Monthly Archives: March 2017

Comments on the Thompson Hack

I’ve written several times (1, 2, 3) about Ken Thompson’s beautiful if terrifying hack that invisibly inserted a back door into all programs generated with the C compiler. “Invisibly” here means that there’s nothing in the C compiler’s source code … Continue reading

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Emacs as a C/C++ IDE

This is another of a series of posts on how to use Emacs as a C/C++ IDE. I’m always seeing queries about how to do that so it’s worth another post on the subject. This time, I want to discuss … Continue reading

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Emacser Defined

Emacser (noun): a person who spends 45 minutes and 20 lines of code to save one keypress. — Wilfred Hughes (@_wilfredh) March 25, 2017 There’s a lot of truth in that, of course, but we’re planning on saving that 1 … Continue reading

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Ediff Files from Dired

The prolific abo-abo has a nice bit of Elisp that you will find useful if you like to use dired for your file operations and find yourself diffing a lot of files. His snippet allows you to mark two file … Continue reading

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Flash, FedEx? Really?

I like FedEx and I use them all the time to send packages and even important papers that need to be there the next day. I’ve always assumed that like UPS they are a technically sophisticated operation. That illusion was … Continue reading

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A Beautiful On-line Version of SICP

If, like me, you’re a lover of SICP (Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs) you’ll be happy to know that there’s a beautiful on-line version of it available. Years ago, MIT generously put up a version but some of the … Continue reading

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Query on mbsync for macOS

The wheels grind slowly here at Irreal but they do grind. I’m in the final stages of moving my email to Emacs in my neverending quest to run everything in Emacs. My specific intent is to run mu4e as my … Continue reading

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Dired Sorting

If you like to manage your files with Dired and tend to rely on the Dired listing rather than, say, ls, Ben Maughan has an excellent suggestion: dired-quick-sort. Take a look at the Github site to get an idea of … Continue reading

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Reproducible Journalism?

Longtime readers know that we here at Irreal do not generally hold journalists in high regard. Putting the best light on things, they are all too often ignorant and lazy. Still, Irreal is nothing if not dedicated to the scientific … Continue reading

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Stein's Emacs Productivity Series

Gregory Stein over at Caches to Caches has a nice series on how he uses Emacs to increase his productivity. I’ve written about a couple of those articles (1, 2) already but it’s useful to see the whole series. As … Continue reading

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