Ye Olde Command Line

I set up someone’s new Macbook Pro recently, and I ended up having to do a little command line work to move some files over from my desktop, and do a little vi editing. The funny thing is, I was unable to actually use the terminal on this brand new install of OSX until I had customized the terminal.

I’m perfectly fine with white on black for most things: coding, writing documents, reading webpages. When it comes to executing terminal commands, it just doesn’t feel right unless its a black background with white or green text. I know its silly, but its what I grew up on. It just feels awkward without that familiar interface.

The default OSX Terminal application is a great little program, with plenty of features. It even comes with a selection of themes to style the look and feel of the app, and years ago I may have just changed to the Pro theme and been done with it. However, I’ve long since developed my own terminal theme, very similar to the IR_Black theme. I have some mild look and feel differences, and I’ve altered the keybindings to more closely mirror what happens in the rest of the OS. In addition to this, I also copy over a .bash_profile with some useful settings (prompt colors, aliases for ls variants), a .vimrc file with some minor tweaks, and a .inputrc file to help with keybindings. In particular, standardized keybindings for home/end and pgup/pgdown are necessary to preserve my sanity at the command line (yay laptop keyboards).

Only after this ritual is complete can I really settle down and get any sort of command line work done. Some day in the distant future, perhaps someone else besides me will launch the terminal on this laptop and say a little prayer of thanks.

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