## Banana Guards!

Every so often, someone comes up with a new idea that totally changes people's lives. This one, for example, will totally solve all of my banana transportation problems.

I give you: The Banana Guard!

And so cheap too...

Images taken from the Mini Marvellous product catalogue

## How to cheat

Sarah explains how to cheat successfully at computer science assessments. It's a good read. While you smile, though, bear in mind that this is all drawn from experience and at least once a year, a single student will try almost all of these in one go. Honest. Of course, we do also get the ones that come in and say "It's a fair cop, guv" before you've told them what you wanted them for.

## Woo-hoo! I'm on cc:365!

Chris Campbell (of Bad Metaphor) writes for the CC:365 portion of Indieish.com, and has posted one of my tracks for day 251.

## Why I love the CLI

I'm printing, binding and submitting my thesis tomorrow, so I've been making eleventh hour (make that forty-five minutes past the eleventh hour) changes. This has involved making cross-references explicit. No problem in LaTeX, of course, but when you have a tonne of labels, remembering the name you gave to a particular one can be tricky, and if you go and look for it, you have to search for where you were editing once you've found it.

So, in an xterm, I've been running this command:

watch "cat *.tex|grep -o \\label\{[^}]*\} |grep \{.*\} -o |sort|grep -v tab:|grep -v fig:|column "

Now I have a nice list of labels I can reference, updated every 2 seconds.

Even better, running it in yakuake means I can press F12 to toggle a drop-down list of labels without tabbing in and out of Emacs.

Another thing that's handy is my "spell" makefile directive, which checks all LaTeX files in the current directory:

ind . -maxdepth 1 -name "*.tex" -exec aspell check --key-mapping=ispell --mode=tex --don't-backup --sug-mode=slow '{}' ';'

I've never made the effort to learn aspell key bindings, so I always ask it to behave like ispell.

And for the people that scoff and mumble about how they don't have to do this in Windows: it's because you can't do this in Windows.

## Latex, emacs, subversion, ediff

Thanks to XSteve, editing svn-controlled files in Emacs is a lot more fun than you might expect.

His subversion interface for emacs, psvn.el, is amazing. It keeps track of changes, takes check-in messages through the current emacs instance and, my favourite bit so far, makes diffing against the repository version really simple using ediff. Almost all svn operations can be performed simply and the way the file list is used as the interface is really neat.

## Earth from space

Some great photographs of Earth from space: http://home.att.net/~hideaway_fun/442/planet.htm

On the one showing the the red sea, look at the line of green flowing up through Egypt and fanning out. It's the route of the Nile, with all the fertile land that borders it. Then, look at the second night-time photo, and you can see the Nile again, this time because of the lights along it. The rest of Egypt is fairly dark, but the Nile is a solid bright line.

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