Skip to content →

Alvin Sim Posts

‘git status’ in Your Prompt

Did you know: You can have a visual representation of the git status command output in your shell prompt? This is especially convenient for people who use the git command-line interface (CLI). Unfortunately, this doesn’t work with the Windows command prompt or cmd. But there are a few workarounds. git-prompt.sh Disclaimer: For this part of the article, I will show the how-tos by using Debian (on Windows Subsystem for Linux or WSL) and FreeBSD as examples. These are the Unix-like…

Leave a Comment

Why Not DuckDuckGo?

DuckDuckGo is a privacy-first search engine which doesn’t track you. I started using it as my primary search engine in 2011. Below is my first tweet about DuckDuckGo. In the tweet, I shared an article on an interview (2012) by TechSpot with DuckDuckGo’s founder, Gabriel Weinberg. I’ve used duckduckgo for more than a year & it’s AWESOME. It is currently the default search engine in all my browsers http://t.co/Dngw2s9d — Alvin Sim (@alvinsim) August 24, 2012 My reason for using…

Leave a Comment

My Experience with Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

One day on my way back home, I was listening to one of Hanselminutes’s podcast episodes titled “Inside Linux on Windows with WSL and Tara Raj”. This reminded me of the first time I tried it when Microsoft first announced it back in 2016. Then, it was called “Bash on Windows” and Microsoft collaborated with Canonical, the company behind Ubuntu. Personally, I didn’t use it much. It was just another shiny new toy and I didn’t have a use for…

Leave a Comment

A War With My Laptop’s Touchpad

I use a 15″ HP Pavillion and the touchpad drives me crazy. This happens with Dells’ as well. The one thing about the touchpad that bugs me, is when I start typing and ghostly things would start to happen such as my web browser will be the active window and new tabs and/or windows will start opening; or the right-click context menu would appear. Changing the sensitivity of the touchpad didn’t help. When I am using my laptop, it’s either…

Leave a Comment

Refresh Environment Variables in Windows Command Prompt

Have you ever added an environment variable in Windows and having to close and re-open the command prompt just to use it? Or worse, having to reboot Windows. I just found this cool command when I used Chocolatey to install maven. Right at the end of the installation, Chocolatey prompt me to run the refreshenv command to have the environment variable change(s) take effect without re-opening the command prompt. alvin@ALVINSIM-HP C:\Users\alvin\ > refreshenv Refreshing environment variables from registry for cmd.exe.…

Leave a Comment

Symlink Me, Windows!

Microsoft Windows has this feature called symbolic links since Windows Vista. But, I am guessing not many are aware of this feature, nor did I. It wasn’t until I had a need for it and tried searching if there were any 3rd party applications which provided this feature. And I found this How-To Geek article. Eventually, I found other articles on this subject. What are symbolic links? Symbolic links are pointers referencing to another file or directory at a different…

Leave a Comment

Coding Music With Sonic Pi

Sonic Pi Lately, I have been playing with Sonic Pi. In a nutshell, it is a music synthesizer. But instead of toggling knobs, switches, keys and what not, we write code. Ruby code to be exact. Sonic Pi was created by Sam Aaron. A bit of history now, if you have not heard of him, he, together with Johnathan Graham, was Meta-eX. They performed live coding music. Besides that, they also did tech talks to promote coding and music to…

Leave a Comment

Tip-of-the-day Tips

We know it inside-out. Or do we? In our day-to-day life, we use a number of things or tools to get things done. Here, I want to touch mainly on software or applications, which we use almost everyday in our computer, smartphone, or tablet. Source: Windows 95 Tips, Tricks and Tweaks If anyone noticed, especially softwares on a desktop computer, there will always be a “Tip of the day” or “Did you know?” pop-out window. Most of us find it…

One Comment

Diagrams With PlantUML and Emacs

Starting With Dia When I had to draw UML diagrams, the tool I first used was Dia – an open-sourced diagraming software. Dia is a great tool. I have not used Microsoft Visio before, so I cannot compare what short-comings it has compared to Visio. The other tool I tried was yEd. I did not feel comfortable using it, and always went back to using Dia. Couple of years ago, with a new job, I had to draw lots of…

Leave a Comment

Remember Me, Subversion

Every three months, my workplace’s network domain will prompt to change our password. And this tri-monthly exercise would affect all the other intranet sites and systems, namely Subversion (SVN). Now, this is not a major problem because the organisation uses single sign-on via LDAP or Active Directory i.e. you can access the other intanet sites or systems with the same User ID and password. But recently, I noticed SVN doesn’t remember me, even when I clicked on the “Save authentication”…

Leave a Comment