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Looking at my Computing, Summer 2019

NOTE: This resource was created before I had begun to decolonize my way of thinking, and should be read carefully. It may present beliefs or assumption that don't match what I currently believe.

Looking at my Computing, Summer 2019 is a(n) essay

it is about computers, and emsenn

it was released on Jun 4, 2019

It's been a bit since I've written a post of this sort. I've cut down, without any real conscious effort, how much I talk online. I've been busy with other stuff, but also, hardware failures left me needing to change how I handle computing. On the advice of Andrew Roach, I got a Raspberry Pi 3 Model B, and have replaced my busted old monitor with a thrifted LED TV.

I've set that on its side, so the screen area is 15 inches tall by 8 inches wide. That translates to 76 columns across, and 42 rows down.

This very much gives the computer a different feel than the normal wide-screen: it feels much more like a machine made for writing than media.

That, combined with my recent pivot toward using Emacs almost exclusively, has really changed the “feel” of a computer for me. Small things, too - for example, I've started using centered-cursor-mode, which keeps the line I'm currently typing on pegged to the center of the screen. Which means that as I'm writing, my eyes just have to move back and forth on the page, not up an down. Which is nice, it's like a typewriter sort of effect.

Limiting myself to using Emacs, or at least, working to work exclusively inside it, has had an interesting effect on my computing.

It feels kind of like this… future of computing that I thought I would have, when I was little kid looking at my dad's books about programming, and being introduced to the command line. However, the wave of popular computing, plus the needs of just living life, dragged me away.

However, for too many reasons to get into here, I've started feeling a need to revisit that approach to computing.

I'm not entirely sold on Emacs and Elisp being my baseline - I'd like to use something a bit more close to the operating system itself, but I think I am sold on basically having one system that I extend out more and more using one language.

And that one language should definitely be a form of Lisp.

I think, eventually, I'll find something better than Emacs and Lisp. But for now, that's what I'm going to use.

This means that a lot of my projects are going to become Elisp projects in some way, and I'll probably start writing little code snippets for all sorts of stuff I wouldn't otherwise do.

Which brings me to the interesting question of… if I want to continue with Org-mode. It's quite a large stack on top of Emacs itself, and doesn't come with the sort of API I'd prefer for many of the things it does do. As well, I'd be interested in exploring an Elisp-based markup language.