August 27, 2008

Emacs and W3M: Toggling between work and the Web

August 27, 2008 - Categories: emacs, wickedcoolemacs

Here’s a handy shortcut that toggles between the W3M web browser and other buffers you’re working on. I use it to quickly switch between code and documentation (or your favorite timewasting site, as it also makes a handy boss key).

Define the function by adding the following code to your ~/.emacs:

(defun wicked/toggle-w3m ()
  "Switch to a w3m buffer or return to the previous buffer."
  (if (derived-mode-p 'w3m-mode)
      ;; Currently in a w3m buffer
      ;; Bury buffers until you reach a non-w3m one
      (while (derived-mode-p 'w3m-mode)
    ;; Not in w3m
    ;; Find the first w3m buffer
    (let ((list (buffer-list)))
      (while list
	(if (with-current-buffer (car list)
	      (derived-mode-p 'w3m-mode))
	      (switch-to-buffer (car list))
	      (setq list nil))
	  (setq list (cdr list))))
      (unless (derived-mode-p 'w3m-mode)
	(call-interactively 'w3m)))))

Then bind it to a shortcut key sequence (F7 F7 in this example) by adding the following code to your ~/.emacs:

(global-set-key (kbd " ") 'wicked/toggle-w3m)

You can then use F7 F7 to switch back and forth between your web browser and whatever else you’re working on.

Mouse woes on Ubuntu Hardy

August 27, 2008 - Categories: geek

It’s really quite odd. I’ve tried two USB mice (one wireless, one wired) on my Kubuntu system. They work well… once. The next time I try to use them, I’m lucky if I manage to get a minute of use out of them. Something is very wrong. =(

Anyway, that’s enough time spent on mouse issues–one hour today, one hour yesterday! Pfft. I’ll try it again later.

Work that I love: reflecting on the whats and hows

August 27, 2008 - Categories: career, life, work

At the team-building event the other day, I got to meet a number of other people who had been with IBM for a number of years. Several people told me stories about projects planned using at least 80-hour weeks, of high turnover and stressful environments, but also the increased responsibilities and career opportunities for people who stay with those projects. Other people talked about priorities and intentionally limiting the number of hours they worked in order to make time for other things, their happiness with their decisions, and the support they received from the company. It made me think about what work I love to do and how I want to live.

I’m getting a better idea of the work I enjoy doing. Here’s a rough sketch:

I’d like to explore sales at some point, too. I want to find out if it might be a good fit for me, too, and I like the idea of helping people find the right solution for them.

So that’s a general idea of my strengths. I love helping people be more effective, whether it’s by sharing ideas or tips, connecting them with others, or building or tweaking tools for them. I enjoy software development and technical writing too, but mainly as a way of supporting my ability to help people be more effective. Those are the “whats,” at least right now. What about the hows?

I don’t see myself working on projects with unrealistic time expectations. I don’t see myself sacrificing life for work or for career advancement. If I did, I’d be going up the ladder, yes, but it might be the wrong ladder for me.

The things I love doing and the things that make me special all require me to be happy and passionate about my work. I believe that I can be successful at them while living according to my values. I’m looking forward to seeing the kind of life I can build. =)

Have you thought about your whats and hows?