Three Nice Looking Diff Tools and My Pick

1 Desire

Diff’s are hard. 80% of the time they are simple and fast. 20% of the time they are, well, complicated! My days of text-only diffs are coming to an end. They remain a part of my toolbox but I want a grown-up GUI diff tool. Fortunately there are plenty of options. But how to choose?

  • My decision making process was pretty simple: write down questions about them and answer them in a big spreadsheet
  • See where that takes me
  • Make a decision

Here is how it went.

Continue reading “Three Nice Looking Diff Tools and My Pick”

Configuring VNC on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Desktop Over SSH Before Logging In Locally

My goal was to log in to the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Desktop desktop, over a SSH tunnel, using VNC, before anyone was logged into the desktop itself. This scenario occurs because although you may share your desktop over the built in “Desktop Sharing”, you may need to restart the system, and after rebooting you are left with a login screen desktop, but without a logged-in desktop to share.
The directions I followed are from this great post.

sudo /usr/bin/x11vnc -xkb -noxrecord -noxfixes -noxdamage -auth /var/run/lightdm/root/:0 -display :0 -passwd "yourpwhere" -forever -bg -o /var/log/x11vnc.log

Option notes: -xkb, help with keyboard modifiers. -noxrecord, don’t let the xserver do grabs, assume this helps with speed. -noxfixes, disable xfixes cursor shape mode, assume this helps with speed. -noxdamage, disable xdamage polling hints, this does help with speed, has to do with Ubuntu’s compiz. -auth, lightdm is the unity login manager. -display, the primary. -passwd not secure, tunnel over ssh also. -forever don’t quit after the first client disconnects. -bg go into background mode. -o redirect output here.

Dolphin runs under Wine

As promised I have put up a blog post on how to get Dolphin running native under Wine (in this particular case on Mac OSX using a free product called WineSkin). You can find the blog at:
There are a few videos to go along with the blog and these can be found in the OA video library at:
Best regards
Andy Bower

(via comp.lang.smalltalk.dolphin)

Using VirtualBox for OCaml

I would like to try out OCaml. From what I have read, though, it is only happy running on UNIX. Without a UNIX box at the moment I decided to try out Sun’s VirtualBox with Ubuntu.
Setup, configuration, and installation took less than an hour. Directories can easily be shared between the host and the guest (Windows XP and Ubuntu in this case), which is convenient for me because I share my Bazaar checkout folder. The NAT network adapter is configured “out of the box”. Everything “just worked”; it was a really pleasant experience.
These days there really aren’t many obstacles to running, or even just trying out, Linux.


GoboLinux is a modular Linux distribution: it organizes the programs in your system in a new, logical way. Instead of having parts of a program thrown at /usr/bin, other parts at /etc and yet more parts thrown at /usr/share/something/or/another, each program gets its own directory tree, keeping them all neatly separated and allowing you to see everything that’s installed in the system and which files belong to which programs in a simple and obvious way.

Gobo looks like it might be a nice Linux to try out!
(via Carl’s REBOL Blog)