Thursday, April 29, 2010


Notepad++ is the ultimate Windows Notepad replacement and a great replacement IDE for over 40 programming languages.

First off it is FOSS (Free and Open Source) and available for Windows.
Additionally, it is a very mature project, currently on version 5.6.8 (at the time of this writing), and therefore contains no major bugs or missing features.

It has far more features then I know about and far more then I want to write about. Additionally, it has a plug-in feature that allows anyone to make extensions to the program. So suffice it to to say, if you want a feature it most likely already has it.

Some of the more notable features are:
  • Support and ability to convert between: Windows, Unix, and Mac files in many different encoding formats
  • Intuitive and powerful find and replace functionality
  • Support for (syntax highlighting, auto-completion, etc.) over 40 different programming languages
  • Tabbed interface
  • Macro creation and use
  • Fast and reliable
One of my favourite and least expected features is the "Show all Characters" feature. Show all Characters turns all invisible characters (newline, space, tab, etc.) into something you can see. While It is not a feature that is all that useful most of the time I find it just plain fun and very useful when you want to do some precise editing.

Now all of these features are great, but they are just icing on the cake. What I want to stress the most is how easy to use Notepad++ is. While it can be used for some very advanced things, that does not make it any more complex to do the simple tasks.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Grub2 is the new boot loader included with Ubuntu and I really think that the Ubuntu team has dropped the ball with this one.

I am sure Grub2 has many cool new features but when it adds 20+ seconds to the booting time of a normal system that used to take 6 seconds, their is a problem. And when as far as I can tell their is nothing but hacks that could potentially cause future problems if you want to rename or reorder your menu entries, their is a problem.

My experiences with Grub:
Grub legacy: when I first edited my menu I knew nothing about grub but its name, but I managed to find the aptly named file menu.lst is the aptly named directory /boot/grub and change the ordering, names and time of the menu all on my own.

Grub2: After looking up many tutorials and using trial and error for hours was barely able to change some of the settings I wanted and figure out some cannot be changed.
+ It continues to take 4 times longer to boot then before grub2 was installed.
+ Had to change some things that could cause trouble in the future.
+ Many of the recommended configuration techniques simply did not work.