World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2008, 8:46 am
Filed under: Health | Tags: , , ,

Today (October 10th) is World Mental Health Day, or BlueDay2008, designed to raise awareness of mental health issues, their effects on you and your family and to make you aware of the symptoms. A lot of fuss is made about keeping yourself physically fit, but not a lot is said about being mentally fit as well, even though the former helps the latter no end.

The internet is awash with stories today about severe depression and anxiety and the way it can wreck lives, but that isn’t the only kind of depression, much more prevalent is the kind of depression you probably wouldn’t even realise you suffer from until you read the symptoms. It manifests itself as a general feeling of … meh, I can’t be arsed, and it’s a lot more common than you might think. Don’t think that just because it isn’t as serious that it’ll just go away on it’s own, or that it won’t get any more serious. Mild depression is quite common, and easily treated for most people.

So what are the symptoms? It’s not like you come out in a rash, the symptoms are not hard to spot, but most people don’t know what they are:

  • Persistent sad, anxious or empty mood
  • Changes in sleep
  • Change in appetite with weight loss or gain
  • Lack of interest in once enjoyable activities
  • Restless/irritable
  • Persistent physical symptoms that don’t respond to treatment
  • Difficulty concentrating and/or remembering things
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Fatigue/loss of energy
  • Feeling guilty, hopeless or worthless
  • Thoughts of suicide or death

Have a look at that list. Recognise anything? If you recognise any more than a couple of those in yourself (or anyone else) then it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor, the latter ones especially. This is the next problem with depression, it’s still seen as a taboo subject, people are scared to talk about it and afraid to go and talk to a doctor, I think it’s largely down to negative images of the term “mental illness”, that it somehow makes you inferior, worse than everyone else. That’s bollocks.

Treatment for minor bouts of depression can be as simple as “getting some excersize”, there are even herbal remedies that work, you won’t instantly get dosed up on happy pills if that’s what worries you. Have a look at some of these other pages about depression & anxiety and if you’re worried, just go and see the doctor …


E-TextEditor & Team Foundation Server
October 7, 2008, 9:09 am
Filed under: development | Tags: , , ,

E-TextEditor is a great code editor for Windows, implementing much of the functionality of Textmate on the Mac, it is also compatable with Textmate’s bundles too.

As well as letting you create bundles in all the languages Textmate provides (Python, Ruby, shell scripts) E also provides “Windows Native” bundles, making it easier to run native windows apps from your bundles.

It’s not very well documented however, and I wanted to be able to check out a file from TFS directly, without having to swap into Visual Studio to do it. Below is the very simple bundle command I came up with to do that.

@for /f %%P in ('c:\cygwin\bin\cygpath.exe -w %TM_FILEPATH%') do @set FILEPATH=%%P

@"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Visual Studio 9.0\Common7\IDE\TF.exe" edit %FILEPATH%

Looks fairly simple, but there are a couple of things to note:

Firstly you have to use DOS shell variable syntax for $TM_FILEPATH, change it to %TM_FILEPATH%. This variable is also presented as a cygwin path, which needs converting to a windows path. The first line in the command takes the output from Cygwin’s “cygpath” and assigns it to the FILEPATH variable. Note the doesble %% on the intermidiate variable as well. You normally just use a single % when running from the command line, but in this instance you need 2.

That’s all there is to it, I’d love to see what others have come up with to integrate TFS into E, post a comment and let me know …