Media Summary: October 2017

Some interesting links for the month:

Aerial view of Ur, 1927.
Aerial view of Ur, 1927
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Setting up ZSH on a Mac

I’ve been using the excellent Fish shell for the last few (three? four?) years, but every once in a while I need bash-compatibility, and Zsh seemed like perhaps a sweet spot between the two.

If you’re in a similar spot, this is a two-minute (almost) guide to getting up and running with Zsh on OS X.

Step 1: What does brew have?

~> brew search zsh
==> Searching local taps...
zsh ✔                                zsh-autosuggestions                  zsh-git-prompt                       zsh-lovers                           zsh-syntax-highlighting
fizsh                                zsh-completions                      zsh-history-substring-search         zsh-navigation-tools                 zshdb

Step 2: Just install the main product

So brew has a lot of packages, but I just need zsh for now.

Step 3: Use it!

I used to have this two step process of first adding it to /etc/shells and then calling chsh -s on it, but there’s a better way to do it:

sudo dscl . -create /Users/$USER UserShell /usr/local/bin/zsh

Step 4: Configuration options

Here you can either create .zshrc files manual, or through the startup menu, or … use Oh-my-zsh/Prezto.

I went with the last one, but here’s what the “first time menu” looks like:

Please pick one of the following options:

(1)  Configure settings for history, i.e. command lines remembered
 and saved by the shell.  (Recommended.)

(2)  Configure the new completion system.  (Recommended.)

(3)  Configure how keys behave when editing command lines.  (Recommended.)

(4)  Pick some of the more common shell options.  These are simple "on"
 or "off" switches controlling the shell's features.

(0)  Exit, creating a blank ~/.zshrc file.

(a)  Abort all settings and start from scratch.  Note this will overwrite
 any settings from zsh-newuser-install already in the startup file.
 It will not alter any of your other settings, however.

(q)  Quit and do nothing else.  The function will be run again next time.
--- Type one of the keys in parentheses ---

Step 5: Prezto

Pretty straightforward to install, and you can keep tweaking later, if that’s what you want.

git clone –recursive https://github.com/sorin-ionescu/prezto.git “$ZDOTDIR:-$HOME/.zprezto”

And then

setopt EXTENDED_GLOB
for rcfile in "${ZDOTDIR:-$HOME}"/.zprezto/runcoms/^README.md(.N); do
  ln -s "$rcfile" "${ZDOTDIR:-$HOME}/.${rcfile:t}"
done

That’s it, open a new terminal and enjoy your new shell!

On the space dog

From an article in the New Yorker reminiscing about Laika:

But the story of Laika had a dark lie at its core. In 2002, forty-five years after the fact, Russian scientists revealed that she had died, probably in agony, after only a few hours in orbit. In the rush to put another satellite into space, the Soviet engineers had not had time to test Sputnik 2’s cooling system properly; the capsule had overheated. It remained in orbit for five months with Laika inside, then plunged into the atmosphere and burned up over the Caribbean, a space coffin turned shooting star. Turkina quotes one of the scientists assigned to Laika’s program: “The more time passes, the more I’m sorry about it. We shouldn’t have done it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog.”

Monthly recap (October 2017)

Some ups and downs this month … leaving out some things.

One surprisingly good movie I saw this month was “Never let me go”, based on a book by the recent Nobel-prize winner, Kazuo Ishiguro. It’s already seven years old, and I’m surprised I never heard of it before. What’s more, it turns out another similar (in some ways) movie I saw a long time ago, “The Remains of the Day” was also based on a book written by the same guy (movie: 1993, novel: 1989) !!

Minor updates:

  • For various reasons, decided to make a will with my wife (not done yet, but got started on it)
  • Got another tooth extracted in preparation for an implant (long story, I have bad gums, need a bone graft and sinus lift, blah blah blah, painful and pointless)
  • Participated in a “Girls who code” event at work, which was extremely gratifying
  • Took a “mini train trip” with Tara (a few stops on the Caltrain)

Watched/read:

  • Logan (finally! it was good!)
  • Ghost in the shell (finally! it was good too!)
  • Bought Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (finally! but won’t get to read it for a while …)
  • Our souls at night (Netflix)