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Disable the System Bell in iTerm

Spend enough time in a terminal session and eventually the system “bell” will drive you nuts. I honestly don’t remember it being this much of an issue on my old Macbook Pro, but it’s been maddening since I got my new one a few weeks ago. Because of its bookmarks feature, iTerm is my emulator of choice and there’s nothing in its preferences (I’m using Build 0.9.6.20090415) that even acknowledges a system bell exists, much less allows me to disable it. I did a clean install when I got my new machine, so maybe this is a recent change. I haven’t looked at the release history to determine why it’s not there, I can only be sure that it’s not.

In a fit of desperation this morning, I decided to scour the plist file to see if there was anything I could do at a slightly lower level to quiet my terminal sessions. Fortunately, I found an answer:

  1. Navigate to ~/Library/Preferences.
  2. Open net.sourceforge.iTerm.plist in your favorite plist file editor. I use Property List Editor.app because I have XCode installed and the app is available to me. There are other plist editors out there or you can just open the file in a text editor – it’s just an XML file with a fancy extension.
  3. Navigate the XML nodes (different editors may offer different means of drilling down) to Root > Terminals > Default > Silence Bell
  4. Click the checkbox to enable that property.
  5. Save the change.
  6. Restart iTerm.

Enjoy the silence.

Techniques for Clean Markup

It’s exceedingly rare that I read an article on code techniques and agree with absolutely everything that’s being espoused, but this article by Chris Coyier for Smashing Magazine is just that. In my opinion, this is a must read for all web developers that have to work in and around X/HTML code. My personal favorite: Eliminate unnecessary divs.

Sometime during the learning stages of Web design, people learn how to wrap elements in a div so that they can target them with CSS and apply styling. This leads to a proliferation of the div element and to their being used far too liberally in unnecessary places.

Oh yeah. And the example provided could not be more illustrative.

The others are spot on, as well, but this is my favorite because it’s less obvious and the single biggest source of code bloat, in my experience.

Windows Date and Time

Why is it so hard for Microsoft (or an enterprising Windows developer) to create a useful freaking date/time display? It looks there won’t be one in Windows 7 either. I’ve had one on my Mac (provided by a third party) and Linux (built right in) machines for a long time now. It just shouldn’t be that difficult, you know? Is Microsoft making it difficult?

I can’t believe there’s no audience for this.

Nick Saban, LSU and Myopic Fans

After leaving the military, I spent three years or so at LSU and I’m a huge fan, follower and supporter of the football team. That said, I’m really tired of listening to other fans bitch, moan and whine about Nick Saban and question his integrity. I think it says more about them than it does about him.

Look, I wasn’t happy when he left either. I suffered through the DiNardo years. There were more bad years before that. Nick Saban did something for LSU that no one had done in a very, very long time. He turned the program into a winner. Not only did we win a national title with him at the helm (and two SEC titles, I believe), but we were competitive every single year. You can’t ask for much more than that. While his exit was unfortunate for the program, at least at the time, I think it’s absurd to blame Nick Saban. He had an opportunity. Maybe he thought it was his dream job, maybe he considered it a promotion, maybe it was just something he felt like he needed to do so that he never had to ask, “what if?”, maybe it was more money than he ever dreamed of. All of those are valid reasons to leave a job and many of us have taken other jobs for similar reasons (even if the compensation wasn’t even close).

If the reason he left is any of those, can you honestly blame him? When the NFL didn’t work out for him and he wanted to come back to college, what was he supposed to do? The LSU job wasn’t open any longer. Moreover, the school had managed to replace him with pretty decent coach in his own right who had maintained that same level of competitiveness. The Alabama job was open and it too is a fantastic program with a rich history. Why the hell would he not take that job?

Get over it LSU fans. He was our coach and not he’s not. Feel free to cheer for the Tigers kick the Tide’s ass all over the field, but drop the bitterness. It’s petty, it’s stupid and it makes us all look bad.

Rant complete. Now back to College Gameday, live from Baton Rouge.

Geaux Tigers.

The Fundamental Problem with Digg

Jeff Atwood said it better than I ever have:

I mean, seriously, when has a digg page EVER contained anything useful on it other than the article link? There’s the prob with Digg.

This is why I’ve never stayed with “aggregation” services like Digg, Reddit, etc. There’s far too much noise and it completely overwhelms whatever really useful signal may be present. I also hate that the service’s feed link is the link to the service page itself – which offers no value to me often at the expense of a long load time – and then makes me click it’s link to get to the useful content.

Too much noise, too much effort. It’s just not worth it.

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