March 18, 2003

Bulk view

ack! misquoted!

The article written by Rizal Raoul Reyes in the 2003.03.18 issue of
Today is okay, except for one factual error. My parents never told me
computers were a ‘guy’ thing. In fact, they encouraged us to get into
whatever fields we wanted. I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere without
their support. I hope that the article doesn’t give parents or kids
the impression that computers are a guy thing, or that parental
support isn’t important.

Evolution of an Emacs user — reflection, linux

Like almost all newbies, I started out with pico, the editor that
comes with pine. pico was friendly. pico was easy to use. pico also
kept wrapping my lines, which is a Very Bad Idea when you’re
programming. I discovered that pico -w would turn such
undesirable behavior off, and alias pico="pico -w "
became part of my .bashrc everywhere.

However, I felt mildly ashamed of pico. All the Unix books said I
should learn how to use vi, so I did. vi was fun, too – vim,
especially. I had my funky one-line ex commands, like :s%/foo/bar/g. I
could go to any line with :linenumber. I regularly used :! to invoke
shell commands. I liked the way it syntax-colored practically all the
files I edited – even the more obscure ones – and I was even thinking
of writing my own syntax files for the things it didn’t handle yet.

I suppose it was sheer curiosity that made me try out Emacs. Emacs was
an intellectual challenge. I found myself attracted to its
intimidating complexity. I wanted to see if I could get the hang of it.

Emacs was surprisingly easy to use. I read through the tutorial. I
even browsed through the info node in my spare time. I used the menu
bar and the tool bar until I learned the different shortcuts and
extended commands. It was pretty cool.

Then one summer, I opened the Emacs LISP intro manual. I got hooked.
I started reading Emacs source code. I traced through functions. I
wrote my own. I did more and more stuff in Emacs and I realized how
much I had missed by using other editors.

Emacs is cool. =)