Friday, July 13, 2007

Phantom cell phone vibrations

I have had a cell phone (Treo 680) for about 8 months. I keep it in my front right pants pocket. I always have it set to "vibrate". Lately, my leg has begun to vibrate right where the phone is, causing me to think that the phone is ringing.

It's really creepy.

One time I moved the cell phone away from my leg, but I could still feel the vibration in my leg. I could feel my leg actually vibrating with my hand. I couldn't get it to stop. My leg kept on "ringing" occasionally for quite some time. I have started keeping the phone in a different pocket.

Judging by the number of "I thought it was just me..." responses in a forum I found online, this is a surprisingly common phenomenon. According to this article, it happens when you are expecting a call. I don't get very many calls, so it does not take much!


Who's calling? Is it your leg or your cell phone? — JSCMS
Good vibrations? Bad? None at all? -
Digg - Have You Noticed the Cell Phone "Phantom Vibration Syndrome"?

Monday, July 09, 2007

Using rxvt in cygwin

I don't like the default cygwin bash window.

To get a nice terminal in cygwin, I have been typing "rxvt" from the cygwin bash shell for years. After several previous abortive attempts, I have finally succeeded in creating a clickable icon that directly launches a nice rxvt (xterm-like) terminal window under Windows.

The solution I found is described at

I made a few modifications, because I like a larger font, and the batch file did not work for me without modification.

My ~/.Xdefaults file looks like this now:

! ~/.Xdefaults - X default resource settings
Rxvt*geometry: 120x40
Rxvt*background: #000020
Rxvt*foreground: #ffffbf
!Rxvt*borderColor: Blue
!Rxvt*scrollColor: Blue
!Rxvt*troughColor: Gray
Rxvt*scrollBar: True
Rxvt*scrollBar_right: True
! Rxvt*font: Lucida Console-12
Rxvt*font: fixedsys
Rxvt*SaveLines: 10000
Rxvt*loginShell: True
! VIM-like colors
Rxvt*color0: #000000
Rxvt*color1: #FFFFFF
Rxvt*color2: #00A800
Rxvt*color3: #FFFF00
Rxvt*color4: #0000A8
Rxvt*color5: #A800A8
Rxvt*color6: #00A8A8
Rxvt*color7: #D8D8D8
Rxvt*color8: #000000
Rxvt*color9: #FFFFFF
Rxvt*color10: #00A800
Rxvt*color11: #FFFF00
Rxvt*color12: #0000A8
Rxvt*color13: #A800A8
Rxvt*color14: #00A8A8
Rxvt*color15: #D8D8D8
! eof

My replacement for the default "cygwin.bat", which I call "cygwin-rxvt.bat" is as follows:

@echo off
chdir C:\cygwin\bin
set EDITOR=vi
set VISUAL=vi
set CYGWIN=codepage:oem tty binmode title
set HOME=\cygwin\home\spud
rxvt -e /bin/tcsh -l

You will notice that I use tcsh rather than bash. Yes, yes, I know that hard-core UNIX geeks disdain tcsh and only use bash. Shut up. I don't care about you.

Finally, I use a simple prompt with tcsh, which has the side effect of setting the title bar for xterm-like terminals (including rxvt). I add the following line to my .tcshrc file:

set prompt="%{\033]0;%~%L\007%}\[%h\]> "