Using Emacs - Introduction

I'm sure I've mentioned that I've been an Emacs wonk for decades. Since the mid-80's in fact. I've spent time using other editors, word processors, and development tools but always find my way back.

I recommend that budding computer science students develop a good tool set and encourage them to explore Emacs but while it's pretty easy to load Emacs and find your way around, particularly if you use the mouse and menus there isn't a clear path to take you from beginner to using it as an efficient tool let alone customizing it.

Inspired by Mattias Petter Johansson, or MPJ who make a weekly video, I decided to try to create a series of YouTube videos and matching blog posts. I'll try to post one a week and I'll try to keep the videos, at least after the first couple to just a few minutes and have them focus on micro-habits - one or two small things that you can bring to your work flow and internalize.

The first three four (this one and the next three) will focus on setting things up. After this post we'll have

  • Setting up the package manager
  • Intro to org-mode (just so that you recognize the markup)
  • Intro to Elisp (just so you have an idea of those configuration lines)

and then we're off to the races. Here's what I'm thinking about for the first few topics after the above mentioned ones:

  • Efficient Navigation
  • Windows and Buffers
  • Theming
  • Auto Completion

and then a series of short topics to show some of my favorite editing tools. We'll also cover some larger topics including:

  • Python Development
  • C/C++ Development
  • Document Preparation
  • Scheduling / Calendaring / Note Taking

I'll put together an index to these posts along with any ancillary materials here:

Getting started

This series is going to assume you've installed emacs and worked your way through the included tutorial.

To help you get to that point, here are some links to posts and sites that I've found useful:

And here's a 10 minute getting started guide:

So, stay tuned.


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