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),
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 who solved this problem already.

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


Mac OS X, Parallels & the Back Slash

Yet another short note to my future self:

Running a Mac with a German keyboard layout (likely having the key sequence “7 8 9 0 ß ` <Backspace>” in the top row) and using a Parallels Desktop to run Windows and needing to enter a back slash (\) now & then?

Try the right-hand-side CRTL-ALT + ß (the key with the German ‘sz’ as the primary character).

The Work of Being Lucky

Lisa Crispin‘s article about her team not being special (We’re Not ‘Special’) reminded me of something I heard a few times in the past: Me being lucky in being were I am.

And it’s true: I was lucky a few times: In 2009 (if I remember correctly) I went to a presentation at Lehmann’s  (@Lehmanns in case you prefer Twitter) where, apart after a great presentation about Scrum and during the discussion and socializing part someone from the Xing team told me about the Agile Testing Days later that same year. Sure enough, I went there — and met a whole lot of exciting (and excited) people there. The connections to colleagues from all over the world also was worth going there.
So yes, I was lucky meeting the person who would give me the information I needed.
However, to me at least, being at the presentation was not lucky or coincidental at all: It took me a 200km drive by car to get there and another 200km drive to get home again.
So was it sheer luck? I don’t think so. In fact I truly believe that in order to be lucky, one needs to go to the places where it happens.

There have been other times I was lucky: Being (kind of) dragged into a dinner of a conference (the same one as above, BTW), was another time I was there, ready to be lucky: Someone asked me whether I’d like to join dinner. Of course I did and had a great time. A great time until someone asked me about the presentation I would give, and someone else then asked me whether I knew that this was the speakers dinner. Oopsie, I didn’t know! I found that was embarrassing, even though everyone else thought it was amusing. Now, a while later, it’s certainly a funny story to tell.

I think that to be lucky, you need to go out and be there, be present in a context where you’d like to be lucky: This might be a local user group gathering, some conference … or twitter (for this also see my post over at Zen & the Art of Automated Testing). Did I mention that I was lucky to find a cool new project via Twitter? Well, I did. 🙂

In other words: It’s work and you (well, I at least) will have to pay a price to be lucky and I totally find it worth the hassle.

Now go out there and get lucky. And if you’re lucky in getting lucky you may become happy as well. Good Luck!

That said, I think Lisa’s team might in fact be special, but not in the way Lisa is frustrated about: To me it seems special because of the hard work, experiments and continuous improvements it went though. In this (may be special) sense they’re special and lucky.

osx-gcc-installer or XCode

  1. How to remove Xcode completely from your system:
    sudo /Developer/Library/uninstall-devtools --mode=all

    Use at your own risk!

  2. Where to get Xcode: The App store:
  3. OSX-gcc-intstaller:
Addtional info: Another way is to get the “Command Line Tools for Xcode” at (which requires an Apple developer account).
Happy hacking!

Get Going with Git

While still in the process switch ing from Subversion to Git, here are a few helpful links I found:

Once up and running there’s of course githubgitcentral and gitorious. For hosting open source projects currently github seems to be the choice, but in case you prefer not to share stuff (just yet) gitcentral offers free (as in no money) hosting of private projects using free (as in open source) software.

Safari 4 – Tabs Moved Back

It has been noted at other places: The tabs in Safari 4 appear in the very top of the window, where you’d display page information and could CMD-click to see the browsing history. And you could easily move the window with a click ‘n drag. That space is now (mostly) occupied by the tabs. To go back to what it used to be previously just do this (at your own risk):

defaults write DebugSafari4TabBarIsOnTop -bool NO

There you are, the tab are back just above the content (where I think they belong anyway).

Things We Do, But Shouldn’t

I regularly fire up the same applications: TextMate, a browser or two, mail programs, iTunes, a shell, irb and others. Now, while Quicksilver is excellent for firing up applications (and a lot of other things), I’d still be busy typing and/or mouse-pointing and clicking. And doing that is boring, cumbersome and not what I like to do anyway. I shouldn’t (have to) do it. And, in fact, I don’t. A little bit of Ruby code will do it:

%w( <full_application_paths_go_here> ).each{ | app | system "open #{app} &" }

Replace <full_application_paths_go_here> with a list of space-delimited full application paths, save it into a file (in ~/bin presumably), make it executable and there you go. Actually, the language doesn’t matter at all here. The only thing that does matter is to fire up the applications.

Starting all most used applications is now just a few key strokes away. There’s certainly a very similar way to do this on other *nix OSes and Windows.

Hidden Files in Finder and Screen Shots

Even though it has been said on another place or two on the web: To show hidden files (like .profile etc.) in Finder use

  defaults write AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
  killall Finder

With FALSE instead of TRUE it’s switched back to the original state. However, I like working with PathFinder which can be configure to show these files (and it does a whole lot more).

And screen shots are done with Shift-Cmd-3 for the whole screen and Shift-Cmd-4 to get a cursor to define an area to take the screen shot form.

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.