Speedy Mail (Sending) From Emacs

18 03 2009

I’ve long ago given up resisting Emacs as the most productive working environment for me. But a few things still make it a drag. One is that emacs sends mail in the foreground, holding up my UI while it connects to my server and ships the message out.

The way around this problem is to use a local MTA (Mail Transfer Agent). I’ve done it before with exim (I’ll try to dig up my old config if you ask for it) and for my Mac I’ve just done it again with postfix. I followed this thread (and posted followups about the parts that didn’t work for me as initially prescribed).

Once done, I set message-send-mail-function to ‘message-send-mail-with-sendmail, and was off to the races.

One remaining worry is what happens when the connection to the server fails; is the mail lost, postponed, or what? When I have time to look into that, I’ll post an update here.

The other thing this brings up: what I need to do to make reading from my IMAP server more responsive? That’s another project for another day.

News Flash: MacOS NDG Either

14 03 2009

It turns out that MacOS has its share of annoying quirks that can result in hours of delicious yak shaving. Here are a couple I just wasted time on:

  • My bash prompts started showing up as “108:~” ┬áTurns out this was due to the Mac’s goofy way of choosing a hostname combined with the fact that when I rebooted my machine I was connected at a TMobile hotspot. Adding HOSTNAME=my.fully.qualified.host.name to /etc/hostconfig works around the issue, but it’s not encouraging that that file starts with the comment # This file is going away, and isn’t changed when I update the hostname in my sharing preferences pane.
  • Spotlight started indexing my remotely-mounted TimeMachine volume, and my attempts to tell it not to by using the Spotlight prefs pane resulted in an unknown error. Eventually I stumbled across
    # mdutil -i off /Volumes/TimeMachine
    # mdutil -E /Volumes/TimeMachine/

    , but I’m still not entirely sure that will work. Fingers crossed.