failing like never before


Spell Check

For about the past year, ever since I got my current laptop, I have been living without spell check on my laptop. Or perhaps more correctly, I've been living without any dictionaries for my spell check engines to operate on. Some people on Facebook where surprised when I reveled that Arch's base Firefox and Open Office packages do not include dictionaries and that language dictionaries must be installed separately.

As an engineering student, I have had precious little reasons to write essays. Those papers that I did write, I generally just wrote up quickly in VIM, and then SFTPed them into my school account where I then printed them. And while I did write lab reports up in Open Office, nobody really checks the spelling and grammar of lab reports. But because I had a rather large paper to write last week, I finally broke down and installed some US English dictionaries.


Control + s in Xterm

If you happen to be a noob like me, and are used to using a fancy graphical IDE like eclipse, NetBeans, or (God forbid) Visual Studio, then you're probably used to hitting <control>+<s> to save something (I think emacs uses "control + s" for saving too). If this is the case, then you've no doubt hit "control+s" by reflex when you wanted to save something in vim or vi. If you're using GNOME's Terminal or KDE's Konsole this shouldn't be a problem, although nothing will actually be saved.

But in xterm, "control + s" makes it so that you can no longer see terminal output. Basically, whatever you type is still processed by the shell, but you just don't see anything (I can't figure why anyone would actually want to do this). So for the uneducated, it looks like xterm has locked up and you've lost all your precious code. Fear not my friend! You can exit out of this funky mode by hitting "control + q."

In summation, if you ever hit "control + s" while using xterm, and everything appears to lock up, hit "control + q" to return to normal.