Installing Powerline in Debian

Powerline is an awesome status bar that tells you additional information about various things in bash, vim, and tmux. It comes in handy and makes your terminal look sweet. It is a little bit of a PITA to install, but it is totally worth it. I got most of the way there with this very helpful Stack Overflow answer. But I ran into an issue with vim in Debian. I was getting an error telling me that vim needs to be compiled with python support in order for powerline to work. This seemed silly to me because you should not have to recompile vim in order to use this little plugin. Luckily the solution was easy. There are like 20 different vim packages in debian. The default vim package gives you a bare bones vim install. In order to take advantage of this plugin and other goodies you should install the vim-nox package. In order to install powerline in debian you should do the following. This will install everything system wide.

  1. Install pre requisites
    sudo apt-get install vim-nox git python-pip
  2. Install Powerline
    sudo pip install git+git://
  3. Install the required fonts
    sudo mv PowerlineSymbols.otf /usr/share/fonts/ 
    sudo fc-cache -vf 
    sudo mv 10-powerline-symbols.conf /etc/fonts/conf.d/
  4. Add the following to your \~/.vimrc
    set rtp+=/usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline/bindings/vim/  
    " Always show statusline 
    set laststatus=2  
    " Use 256 colours (Use this setting only if your terminal supports 256 colours) 
    set t_Co=256
  5. Add the following to your \~/.bashrc
    if [ -f /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline/bindings/bash/ ]; 
    then source /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline/bindings/bash/ 
  6. Add the following to your \~/.tmux.conf
    source /usr/local/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/powerline/bindings/tmux/powerline.conf 
    set-option -g default-terminal "screen-256color"

Restart your terminal and you should see powerline working now. Open up vim and prepare to be amazed.

Stolen Bank Card

I tend to not think about someone stealing my credit card or identity because that “only happens to careless people”. You know, the kind of people that buy discount cigarettes from some shady company in Hong Kong that does not offer HTTPS on its checkout page. Well, that naive bubble was burst this weekend when I was in FL.

I used my card twice on my first day there. The first was at a gift shop at the hotel. It was a decent hotel so I don’t think that this is the vector where the card was stolen. The second was at a much shadier store at a mall. This is the place that I think the card number was jacked. I am not sure if the guy was in on it, or if the company he uses to process his payments is in on it, or what. All I know is that the next morning someone went on a shopping spree in Miami beach. The first charge was for $40.25 at an undisclosed location (my bank cannot even figure out what this charge is for). I think this was just a sample charge to see if I had any money in my account. The second charge was for $482 at a car rental place in Miami Beach. I guess some douchebag rented a Ferrari or something for the day. The third (and final charge) was for $398 at Armani Exchange.

This was thankfully declined by the bank and this was the charge that prompted my bank to contact me and let me know that something shady was going on with my account. Thank goodness that my bank (Navy Federal Credit Union) was on top of its stuff and the fraud team quickly got in touch with me and we were able to freeze the account. In addition, thanks to the zero liability policy at the bank I will be able to get all of this money back.

To the people who stole my card, fuck you. To everyone else who is reading this, please be careful with your card in general and especially when you are traveling. Sadly, there are some shady assholes in the world that want to steal your hard earned money to rent luxury cars and purchase overpriced polos at Armani Exchange.

One great tip that I got from the fraud team was to not use the check card at all since it is directly tied to my checking and savings account and can cause some serious damange. Instead, using the credit card that I have with the bank instead (especially when traveling) will make sure that even if people get the card somehow they cannot do too much damage to the rest of my accounts. In addition, I think that in this case someone made a copy of my card (since my actual card was not stolen).

The new Navy Federal credit cards come with a secure chip that makes duplicating the card pretty difficult. Unfortunately this is not available with the check cards yet, but I am looking forward to it so that these types of issues can be prevented in the future. In a way I am kind of glad that this happened to me since it opened my eyes a bit and I will be much more careful where I use my card in the future.