Visiting files using SSH in EmacsW32

After much searching I discovered that the way to use ssh-based remote file visiting in emacs with TRAMP is by using the plink: method instead of ssh: while having your putty install directory in your PATH environment variable.

So I’m writing that here in hopes that it might be easier for other people to find it.


I thoroughly enjoy watching the Cherry blossoms bloom in the Spring. The first time I saw it in Japan I was awed by how beautiful they are. I thought to myself that I could watch Sakura trees forever and never get tired of watching them. It then dawned on me that since they only show up for a week, it means that a person only gets around 60 chances to see them in full bloom. It saddened me to think that since I’ve lived 20 years before going to Japan, I’d only have about 40 more chances left. I bet many Japanese come to realize just how short life is at a much younger age than 20. It’s a good reminder to make sure that I’m on the right track to were I want to go with my life.

I’m glad there are Cherry Blossom trees in Pittsburgh.

An Idea

Lately I’ve been dreaming up of a window manager that could help me stay focused on a single thing by keeping me from multi-tasking. In the spirit of programs like writeroom and pyroom.

  • It would always display windows in full screen mode.
  • To do any action it would require you to type in a random string of characters.

The reason for having to type in the specified random string of characters is to give some weight to moving to another window. It might remove my desire to “just check if there’s any e-mail”, which usually turn into big distractions wasting time I don’t have. Yet it still makes switching to a Firefox window with some research possible.


It’s amazing how far a little LaTeX can take you. Even if you’re just writing an MLA style paper.

Here’s some packages to get you started:

After installing those packages you can learn how to make an MLA style paper by reading the readme file at:


If you are making a regular CS paper/report/dissertation then the example LaTeX file is the best example to go on. Try a Google search for “LaTeX Example” for some good ones.

I use Emacs as my editor which is pretty tough for most people but I think that it’s worth it if you learn how to use org-mode. Then you can C-x 3 (Vertical Split Screen) in Emacs and open a file right next to the text. Then you can have an outline right at your finger tips, that you can modify/show/hide in various ways.

I also recommend adding the following line to the top of your .tex file:

% -*- mode:latex; mode: flyspell; mode: auto-fill -*-

It’ll turn on flyspell and auto-fill mode for you.

My LaTeX documents are organized into a directory structure like this

~/<class name>/<essay title>/

I keep a skeleton folder with those three files in it. And to make a new essay I just copy and paste it with a new name.

Integrating Qt3 programs in Ubuntu

If you’re like me and have discovered a couple of kick-ass Qt applications and are wondering how to make Qt programs look more like the default Ubuntu Human theme, I present you with a quick cheat sheet.

There’s luckily one KDE style available in the Ubuntu repositories that only depends on Qt, polymer. But the colors it uses are different from the Ubuntu colors, so here’s how to get them pretty close.

First you’ll need to install a couple of packages. You can either click on these links or search for them using synaptic.

Once you have them installed you can find qtconfig in System>Preferences>Qt3 Configuration.

First change the style to Polymer. Then click the Tune Palette. Here’s the colors that I used:

  • Background: Red: 239 Green: 235 Blue: 231
  • Button: Red: 245 Green: 242 Blue 239
  • Highlight: Red: 219 Green: 154 Blue: 86

You can change the color by clicking on the change color button when and inputing these numbers in the window that pops up.

Once you’ve changed those three, close the Tune Palette window and go to File>Save.

Now your installed Qt apps will blend in a lot better with your other GTK applications.

Here’s what it’ll look like:

Virtual Box OSE screenshot