Only emacs can make me feel like an idiot

Emacs, an editor I never use, seems to have a knack for making me feel like a complete and total idiot every single time I run it. I started it and I am not even sure why, my fingers typing those letters, apparently manifesting some type of subconscious masochism. Sixty seconds later I reveal the depths of my shame and frustration to Google:

How the hell do I quit emacs?

3 thoughts on “Only emacs can make me feel like an idiot”

  1. I started using vi in ’92; had the *worst* time with the beep-mode issue. I just could not get the hang of it and was at risk of raging out. Then the TA on my first-year comp sci class showed me emacs.

    The beauty is that you don’t need to switch modes. For people who use any other editor where you can ‘just type’, that’s a huge hurdle to get over. After that, with emacs, you just need to remember that ^X is your file-menu. That’s kind-of it, other than ESC-X for ‘help me figure out what I want to do, with TAB spamming’.

    20 years on, as a C dev and sysadmin living in text files continually, I occasionally run into these archaic machines that don’t have a decent complement of editors installed. I run down the options (nano, pico) and then try to use vi, but after only a short time I will – no really – fall back to SED and AWK (I love sed-i, or I |patch) to do things, faster than VI.

    In short, though, the cost of the mode-switch for many people makes VI a continually frustrating experience we can thankfully avoid. I look forward to the day when such a strange and pointless mechanism is finally shed.

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