[TUHS] What was your "Aha, Unix!" moment?

Steffen Nurpmeso steffen at sdaoden.eu
Fri Oct 11 07:31:59 AEST 2019

Warren Toomey wrote in <20191010205546.GA29154 at minnie.tuhs.org>:
 |All, we had another dozen TUHS suscribers to the list overnight. Welcome.
 |A reminder that we're here to discuss Unix Heritage, so I'll nudge you
 |if the conversation goes a bit off-topic.
 |So I'll kick off another thread. What was your "ahah" moment when you
 |first saw that Unix was special, especially compared to the systems you'd
 |previously used?
 |Mine was: Oh, I can:

I get the feeling somebody's watching me!  (However:

  #?0|kent:$ prt-get info xeyes
  Package 'xeyes' not found
  #?255|kent:$ prt-get dsearch xeye
  No matching packages found
  #?255|kent:$ prt-get fsearch xeye

 |  + write a simple script

Perl with full set of manual pages available!  (Only as single
page HTML before.)

 |  + to edit a file on the fly

That was really hard, coming from Notepad plus or what its name
was.  Luckily there was MidnightCommander as a NortonCommander
clone, otherwise i would likely have been bogged down.  xedit no,
xemacs no.  There was a graphical editor thing, i think it used
Motif, but i have forgotten.  Had syntax highlighting, but had no
tabs if i recall correctly.  It was a long way to get myself going
with emacs, but finally, after a year or two, came to vim.

The window managers were really hard to get right, i grabbed
a super-cheap SuSE debug CD on 1999-01-11, it used fvwm2.  Focus
follows mouse and much more i could not deal with.  I booted
Windows for working purposes until first of May 1999, when
i finally switched over to fulltime Linux.  (I ended up using
icewm after Enlightenment (cool but to slow) and WindowMaker did
not make it.  Until i discovered ahwm, which then was it.  Only
recently i switched to cwm.)

 |  + with no temporary files (a la pipes)

That did bother you.  I am superficial.  And i came in via 4DOS.
And as a Basic, .BAT and perl "programmer".

 |  + AND I can change the file suffix and the system won't stop me!

Discovery of shebang was a tremendous moment.  And anything around
that.  Discovery of manuals, for example the GNU C library manual!
Ah, it soon was discovery of the entire basic UNIX tool set, that
dispersed set of tools acting together for a greater whole!  That
was really, really great.

 |I was using TOPS-20 beforehand.

C64/GEOS, Win 3.1/DOS, Windows95/4DOS. 

 |Cheers, Warren
 --End of <20191010205546.GA29154 at minnie.tuhs.org>

|Der Kragenbaer,                The moon bear,
|der holt sich munter           he cheerfully and one by one
|einen nach dem anderen runter  wa.ks himself off
|(By Robert Gernhardt)

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