By Jason Snell
July 31, 2019 2:23 PM PT
Applications Folder: Past meets future
In the fall of 1988 as a new freshman at UC San Diego, I put my high-school newspaper skills to use and volunteered to edit copy for the Revelle College newsletter. This being a serious, science-focused school, the editor instructed me to go to the first floor of the Applied Physics and Mathematics building and get a Unix account, after which he would teach me the basics of editing stories using something called vi.
Learn Unix and vi so you can edit stories for a college newsletter? Talk about overkill. But I was excited to have an excuse to get access to the university computer system, and so I got an account and learned the ins and outs of vi. The next year I moved on to my university-wide newspaper, where we much more sensibly used Macs and Microsoft Word, and my Unix skills remained frozen in time.
Funny how things turn out.…