Emacs Notes

New code in github

[2014 10 14] It’s be a while since the last code update.

I’ve uploaded my latest emacs configuration files to github, including setup for OSX and for Windows (using Cygwin utilities on native Emacs).

You can find the repository here

Geektools and Org-mode

[2011 04 08] I’ve discovered GeekTools? for OS X

I discovered Geek tools this week. This program can take any textual output and place it directly onto your desktop, similar to the Samurize program I used for Windows.

The first thing I though of was how to get my org-agenda to show on the desktop. With some help from others on the web, I’ve come up with the following configuration:

Here’s my agenda setup::

    (setq org-agenda-custom-commands
     '(("g" "GeekTool Agenda"
        ((agenda ""))
        ((org-agenda-todo-keyword-format "%-11s")
         (org-agenda-prefix-format "  %-10T%?-16t% s")
         (org-agenda-show-inherited-tags nil)
         (org-agenda-remove-tags 'prefix)
         (org-agenda-tags-column 70))

The file that will hold the output is ~/.org-agenda.txt in this case.

Then you create a shell output within Geektools, with the following command line

    /Applications/ -e "(progn (org-store-agenda-views))" ; cat ~/.org-agenda.txt

I’m using the OSX version of emacs, but the idea is to point it to wherever you have the emacsclient installed. Make sure you tell the Geektools program to refresh this output every few minutes (I have it set to 5 minutes).

The biggest restriction to have this function correctly is that emacs must be running, either in daemon mode or server in order to accept the call from emacsclient.

As a side benefit, I creates a quick bash alias to print out the agenda onto my terminal window.

Github and other changes

[2010 08 24] Big changes these last months.

Older stuff

I’m going to start contributing the codebase that I’ve been building up in the last 10 years of using emacs. A lot of it is for my own use, but may be helpful to others. My lisp skills are minimial at best, so any helpful suggestions are encouraged and most welcome!

I’m currently using the XP version of Emacs 22 on Windows XP with Cygwin installed.

My configuration for muse and planner mode
My .emacs file, which sets up variables and calls the other config files
Emacs configuration called by the .emacs file
Various helpful functions that I’ve created/borrowed over time. I should probably rename this file, since it only has a few macros recorded now.

View Mail configuration with Windows XP and Cygwin

I was having some serious difficulty getting the 8x versions of VM to compile under Windows XP emacs (native XP version, 22.2, using cygwin tools).

The solution I found was to edit the vm-8.xx/lisp/Makefile generated from the configuration and replace any occurrence of ‘`pwd`’ with the literal path, using the format drive<colon>/emacs/lisp/vm-8xxx/lisp as the build directory

Here’s the detailed instructions that work for my installation. Your configuration and paths might vary, but the idea is the same…

Compile View Mail (vm)

See CategoryViewMail for details of View Mail

Use the following command line to configure vm (from the vm distribution root directory):

  ./configure --with-emacs=emacs --with-other-dirs=c:/cygwin/home/mcmahan.cb/emacs-pkgs/bbdb-2.35/lisp

Once the configuration process is done, open the Makefile in the lisp subdirectory and make the following changes around line 124:

replace any occurrence of `pwd` with the full path to the vm lisp directory. This is because pwd in the cygwin environment returns /home/mcmahan.cb/…

but the Makefile requires the full path.

Here’s the new and old (commented) text from the Makefile

	(build_dir="c:/cygwin/home/mcmahan.cb/emacs-pkgs/vm-8.0.9-544/lisp"; cd "."; \
	 "$(EMACS_PROG)" $(FLAGS) -l autoload \
		-f vm-built-autoloads "c:/cygwin/home/mcmahan.cb/emacs-pkgs/vm-8.0.9-544/lisp/$@" "c:/cygwin/home/mcmahan.cb/emacs-pkgs/vm-8.0.9-544/lisp")

Old Makefile text

  #	(build_dir="`pwd`"; cd "."; \
  #	 "$(EMACS_PROG)" $(FLAGS) -l autoload \
  #		-f vm-built-autoloads "/home/mcmahan.cb/emacs-pkgs/vm-8.0.9-544/lisp/$@" "`pwd`")

Then run make from the vm distribution directory. Ensure the file vm-autoloads.el is built, and contains more than 3 or 4 lines.

EDB Database to store passwords and notes

I’ve been using a straight file with the excellent epg package that allows me to encrypt the file on saving and decrypt on opening.

Over the course of time, however, as the file grew, it became more and more apparent that I needed a better organization.

I picked up EDB this weekend and adapted my password file to become a full-fledged database. I also wrote a couple (hacked a couple, kludged a couple… verb of choice here) of helper functions that copy the location, username and password to a clipboard to help interacting with various web pages.

I’ve attached the edb control file here

My control file for the password EDB database

Here’s a sample entry for the data file. The key is to load the epg package, then name your password database with a .gpg extension. You’ll then be prompted to enter the password on opening the password database.


Here’s the supporting password function to load the password database

  (defun passwords ()
    "Load the password database and associated control file, and set the window configuration"
     (concat HOME_DIR "/edb/passwords.edb")
     (concat HOME_DIR "/edb/passwords.gpg"))
    ; delete the view/edit buffer
    ; split the summary buffer, leaving 12 lines for the edit/view window
    (split-window-vertically -14)
    (other-window 1)
    ; place the edit/view buffer in the lower window
    (switch-to-buffer (previous-buffer))
    ; switch to the summary window
    (other-window 1)

Here’s the password.gpg data file. This is an edb tagged format. Field names are: NM: Name LC: Location US: User PW: Password EM: Email CT: Category UD: Last update date NT: Notes (can be multi-line)

  NM:	Delicious bookmarks
  US:	jschmuckatelli
  PW:	jschmuckatelli
  CT:	Web
  NT:	social bookmarks
  NM:	Gmail
  US:	jschmuckatelli
  PW:	jschmuckatelli
  CT:	Web
  NT:	Web-based email
  NM:	OpenDNS
  US:	jschmuckatelli
  PW:	jschmuckatelli
  CT:	Web
  UD:	2008-05-02
  NT:	alternate dns server with great features
  NM:	Wincustomize
  US:	jschmuckatelli
  PW:	jschmuckatelli
  CT:	Web
  NT:	Customizations for Object Desktop apps

Welcome to the wiki! Lately it seems that most of the new emacs users (and emacswiki contributors) are planner users. Weird. 😊 – AlexSchroeder

Welcome to the wiki! =) Thanks for documenting that calendar thing; ClairChing wants to know how to set one of those up.. =) – SachaChua