Finished? You're Never Really Finished....

Finished updating the rest of the site. Most of the formatting elements are now tucked away in a css file. This means that should I ever be convinced to change the color of the sidebar again, it's a 15-second change, not a two-hour change. I've also added (as you should be able to tell) bullets to delineate entries. Much easier to look at than just lots of white (well, in this case, yellow) space. I should probably do another screenshot, but I think I'll hold off until I'm done with the rest of the site before doing that. I don't think that anyone's looked at the current screenshot that's buried in the F.A.Q. yet.

I need to get ispell installed here on my OS X installation. Given that Emacs is already installed, I'm surprised that ispell wasn't. But I guess they figured that anyone who'd choose to use Emacs for conventional text editing would have the chops to download and install ispell. Heh.

I think that HTML editing falls somewhere in the middle. I'm certainly not writing code, at least not programming code as I know it. On the other hand, there are more than enough mark-up codes and HTML entities floating around that this doesn't really count as conventional text editing either. Yes, I'm writing, but how many word processors ask you to insert all the formatting by hand any more?

The first word processor I ever used was... heck, I don't even remember the name. AppleWrite? It was a word processor that ran on our old Apple ][+. Since the Apple ][+ was an upper-case only machine, upper case was indicated by inverse video. It was pretty crude, I'll admit. But it worked, and I wrote many fourth- and fifth-grade papers on it. Later we upgraded to a great word processor called ScreenWriter II. It was from a company called On-Line Systems. You know them better today as Sierra (yeah, the guys who make the games). ScreenWriter II got around the limitations of the Apple ][ display by displaying everything as graphics. It was sort of a precursor to true WYSIWYG interfaces. It also did 80 columns of text, which was pretty revolutionary (remember, this was 1981 or 1982). Having 80 columns of upper- and lower-case text on a screen that was hardware-limited to 40 columns of upper-case only was pretty damn cool.

Emacs, the text editor I'm using to type this on right now, can trace its origins back to before my Dad bought our old Apple ][+ (Dad bought the Apple in 1980; Emacs dates back to 1976). The funny thing is, of course, that I'm using an incredibly powerful and sophisticated computer to run a program that's almost as old as I am.