Tag archive: software

GNU Emacs on Rasperry Pi

For the two people in the world who were wondering this, GNU Emacs runs just fine under Debian on a Raspberry Pi. It doesn’t leave much memory available for other stuff so don’t expect to do a lot at the same time as you’re running emacs. But it works!

sudo apt-get install emacs

Gnu Emacs on Debian on a Raspbery Pi

Whenever I Go Away, I Want to Start Anew…

…a new project.

For some reason when I’m away from home and sitting in a hotel, I often really want to code.

I enjoy the initial act of creating something much more than I enjoy the act of completing and deploying it. This has been the case pretty much since I started creating things. There’s a thrill for me in the initial exploration of an idea, the initial design of a piece of software or web site, and in learning how to use new tools or pieces of software to build the thing that I want to build.

I lose interest when it comes to polishing it and deploying it, though.

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Showing a Column as a UNIX Timestamp in MySQL

I often need to store a timestamp in the UVFood database. There are lots of things I need timestamps for – recording the time that a user account was made or a modification was made, for instance.

While MySQL has quite an assortment of date and time formats which it supports, I usually find it most convenient to store timestamps as an INT and just put the UNIX seconds since the epoch value in there. I don’t need to do funky searches on the timestamps, I just need to do simple comparisons.

A drawback is that sometimes when I’m working with the database by hand it’s annoying to see the timestamps as big numbers – sometimes it would be very helpful to see them as dates and times.

Fortunately there’s a MySQL function that helps with this problem. The “FROM_UNIXTIME()” function will interpret a numeric column’s value as a UNIX seconds-from-the-epoch value and show it as a date and timestamp.

Using it I can easily do things like:


and see it as:

| URL | FROM_UNIXTIME(timestamp) |
| explore/users/94 | 2008-10-05 22:49:39 |

rather than

| URL | timestamp |
| explore/users/94 | 1223261379 |

MacOS X DVDs – Versions and Saving a Little Money on Them

A brief discussion on a private mailing list I’m on reminded me that there might be some interest in this.

MacOS X Leopard has been out for a while, but there are still a lot of folks who haven’t upgraded to it.

The upgrade comes in two versions, the single user licensed one and the “family pack”.

The single user licensed version is as it says, licensed for use on a single Apple computer and lists for $129.99. The family pack is licensed for use for up to five machines in one household, and lists for $199, a pretty good deal for staying legal at less than the cost of two single user licenses. While you can buy the single user and family packs directly from Apple with no shipping fees, Amazon usually has a better deal. At the time I wrote this, they were charging $26 less than list for the single user edition and $44.51 less than list for the family pack, both with free shipping.

If you’re coming to it from the Windows world, you’ll find that Mac OS X Leopard is a pleasure to install. It requires no serial numbers or product activation. You won’t have to worry about matching the particular distribution to the particular CD key.

You should be forewarned that, in my experience, the restore DVD that comes with a computer will only work with that computer or class of computers. So if you have a MacBook restore DVD it likely will refuse to install on an iMac.

Amazon also has a pretty good deal on Leopard Server: $104.51 off the 10 user version (normal list price $499) and $168.46 off the unlimited user version (normal list price $999). Leopard Server does have a serial number and will detect multiple copies of itself running on the same network.

I don’t expect the next version of MacOS X (“Snow Leopard”) to be out for another 9 to 15 months. Snow Leopard is targeted at providing performance and stability rather than feature enhancements, and will only run on Intel machines. It should be a worthwhile upgrade (who doesn’t want performance and stability?) but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for it.

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