How did people here learn GUIs

Janina Sajka janina at
Wed Jul 20 15:13:54 UTC 2016

Jude, Paul:

You can also do this in vim using what vim calls folding.

I've found it very helpful on large documents, when I need to sections
of the document to be on screen at the same time. The stuff inbetween
gets "folded" out of the way.


Jude DaShiell writes:
> Paul,
> Have you tried orgmode for an outliner yet?  Also, have you tried cinnamon
> yet?  If you haven't, org-mode is part of any current version of emacs and
> you get to its documentation by running info org.  Cinnamon is a flavor of
> operating system offered by debian fedora and other distributions.
> On Tue, 19 Jul 2016, Paul Merrell wrote:
> > Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2016 15:22:01
> > From: Paul Merrell <marbux at>
> > Reply-To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> > To: Linux for blind general discussion <blinux-list at>
> > Subject: Re: How did people here learn GUIs
> > 
> > I guess I'm going to show my age here. I began my computing experience
> > running a DEC PDP8 with a proprietary operating system (punched paper
> > tape days). That was followed by several computerized phototypesetting
> > machines made by Compugraphic, including one of the very first area
> > composition systems, the Compugraphic ACM 9000. (My first career was
> > as a typographer.)
> > 
> > My first personal computer was a KeyPro IV portable (26 pounds), which
> > came with a CP/M operating system. I quickly discovered Rex Conn's
> > ZCPR modifications for the CPU that enabled more versatile batch
> > programming. I stuck with CP/M until MS DOS was at version 5.0, at
> > which time I switched to DR DOS with the 4DOS extensions. 4DOS (also
> > by Rex Conn) gave DOS approximately the capabilities of the UNIX KORN
> > shell of that period. Later I added WordPerfect Corp.'s Shell 4.0 for
> > my GUI. Shell was roughly the equivalent of Windows 3.11 but was menu
> > rather than window and icon based. And unlike Windows it was fully
> > programmable and had task switching memory management that was vastly
> > superior to Windows 3.11 (I used to run Windows 3.11 as an app under
> > Shell 4.0.)
> > 
> > Eventually, I was forced onto Windows 98 as program support for DOS
> > faded away. But Win98 was full of bugs and I never liked the
> > window/icon graphical user interface (I have the same issue with OS
> > X).  Many of my DOS programs (including Shell 4.0) could no longer be
> > used because they lacked long file name support and would convert long
> > file names created by Windows and programs to 8.3 format, which would
> > bring the system to its knees.
> > 
> > Windows XP was next. There were a lot fewer critical bugs than Win98.
> > I regained a lot of the batch processing versatility by running Rex
> > Conn's TakeCommand on top of XP. At the time, TakeCommand used a
> > menu-driven paradigm.
> > 
> > I was forced to take a medical retirement in 2002 (I had been a lawyer
> > in my second career) because of an injury that vastly curtailed my
> > brain's working memory. At that point I had been aware of Linux for
> > several years and after cursing a dual boot setup with Kubuntu for a
> > few months bought a second PC for it and switched the XP machine to
> > Win7. By this time, TakeCommand had largely switched to the
> > windows/icon paradigm but Win 7 was far more stable for the must-have
> > Windows programs. And I stuck with Kubuntu until KDE 4.0 was imposed.
> > The productivity hit from all the KDE 4.0 eye candy and gadgetry sent
> > me running for a new Linux desktop. I wound up using Linux Mint with
> > the Mate desktop because of the developers' commitment to keeping the
> > Gnome 2 desktop experience alive and there's access to all of the
> > Ubuntu distro's packages. Since my retirement, my need for Windows
> > programs has largely subsided and I mostly use the Mint box plus a
> > laptop that also runs Mint.
> > 
> > Because of the brain injury, use of an outliner for taking notes
> > became important. I wasted a few years looking for an outliner that
> > was both cross-platform and capable of a minimalist HTML export with a
> > hyperlinked table of contents.  I finally found the one I was looking
> > for in NoteCase Pro. I fell in love with it to the extent that my
> > retirement hobby for the last 5 years or so is assisting in its
> > development as a volunteer, improving its accessibility (still a long
> > way to go there), writing its Help file, and writing extensions for it
> > in the Lua scripting language. I suspect that because of its
> > extensibility it is among the geekiest of outliners out there.
> > 
> > I love Linux because of the powerful command line with the BASH shell.
> > Windows, icons, and mouse pointers at the OS level have all seemed
> > like giant leaps backwards to me. But the advertising myth that they
> > boost productivity seems unstoppable. Linux at least offers me a
> > choice.
> > 
> > Best regards,
> > 
> > Paul;
> > 
> > _______________________________________________
> > Blinux-list mailing list
> > Blinux-list at
> >
> > 
> -- 
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Janina Sajka,	Phone:	+1.443.300.2200
			sip:janina at
		Email:	janina at

Linux Foundation Fellow
Executive Chair, Accessibility Workgroup:

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
Chair, Accessible Platform Architectures

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