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Changing the Tab Size in VI Editor

· One min read

The vi editor is a powerful editor. Problem with it is that it is only for the command line which means that many preferences are not accessible via a 'Preferences' page. You need to know how to set preferences using commands.

Recently I've found out how to change the tab size in the vi editor. I think by default the tab size is 8 characters, which is too long for coding with proper indentation. To change it to a four character stop, use the following command in command mode:

:set tabstop=4

KDE & Compiz-Fusion Hiccups

· One min read

I have KDE and Compiz-Fusion installed on openSUSE 10.3 running for some time now. Some time ago, I encountered a strange problem where the ALT-F1 key combination does not bring up the menu any more. Also the I don't know what I did to cause this but I managed to solve it thanks to the openSUSE wiki.

Entering Symbols in Linux

· One min read

From the blog aggregator, Garrett LeSage posted about using the Compose key to enter different typographical characters such as —, ®, ©, ², ¿, ¡, ÷ etc

Interested? Read his posting to see how it works.

By the way, the post is for Linux only. Enjoy.

Gmail Knows I'm Chinese?

· 2 min read

So apparently Gmail knows I'm Chinese. Or so I think. In the past when I log out of Gmail, it will say "Please wait..." Recently, perhaps through some heavy-duty data mining, it told me to "请稍等..." (Chinese for "please wait") instead. I thought that I had turned some settings in Firefox to display Web pages in Mandarin or I revealed through my emails that I'm Chinese - in which case that would be a serious case of privacy invasion, I think.

And all of a sudden, it now speaks to me in English again. I thought it was a mistake on Google's side. Turns out, it is! Another guy (Joe Shaw) who has entries in Planet SUSE's blog aggregator also has a similar problem. Well, mine is seemingly resolved now. Hopefully Joe's get resolved soon too.

Tip: If you are observant, you will see that when you try to login to Gmail's site, the login page is SSL-secured. Once you log in though, the page is not transmitted through SSL. If you want to keep your connection SSL-secured, you have to login with this address instead of

Basically if you specify right at the start that you want SSL connection, Gmail will keep that for you.

2014-06-24 update: In the process of moving my blog, the Chinese characters got corrupted due to improper encoding handling. I shall leave it as it is. Also it seems that the problem Joe Shaw had was of a different nature - he was complaining about spam which is something different.

Searching openSUSE's Mailing List

· One min read

While openSUSE is a great Linux distribution, I can't say the same for the mailing list's search function. For many weeks now, the only result that came back from the search is:

Sorry, the search is disabled! Come back later

Someone in the mailing list suggested that a workaround is to use Google's site specific search function. In the search box, prefix the search terms with the term:

For example, if I want to search for "usb boot support", I will type the following in the search box. usb boot support

Granted, it's not perfect, but it's a temporary workaround. shrug