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1  General / Tips and tricks / Re: Keep organized with Emacs! Try org-mode for notes/tasks + gnus for mail! on: December 24, 2008, 07:38:33 AM
Update:  I recently added howm-mode to my Emacs setup.  It's a Wiki-like tool that uses a minor mode and a very simple markup for recognizing its links, so it combines easily with larger Emacs writing/note-taking tools like org-mode.  I'm new to what exactly it can do, but right now I use it for storing small snippets of info that don't fit well into my Org files:  things like definitions of new legal terms, Russian vocabulary I want to learn, quick notes about interesting but non-critical news articles, etc.

Since it's a minor mode, it was simple to hook org-mode to run howm-mode when it starts up, and to invoke org-mode when viewing howm-mode's notes files.  What does this mean?  It means that terms or phrases in my outlines that match links from a howm file are automatically treated as links to more information on that term, and that my howm notes can take advantage of Org's formatting and ability to link to esoteric types of information (like my IMAP email messages in Gnus).

Here's the code in my ~/.emacs file that the howm-mode developer suggested adding for connecting org-mode and howm-mode:

(setq howm-view-title-header "*") ;; *BEFORE* loading howm!

This line makes howm notes start with an asterisk, which is also the default character for org outlines.  This way, when viewing a howm note's title, howm-mode will recognize one of its Wiki notes and org-mode will recognize the beginning of an outline, and your Wiki notes will be ready to drop into a larger outline at any time.  As the comment suggests, it needs to happen before the howm library is loaded to have any effect, which happens in the next line:
(require 'howm)

(add-hook 'org-mode-hook 'howm-mode)

This line just adds a simple "hook" to make sure that howm-mode is run whenever org-mode is run in a given buffer.  This allows me to see links to Wiki notes for further information in my Org outlines without manually enabling howm-mode, use howm's key shortcuts inside org-mode, etc.

(add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.howm$" . org-mode))
This automatically runs org-mode when viewing a *.howm file (the standard extension for howm-mode's notes, obviously).  Since howm is a minor mode whose simple markup doesn't interfere with Org-mode's, this works beautifully, and my quick Wiki notes are mini org-mode files, ready for quick addition to one of my larger outlines, like the ones I keep for course work or major projects.
2  General / Tips and tricks / Re: Keep organized with Emacs! Try org-mode for notes/tasks + gnus for mail! on: December 15, 2008, 20:31:19 PM
You're forcing me to relieve a traumatic experience... I was beaten mercilessly once at a LUG after admitting I use nano.

There's nothing wrong with nano--I use it whenever a Pardus update eats something I've done to fstab.  Wink  Nano is an editor, while Emacs is a mini-operating system that lacks an editor that works normally!

Like Lisp itself, Emacs is just a cool environment for consuming mass quantities of [usually text] input and doing strange but useful things to that input, like the outline and agenda views org-mode provides for note-taking.  If my computer just exploded and I need to use a LiveCD of some kind to pick up the pieces, I'll usually turn to Nano unless I need to edit a file much larger than a typical *.conf for some reason, or I need to diff something I'm editing.
3  General / Tips and tricks / Re: Keep organized with Emacs! Try org-mode for notes/tasks + gnus for mail! on: December 06, 2008, 15:27:50 PM
BBDB does create a single file, the default location of which is ~/.bbdb.  The format is some kind of eLisp gobbledygook, but it is [somewhat] human-readable!

"ancient Coptic brain surgery reports"

This is exactly what the official Gnus manual looks like!  Is this what being an emacs mode developer does to one's brain?

Don't let it get to you too much, though, as these days you can actually do most of the work of setting up mail/news accounts through the Customize interface without writing eLisp by hand.

P.S.  If you're interested in org-mode files discussing how people use Org, check out the Org-mode "worg" (wiki-type thingy driven by org-mode and some clever Lisp hacks) that lives at http://orgmode.org/worg/
4  General / Tips and tricks / Keep organized with Emacs! Try org-mode for notes/tasks + gnus for mail! on: December 02, 2008, 02:50:57 AM
If anybody here likes Emacs--or if you're not that familiar with Emacs, but you're unsatisfied with the features of note-taking tools available in Pardus, like BasKet, KNotes, FreeMind, etc.--I recommend you give org-mode a try.  Version 6.05a comes with the Emacs 23.0.60 package in the Pardus 2008 repo, and if you like it, you can download the current, full org-mode package (version 6.13a right now) from the project website at http://orgmode.org/.

