TECO! Ah ....
Well, probably most people in this group remember the bit about TECO in the long-ago Datamation article "Real Programmers Don't Use Pascal", but for the benefit of any who haven't:
Probably not according to your definition of Real OS -- this was with some version of Unix (not sure about version, but this was about 1989, and I was...
No, the Real Programmer wants a "you asked for it, you got it" text editor-- complicated, cryptic, powerful, unforgiving, dangerous. TECO, to be precise.
It has been observed that a TECO command sequence more closely resembles transmission line noise than readable text. One of the more entertaining games to play with TECO is to type your name in as a command line and try to guess what it does. Just about any possible typing error while talking with TECO will probably destroy your program, or even worse-- introduce subtle and mysterious bugs in a once working subroutine.
"Cryptic, powerful, unforgiving, dangerous" -- who could resist? (Really.)
Disclaimer: My personal experience with TECO is limited to a long-ago experience of inadvertently starting it up and then being unable to guess what keystrokes were needed to shut it down and finally just killing the process.
Well, speaking as a not-very-expert user of emacs, hm, I think it also lets you do simple things without too much learning and then go on to more complicated things -- which is a very fine property indeed, and something that IMO distinguishes traditional Unix tools (and perhaps those for some other operating systems people like here -- I don't have the right experience to say) from the GUI-based applications so popular now. (With the former, the learning curve seems somehow smooth-continuous, while with the former, it seems more like, oh, a step function maybe.)
Anyway, I would claim that half an hour with the built-in emacs tutorial would teach you enough to do most simple things, though you would probably have to take notes about what keystrokes do what and use them as a "cheat sheet" at first. And then you can pick up more complicated stuff as you need-want it.
Further disclaimer: I'm a vi(m) fan myself. But some of my best friends are emacs users, and hey, my thinking is that all of us who prefer tools not designed for the mbutt market need to stick together these days .... Though there's also some fun these days in an old-fashioned vi-versus-emacs fight.
In other words, with the in-person-from-a-human equivalent of "spend half an hour with the tutorial and take notes"? "The page"? Probably something...
snip Got it. Thanks. snip Well, my point was that I didn't understand what you meant by "think in characters...
-- B. L. Mbuttingill ObDisclaimer: I don't speak for my employers; they return the favor.