(   )
                          (    )
                           (    )
                          (    )
                            )  )
                           (  (                  /\
                            (_)                 /  \  /\
                    ________[_]________      /\/    \/  \
           /\      /\        ______    \    /   /\/\  /\/\
          /  \    //_\       \    /\    \  /\/\/    \/    \
   /\    / /\/\  //___\       \__/  \    \/
  /  \  /\/    \//_____\       \ |[]|     \
 /\/\/\/       //_______\       \|__|      \
/      \      /XXXXXXXXXX\                  \
        \    /_I_II  I__I_\__________________\
               I_I|  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I_II  I__I_____[]_|_[]_____I
               I II__I  I     XXXXXXX     I
            ~~~~~"   "~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wed, 13 Apr 2011

Mail Clients and Editors

My favorite mail client is mutt, and my editor-of-choice is GNU Emacs. The two play quite nicely together, and I still use them for personal mail, via a console SSH connection. This line in .muttrc does the trick:

set editor="emacsclient %s"

Coupled with post.el (which is already in Debian as the package post-el), an emacs minor mode that kicks in automatically when it sees a mutt temp file in a buffer, and email is quite painless.

Work is a different story, calendaring, obscure formats and attachments make using those two awkward at best, especially in a remote console. At some point you'll have to respond to an invite, or view some bloated binary attachment. Gmail works OK, but can be slow and does not support external IMAP accounts, not an ideal situation for me. So far, I've found the only (non-outlook) mail client that handles everything reasonably well is thunderbird 3.1 with the calendaring plugin. Of course, its builtin editor is atrocious, it can't handle quoted text, and always likes to re-format text for you (no pasting code snippets in email). I found a reasonable compromise with the 'external editor' plugin for thunderbird [0], coupled with tbemail.el [1]. You just use 'emacsclient' in the external editor options dialog. It works quite well.

Below are links to local copies ([2], [3]) in case the main sources ever disappear.

posted at: 08:48 | path: / | permalink | editors, emacs, email, thunderbird

Wed, 06 Apr 2011

Using Old OSes On Servers

Of all the linux distros or BSD's to choose from, I would say Fedora ranks at the bottom for me as far as production server use. It's really meant as a testing OS, to test new ideas before they get incorporated into RHEL. While there are issues with any old operating system as far as community or vendor support, Fedora releases in particular have a very short lifespan (Fedora Legacy, which had been providing support for old Fedora releases, was shut down in 2007). I mention this because I have a client that contacts me every few months for help with some intractable server issue. From just a security perspective, this is scary, FC5 was released in 2006:

[root@www log]# uname -a Linux hostname 2.6.9-023stab051.3-enterprise #1 SMP Wed Nov 4 19:28:06 MSK 2009 i686 i686 i386 GNU/Linux [root@www log]# cat /etc/redhat-release Fedora Core release 5 (Bordeaux)

posted at: 16:39 | path: / | permalink | sysadmin, wtf