It’s all about the details

During the holiday season last year, I traded in my Golf GTI for a Acura TSX Sport Wagon. Acura, being a luxury brand, means even the base model has lots of features and plenty of attention paid to details. Even though I miss the ‘pocket rocket’ power and handling of the GTI, the TSX is no slouch either despite much longer, heavier and with less torque from the engine. It still drives great and the multi-link suspensions handle bumps way better than the GTI, which become more important with two sleeping babies in the backseats. The increase of trunk space (more than 3X the space GTI has) is the feature that both Leah and I love.

However, couple of minor details remains to be improved by Acura:

  1. There is no way for me to change the temperature gauge from Fahrenheit to Celsius. Why? The Canadian version of TSX uses Celsius, so why not offer a configuration setting to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius?
  2. This is the first car I own that has seat memory and it has been so useful when I park in the city. The parking attendent always move the seat back and changes the mirror (to aid the tight parking no doubt). Before I always had to spend a few minutes in the GTI to adjust the seat, the mirror, etc. back to my settings. Now in the TSX, I just push a button and the seat moves back to my preferred position automatically. But not the mirrors. What? Surely that must be a mistake?

Acura, to their credit, has been pretty responsive when I voice my complain on Twitter. They even have someone phone me to follow up and promise my opinion is taken seriously. Would my complain change the next generation of TSX? Perhaps, or perhaps not. We’ll see in four years time when the car lease expires and it’s time for me to look for a replacement.

How to nuke a git commit on the remote repo

Here is the situation I ran into this morning. I was happily writing code, periodically pulling changes from GitHub, like a good developer that I am. When I was finally ready to push, I received a merge from GitHub that deleted most of my Django project files. Turns out that one of the other developer on the team accidentally deleted those files and committed it locally. He didn’t push all the commits up to GitHub until just before I tried to push mine (hence I didn’t get any merges from him all morning).

So now I’m in this state where my local repo has a number of commits that I need to push up. But I can’t because I don’t want to merge in all the accidental deletes. I need to remove/fix the deletion first before I can push. How do I do that? After a few minutes on Google, I got the general approach of using git rebase but nothing that points me to actual steps that I think will fix my problem. Then I turned to Twitter, posted a question, and waited while I did some more googling. Low and behold, I received tips from @XTZGZoReX on a possible approach and after I tried it out, it works perfectly!

Here is how:

  1. Leave the existing local repo alone. You may want to reset it back to the pre-merge state by doing git reset --hard
  2. Make a fresh clone of the repo from GitHub. Let’s call it repo2.
  3. Perform an interactive rebase on repo2 and set the starting point to one commit before the one you want to nuke: git rebase -i
  4. The interactive rebase will open up a text editor (vi if you haven’t changed the default configuration) with a list of all the commits starting from the commit you want to nuke to the latest.
  5. Remove the line with the commit you want to nuke (‘dd’ keys in vi) and save the file (‘:wq’ in vi)
  6. Git will now try to apply all the subsequent commits and roll forward to the latest state. In my case, I needed to manually add and remove some files on some of the commits. After each git add/remove, you need to tell git to continue the rebase: git rebase --continue
  7. When all the commits are roll-forwarded by git, push it up to GitHub by doing a force push: git push -f
  8. Now, switch back to your original repo and pull the latest from GitHub. Good chance that you will get merge conflicts. Resolve, commit, and push. And you are done!

First full day with Windows Phone 7 and only that

Despite Google Voice continual refusal to work with my AT&T pre-paid number, I decided that today will be a good day to try using my Windows Phone 7 exclusively for the day. My wife, Leah, is still in the UK and my parents who are visiting me here in NY will be with me all day. So no one in particular should be calling me, and I set the call forwarding on my iPhone to the LG.

Continue reading “First full day with Windows Phone 7 and only that”

Virb be my presence

If you tell me six months ago that I will have multiple online 'presences', I would probably laughed in your face! Seriously, I didn't think I'll need more than a blog and a photo site online. But once I discovered first Twitter then Tumblr, I realised there are multiple ways of self-expression online and each of them represents a facet of me.

This week, I signed up with VIRBº which is a more 'mature' version of MySpace. Though nowhere as big as MySpace, it definitely looks much better, more professional. But the feature (upcoming actually) that caught my eyes is that Virb allows you to import blog posts from other sites. Assuming that it works via RSS like Tumblr's own post importing feature, this means I can have my Vox posts display on Virb without a bunch of copy & paste. So what's the big deal? Well, this means Virb can potentially become my online presence 'aggregator', while all my other sites show just one aspect of me. Vox for my thoughts, Flickr for my photos, Twitter for what I am up to at the moment, and Tumblr for things I find interesting. In the future, friends and family can discover all about me without going to four, five different sites while I am not locked in to Virb for all my content.

The lack of aggregation is my primary reason for shunting MySpace (hideous colours and layout are the others). In this Web 2.0 age, it is impossible to expect user to recreate content when they are already online somewhere. Why should I copy & paste blog posts from Vox into MySpace? Why should I save my Flickr photo then upload it to MySpace so I can share it?

If Virb can generate more buzz and expands the user base then I can foresee it replacing MySpace as the social network to be in. At least for the 'mature' users.

(You can find my other web presences on the left side bar. And if you want an invite for VIRB, just leave me a comment. I have 99 invites left.)

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