My How and Why: Aliases, Functions, Symlinks and Shortcuts

I spend a decent amount of time at the commandline, for various reasons. At work, it’s usually at Windows cmd; at home, it’s either cmd, or bash on Debian. In both places, a major activity is working with Python, virtual environments, git, etc.; on the Linux box, I’m also doing a variety of other stuff as well. On both platforms I have a bunch of shell invocations that I don’t want to have to type out in full every time. This post lays out some ways that I’ve found to implement these sorts of shortcuts, and which of these approaches I currently prefer to use.

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Extracting Unique Twitter handles from Custom Jekyll Include Tags

While I work mainly on Windows, I’ve also been using Debian Linux for quite a while, with a first dabbling in the sarge era and then a more prolonged, ongoing experience with the recent wheezy/jessie/stretch sequence (list of all Debian versions). I currently am maintaining a dual quad-core Xeon Dell PowerEdge (purportedly a cast-off from a Facebook server farm, interestingly…) that’s running stretch, which I’m using for development and for running some odds-and-ends quantum chemical calculations. In the course of finalizing my PyCon 2019 recap post, I had reason to use some of the Linux/Unix CLI tooling in a way I hadn’t had to before. I imagine most of this post will not be particularly novel to many, but I was pleased at how quickly I was able to get the info I needed.

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PyCon 2019 Recap

Two years or so ago, I was delighted to learn that PyCon was going to be in Cleveland for both the 2018 and 2019 meetings, putting it only about a 3-hour drive from my house. I’d been hacking on Python stuff for a few years by that point, and was excited to have the chance to rub elbows with some of the people I’d been interacting with online in various ways. In 2018, I got to say hello to the big Python podcasters, Michael Kennedy , Brian Okken , and Tobias Macey , as well as Travis Oliphant , Ernest W. Durbin , Brett Cannon , and numerous other well-known figures in the Python universe. I also had the chance to eat lunch with Guido and others from Dropbox, which was quite fun. All in all, it definitely whetted my appetite to return in 2019.

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KSotD (Word): Select Current Word -- Ctrl+Alt+W

The default Word keyboard shortcuts for cursor movement usually work pretty well for me. I realized today that one thing that’s really been bugging me is the inefficiency of selecting the word under the cursor using only the keyboard. I find that I’m often wanting to select a specific word to then, e.g., toggle its highlight with my Ctrl+Alt+Shift+H custom macro. With the mouse, a simple double-left-click is all that’s needed; with the keyboard, though, unless there’s a shortcut/command I don’t know about, I have to press at least two key combos:

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KSotD (Word): (Un-)Group Objects -- Ctrl+Alt(+Shift)+G

I put a lot of figures, charts, photos, etc. in the various reports and proposals and whatnot that I write for work. Pagecount often isn’t an issue for reports, so there I can add figures inline with text and it really doesn’t matter if there’s a lot of whitespace hovering around. However, the page limit usually is pretty low and extremely strict for proposals. Thus, using floating figures with relatively tight text wrapping is a must.

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