Use shortcut to replace “Esc” in VIM/GVIM

March 22, 2007

I bought a second hand Canon 300D recently. Had much fun with it. I’ll probably write something about using a DSLR in Ubuntu. Really love this “old” camera.

OK. Here is the problem I recently found when I was using GVIM-latex-suite to type my final thesis, when I want to change back to normal mode from the insert mode by pressing “Esc” it is quite unconfortable. Although “Esc” key is not far from other keys, it is just not that convenient. Because when you typing, your fingers are alway around “ASDF”and “JKL:” keys. You’ll need to move your hand to reach the “Esc” key…

This can be quite easy to solve. I am sure there is a way using VIM setting itself to remap Esc key. But don’t want to research such settings. The KDE control center, can do this quite easily. Here is the steps:

  1. KDE control center-> Reginal & accessibility-> Input Actions.
  2. “New Action”. Note you’d better to create a new group first.
  3. Go to “Trigger” tab, “New”-> Shortcut Trigger-> I use “Right Alt +  L”. It’s quite convenient when you are in the type position. Try it yourself.
  4. Go to “Actions” tab, “New”-> Keyboard input -> type Escape.
  5. Leave all the other settings default.

That’s it. Now in every active windows, if you press “Right Alt+L” the actual key activated is “Esc” key. Enjoy your VIM typing!

Recommend: Yakuake, a cool terminal Emulator for KDE

February 1, 2007

In KDE, I use Konsole all the time, until I met Yakuake. I add this small tool to my long-term using applications immediately. The reason is simple. It’s pretty convenient, fast, and cool.

KDE lets me define a shortcut (I set it to Win+Ctrl+T, whilst Win+T to start it) to activate my Konsole no matter what desktop it is, or it is minimised or not. This is quite handy as whenever I want to switch to an opened Konsole instead of opening a new one, I just press the hotkey. However, it is annoy that after this I have to minimise it manually, otherwise it will be the current active window in my every 9 desktop!!

By using Yakuake, this wouldn’t be an issue anymore. I add it to my autostart applications. So instead of start a terminal and switch it every time and minimise after using it, I just press a hotkey (I set it to Alt+X as it is very handy for my left hand), a console will slide from my top screen edge, then I can type and command I want, or add more tabs. To inactivate it, just click outside this console it will slide back as nothing happens, or press the hotkey again. This applies to all my desktops. Besides, the interface is really cool, I set it to use Konsole’s settings, others default. Here is a screenshot:


To install is quite simple: in terminal “sudo apt-get install yakuake” , then say goodbye to your old terminal emulators.

HOWTO: quick search terminal history commands

January 20, 2007

I like the MATLAB way of input command — it has the same tab-complete feature; in addition, it has a up-arrow-auto-complete-history-command feature. For example, if I have typed a command “x=39;y=23;” before, now I can just type “x” and then type the up arrow button, then this command would auto-complete. It can also switch between all the history commands that has the same starting letters.

Vert unfortunately, I haven’t found any similar feature in the Linux terminal, or say bash. There is a command called “history” that can list all the history commands. I can type “history | grep xxx” to search the command I want to find. The same example, I can type “history | grep x=” try to find that command. There would come up something like “201 x=39;y=23;“. The number in the beginning is the index of in the history. Then I can type “!201” to repeat this command. But I find this quite time-consuming.

Then I came across a shortcut of bash “Ctrl + R“, it can “search through previously used commands”. Say in the terminal I type “Ctrl + R”, then “(reverse-i-search):” came up, then I can type keyword of my previous command, say “x=” then the most related command would come up. After the right command comes up, then type enter, finish. Although not as convinient as the MATLAB mode, this is way better than using “history” command, in my view.

No more Fedora Core?

January 6, 2007

I ran across this RSS title from this morning. Feeling sad for FC, which is my first Linux distribution. I was attracted by the blue-style of FC before touching Linux. However, a close look into the article seems this a “joke”, here is the link.

Starting with Fedora 7, there is no more Core, and no more Extras; there is only Fedora. One single repository, built in the community on open source tools, assembled into whatever spins the Fedora community desires.

Is this a word game just like rename “Fedora Core” into “Fedora”? At least, it seems nothing differnt to me. I think there is one thing for sure, there is no more the name of “Fedora Core”, not Fedora Core.

Tomboy icon on the KDE tray, finally

January 5, 2007

Tomboy is a nice note taking application that I am using it everyday. But it is really annoying that no icon is there on the KDE tray. But it is really there, like a transparent icon. These problem seems a bug in the 0.4 release, because I saw someone else got the same question in some forums. But now with the 0.5.1 release, the tomboy icon finally can be displayed on the KDE tray. Of course there are other new features, please check here.

Tomboy icon on the KDE tray

Superswitcher — A nice Alt+Tab alternative

January 5, 2007

Today I came across a nice small application called “Superswitcher” from LinuxTOY. It is quite handy to use Win+direction keys to switch from desktops and applications in one desktop.

“SuperSwitcher is a (more feature-ful) replacement for the Alt-Tab window
switching behavior and Ctrl-Alt-Left/Right/Up/Down workspace switching behavior
that is currently provided by Metacity.”

Don’t worry about the homepage of Superswitcher is inside the Gnomefile, because I found it works perfectly in my KDE desktop environment. It also has some other features like move windows, find particular windows by key combinations. The only problem I found so far (after trying 2 min only…) is that it conflicts with my KDE shortcut. I have Win+ KEY to open applications, and Win+Ctrl+KEY to switch to that window. Now I can’t use them if I have Superswitcher on. I’ll try to find a way to overcome this…

A screenshot here:


December 31, 2006

I have a Canon PIXMA ip1500 printer which I usually print in the Windows environment. I came across a software called Turboprint one day. My printer model is supported. I downloaded it and installed. Everything seemed perfect (except the GTK1 interface). But it turned out that every paper I print has its logo on, even I try the lowest resolution. And I have to pay $34 to register to use it with full function. It seems ridiculous that I have to pay almost equvalent money as my printer to drive it in my Linux! Uninstall it immediately…

I searched Ubuntu Forum with “ip1500” , there are lots of posts. I read some of them, looked quite complex… so I didn’t try then. But today I am quite free so I decided to drive my ip1500 in my Ubuntu. Fortunately, the first post I read from my search result is a perfect one. Here it is. I’ll just add a link where the official driver for Linux can be downloaded.

As the post said, despite the official site said the OS is SUSE, it works perfect on my Ubuntu Edgy with KDE. Just install the printer from KDE control center instead of “gnome-cups-manager”.