Archive for October, 2009

Symbolic Links in Vista

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

This is the third time I’ve had to look this up, so into the blog it goes.

With Vista, Windows finally kind of supports symbolic links, though in general you would never know they were symbolic. Here’s a symlink you might want to set up if you do a lot of Symfony-based development:

mklink /D sf "C:\Program Files\PHP\data\symfony\web\sf"

The forward-slash “D” is for “directory”. Note that you can’t just link to a directory; you have to define what the local instance will be referred to as (in this case, also “sf”).

You can see that a link is symbolic when you do a “dir”:

10/20/2009 08:49 AM sf <SYMLINKD> [C:\Program Files\PHP\data\symfony\web\sf]

You can also add a “Link target” column to Windows Explorer. Other than this, however, there seems to be no convenient way to identify links as being symbolic.

mklink’s symbolic soft links behave more like hard links when copying and the like. Oddly, in Windows Explorer when you try to copy a symlink folder to the same directory, instead of saving the symlink folder as, for example, ”sf – Copy”, it instead copies all the files inside the folder and saves them as copies there.

I’m going to have to find something that plays a little more nicely with a large Subversion repository when doing a lot of branching and merging.  Perhaps I can get real-ish symlinking to work with Cygwin.

Testing Regular Expressions in Emacs

Monday, October 19th, 2009

How had I missed RE-Builder all these years? I used to use Expresso for help with regex’s, but it’s so much easier to do the munging in Emacs.

Try M-x re-builder for what ails ya.

The Apache service reported the following error:
>>> Unable to open logs .

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

I hear what you’re saying… “What the..? Nothing changed!”

Ah, but are you running Skype? If so, turn it off and try again.

Skype grabs port 80 unless that port is otherwise occupied. Launch Apache first, or choose an alternative HTTP port.

Would be nice if the error message was something a little more clear. How about “Cannot acquire port 80”? But, nah.. that would ruin all the fun.

Capitalism: A Love Story

Saturday, October 10th, 2009

Just saw Michael Moore’s latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story.  In retrospect, nothing in it should have been surprising, and yet almost every scene was jaw-dropping just the same.  Absolutely a must-see.

I was struck by two scenes in particular.

The more sensational of the two was long lost film footage, discovered by Moore’s team, of FDR’s January 11, 1944 Fireside Chat:  FDR’s “Economic Bill of Rights” Speech, meant to be a “Second” Bill of Rights guaranteeing Americans, not only certain intellectual freedoms, but a concrete standard of living.

Would that FDR had lived to see this through.  He believed that “necessitous men are not free men”.  That the hungry can be controlled,  can be manipulated, and that only a nation of economically secure individuals can lead to a truly free and prosperous nation.

Contrast this with a scene from more recent history.

Early in the film Moore highlights Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis of Confidence” broadcast of July 15th, 1979.

I vaguely recall this being on television. I was five years old. There was something mesmerizing about the President’s speech. My parents watched in silence.

Now that I am seeing it again, and can truly understand what President Carter is saying, I find it insightful and shockingly honest; like nothing I have experienced from American leaders in my entire adult life. And I think it goes without saying that President Carter’s warning has gone unheeded. America as a nation has let materialism and it’s root cause, unchecked capitalism, get the better of Democracy.

And though President Carter implores us to call on faith to right the nation, I agree with Michael Moore that perhaps only a return to the ideals of FDR — a longing for what is truly right, by the people and for the people — will keep us afloat.