IT is very interesting technology.

NppPresage epic

While working on NppPresage, the Notepad++ predictive text plugin I am writing, I ran into an interesting problem which led me on a journey of discovery of some useful and powerful Windows debugging tools.

The problem started occuring when testing my NppPresage plugin with the latest build of Notepad++. After exiting Notepad++, the following error message box would appear, when the NppPresage plugin is installed:

Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library

This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way.

presage accepted in Debian

Some time ago, I began working on packaging presage for Debian. My motivations were:

  • to make presage as easily and readily accessible as possible: getting presage into Debian certainly achieves widespread distribution, as it make it available to Debian distribution itself, as well as the numerous Debian derivatives (Ubuntu arguably being the most well-known)
  • to learn about packaging software for Debian: I was curious and interested about the policies and processes adopted by Debian developers to package software into the distribution, and I wanted to learn the tools and procedures for myself
  • to contribute something back to Debian: I've used Debian as my main OS for years (after a brief initial stint with Slackware 1.2.3), and I thought it high time to contribute some time and work to the distribution and the community of developers behind it

I am glad to announce that presage has been accepted into Debian Sid. presage-0.8.6-1 was built, signed, and uploaded on Sat, 6 August 2011.

version script, linker, autoconf check, and the like

Here's a short example with an autoconf test to check whether the linker supports version scripts.

I spent a few minutes searching for such a check and no results popped up, so I resorted to writing my own.

The code below might be useful for others looking for such a code snippet, and can be easily adapted to suit specific needs.

AC_INIT(--version-script test example, 0.1,


AC_MSG_CHECKING([whether linker supports version scripts])
cat > <<EOF

configure this

The latest release of the presage predictive text entry library sports, among other things, a new and improved configuration layer which extends previous capabilities, adds new features and fills in a number of gaps and issues in the previous releases.

Prior to the refactoring work that went into 0.8.1, presage configuration mechanism was limited by the following issues:

  • configuration could only be read from a single profile file

presenting subversion

subversion tutorial

Since subversion is going to be actively used in our team at work, I gave a presentation/tutorial on subversion to help everyone in the team to get started with it.

n900: maemo fremantle SDK and gregale SDK in same scratchbox

Nokia has recently announced the introduction of the stunning n900, the evolution of the n770, n800, and n810 internet tablets. The n900 is not just an internet tablet, it is a phone!

This announcement has sparked renewed interest in the maemo development environment for the n-series devices.

GNU Emacs and M-x butterfly

Low and behold: GNU Emacs 23.1 is out. The latest release of the greatest text editor ever written includes a number of features and enhancements.

I have built in on my GNU/Debian Lenny box and started using it immediately. It is amazingly good. I just love the traditional Emacs look dressed GTK+ widgets and TrueType font support.

recovery console consolation

A powerful and flexible tool that comes with every Windows XP setup CD is the Recovery Console.

It proved really helpful in repairing a damaged partition boot sector in one Windows installation.

Recovery Console turns out to be useful, even when safe boot mode and other startup options do not work. This is certainly the case when the partition boot sector, containing Windows boot code, has been overwritten.

Restart the computer from Microsoft Windows setup CD. At the first prompt, start the Recovery Console by pressing R.


From speaker + -ectomy

speakerectomy (plural speakerectomies)
1. (surgery) The surgical procedure for the removal of the pc speaker kernel module.

If you ever wanted to prevent the ever so annoying pcspkr kernel module to automatically load on system boot, you can add the following stanza to /etc/modprobe.d/blacklist file:

blacklist pcspkr

Tested on Debian Lenny, works a charm!

how to show a custom block on specific language pages in drupal


When working on a multilingual Drupal website, you might want to only show a block on pages that are translated in one particular language.

This is particularly useful since one might have a block in English, which is meant to be displayed only on English pages, and a block in Italian, to be shown only on Italian pages.

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