Thunderbird extensions to the rescue!

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As I’m temporarily on OS X while my laptop is being repaired, I run into one of my OS X gripes, which is that Command-M does something deeply useless: it minimizes the current window, with no way to undo the action with the keyboard (that I know of).

This is a real problem when using thunderbird, as those are the keys I’m used to typing to start a new email (the default configuration for Thunderbird on OS X has Command-Shift-M as the appropriate keybinding).

I found my salvation thanks to the keyconfig extension, which lets you configure shortcuts. There are a few things wrong with the UI for that tool, but after a few false starts I got it to do what I wanted. Me happy.

Now if only Thunderbird let me store my Junk Mail data on the server or in the cloud, that would make me that much happier.

Hardware failure again

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Last week, the motherboard on my trusty and much-lugged Dell laptop was replaced to fix the power management problems. Today, the hard drive died an ugly-sounding death. I have no idea what data I lost, but it can’t be too much: my email is all stored on servers, my bookmarks are stored on delicious, my photos are on flickr, my code is in source code repositories, and my presentations are stored in my email.

Other interesting bit: I’ll probably get a replacement hard disk tomorrow, but as I’m leaving on a trip in the afternoon I’ll have time to install Linux but not Windows. OS choice driven by schedule. It’ll be an interesting plane trip, I’m sure.

Unsolicited

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As part of my job, my name gets listed on the corporate website. As a result, I end up with a fair share of spam, and spam-like phone calls. I just got off the phone with someone pitching me backup storage software. To save everyone time, I tend to cut off those calls very fast, as I know pretty quickly which products and services I’m even remotely interested or likely to be a customer for, and which ones I’m not. The strange thing is a couple of minutes after I hung up, I got:

Hi David,

This is in reference to my call to you right now.

Please note this isn’t an unsolicited call or email. You didn’t allow me to
finish.

(I’ll skip the rest, as I don’t particularly want to advertise or demonize the individual or the company). The startling point is italicized above. My reply:

Of course it is. I never asked you to call or email.

Best of luck.

–david

People.

Adam Bosworth rules

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It is so refreshing to see an executive speak out, and speak out in favor of my core beliefs. (The post is old, but I just found it):

It is time to speak up. It is time to say that facts are what matter, not faith, that human progress is accomplished through unfettered use of reason and inquiry and tolerance and discussion and debate, not through intolerant and irrational acts of terror or edicts. For all of our children and for the future, speak up against this wave of intolerance and irrationalism washing over the world.

Adam Bosworth rules.

Found via Ross Mayfield’s blog.

Also nice to see is Tim O’Reilly speaking out on the also important if maybe less traumatizing issues around copyright:

Google’s opt out approach is the only way to cut the Gordian knot of forgotten rights and permissions.

Google and suggested combination searches

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Google impressed me today, doing something very basic and core: search.

I wanted to be reminded of the syntax for .forward files, which are unix-geeky files. So I searched for “.forward”. Google, as usual, throws away some/all punctuation in its searches, so the first batch of results were for “forward”. But then it also showed me:

See results for: .forward file

and

Also see .forward unix

and

Google Groups results for .forward

All of which were right on.

Trent just found out that search for .text also shows up searches for “.text” and “dottext”. Fascinating.

Back!

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Back from a trip to Berkeley, San Francisco (in part for Web 2.0, which was, as many have remarked, full of suits) and Paris, for my brother’s two weddings. As much as I have fond memories of my own weddings, it’s nice to not have to worry about anything and just be able to enjoy things. It was also nice to have our first kid-free multi-day vacation in over 8 years (well, since there were kids to be kid-free from).

Now we’re back, it’s raining, the teachers are on strike, but at least the car repairs were more minimal than expected.

Next planned trip: two days in Ottawa at the end of the month. I’ve never been outside the airport — I hope I get to see at least a bit of the city while I’m there, but it’s doubtful (full two days of meetings, I think).