George V. Reilly

NTFS-3G: the universal filesystem

After I started running Linux and then Mac OS X, in addition to Windows, I started on a quest to find the universal filesystem. I had multiboot systems and external drives where I wanted to to be able to read and write disks under multiple operating systems.

The obvious choice is FAT32, the ubiquitous, lowest-common de­nom­i­na­tor filesystem. FAT32 is supported out-of-the-box by all major operating systems, digital cameras, and PDAs, so that's a huge advantage. FAT32 also has major short­com­ings:

Safari 4: FAIL!

Apple launched the public Safari 4 beta today.

It runs beau­ti­ful­ly on Vista and it's the fastest browser that I've seen, noticeably faster than Chrome. Everything that I tried worked fairly well; I saw only a few minor glitches.

I installed it on my MacBook at home this evening. It crashes at startup every time that I attempt to run it. For­tu­nate­ly, it comes with an unin­staller so that I could revert to Safari 3.21.

Back to Opera for now.

Command-line Tools for the Clipboard

I mentioned in my post on re­Struc­tured­Text that I use a little command-line tool, pbcopy, to pipe the output into the clipboard. I finally found a similar tool for Linux, xsel.

MacBook Makeover

Last week, I gave my 2007 MacBook Pro laptop a makeover before upgrading to Leopard, aka OS X 10.5.

A couple of months ago, I bought 4GB RAM for less than $100, to replace the 2GB that it came with.

I wanted to upgrade the drive too, as I repeatedly came close to filling the original 160GB drive. It was no problem to get a 5400 RPM drive that had more than 300GB, but the 7200 RPM notebook drives were topping out at 200GB. Two weeks, I spotted a Western Digital Scorpio Black 320GB 7200 RPM SATA drive on NewEgg for $180. Sold!

I installed it the night it arrived, and it continue.

Sharing Dotfiles between Windows and \*nix

Tomas Restrepo wrote a post about sharing dotfiles between Windows and Ubuntu, specif­i­cal­ly about sharing .vimrc (Linux) and _vimrc (Windows) and the .vim (Linux) and vimfiles (Windows) di­rec­to­ries.

I have a different solution. On Windows, my C:\AutoExec.bat includes:

set HOME=C:\gvr
set VIM=C:\Vim
set VIMDIR=%VIM%\vim71
set EDITOR=%VIMDIR%\gvim.exe
set PATH=%PATH%;C:\Win32app;C:\GnuWin32\bin;C:\UnxUtils;C:\SysInternals;C:\Python25\Scripts

%HOME% (C:\gvr) contains _vimrc, vimfiles, and other stuff ac­cu­mu­lat­ed over many years. This directory is stored in a personal Subversion repository at DevjaVu. All my Vim files are stored with Unix LF endings, not Windows CR-LFs, so that they'll work on my Mac OS X and Linux boxen. I play some games with if has("win32") and if has('gui_­macvim') to ensure that my _vimrc works cross-platform.

On my *nix boxes, the gvr continue.


I ordered a 17" Mac Book Pro on Friday night. It shipped from Shanghai on Monday and arrived at work this morning. Scha-weet! And spendy.

I've been busy ramping up all day. I estimate that my total lifetime usage of Macs was about one day before today. I definitely have some new habits to learn.

So far, I've installed Mac Vim, Firefox (browser), Camino (browser), Thun­der­bird (email), Quick­sil­ver (fast launch utility), Witch (window switcher), AntiRSI (RSI preventer), Adium (multi-protocol chat), Skype (Internet telephony), Remote Desktop Connection (connecting to Windows desktops), StuffIt Expander (for classic archives), and KeePassX (password manager).

Some of these have built-in equiv­a­lents of course, but I'm using these for com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with my existing Windows and Linux setups continue.

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