• Haakon Dahl posted an update in the group Group logo of R.O.U.S.R.O.U.S. 1 week, 2 days ago

    Subj: God Damn.

    Body: I am happy with my membership at, run in part by fellow Ratburgher ubergeek. But [insert title here], it’s frustrating. And it shouldn’t be. I come from Unix a little. I used it in college, back when Bill Clinton was president. And heaven knows I am comfortable in DOS, which is what most modern humans think of when they see a unix.

    But I was defeated in my attempt to get some documents online. I could not overcome the *^&%#)( curly-braces problem. They’re not UTF-8, they;re not ISO 15 something something, and I DO NOT CARE. But apparently I have to. In order to fix this problem, I have to know the god-damned character set used BY WORDRESS right here at Ratburger to obfuscate my elegant prose into WORDPRESS crap.

    But WordPress is hardly alone in this. We are most familiar with this abuse from the Windows people, followed swiftly but stealthily by the Apple people. Honest-to-God, Unix is blameless in all of this (well, most of this), but that does not change the facts on the ground. Custer’s Quartermaster was blameless, too.

    Anyway, I’m chuffed. More later. Maybe. Meanwhile, I just gave up on a class on vim, because just like emacs, no matter what promising carrot may be held on the end of the stick — it’s just too much stick.

    I am fifty fscking years old, and I expect to be able to cut, copy, and paste, shift arrow and escape in a civilized fashion. That means C+X, C+C, and C+V need to work the way I want. I know that this conflicts with a lot that’s going on in these ostensibly superior systems. But I also know that painful solutions will not be used. Just like I”m not using them.

    Now then. I’m not complaining about thunix. Thunix is a picture-perfect implementation of a debian PAUS. Thunix rocks. My gripe is with the tools commonly used on these systems.

    I’ll be honest — every time I use Wordstar, I remember why people don;t use it much anymore. But everytime I try my hand at emacs or vim, I develop a list of “if-onlys”, and every damned one of them comes right from WordStar. If only this pig-tickler had onscreen help. If only this goat-lucker had copy blocks. If only this dumb crumpet had dot commands.

    Or if it has any of those — if only I could find out what the Hell it had without first growing Lunduke’s beard and Stallman’s funk.

    • I’m not sure what problem you’re having with moving documents from Ratburger’s WordPress environment to *nix text files. All of the content output by WordPress is in UTF-8 (Unicode encoded as a stream of 8 bit bytes). If you export that content (for example, by saving an HTML file, or by copying from a document and pasting into an editor that supports UTF-8 then saving the file, you should end up with a UTF-8 file. On Unix, you can determine the character code of a text file with the command:

      file –mime-encoding myfile.txt

      which will show you the encoding like:

      index.html: us-ascii
      help.html: utf-8
      userguide.txt: iso-8859-1

      You can convert the encoding of a text file from almost any character set to any other with iconv, for example:

      iconv -f iso-8859-1 -t utf-8 outfile.utf8

      specifying the “-f” from and “-t” encodings.

      As to a simple text editor, have you tried nano? Its commands are a little odd, but it has on-screen visual fidelity, cut and paste, etc. The man page does not show the keyboard command, see the documentation at:

      or the help (^G) for details. I used nano for most of my system administration work on AWS until I got nedit running over an SSH X11 tunnel to my local machine.

    • I use Nano. I’ll see about (yet again) getting JED as JSTAR or sommat.
      John, I agree, the 8859-1 or 12-something-15 encodings *should* work. But it doesn’t. Neither do any of the usual suspect ANSI, DOS, or WIndows encodings. And when iconv pukes on input, there is of course, no output.
      I can see plain as day in the hex viewer that I’m dealing with \x93 and \x94, but but but…
      I could simply go through the thing by hand, but (and I’m really calming myself to say this) that’s not what we have computers for.