Mac OS X Mavericks & the git command line

Note: This one may not affect you at all, if you own a MacBook with an English keyboard layout (and corresponding native language settings).

I however, bought a MacBook Pro with a German keyboard layout, and when using, for example ‘git pull’ on the command line I got this message:

$git pull
perl: warning: Setting locale failed.
perl: warning: Please check that your locale settings:
LANGUAGE = (unset),
LC_ALL = (unset),
LC_CTYPE = "UTF-8",
LANG = (unset)
are supported and installed on your system.
perl: warning: Falling back to the standard locale ("C").

I added this to my .bash_profile:

export LC_CTYPE=en_US.UTF-8
export LC_ALL=en_US.UTF-8

Problem gone — thanks to the folks at spindicator.com who solved this problem already.

Note, that you may want to put in other values, depending on your language preferences.

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MacBook Repair

During Euruko 2008 the top case of my MacBook broke a little bit. At the right hand side of the front a ‘splint’ of the case came (partially) off. This was not a big issue since it was easily fixed with some sellotape. Strangely enough other MacBooks had the same piece of tape at nearly the same place.

And the day before yesterday it happened again (this time at the edge of the right side), giving me a good reason to go to the recently opened Apple Store in Munich. The first impression: Nice people there – friendly, helpful and tech-savvy.

The first good news: They would repair it free of charge even though the MacBook was out of warranty. The second good news was that I got it back today already. That was a quick and complete repair since the entire top case was replaced, including the keyboard & mouse pad.

I wasn’t too happy when the case broke, but the service in the store was really very very good.

PathFinder, the Application List & a Shade

If you’re running a Mac (currently ten five something in my case) and use PathFinder, you might also like Fn-Cmd-F8 (or Fn-Apple-F8 if you prefer that) to show a list of the available applications. Handy: You get a list of the icons & application names – all of them.

One of the one I (re-) discovered is ScreenShade, which allows fine tuning the screen brightness to a finer degree than the brightness control that comes with Mac OS X. Especially you can dim the monitor(s) to a quite low brightnes which is a Good Thing in a dark-ish environment.

A MacBook, Textmate and, well, Ruby My pleasure, …

A MacBook, Textmate and, well, Ruby

My pleasure, joy indeed, to work with my first Mac has already been expressed – so on to new topics: Even more joy and pleasure.

Having been a long-year Textpad user, I already expected that I’d pretty likely would like Textmate. As it’s used by quite a few Ruby and Rails developers trying Textmate seemed natural, especially as it seems to match Textpad’s idea of an editor with a clean user interface.

Anyway, I admit it: Textmate’s interface seemed to be too clear: No icon bar to click, I didn’t even realise that there is a menu bar: Detached from the currently active window as it is on a Mac, I had still to get used to it. The command key for oh so many often-used commands wasn’t (yet) on m RADAR.

Notwithstanding it felt like home – foreign still, like a new home you just moved into – but a lot more familiar than, say vi or Emacs. Note that I’m saying nothing against either of these. There are so many users of both of them out there, I can only guess that there must be something, even quite a bit, to both of them. Anyway, they’re both not for me – may be I am (well, used to be) a Windows user for too long.

Now of course I discover new cool things everyday: Hit ^H and get what ever ri has to offer for the word under the cursor. Use Subversion from inside the editor. Have syntax highlighting not only for Ruby files, but also for the HTML part of RHMTL and the Ruby code inside the ERB tags. And many more including, but in no way limited to, the completion of abbreviated commands.
Then, of course, there are those beautiful colour schemes, the project support (which is a lot better than Textpad’s) and much much more. Mhhh, seems I get carried away a little bit. It’s just so an improvement compared to my previous life. And better than my ‘professional’ life in the company I currently work at: Not even the most current version of Windows and a text editor with an, um, sub-optimal user interface.
Sometimes, when I dream about that I wake up and then cry a little.

My personal Mac era – finally

Now, after all I also entered my very personal Mac era. After just a bit more than approx. 20 years. It all started back in school with an Apple IIe.
Now, the brand new machine is a MacBook, it has an additional Gigabyte of RAM and it’s black. And it’s quite cool.
The general feeling is very good indeed, especially the keyboard is a lot better than any other notebook keyboard I’ve worked with. But then I’m a tester, so there’s one question to which I really don’t have an answer (yet): Why aren’t some characters printed on the keys. It’s the curly braces ‘{}’, the brackets ‘[]’, the back slash (can’t find that at all right now) and the pipe symbol ‘|’ that I really miss. These are oh so frequently used when programming Ruby, and they’re just not visible. Anyway I expect to train some part of my brain in remembering where they are and that it, then.
Oh and the @: On other keyboards it’s ALT-Q … and it’s too easy to accidentally hit that – as the Apple key-Q which closes the current application. Not really convenient when enterling an e-mail address in a lengthy web form. Well, that kind of motivates to learn this piece of information comparatively fast.