Subversion to Git

The whole world has not quite converted to Git yet, but it is well on the way. To actually work with a Subversion backend, a standard Git installation includes git-svn which implements an excellent two-way support. If you just want to track a Subversion repository without pushing to it, svn2git gives a better conversion in that it properly converts Subversion tags to real Git tags as well as some other house keeping.

I have used (and contributed to) svn2git before, but not for a while. Now I needed to use it again and realised that it is pretty sensitive to what Git version you have installed. I first tried with the latest Homebrew version (1.8.4) and it failed. I then uninstalled the Homebrew version and tried the Apple supplied one (1.7.10.2) and that failed too. Some Googling told me that version 1.8.3.1 seemed to work all right. So how to get that one? Turns out that is pretty simple nowadays.

  1. cd into the Homebrew folder (normally /usr/local)
  2. Run brew versions git to see all available versions
  3. Copy the checkout command from the list and run it.
  4. Run brew unlink git && brew install git.
  5. Run git checkout with the file path from 2 above.

Voilà! You now have the correct version installed. But wait, there’s more! You can now install several versions of the same program by following the steps above and then switch between them with brew switch <formula> <version>. Very convenient.

Disk problems and recovery

I have for the first time in maybe 10 years had a disk crash so severe that the computer didn’t start. And here I was under the impression that the risk for this happening should be less with an SSD disk.

Anyways, my computer had been displaying several weird symptoms over the past days, mostly as internet connectivity problems. And when I got to work today it would not wake from sleep (it had been fine at home half an hour earlier). I did not think this could be a disk problem right away, so I first tried to boot into safe mode. However, the boot just stalled. I left it for 20 minutes, but no progress. So next step was to start from the recovery partition and running Disk Utility. Doing that indicated a number of file system errors. I let Disk Utility fix them, and now everything seems OK again.

Not too bad, nothing was lost – at least I haven’t noticed anything yet.

No more Windows for me

Well, that’s not quite true. But I have stopped using a separate Windows computer, and instead run Windows 7 in a virtual machine on my Mac. I am currently using Parallels 8.0 which works brilliantly. I have switched back and forth a bit between Parallels and VMWare Fusion. I’d say that they are quite similar functionality wise, at least for the things I use them for, which is almost exclusively to compile and debug with Visual Studio. Anyhow, the less Windows the better so I’m happy with this setup for now.

First keyboard impressions

OK, now I have used the new Unicomp keyboard a little while, both on Windows and on OS X. Very happy with it so far. One little thing I was afraid would be bothersome is that the Trackpoint control only has two mouse buttons. I am, as are most users nowdays, spoiled with using a pointing device with a scroll wheel. That function is often activated by the third mouse button to toggle scroll lock mode when you don’t have an actual scroll wheel.

So what to do? I first looked for a solution using AutoHotkey to toggle scroll lock mode with some key combination. That is probably the best solution, since I use the program anyways, but I didn’t find a good solution right away. So instead I am now using X-Mouse Button Control set to toggle scroll lock with a right click. I then use the context menu key on the keyboard to get the normal right click functionality. Works great.

As for OS X, I have been using a trackpad for a long time now, so of course I’ll be losing all the multi-touch gestures. But that’s ok I think. It was possible to live without them before, so it should be possible again. At least the context menu key works as function key on the Mac without any extra configuration. That was actually unexpected, since it doesn’t either on Das Keyboard or on my Realtek. So, all in all good stuff.

My new keyboard is here!

I have always been a keyboard freak, trying this and that hoping that I finally have found the ultimate keyboard that will improve my typing and remove all strain. Maybe I finally have …

A week ago, I ordered not one, but two, Endura Pro keyboards from Unicomp, Inc. These are mechanically the same as the original IBM Model M keyboard, as delivered with the original IBM PC. This is arguably the best keyboard ever made – it is certainly the most durable with many still in daily use after almost 30 years.

The Endura Pro model has an additional feature – a built in Trackpoint mouse control. So now I can throw my mouse in the bin … Maybe.

Anyways, I am typing away on it now, and so far it feels great. It has a very distinct click, and the key press is stiff, but not too hard. It is quite loud though, so I hope my collegues will not object to my clicking and clacking.

Here are some images from the unboxing. Enjoy!

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