January 20th, 2008

krazy koati

I forgot to remember to forget

Remember when computers were going to be these rule-bound things that might execute man for an overdue library book but would, whatever else, infallibly follow predictable rules? Isn't that funny? I have the good fortune to be on a generally well-behaved Macintosh, but there are some anomalies anyway, and one of them struck TextWrangler. It's not a sophisticated program; it's basically a text editor, with the blessings of miscellaneous nice features like line numbers and column count, line sorts, and a few special modes for common programming languages.

I don't know what happened, but it was probably not my fault. I'd opened it up and the program immediately quit; when I opened it again, it had lost many -- but not all -- of my preferences. For example, it didn't have the line numbers column, or the faint tab lines behind it, and it wasn't putting in soft wraps at 80 columns, instead letting the text lines run long to produce the horizontal scrolls that turn the most basic paragraph into tedium. Worse, it had forgotten my choice of fonts, with the result that the file was ... well, I could read it, but I didn't enjoy the process.

Quitting and restarting a few times didn't restore things, so I gave in to the hard way, putting in the line numbers and the tab stops and the spell checking, and then I discovered to my embarrassment that I couldn't remember what font I wanted. I couldn't even be sure which typeface it should be. Obviously I was using a monospace and probably not one of the freak typefaces but ... none of them seemed quite right. There's the terminal windows with a reasonable typeface, but the font panel for TextWrangler didn't make any of them look quite like the terminal window did. It turns out somehow those typefaces look a bit different in TextWrangler than they do in Terminal, which probably makes sense for some reason that other people would understand. But I finally found it again, and for the record it's Monaco regular 10 point.

Trivia: The element lutetium is named from Lutetia, an ancient name for Paris. Source: Life Science Library: Matter, Ralph E Lapp.

Currently Reading: Nightworld, David Bischoff. The protagonist living in a world plagued by werewolves, satyrs, demons, et cetera, learns all the monsters are really robots and their world is a park reserve for an interstellar Victorian-Reenactors Empire; within minutes the stranger hoping to restore the Empire accidentally gets his mother killed, but he goes along good-naturedly.