[nSLUG] Re: copy/paste...web-->vim...unexpected results

Mike mspencer at tallships.ca
Sun Feb 4 16:17:57 AST 2007

> I guess my aim here is to try to learn how to do more stuff without
> a dependency on a GUI of any kind.

Well, this may be a bit off your desired track, but I spent years with
accounts on mainframes and Unix boxen at Dal and Athena, connecting
from home via dialup or Datapac(tm) [go ahead, laugh] using my Osborne
1.  [okay, I'll just go get a coffee while you get over your
hysterics].  The O1 had a terminal program/interface for which it was
easy to construct a termcap entry.

So I was able to do all manner of stuff on fast, powerful remote
machines from an O1 in a farmhouse with wood heat and a hand pump in
the kitchen using [drum-roll] GNU Emacs [rim-shot; booing and hissing
stage left].

Start emacs in a console.  Do M-X shell and get a shell in an emacs
buffer which will retain output of command line commands.  Read/send
mail, read/post news, M-X dired gives you an interactive file
manager. There are numerous features specially for compiling code if
you're into that. There's a text-based web browser in/for emacs that
I've never used but you can do something like:

   alias fetch 'lynx -dump -error_file=~/News/.lynxerr -nolog\
                 -noredir -noreferer  -hiddenlinks=merge \!*'

and then "fetch" ordinary web pages which will be dumped as text into
the shell buffer complete with all the href= links referenced as
footnotes.  Cut and paste between files, command output, incoming mail
or news etc. is a breeze. Chief shortcoming is that commands/apps that
use curses or otherwise insist on directly controlling a smart
terminal don't work well within emacs and must be run on another
console or with emacs temporarily suspended.

So skipping over the frothing pro-emacs rant (and the tricks needed to
cope with the admitted shortcomings), I would have been stuck at about
the level of early glass tty access without emacs.  With it, the brave
little O1 was a very functional window into the Unix (and VMS) world.
Similar remains true for me now whenever I'm obliged to use the

- Mike

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


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