[nSLUG] Re: Need fix for plain text showing garbage in Mac (Word)
mspencer at tallships.ca
Tue May 17 21:04:20 ADT 2005
[ Warning: This turned into kind of a pro-Emacs rant so I hadda ]
[ scroll up and add this warning. ]
> Short-term aim: A generic text file which renders a clean read for Mac,
> Windows users, whatever.
Try jed (which comes with Slackware; Other distros?). Rediculously
simple-minded, on-screen menu help etc.
> Long-term aim: Extricate myself from the old word processing/GUI
> habit, go to text editing. Select and learn a suitable editor, with
> the long haul in mind.
Learn the basics of vim for the reason that Ben said. I just finished
a horribly mangled install involving flakey drives, flakey CDs,
unknown Heisenbugs etc. Vim was the only editor available to fix up
the basic config files. I don't use it much but I have a simplified
refcard that will get me through writing a lilo.conf or tweaking an
Then start learning GNU Emacs. Start emacs with the command (in an
xterm or console) "emacs -nw" which will eliminate all (or most) of
the chrome. Omitting "-nw" will cause emacs to open it's own window
in X and enable a bunch of GUI stuff. Use GNU Emacs 20.x (Say,
20.7.2) instead of 21.x. The FSF folks have begun to add what I
regard as infuriating fripperies and GUI-goo with emacs 21. YMMV.
GNU emacs is the Unimog of text editors. It would be the
horripilating Winebago of text editors  were it not for the fact
that you can disable (or just not enable) the vast collection of
chrome, ideosyncratic add-ons, clever hacker tricks, toys etc. And of
course there are clever tricks to deal with *your* ideosyncratic
Here's one big win for emacs: You can run an interactive shell within
emacs. You know when you type a command and pages of output scroll
unreadably off the screen? So you retype the command | less but now
you have less using up your xterm/console? And if you want to
compare that output with some other output, you can't unless you do it
in another xterm?
If you type a command at a shell prompt running within emacs, all the
output scrolls up as usual but it remains in the edit buffer. Edit
buffers are arbitrarily large (2G max? 1G? I forget.) so you don't
lose anything from a prolonged series of related commands. The only
downside is that the "TERM" is "dumb" so you have to switch to another
xterm for commands that use enhanced terminal capabilities -- man,
say, or top.
I do mail, news, file management, text editing and most command line
stuff within emacs and have several instances running all the time.
Than you for listening to my rant. :-)
 With a Lexus in tow, with a Miata in tow behind that, with his 'n
hers ATVs trailered behind that, 6 bicycles, 4 surfboards and 8
pairs of skis on the roof next to the sat uplink/artillery ranger
and two dirt bikes strapped to the rear bulkhead and... You get
the picture. Only with emacs you can opt to have just, say, the
dirt bike and the Barcalounger with built-in bar.
Michael Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada .~.
mspencer at tallships.ca /( )\
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