Cheatsheets on your keys

Vim is a great editor. I love it and after nearly 30 years of use, I am still learning new things about it. it’s a wonderful editor. I don’t mind Emacs, and in fact, I’ve used it some, but my first editor experience in the Unix world was Vi. I was a novice CS/CIS student and had an account on an HP-UX machine, so I needed to try to do some of my homework on the Unix boxen. I loved the idea, since my Amiga was my primary computer at the time, and Unix was fascinating to me (I later installed from floppy Slackware 0.99, but I never got my video card working properly, so it was DOS with “screen”… which is a great terminal tool, too.)

Anyhow, I’ve been keeping little booklets and post-its how to do the various things in Vim (I always forget how to indent blocks of code for some reason… as right now I can’t recall it.) I think it’s “>”, but don’t quote me on that. I don’t use too many plugins, just in case I get complacent. I would rather use Vim as a visitor to a system than being stuck in a “very useful but limited to my machine sort” of way. 🙂

I switched keyboards (again) back to my Unicomp Model M remake, so I don’t have the stickers on my keys anymore. I liked them, but the edges were too “sharp” and I always felt like I was missing a key when touch-typing. I have an unorthodox touch-typing style that I gleaned from using a keyboard long before a typing class (thanks to my wonderful Atari 800xl.) I never re-developed any “proper” typing method, even after taking typing in high school. It has helped me with one thing, of course… I don’t have any worries about carpal-tunnel, because I never keep my hands still enough to stretch the wrists unnecessarily. It is a double-edged sword, really. It takes me a few minutes to get my bearings if I switch to a new keyboard (even with the same layout.) The only one I can pick up and fly on is the original Atari 800xl. 🙂

I bought an Acer “rounded” (pre-Win key) keyboard recently, and when it gets in, I’ll have to “learn” that spacing on the keys. 🙂 I have a devil of a time if there’s a textured “WASD” keyset on a keyboard. I don’t like the different feel. I guess I’m set in my ways, but I always lead off those keys oddly and double-type a letter or an adjacent one.

All in all, I prefer keyboards to mice/trackballs. Which is weird since I use KDE (which is more mouse-friendly than some WM’s). 🙂 Heck, I may even try a plugin or two on Vim to see how things work. I don’t want to get stuck with a plugin that I rely too much on over plain Vim. It’s easier to keep a copy of my .vimrc around than a thumb-drive with my favorite plugins on. 🙂