43 Folders

Back to Work

Merlin’s weekly podcast with Dan Benjamin. We talk about creativity, independence, and making things you love.

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”What’s 43 Folders?”
43Folders.com is Merlin Mann’s website about finding the time and attention to do your best creative work.

Getting schooled on macros

David Pogue: Be Careful What You Joke About

David Pogue gets an informative response to an offhand remark he'd made about macros. Man, you really don't want to fool around with these EMACS people:

Various packages of “macros” were developed to provide speedier editing, and went by various names ending in “macs,” short for “macros.” TMACS and RMACS had also been popular, but the EMACS package seemed to have the most users. By 1979, EMACS was in version 135, and was maintained mostly by Richard Stallman with help from a few others.

Around 1981-1982, I added the M-$ keystroke bound to the macro “Check Word Spelling,” making EMACS perhaps the first text editor with an integrated spelling corrector.

In my brief time with EMACS, I felt like I was trying to play Rachmaninov with tiny, baby hands. But, brother, when I see what people like Ken and Nelson can do with it, my mind is blown. Makes me want bigger hands.

About Merlin

Merlin's picture


Merlin Mann is an independent writer, speaker, and broadcaster. He’s best known for being the guy who created the website you’re reading right now. He lives in San Francisco, does lots of public speaking, and helps make cool things like You Look Nice Today, Back to Work, and Kung Fu Grippe. Also? He’s writing this book, he lives with this face, he suffers from this hair, he answers these questions, and he’s had this life. So far.

Merlin’s favorite thing he’s written in the past few years is an essay entitled, “Cranking.”




An Oblique Strategy:
Honor thy error as a hidden intention


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