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Where did all my space go?

Over the last little while, I’ve started to suffer from lack of space on the hard disk in my laptop, which is ridiculous, since there’s an 80GB disk in there and there is no way I have that much data I need to hang on to. I decided to do something about it last week. The main part of the problem was to figure out what was eating all the space: du tells you exactly what’s using how much, but it’s hard to get a feel for where your space has gone by scanning through pages of du output. So I built a program to help.

spaceviz is a small Python program that takes the output of du -ak, and builds you a picture and HTML client-side imagemap of your space usage

Running it against the output of du -ak / showed me very clearly where all the space had gone: not only did I have a few seasons of various TV shows on my disk (which I already knew were there), but I had 11 GB of unneeded gzipped RDF data left over from a project that finished earlier this year (that I had forgotten about). Instant win!

To run it for yourself, check out the mercurial repository, and run

make veryclean all ROOT=/

replacing the ROOT=/ with a definition of ROOT that points at the directory tree you want to generate usage data for. The makefile will take care of running du and for you. Edit the settings for WIDTH and HEIGHT in to change the dimensions of the generated picture.

The program runs not only on Linux without fuss, but also on OS X so long as you have the netpbm port installed to convert the python-generated PPM file to a browser-accessible (and much more efficiently compressed!) PNG.


GNU Smalltalk 2.95h on Mac OS X 10.3.9

GNU Smalltalk version 2.95h (the latest release candidate) didn’t compile out-of-the-box on Mac OS X 10.3.9 for me. The two changes that were required were:

* change the header file includes in socketx.h to the older way of getting the prototypes for select(2)
* change part of a .section declaration in darwin\_closure.S to remove mention of the live\_support section attribute.

After these changes, gst compiles and runs well for me on my OS X 10.3.9 box.

The patch against gst 2.95h is here.


Emacs in MacOS X 10.5 Leopard

If you’ve upgraded to Leopard, and you’re an Emacs user, you may have found that typing emacs in a term no longer works — you get “Fatal malloc_jumpstart() error”. This will be the case if you’re using something like Fink or Darwin Ports, but it may also be the case if the upgrade didn’t quite work out.

The builds in Fink and Darwin Ports are currently broken; but otherwise, you have a few options to get Emacs back:

Use the Emacs that comes with Leopard. All this solution involves is making sure that any custom binary isn’t on the path — remove or move /sw/bin/emacs or /opt/local/bin/emacs (or possibly even /usr/local/bin/emacs) and make sure /usr/bin/emacs is the one installed with Leopard — /usr/bin/emacs --version should tell you the version is “22.1.1″.

The problem with the Emacs shipped with Leopard is that it’s built with no X support (or Carbon, for that matter)(although it does have Carbon support — see below).

Use Aquamacs. Aquamacs has precompiled binaries which work with Leopard. But, beware, it is quite different from Emacs in some ways — if you used Emacs before you used MacOS X, you probably won’t like it.

Compile your own Emacs. This is what I did. The stock 22.1 source distribution won’t build in Leopard; it gives up the ghost with a message “Assertion failed: (filesize <= ranges->size)”. However there is an unofficial patch, which worked for me. I’m going to keep my custom emacs until fink or ports catches up.

In summary (adapted slightly from here):

curl -O
tar xvzf emacs-22.1.tar.gz
cd emacs-22.1
curl -O
patch -p0 < emacs-leopard-unexec.patch
./configure --without-carbon --with-x --prefix=/usr/local
sudo make install

I put the result in /usr/local and made sure /usr/local/bin was on my path before any of the other possibilities, while I wait for Fink or Ports to catch up.

UPDATE: Thanks to masklinn's comment below, I can present another option which I'd overlooked:

Use carbonised Emacs. If you want to run Emacs in its own window, but don't want X11, there is a ready-made .app wrapper in the source distribution. The disk image, which masklinn suggests, has patches and some very useful bundled Elisp packages, like nxml-mode.

You can also use the emacs distributed with Leopard with the .app wrapper, as jfb points out (see the second comment below); or, compile your own carbonised Emacs, similar to what I did above: change the configure invocation

./configure --with-carbon --without-x
cp -R mac/ ./
cp src/emacs
sudo mv /Applications/

Either way gives you an Emacs that behaves like a MacOSX app and doesn't need X11 to run.




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