Making Life Easier/Harder

I’ve been working with several different softwares for a couple very different projects this month. Following the mantra of “Everything in One Place,” I’ve been trying to streamline my computing so that my full effort is geared towards the actual programming. Here are some of my small bumps in the road I’ve encountered so far and how I solved them. One of them was Zsh, which is mentioned in another post. The others with Dropbox, bug files, and Emacs are detailed in this post.

Configuring Dropbox in Linux – Beware!

It is a very smooth process to download and initialize Dropbox in your Linux machine. However, there is one line in the installation instructions that can lead you astray: “Next, run the Dropbox daemon from the newly created .dropbox-dist folder with this command: ~/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd Then you see your dropbox folder begin to upload.”

Sounds simple, right?


Dropbox in Linux only refreshes and uploads when you tell it to. If you don’t realize this in time like I unfortunately hadn’t, then you might find yourself 40 minutes away from home without a source file to send to your collaborators. Apparently, even though I thought I had successfully practised the preventative routine of “Saving in two locations means you saved it once”, with Dropbox in Linux – turns out it wasn’t saved anywhere that I could access from work. I also learned that saving your file from your computer in gmail as an attachment and then sending the email from your android phone first thing in the morning… doesn’t actually send an email with said file attachment. For some reason.

To make sure the Dropbox daemon client runs in the background, use this line: ($HOME/.dropbox-dist/dropboxd &)& Your terminal then reports the PID number (or Process ID). If you hit enter you get a helpful Done statement, and now you’ll see the Dropbox icon running in your side bar without complaint. This is because the ampersand control operator in Bash tells the shell to execute the command (in this case, the Dropbox daemon) in the background within its own subshell.

Where did all these files in my $HOME folder come from?!

Since I’ve been trying out some new programs I’ve also been getting alot of excess junk files from my travels. They are hidden for the most part, but type in ls -a while in your home folder and all the scary stuff shows its face. Its mostly files with either.goutputstream-xxxxx or .Xauthority., which are known bugs. Rumor is they were created created by Ubuntu One. So your option is to not hesitate and put those annoying files out of their misery with one line: cd && rm .goutputstream-* -v If you are already in your home directory then simply type rm .goutputstream-*

That bloody Emacs splashscreen

While editing an .html source file (it may or may not have been the same file that triggered my aforementioned Dropbox crisis) I finally got rid of that obnoxious initial page on Emacs. You know, the one that looks like it hasn’t been updated since the 90s.

Apparently the option has always been offered in splashscreen itself. You could look around for it, or just wipe it off the face of the earth with a very satisfying single line of code.

Go to your .emacs file, then add: (setq inhibit-splash-screen t)

If you want, do a M-x load file to test it, or just open up a file with emacs from the terminal and see your intended document take up the full buffer just like its supposed to.