My best investment so far

I’ve been using Jon’s excellent tools, ViEmu for Visual Studio, Outlook, Word, and Sql Server Management Studio for close to a year now. They make the default editor in those tools behaves like VI, with regular expression support. I bought the Enterprise Pack. Highly, highly recommended. Of course you need to know VI first.

I had some issues with ViEmu for Sql Server Management Studio on Sql Server 2008 CTP 6. So I wrote Jon. He got back to me very quickly. It turned out that the version I installed was an older one. I downloaded the newer one and it worked out of the box.

So I am a VI / Vim aficionado. In fact, I consider learning VI to be the second best investment I ever made so far in my life. The best ever happened about 5 years ago, when I finally taught myself touch typing. (I didn’t see or touch a computer and typewriter until my early twenties.) I tried to teach myself touch typing maybe ten years ago, using a high school typing book I borrowed from the local library here. That didn’t work out very well. Five years ago, I purchased a touch typing software off the web, maybe 25 dollars or so, and finally became a decent touch typist. Now I kick myself for not learning touch typing earlier.

After that, typing is not a hindrance anymore. Using Vim actually makes it enjoyable. It has made a huge difference in my life.

There is so much to learn in Vim. So far these are my most-used commands:

cw and cNumberw
dw and dNumberw
:g/^$/d to remove blank lines
Macros (q, then a letter, followed by actions that you want repeated later. For example, suppose I have a list of tables that need to be truncated, I will go to the first line, start macro recording, press I truncate table, Esc, j, then q to stop recording. For the rest of the lines, I just do Number@MacroName)

That’s all I can think of now. According to Vim Tips Wiki site, this collection of tips is the best. I found that most of the tips need to be followed consciously for a while before they become part of you. What are yours you can share with me?

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