How did people here learn GUIs

Jude DaShiell jdashiel at
Wed Jul 20 16:54:54 UTC 2016

The only part of vim I like and use is called ex.  It's a hang over from 
all those dBase III+ programs I wrote using edlin at work I think. 
Other than that, I do also use emacs whenever possible and any 
additional resources I can get working with emacs.  Good to know folding 
is possible using vim since I may run into a vim user that might not 
know it's possible.

On Wed, 20 Jul 2016, Janina Sajka wrote:

> Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 11:13:54
> From: Janina Sajka <janina 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
> 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.
> Janina
> 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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