Felix Crux

Technology & Miscellanea 

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...or at least the best one I've managed to come up with.

The venerable cron utility has some well-known shortcomings, chief among which is how difficult it is to monitor the health and output of scheduled tasks. The default setup tries to email output, but on a typical laptop, desktop workstation, or even on many servers, it's common to not have a working system-wide mailer configuration. Many users therefore set up “wrapper” scripts that handle logging, timestamping, and so forth. This is the best one I've managed to come up with.

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Firefox already has an excellent cloud-based Sync system for sharing settings and browser history between computers — but perhaps you don’t want any of your data stored on remote servers; or you keep separate work and personal profiles; or you don’t want to have to set it up in several places (like short-lived virtual machines); or maybe you just like to keep all your settings in plain text files you can copy around.

I fall into several of those categories, but until recently, I didn’t know Firefox had a built-in solution.

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This is a little snippet that's been sitting in my .zshrc for years, and which people always seem to like. With a little bit of aliasing and with the help of the pygmentize utility from pygments, we can get stodgy old cat to produce colourful listings with syntax highlighting.

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Firefox's cross-platform nature means that it doesn't always fully integrate natively into your desktop. This was particularly apparent to me when using dark-coloured GTK themes under Ubuntu Linux. By default, Firefox looks something like this:

Light Firefox

But, with a bit of tweaking to your userChrome.css file, which lives under ~/.mozilla/firefox/<random-looking-name>.default/chrome/, we can make it a bit nicer:

Dark Firefox