LaTeX with Eclipse on Windows

Posted by Martin Homik | Posted in Windows | Posted on 08-01-2008


I prefer to use eclipse with texlipse plugin for writing latex documents. Texlipse also ships a spell checker plugin which easily makes use of aspell. In principle, the setup for the spell checker is not difficult, but you may run into difficulties the same way it occured to me. Hence, be aware of the following things:

  • Don’t use UTF-8!!! To be safe, use isolatin-1 as input encoding of your latex documents. This frees you from many errors, in particular when you need country specific characters as I do in Germany. Go to the document’s preferences, select ‘Resources’ and in ‘Text file encoding’ choose ‘iso8859-1′
  • Add to your document:
    1. usepackage[latin1]{inputenc}
  • In global preferences, go to Texlipse ->Spell Checker and add the following arguments:
    1. -a -t –lang=en_GB –encoding=iso8859-1personal=<apsell-dir>en.pws

    In this case I use the British English dictionary. The ‘personal’ option points to the personal dictionary file. By default, aspell will create a file en.pws in the aspell folder. You can change its entries manually. That’s what I do when eclipse does not offer the possibility. Of course, you can have several personal dictionaries, each for a project.

  • In the ‘Latex’ menu you can start ‘Check Spelling’. If hinted for an unknown word move the cursor over the word and hit Ctrl+Space and you get a set of suggestions in a context menu. The last entry is ‘Add to personal dictionary’.

In my view, this is a good tool on Windows. Migrating from Linux, I also tried Emacs+ispell but this caused a system crash. I tried also some other free Windows specific tools, but they were not intuitive enough. And if you are a Java programmer and used to work with Eclipse anyway, then you won’z have much trouble with Texlipse. Have fun.

Installing Postgresql on Windows

Posted by Martin Homik | Posted in Windows | Posted on 03-12-2007


This post is to remind myself how to install Postgreslq. Although an installer is provided, the setup can still get a bit of work. Here are the steps:

  • If the installer complains that libeay32.ddl and ssleay32.ddl have an old version, then install a new openssl version. Probably you have to do that in secured mode (press F8 when booting). Otherwise, you won’t be able to overwrite the ddl files.
  • The installer will ask if it should start Postgres as service. To do that, it suggests a user ‘postgres’. For security reasons this is a good idea, though it does not make much sense when you run the service locally on your machine just for testing. Anyway, Postgresql will complain and certainly not allow to run the service as admin user. So create a new user ‘postgres’ with limited rights.
  • Now, you have good chances to run the installer without complains.

Good luck!

I hate Windows

Posted by Martin Homik | Posted in Windows | Posted on 08-05-2007


Windows can be very surprising, but usually not in a positive way. The other day, it started to complain that it has not efficient disk space. The first thing you do is to start the automatic cleaning. You would expect that it cleans up all temporary files. But it doesn’t.

There is a little but very powerful tool I am always using when I want to know which folders are so fat and so useless that you really want to get rid of them. It is called TreeSize.  Now, this tool showed me, that my data and documents folder is very huge which is because the application data folder is very huge. The reason for that is that it stores a number of msi files which are completely unnecessary and could be removed after installing the application. Because I work with Java and because I used to use several Java Runtimes, this particular folder stored for each downloaded Java package its msi file. This bloody thing used 500MB of my space. Bloody hell!

So at least I was able to solve this problem for the time beeing. I am pretty sure that there is much more I could delete.

Then, since recently Windows complains that I could plug my external hard drive a much faster USB device. Excuse me? This is the fast USB2.0 device. The astonishing thing is that you plug in your hard drive to the laptop and it runs for 2 minutes correctly. Then Windows decides that this cannot be  so it just changes the protocol or whatever to USB1.1 and pops that message. Why?

I hate Windows. On my Linux PC I have now a tab in the Firefox open which points to Apple. One day, I just get a Mac.