Daily Archives: Friday, 8th Nov 2013

Weight and Stuff Report – 8 November 2013

Hmmm. Up by a huuuuuge amount today, which is probably a temporary wossname, or something.

I decided to have a quiet day in today, which let me catch up on all the things my TiVo has been watching for me over the last week or so, and to do some posting on this site, as you may have noticed.

Today’s photo is of the newly restored building on Penarth Pier. Looks like a lot of money has been spent…

Penarth Pier

Penarth Pier

Camera: X100S
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/600s
Focal length: 23mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 4 November, 2013

Minor Safari Annoyance Fixed

I’ve been carrying on using Safari as my main browser for a few weeks now, and it hasn’t really annoyed me this time. The availability of AdBlock made quite a difference, of course.

But there was one little thing. It’s that muscle memory thing that I alluded to in my post about the Mail update. I’m used to pressing what I think of as the Backspace key (though Apple call it Delete) to go back a page when using a browser. Chrome understands this, Internet Exploder Explorer understands this, and Safari used to. But apparently some people got upset because when intending to delete a character, they went back a page, presumably because they hadn’t bothered to check which field they were in, so the shortcut was removed. Instead, you’re supposed to press Cmd+[, which is fine, but slightly more effort, and my poor little brain tend not to remember it. I was irritated enough to do a bit of searching, and found a helpful solution in a few forums. You just need to run this from Terminal:

defaults write com.apple.Safari com.apple.Safari.ContentPageGroupIdentifier.WebKit2BackspaceKeyNavigationEnabled -bool YES

Restart Safari, and normal service[1] is resumed. And if you decide you don’t like it, run the command again with NO instead of YES.

[1] For me, that is.

Mavericks Mail Un-Mutter

Following my recent muttering about the Gmail borkage in OS X’s Mail application, I gave Airmail a good trial. And it wasn’t too bad at all – it worked with the accounts I needed it to, understood the Cmd+Shift+D shortcut for sending a message[1] and was generally well-behaved.

But there were a few little niggles. The list of folders on the left was displayed in a very small font, and the numbers showing unread message counts were displayed with remarkably little contrast, making them hard to see. The other niggle was that when I deleted a message in a folder, the selection moved down rather than up – and there didn’t seem to be an option to change this. Minor things, but enough to make me want Mail back.

So I was very pleased to find that while I wasn’t looking, Apple released an update for Mail that fixes the broken Gmail behaviour. Deleted messages stay deleted, moved messages no longer reappear in the Inbox, and all appears to be well. Not only that, but the automatic update feature did what it was supposed to do.

Yay, etc. :tigger:

[1] If there’s one thing that puts me off software, it’s not understanding the keystrokes that are embedded in my memory

For Who the Bell Tolls – David Marsh

David Marsh is an editor of some variety on the Guardian, edits the paper’s Mind Your Language blog, and is generally responsible for the @GuardianStyle Twitter feed, both of which are good fun for anyone who enjoys the use and abuse of language.

He’s now published a book (parts of which have previously appeared on the blog) about English grammar and style. It’s written in a light, humorous style and is a lot of fun, particularly when he quotes some of the more extreme examples of linguistic abuse. He also has the good taste to quote Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett, which earns him several million bonus points.

He’s nicely opinionated and has little patience with some of the more pompous forms of communication:

You don’t need to know that ‘this is he’ is an example of the predicate nominative to be all to aware that someone who uses it to answer the phone is going to sound like a twerp.

And in a chapter on easily (or not so easily) confused words, he offers this useful definition:

fayre A fete worse than death

David has fun with political language and the bizarre form of communication used by train companies. Though he seems to have missed the odd one where the thing you’re sitting in[1] isn’t a train. Oh no, it’s a service.  And those places where you get on or off the, err, service aren’t stations, they’re station stops.

Anyway, this is good stuff, and well worth reading. Have a look at the blog and the Twitter feed to get a feel for his style if you’re not sure.

[1] Assuming you can get a seat, that is…

David Wingrove – An Inch of Ashes (Chung Kuo 6)

In the sixth volume of the revised and reissued Chung Kuo series, things are beginning to change. There’s discord and deceit between the Seven. The increasingly disturbing DeVore steps up his campaign against the rulers of the world city and forms an alliance with another disturbing character.

Ben Shepard briefly leaves home to study in Oxford, or at least the university of the same name as the original, hidden under the lowest level of the City.

And the “Clayborn”[1] Kim Ward joins a project intended to develop a means of controlling the people of Chung Kuo.

The next volume is out now, and I’ll be mumbling about it quite soon.