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I have been planning to do a blog post series about Emacs for a while now. This is not about using emacs however. It is about the configuration of Emacs.
There are two editors that programmers and power users have relied on for a really long time, both of them started in the second half of the 70s. VI and Emacs. Both are still alive today, not in the exact same form they started out in, but the same prinicipal form. VI lives today as VIM and NeoVIM. And Emacs lives today as GNU Emacs.
Emacs is a very powerful editor, that can be configured to do more or less anything. Emacs can be extended and customized through Emacs LISP. This could simple, like changing a font or more complex like writing an entire email client.
When you start using software that started before most of the conventions for naming and keyboard shortscuts was coined, you should expect them to be a little bit different. And there is no expection for Emacs. The two things that are the most different are the Emacs Keyboard Shortcuts and the naming conventions for some stuff.
In Emacs the Frame is what most computer users calls a Window, and a window can be divided into multiple windows. You can split a window horizontally or vertically. Then you have the buffers. A buffer is some kind of content, it can be a file, a unsaved file or something more like an app. All of these can be visible in none, one or multiple windows.
This is a very powerful concept, because you can have lets say 100 buffers open, and at any time re-configure what is shown without closing them. Or if you work on a large file have two of that buffer open at once.
Emacs keyboard shortcuts are kind of weird, and they don’t follow normal conventions like Control / Command S etc. They are weird, and you can customize it how you like. But they are very powerful. And how you use them are up to you.
There are however two things you should learn imediatly, C- means Control + something and M- means Alt + something on most systems.
The Price of Ink
You can find cheap ink, and expensive inkk. More expensive bottles are sometimes larger, but other times not. The price range of inks, I’m talking about fountain pen inks by the way, vary from around $5 to a little bit under $40. The cheapest from JetPens is about $0,55 per ML while $0,74.
If you compare the price of ink to the other part of this that you actually use up - paper. Then you will realise that ink is not that expensive. When I wrote a lot with and exclusivly with fountain pens, I used maybe close to three 50 ml bottles a year, but I think most people would struggle with using one a year. I don’t know the number, but imagine how many notebooks of your choice you need to buy to use all of that ink.
If you use Pilot Iroshizuku inks and Leuchtturm1917 notebooks, you spend about the same per bottle of ink that you spend on a A5 notebook, but I think you need at least 20 notebooks if not more to use all of that ink.
I get that some people don’t have that much disposable inkcome, and I get that those of you that this applies to have some different priorities, but I personally went with Pilot Iroshizuku inks even when I was on a tight budget because I enjoyed using it so much more than cheaper inks. If you like me have some disposable income to use on this hobby, I think there are much better places to how much money you spend than inks. Because you get a bottle and it lasts forever. Notebooks are a place where you can save a lot of money. And not buying pens are another.
Liked: EmacsWiki: Starter Kits