[nSLUG] Re: Debian stable vs. testing

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Sun Mar 12 01:40:42 AST 2006

Know zip about deb, can't help there.  But on the ancillary problem,

> What I really need to learn is an email program and how to dump
> command output into messages so I can work from the console/command
> line. I'm laboriously typing everything from Linux screen on one box
> to Gmail/Windows on another.

At the risk of sounding like a Gnu evangelist...

Assuming you have the Linux box working and the console(s) available,
consider using Gnu Emacs.  It will allow you to compose mail, then
send it.  You can simultaneously run an interactive shell [1] in an
Emacs buffer.  All the output from a command remains in the buffer and
can be edited or copied to another Emacs buffer (e.g. to an Emacs mail
buffer containing a message that you're composing and will send using
Emacs' built-in mail routine) with a few keystrokes.

A big (huge?) advantage to Emacs is that the interactive shell buffer
keeps all the output from commands until you delete it, just as if it
were a text document that you were editing.  You can scroll back in
output to any point you like.  With the bare console, OTOH, you have
to pipe output to more/less, to tee and some file, or use some other
bothersome subterfuge to scrutinize lengthy output such as that from
startx or ps -e.  I find this a major win if I'm tweaking something
that doesn't work over and over, comparing the resulting
hen-tracks/error-messages, even with X up and using Emacs in an xterm.
In the console its indispensable.

[1] The only disadvantage [2] is that the TERM that runs in the Emacs
interactive shell buffer is "dumb". So less, more, top or anything
that depends on termcap/terminfo to manage a smart terminal display
won't work right.  A bearable loss in exchange for having massive
command output available in a scrollable, editable buffer.

[2] Aside, of course, from having to learn Emacs keystrokes. :-)

> ...Hagen-Daas ice cream with hot butterscotch sauce.

Make your basic chocolate sauce -- bitter chocolate and milk melted
together till smooth, add some sugar, heat till smooth.  Then stir in
caramel -- sugar melted and browned in a heavy frying pan.  Caramel
Fudge Sauce.  Killer app.  (Caramelized sugar, BTW, is far superior to
boiling hot coffee for producing serious trauma, should you pour it on
sensitive -- or any -- parts of your anatomy, your cat or your
kids. Don't do that.)

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^


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