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Saturday, November 26, 2005

 
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so i went back to using bash after a few years of using tcsh because that's what mac os x -used- to ship as its default shell. at some point mph raised his eyebrow at me for using tcsh and told me the os x default was bash again, so i finally got around to converting my io & eliot .tcshrc to .bashrc today. this took longer than i wanted (though probably not longer than i expected, which is why i initially resisted returning to bash) due to two key features: set nobeep & set prompt.

set nobeep: i tried the recommended
"set bell-style visible"
but .bashrc wouldn't touch it unless i put it into ~/.inputrc. having lots of little separate file settings drives me nuts & i had already fixed the .bash_profile issue by only having one line telling it to refer to the .bashrc:
source ~/.bashrc
it took me a while to find the answer to set the bell style without using .inputrc: adding
bind "set bell-style visible"
in the .bashrc. this worked on io which runs gnu/linux, but eliot (running darwin) continued to beep until i chose
bind "set bell-style none"
instead.

set prompt: tcsh's way to configure prompts is arcane but intuitive:
set prompt="%B[%m:%.3] %n% %b"
this creates a prompt that's bold & contains the machine name, 3 levels of working directory & my username.

compare to bash (though it doesn't include my username):
PS1="\e[30;1m[\h:\w]\e[0m "
the escape characters are scarier than the vaguely html-like %B %b entities to create a bold character. and this is the easy way: some bash prompt tutorials include actual lines of code to manipulate the escape characters, and this gui homegirl don't do that. and i don't think i can tell it to just give me three levels of working directory: it's all or nothing.

happily, bash now does tab completion the way i prefer (showing ambiguities, which tcsh didn't by default) & the history seems more reliable between sessions than tcsh. i also added a couple of new shell tricks to the .bashrc:
bind "set completion-ignore-case on"
(which helps when scrambling around in the mac's filesystem, especially Desktop & Documents)
bind "set show-all-if-ambiguous on"
(which immediately shows you the options for tab completion rather than having to tab again if there's several possible options)

in other tech news, it looks very likely that i'll be selling eliot to someone carl knows (yes, he can work miracles, even thousands of miles distant) and will be in the market for a new 12" powerbook. maybe an ibook. definitely nano+1. any advice/suggestions welcome. what will i do w/ larkspur, my current ipod? and i still have a newton languishing in the garage....

but boy, december is going to be an expensive month. xmas, new computer, some planned flair for the studio & some new calligraphy supplies: any of which by itself is a chunk of change, but together... whew. austere for the new year, that's my motto!

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