mean, sure, aperture is important if you want to control depth of field. But if you're want to change exposure you can tweak both the shutter speed and the aperture, right?

Nope!

Well, at least not in the same way as when you're just using available light.

The thing is, your flash fires pretty fast. Way faster than your shutter speed in most cases. It's like 1/10,000th of a second. So it doesn't matter if your shutter is open for 1/500th of a second, or 1/30th of a second, the same amount of light from your flash is going to hit your sensor either way.

But your aperture does affect how much light is able to reach your sensor from that brief burst of light. A larger aperture (smaller f/stop) lets more light in.

This isn't to say that you can ignore your shutter speed, because it does affect how the ambient light contributes to the exposure. You can use this to your advantage to control the flash / ambient ratio.

Understanding all of this led to my second "A HA!" moment. David often says to set your camera's shutter to its fastest flash sync speed to make things easier for your flash...which is a bit counter-intuitive at first. If you want things to be easier on your flash, you should have a longer shutter speed to let more light in!

After thinking about it a bit more, I realized that choosing a faster shutter speed means that your aperture is opening up to maintain a proper exposure of the ambient light. And since the aperture is open wider, the flash doesn't have to put out as much light to light your subject properly.

Which is great when you're competing with the sun as the primary light source :)

Dear Lazy Web, what kind of disc is in my drive?

Dear Lazy Web,

How do you identify the type of CD/DVD inserted into a CDR/RW/DVD+-RW drive in Linux? dvd+rw-mediainfo does a great job with DVDs, but is there anything equivalent for CDs? Or better yet, a single tool that tells you all you need to know about a disc in the drive?

Hope to hear from you soon,

Chris

Pro-Life Health Care

Melissa and I went for our first appointment with our new obstetrician yesterday. The great news is that our baby looks healthy, and we got to see his/her heart beating on the ultrasound!

Unfortunately we both left with a bit of a bad feeling, and personally I was not feeling very confident in our new doctor, or our health care system in general.

It's not that I doubt her competence, but I do worry about her motivations.

When we arrived at our OB's office yesterday, there were posters and pamphlets advertising "Integrated Prenatal Screening: It's Your Choice." After a bit of reading in the waiting room, I discovered that IPS is when they test for things like Down Syndrome and open neural tube defect. So after you exercise your choice in whether to test if your baby is "defective", you then have the choice of what to do with that information. Isn't choice wonderful? Too bad the baby has no choice in the matter.

Never mind that the test isn't 100% accurate, with significant rates of false positives and negatives, and carries with it a risk of miscarriage...

Once our turn came up, we entered into one of the examination rooms, and plastered up on one wall was a huge poster that outlined all the various kinds of contraception. To me, this sends mixed messages: "Congratulations on your pregnancy! By the way, just to be sure this doesn't happen to you again, try using one of these..."

In the little pregnancy booklet provided by the North York General Hospital, there is a section about contraception. The text states that women must choose a form of contraception to use after giving birth. It goes on to discuss all the various methods of artificial contraception, and at the end there is a small section about natural methods. Too bad the only natural methods they discuss are the rhythm method and the withdrawal method, both of which are extremely unreliable, and are stated as such in the booklet. But they ignore more modern and more effective forms of natural family planning such as the Billings Ovulation Method, and claim that natural methods are useless to women with irregular cycles.

The doctor herself was very nice, and had a good sense of humour. She seemed genuinely happy for us. But she also did ask if we wanted to do the IPS test. When we refused, she said, "Ok, so whatever comes, comes, right?" And this is what makes me worried about her motivations. How should I feel about a person who would be fine with performing an IPS test, and then based on the results of the test would be fine with advising that abortion is an option? It makes me feel that she doesn't have my baby's best interests at heart.

Right now, I'm trying to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she's just as uncomfortable with this stuff as I am, but doesn't know what do to about it. Maybe it's required by law that she advise parents of their options (it's all about choice, remember!)

On a bit of a more hopeful note, I'd just like to thank Fr. Jim (of Dappled Things) for his post today about Pro-Life OB/Gyn Services in DC area. I pray that centers like this really take off, so we can feel safe again when going to see the doctor!