I was never that much of an Emacs person--in fact, a couple of months ago I hardly knew the commands to do basic editing on a text file--but it only took me a few days to adapt to org-mode.  Just start up emacs and run M-x (that's Alt+X) org-mode to give it a try.  The basics are very simple to learn:  things like Alt-Enter (or M-RET in Emacs-speak  Tongue ) to turn the current line into a heading of an outline, Alt plus the arrow keys to promote/demote headlines, Tab to reveal or hide subheadings, etc.  With a few simple commands, you can build a well-structured outline for your notes in a text file, complete with internal and external links (including to other Emacs applications, like searching for a person in the Big Brother Database or linking to an email you received in Gnus or RMAIL) and built-in, very fast support for making to-do notes and adding deadlines, schedules, and other timestamps without going into a separate calendar app.  Better yet, you can have it display an agenda based on any notes associated with dates/tasks--across multiple org files!  And export your notes to HTML (and easily make tables) or LaTeX (and easily write formulas)!  There are also tags and lots of other features that I'll let you try for yourself, plus the ability to use most of the cooler features of org-mode as minor modes within other parts of Emacs.

A while after I started using org-mode to take notes in law school, I realized I would have an even more useful note-taking/organizer/PIM system if I was using one of those Emacs mail applications.  I decided to set up Gnus.  At first, I managed to intimidate myself by going straight to the Gnus website and trying to read the considerably overcomplicated Gnus manual, as well as some confusing Gnus-related blog entries.  Then, I followed this straightforward tutorial at the EmacsWiki for setting up Gnus for Gmail.  After setting up Gmail IMAP and SMTP in Gnus, it was pretty simple to add my university IMAP mail account as a "secondary select method" following the same procedure.

Then, to make things even cooler, I added the Insidious Big Brother Database (bbdb)--Emacs' very clever, very fast automated address book, featuring regexp record lookup, automatic or semi-automatic "noticing" of new contacs from email/newsgroup messages, and completion of email addresses.  I downloaded BBDB, followed the instructions right out of the BBDB manual, and everything worked fine. 

While settling in to my new PIM setup, of course, I Customized org-mode, Gnus, and BBDB to make everything work together just like I wanted.  Give some or all of these great Emacs apps a try and get organized!

P.S.  Carsten Dominik, a Dutch astrophysicist and the main org-mode developer, gave an interesting Google tech talk about some of the cool features of his program.
5  General / Introduce yourself / Pardus fun in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA on: June 28, 2008, 00:55:20 AM
Greetings everyone.  I've been using Linux in some form since I first installed RedHat 4.2 on a 33MHz 486SX-based desktop as a kid.  I remember the feeling of wonder I experienced when I first booted into Linux and began to understand how operating systems work.  Pardus, at long last, has given me that feeling back.  It's built from scratch, so there's no inexplicable cruft left over from "ancestor" distros, no silly legacy package manager, no binary packages written for generic i386, no huge clump of init shell scripts, no nonsense.  And since I've been teaching myself Python lately, I look forward to hacking the many features of Pardus that are implemented in this wonderful language.
6  Assistance / Hardware / Getting the most out of an old USB joystick on: May 16, 2008, 19:22:10 PM
Hi, I am the proud (I think?) owner of a USB joystick from the late '90s, a Saitek Cyborg 3D to be precise.  I have played around with using this in Pardus a little bit in a couple of games (mostly PPRacer) but have been disappointed because Linux seems to see it as off center and having a very limited range of motion.  How do I "calibrate" this joystick in Pardus, and/or what can I do to improve its compatibility with Linux games?
7  Assistance / Hardware / Re: What is the proper way to install radeon x1200 on: May 16, 2008, 19:09:00 PM
Hi there, I'm also a Toshiba laptop user with an ATI X1200--I have a sweet little 15.4-inch Satellite A215.  Have you tried the installation instructions at http://en.pardus-wiki.org/Atidrivers?

I know they refer to the outdated 8.40 drivers, but these instructions worked fine from me.  If you haven't tried doing so yet, take a try at getting the ATI drivers out of the Pardus repository (it's version 8.455.2) and make the suggested modifications to the configuration files.  I'm not sure it's actually necessary to turn Composite off anymore.

Sorry that I can't report on 1440*900 resolution with this driver because my laptop's display is only capable of 1280*800.
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