m-x start-them-early

Since it was a national holiday, I took The Gibber into work for the day. I sat him down at a desk near me with a laptop and got him on the guest network. He played some MineCraft, and after a while I suggested he work on his book report a little.

“Here, use this,” I said, launching a program. “First, you can just type stuff and it appears. Then, control F goes Forward, control B goes Back, and control N and control P go the next and the previous lines. You can use the arrow keys, if you want.”

He typed some stuff and tried it out.

“Okay, now Control U and a number does the next thing you type that many times. Type Control U and thirty and the letter A.”


“Okay, Control U by itself just does four. Another control U multiplies that by four. And another.”


“Works for the commands that move around, too. Try it out.”


“And the Meta key (and now you know what that ESC key is for) makes things go _bigger_, so you can jump around by words and paragraphs…”


I show him C-X C-S and C-X C-C, and a little more, and five minutes later he’s happily typing away.

A cow-orker comes by and asks what I’m doing.

“Teaching him Emacs.”


“No son of mine will use vi.”


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5 Responses to m-x start-them-early

  1. Bernd says:

    Orgmode should be great for school work because it’s great for everything. Markdown-mode and Auctex are cool, too, but easy to get lost in, esp. tex.

    Also, magit is the new type ex.

    The real question is when to bring a kid to dissociated or the therapist (or show him how to feed therapist and pinhead to each other). 😀

  2. rain says:

    10/10 – will do the same when my kids get old enough to type.

  3. c'est moi says:

    Next step should be LaTeX for beautifully typeset school reports.

    I once interviewed a lass for a development position. I asked her how big her .emacs file was and she knew what I was talking about and it turned out hers was bigger than mine. My suggestion to the bossman was that we should take her on.

  4. Kevin says:

    Emacs would be a great operating system … if only it had a decent editor.

  5. Landon, if you ever come to Bay Area, look us up, I’d love to meet you and your family.
    We even have a guest room if you want to use it. You are always welcome.
    Maybe you can teach my children (24 and 27) Emacs.

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