Saturday, January 18, 2014

Emacs configuration file

I’ve recently started using Emacs at work. I have used that at school earlier and then had to go to VI because none of the platforms that I worked on had enough space to support an Emacs editor. Emacs need some basic customisation before it can be used efficiently.

Here is a sample configuration file that I use. The comments provide explanation of the function of the various lines.

    ;;; Emacs Load Path
    (setq load-path (cons "~/emacs-config" load-path))
    ;;;(keyboard-translate ?\C-h ?\C-?)
    (global-set-key [(control h)] 'delete-backward-char)
    (global-set-key (kbd "C-^") 'help-command)
    (load "~/emacs-config/line-number")
    (load "~/emacs-config/whitespace-mode")
    (require 'whitespace)
    (setq whitespace-style '(face empty tabs lines-tail trailing))
    (global-whitespace-mode t)
    ;; Set emacs default C style to linux
    ;; Recommended
    (setq c-default-style "k&r")
    ;; Rationalize the undo operation in emacs
    (require 'redo+)
    (define-key global-map (kbd "C-q") 'undo)
    (define-key global-map (kbd "C-x C-q") 'redo)
    ;;; always print line numbers in the left margin
    (global-linum-mode t)
    ;;; Put backup files in a temp directory
    (setq backup-directory-alist
      `((".*" . ,temporary-file-directory)))
   (setq auto-save-file-name-transforms
      `((".*" ,temporary-file-directory t)))
    (show-paren-mode 1)
    ;;; Use spaces instead of tabs
    (setq-default indent-tabs-mode nil)
    ;; save desktop
    (desktop-save-mode 1)
    ;; speedbar in the same frame
    (require 'sr-speedbar)
    (load "~/emacs-config/sr-speedbar")
    ;; open speedbar on startup
    ;; Make speedbar list C functions
    (add-to-list 'speedbar-fetch-etags-parse-list
         '("\\.c" . speedbar-parse-c-or-c++tag))
    ;; windmove for easier switch between windows
    (when (fboundp 'windmove-default-keybindings)
    ;; emacs dev IDE
    (global-ede-mode 1)
    (require 'semantic/sb)
    (semantic-mode 1)
    ;;;; This snippet enables lua-mode
    ;; This line is not necessary, if lua-mode.el is already on your load-path
   (autoload 'lua-mode "lua-mode" "Lua editing mode." t)
   (add-to-list 'auto-mode-alist '("\\.lua$" . lua-mode))
   (add-to-list 'interpreter-mode-alist '("lua" . lua-mode))
    ;; set tab width
    (setq default-tab-width 4)
    (setq tab-stop-list (number-sequence 4 200 4))
    ;; Goto a particular line
    (global-set-key "\C-xg" 'goto-line)
     (add-to-list 'load-path "~/emacs-config/anything-config")
    (require 'anything-config)
    (setq anything-sources
       (list anything-c-source-buffers
     (setq frame-title-format '("USER1"))
     ;;(setq frame-title-format (list "%b - " (getenv "USERNAME") "@" (getenv "USERDOMAIN")))
    ;; prevent checking for files changed on disk because vmplayer does not sync
    (defun ask-user-about-supersession-threat (fn)
      "blatantly ignore files that changed on disk"
    (defun ask-user-about-lock (file opponent)
      "always grab lock"
 (global-set-key (kbd "<S-tab>") 'un-indent-by-removing-4-spaces)
 (defun un-indent-by-removing-4-spaces ()
  "remove 4 spaces from beginning of of line"
    ;; get rid of tabs at beginning of line
    (when (looking-at "^\\s-+")
     (untabify (match-beginning 0) (match-end 0)))
    (when (looking-at "^  ")
     (replace-match "")))))
  ;; custom-set-variables was added by Custom.
  ;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
  ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
  ;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
  '(column-number-mode t)
  '(show-paren-mode t)
  '(tool-bar-mode nil))
  ;; custom-set-faces was added by Custom.
  ;; If you edit it by hand, you could mess it up, so be careful.
  ;; Your init file should contain only one such instance.
  ;; If there is more than one, they won't work right.
  '(default ((t (:inherit nil :stipple nil :background "black" :foreground "white" :inverse-video nil :box nil :strike-through nil :overline nil :underline nil :slant normal :weight normal :height 98 :width normal :foundry "unknown" :family "DejaVu Sans Mono"))))

Monday, January 13, 2014

Using speech recognition (dragon naturally speaking) effectively

I work upwards of 10 hours a day on the computer and mobile phone. Needless to say, this is a potential to affect my health adversely. In order to reduce the strain on the fingers because of typing, I have been wanting to use speech recognition since about 2007. However, I could not use it as part of a daily routine because of the poor quality of speech recognition. 

I experimented with a variety of microphones, including those that were recommended by the vendors and popular sites such as this , but I would still not get an environment where I could just dictate sentences and not have to correct them after every few words. There was an additional problem of the program taking up a huge amount of memory. As a developer, I had to run other development packages on my computer simultaneously which caused the computer to slow down significantly.

A friend of mine told me that Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 12  has the ability of being able to dictate content wirelessly. This turned out to be a very useful feature. In fact, for me, it turned out to be a feature that helped me use voice recognition in my daily life instead of it just been a cool new software to try at times. I use the Dragon naturally speaking with the following arrangement:
  1. I have installed Dragon NaturallySpeaking on an Windows XP old laptop with 2G RAM. I connect to this wirelessly from  a dragon naturally speaking  app on my android mobile phone. Separately, on my main development machine, I login to the Windows XP laptop through remote desktop. I then dictate to Dragon NaturallySpeaking through the mobile phone and view the results on the Windows XP laptop using remote desktop.
  2. The superior quality of the microphone in the phone has dramatically help reduce voice recognition errors. Since the software is running on a separate machine, it does not slow down my main development machine.
Because of this feature, I have abandoned trying windows speech recognition, although I really liked it better while using browsers.