A couple of interesting blog posts…

A couple of links to other people’s interesting posts I’ve come across in the last few days.

Raymond Chen on “There is no law that says meetings can’t end early”. I wish more people would take this advice to heart, but that’s been on my Christmas wishlist right next to “create an agenda for a meeting and stick to it”.

Interesting blog post regarding the difference between technology for technology’s sake and using technology to create something. For the record, I tend to be more interested in doing something with my technology “toys” rather than having them purely for having them. That’s probably one of the reasons that I tend not to have the latest, greatest and fastest machines (or phones, cameras etc) but rather buy quality kit and use it for a few years instead.

Do programmers still buy printed books? I know I do, but I’m getting a little more choosy. I’ve bought a couple of books recently that I’d classify more as a waste of a perfectly good tree. That’s unfortunately not unusual for tech books, there are a couple of brilliant ones out there and an awful lot of, how shall I call it, rubbish. I’m also one of those throwbacks to an earlier age who prefer to hold a physical book in their hands rather than stare at a screen. The reason Antonio mentions – switching between book reading mode and computing mode – certainly has something to do with it; after all, if you’re immersed in a book you probably don’t check your email every thirty seconds whereas I’d be tempted to do that if I were to read the book on a computer. Reading on the iPhone is something I’d rather not do, my eyesight is bad enough as it is…

Antonio’s book list his previous blog post also looks very much like I should update my Amazon wish list.

My Emacs configuration file refactor

In a previous post I described that a few months ago, I moved the third party elisp code under version control to make it easier to move it between machines and ensure a consistent configuration across them. The one remaining problem to solve was putting the configuration files (.emacs and .gnus.el) under version control. One of the approaches I really liked was described by Nathaniel Flath but I figured that it was too heavyweight for my needs.

What I ended up doing was to move the configuration files into version control and then simply change the basic dot-files to load the file from the subdirectory that is under version control. My .emacs now reads like this:

(load-file "~/emacs-lisp/dot-emacs.el")

Not the most elegant and automated version but it works for me.