"The standard guide for vi since 1986, this book has been expanded to include detailed information on vim, the leading vi clone that includes extra features for both beginners and power users."
So begins the write-up for the seventh edition of O'Reilly's "Learning the vi and vim editors." In 1986 when O'Reilly first brought this book out I was in my second year of university and I had a passing knowledge of computers. I knew they existed but I still wrote my papers by hand and then typed them up on an automatic typewriter. No grammar checker, other than myself or my friends wielding a red pen. No cut and paste, only lots of "white-out" or corrector ribbon. The personal computer was still a couple of years away. Yes, there were some, but most people talked to mainframes and "servers" with green screens and dumb terminals. At the time, I was in a special program that focused on Technology in Society and we had a network in our residence hall. It ran Novell as the network operating system (a beta version if I am not mistaken) and we spent more time trying to break the system then we did actually working on our lessons.
Fast forward to 1990 and I had an IBM PS/2 on my desk, my typewriter relegated to my closet. My parents bought it for me, and with a dot-matrix printer, it cost more than five thousand dollars. It has a forty megabyte hard disk, and a couple of hundred kilobytes of RAM. It runs a version of DOS and Microsoft Windows 3.0. I say all this in the present tense because it is still sitting in a cupboard in my den and as far as I know, it still runs. I used it for papers, CAD programs and presentations. It was all done pretty much by hand with only a few templates or wizards to help.
Today, five thousand dollars will get you a quad core server with a terabyte of disk and several gigabytes of RAM. You can run a couple of wizards and the software will spit out preformatted documents, ready-made presentations and W3C blessed web pages. The workstations under the average desk spend more time asleep than actually processing, with most users using less than one percent of the total processing power available to them. We have the choice of at least three operating systems, dozens of applications and hundreds of time wasters at our command. But have we made progress?
I sat in a meeting last week, discussing emergency preparedness. In that meeting, a wise man said, "We need to have two sets of contingency plans. One for if we have electricity and one for if we do not."
What does a new book on vi and contingency plans have to do with each other? Simplicity. Without starting a vi vs. emacs debate, as Linux systems come with both, it is important that every administrator should be familiar with vi. At least the simple commands. And every administrator should have contingency plans. As much as the technology changes, some things remain the same.
|PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database||Jan 29, 2015|
|HPC Cluster Grant Accepting Applications!||Jan 28, 2015|
|Sharing Admin Privileges for Many Hosts Securely||Jan 28, 2015|
|Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform||Jan 23, 2015|
|Designing with Linux||Jan 22, 2015|
|Wondershaper—QOS in a Pinch||Jan 21, 2015|
- PostgreSQL, the NoSQL Database
- Sharing Admin Privileges for Many Hosts Securely
- HPC Cluster Grant Accepting Applications!
- Designing with Linux
- Wondershaper—QOS in a Pinch
- Internet of Things Blows Away CES, and it May Be Hunting for YOU Next
- January 2015 Issue of Linux Journal: Security
- Ideal Backups with zbackup
- Slow System? iotop Is Your Friend
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7.1 beta available on IBM Power Platform
Editorial Advisory Panel
Thank you to our 2014 Editorial Advisors!
- Jeff Parent
- Brad Baillio
- Nick Baronian
- Steve Case
- Chadalavada Kalyana
- Caleb Cullen
- Keir Davis
- Michael Eager
- Nick Faltys
- Dennis Frey
- Philip Jacob
- Jay Kruizenga
- Steve Marquez
- Dave McAllister
- Craig Oda
- Mike Roberts
- Chris Stark
- Patrick Swartz
- David Lynch
- Alicia Gibb
- Thomas Quinlan
- Carson McDonald
- Kristen Shoemaker
- Charnell Luchich
- James Walker
- Victor Gregorio
- Hari Boukis
- Brian Conner
- David Lane