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Radio Azureus
Radio Azureus

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VIM the beginning...

I started with vi on noisy phone lines for the BBS systems of our university.

I was a student then, who had the task to punch holes in the system for the URC(*) director so he could fix them.

That was in the 1990's a century ago ;)

My vim use back then was as follows:

  • vim filename.extension
  • :i
  • enter & correct data while:
  • Regularly getting in & out of interactive mode the moment the line goes bad (**)
  • do a :u in combo with ^L when bad stuff came on the screen
  • :w in between (I had to do this very often since ATH0 was often send to the Telebit 9600bps modems when the lines went beserk)
  • :wq at the end when all looked good on the screen.

The power of insert mode saved my sanity on the copper wires from the POTS phone system, where I had to edit files over. THe analog POTS centrals of our phonecompany were run on wires, which were way too old, which means with rain, a lot of moisure creeps in the cable, forcing a lot of noise over the lines.

For a while this was the only way I used vi. I did not bother with learning others since this was all I needed.

After a while I wanted to see what I could do more with vi. However the man files for vi were not on the machines I used vi from. Then someone told me that vim by Bram Molenaar had buildin help just like emacs, an editor I could not run due to the ram constraints my workstation had.

I downloaded vim on my m68k Amiga and loved the startup screen. It looked very similar to this one

The next screen is what made my decision final

THe fact that I could use vim with build-in help was an eyeopener. From then on I realized, I can take my time and learn new stuff right in the editor.


That is how this discovery felt. Esp in a time when multi monitor setups at home were non-existent, since I wanted to be in the editor while I learn new stuff I need, for the tasks at hand.

Note: I will use the terms vim and vi interchangeably. When I talk about the bare version, I reference POSIX vi which you should find on all posix compliant OS'es

THe modems in that period had MNP5 & other protocols which were supposed to help against unstable phone lines. They were not prepared against the LQ lines we had in our country.

URC = Universitair Reken Centrum -> University Computer Lab

This document is a w.i.p it's not finished yet. I publish it now since it's been in the pipeline for a while already

Direct link to the last synced version:

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