The annoying double “is” October 11, 2010 No Comments

Grammar Girl
Since I arrived in the United States, I heard a lot of people using a phrase that I always found very awkward. People tend to say things like:

The problem is is that the economy is not in good shape.

I’m not really trying to talk about the economy here, it was just an example. So what’s the problem in that sentence? The repetition of the word “is”. I don’t really know why, but a lot of people use that phrase around here. And it’s not just with sentences that start with “The problem is”: it often happens with sentences that start with “The thing is”, or “The question is”.

I heard this phrase so often that I almost thought it was proper English…

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Compute MD5 or SHA hash of large file efficiently on iOS and Mac OS X September 7, 2010 24 Comments

XcodeComputing cryptographic hashes of files on iOS and Mac OS X using the CommonCrypto APIs is fairly easy, but doing it in a way that minimizes memory consumption even with large files can be a little more difficult… The other day, I was reading what some people were saying about this on a forum about iPhone development, and they thought they found the trick, but they still had a growing memory footprint with large files because they forgot something fundamental about memory management in Cocoa.

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Configure common command-line tools on Mac OS X January 29, 2009 1 Comment

My beautiful Terminal with great tools

Even if you properly configured the Terminal application on your Mac, you may think that using it is difficult, and not intuitive at all. Indeed, with the default configuration for the common command-line tools, you won’t get syntax highlighting within vim, nor will you have a shell which facilitates your work, and so on. But since I started my journey in Mac universe after spending some time on Linux, I am used to configure some of these tools, and I simply decided to make my shell and my other command-line tools on my mac look like what I previously had in my Linux box.

So, let me tell you what I did to have really usable command-line tools on my Mac…

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Configure Terminal on Mac OS X January 28, 2009 No Comments

The Terminal application on Mac OS X

Every time someone asks me for help about something geek on a Mac, I often prefer to use the Terminal, because I never got used to editing a configuration file under /etc with a graphical text editor. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not a Terminal addict, and I often prefer using graphical tools that are extremely integrated with Mac OS X: for example, I wouldn’t code in C or C++ with something else than Xcode, which turns out to be an incredible IDE. But for some other things, I still launch this Terminal, and there are a few things in its default configuration I never liked, such as the behavior of the keys page up/page down, home/end, etc.

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Draggable Screen Ruler for Web Development January 25, 2009 1 Comment

A small bookmarklet for web developers

When doing some web development work, I used to use Screenshot Plus to measure the width of some elements. While this Mac OS X widget is very handy, it wasn’t very appropriate for this job: it required me to load Mac OS X’s Dashboard, activate Drag a picture in the widget, drag around what I wanted to measure, and finally drop the screenshot which was just taken. I thought it was a complex way to simply measure things in a web page, but I also thought there should a much better way to do that, which would be far more integrated within the web browser.

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Installing Tomcat on Mac OS X May 13, 2008 10 Comments


Having to use Tomcat for an important project I am working on, I installed it on my Mac. However, in the beginning, I didn’t make much effort: I just uncompressed the official archive in my /usr/local, and I was able to start and stop Tomcat manually, that’s all… But today I decided to learn a few things about Mac OS X, trying to install it properly. Let’s see what I did!

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mmv on Mac OS X May 12, 2008 8 Comments


Since I switched from Debian and Ubuntu to Mac OS X, I got used to most of the differences between those operating systems. Yet one very important thing for me was still lacking: A command-line utility called mmv

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Japanese in LaTeX documents in Unicode with MacTeX May 10, 2008 13 Comments

Since I discovered LaTeX, I have become a real fan of this typesetting system. Yet, something bothered me very much: I could not use easily Japanese with LaTeX using a normal encoding, that is to say using UTF-8. Using CJK is not too difficult, but getting CJKutf8 to work is much harder. I just couldn’t resign myself to use some strange encoding popular in Japan, mostly for Windows Addicts

But I just found how to do it. Since it is not so easy, I want to do a very simple tutorial explaining precisely how to install UTF-8 Japanese support in MacTeX. So, just follow the guide…

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A matter of language March 3, 2008 1 Comment

As you can see, although English is not my native language, I chose to write articles in English for my personal website. The reason why I chose to write in English is quite simple: English is the most spoken language in the world, and I didn’t want to translate every article in some secondary language.

Yet, I may use French for some articles which have nothing to do with non-French people. I hope you will understand that!

However, my English surely is not perfect nor genuine. Therefore, if you see some mistake in my articles, please report it with the Contact form. By the way, don’t hesitate to make comments on my website or my articles: I do like having feedback, and I try to keep my articles up to date.