Customizing your Emacs Colors

The best thing besides using the best text editor – that is really the one you adapts better, in my case it is Emacs – is being able to make it look like how you want it to look.

The first step is always customizing colors in a manner that doesn’t get you tired after some hours of work as well as in a manner that integrates it with your desktop environment.

Here are two suggestions of websites where you can take a look at different profiles and customize colors in Emacs:

GNU Emacs Color Theme Test – Perl

Emacs color-theme creator

The second link – color-theme creator – is the best one to create unique themes.


Implementing and Monitoring

Most of us, people from IT, forget about the post-implementation process.

It isn’t just supporting the application, but providing means to monitor the system health.

Lets say you deploy a web system and for that you have to install the webserver, the database server and your own code. You guarantee that your system will work based on several tests you have coded and perharps some techniques to restart the application in case it fails or reach some limits. But what about when your application stops because of the web server? Or the database server?

If the customer has a team to support them, it is understandable that it is this team’s responsibility to install, monitor and keep the infrastructure needed by your software. If they don’t, a failure on any of those components is a failure on the functionality you provided them.

You can make agreements, draw the component structure, etc. but when things fail, it is your software that has become unusable to them.

Other than that, as time passes, disks fill up, hardware starts showing issues (some of them are SMART – hint! – enough to provide you with alerts) and that dedicated server to a single task is not “so dedicated” anymore (again, if you manage the infrastructure you can have some control over it, otherwise their IT will have to take care of what goes where for them).

One great thing that can be done – and should be done – is documenting certain thresholds on your system and providing alerting and monitoring tools to the customer. Put that in written form and say that when certain threshold is reached they should take some corrective or preventative actions (automate it if you can!) and for other components you can show them that new hardware is needed.

We are so focused and worried with delivering things that we forget about keeping it running.

Putting things on the cloud helps reducing some of your concerns, but shouldn’t be an excuse for not monitoring and reporting things.

A last reason to monitor: know your system requirements. Do you know how much memory your system requires with 10 simultaneous users? With 50? What about 1000? What is the required hardware to recommend your customer to upgrade to?

Monitor. Report. Follow on.

Getting back to exercises

Yesterday I weighted myself again. I lost 2 kg since I went to the doctor, almost 3 weeks ago.

I thought I still had the same weight and that the plateau effect was still in place.

Seeing that I was wrong, I felt motivated to resume exercising every day, so today I gave goodbye to candies and white bread and went back to my 40 minutes exercise on the elliptical machine.

I simply feel great!

Target is loosing 12 kg in the next 5 months. Not that hard, not easy as well (in the past I had a second plateau effect close to 105 kg). I like to think of it as a SMART goal.

S pecific

M easurable

A chievable

R elevant

T imely

I will blog more about it here in the future.

In the kitchen

Today it was day to make some salmon for dinner.

It is extremely easy to make and delicious to eat.

Of course, as a coffee lover, I couldn’t end without making some espresso. 🙂

I still think it is one of the best acquisitions I made here at home… My next step with regards to coffee is buying a grinder. 🙂

The recipe


  • 2 x 300g of Salmon
  • Garlic (the original recipe had it mashed, but I prefer it sliced)
  • Half an onion (a medium onion)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Salt
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tea spoon of Light Shoyu
  • Tomato (again, the original recipe had 8 of those small cherry tomatoes, since I had much more salmon to make – about 1.5 kg — and I had none of those small tomatoes, I used two standard tomatoes here)
  • Parsley

Cooking it

I marinated the salmon with the lemon juice, the shoyu sauce, some salt and the garlic slices for about 15 minutes (now, I would let it rest a bit longer, maybe about 30 minutes…).

After that, I used some aluminum foil and put the salmon filets side by side, covered them with onions, tomatoes, parsley and some olive oil.

Then, I put everything in the oven for about 40 minutes at 200°C.

After that comes the hardest part: eating it all 🙂


Barbecue and Birthday Party

Yesterday we had my wife’s birthday party. It was really funny!

At the beginning she wanted a party… Then last week she started saying that she didn’t want a party. And then I told her that I had already invited a lot of people. 🙂

In the end, she was eager for the party. Loved it. And the house was full for several hours.

We got really tired after the preparation, party and clean up of the house, but it was really worth it. We’d do it all over again. 🙂

Her birthday will be next week, but since another colleague of hours will have his birthday on the next weekend, we decided to push her party forward and do it yesterday.

I can barely wait for mine. 😉 (And I didn’t use to like those kind of things…)

Some small home fixes today

Today I took some time – about two hours – to finish some things I had started – read: promessed to do to my wife.

I put some supports on the wall to hang flowers. With that, we’re putting our small garden on the wall. There will be some more spice to put there.

It was not hard to do, but not so simple either. The hardest part was making sure everything was leveled off. Since the ground can’t be used as a reference, I had to find flat and hard surfaces to put over the supports and then use the bubble level over it to align both supports.

When everything was OK, I started with the drill. After some work, we have three planters available, two of them with spices in it and a third bigger one available for some more spices we’ve been wanting to have at home.

I’ve also moved a flower hanger from one wall to another, where the flower will suffer less with the wind and the rain.

So, it was a busy morning. And I still have the whole afternoon for other improvements.

All this, of course, because there’s not much we can do while the people are still here installing the handrail. It is the third day of work to them and they are finishing up the painting where they connected the handrail parts together.


Just a quick note on something I found out by accident (see Serendipity at Wikipedia):

  • if I don’t change the date of the draft that I started writing with org2blog, then the publishing date becomes that of the draft

It is interesting that I can change the date of the publication by simply changing something on my own copy of the post. And it is more interesting that this change reflects on the archives and publishing dates that are visible on the main page of the website.