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Organizing Files
Pages: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

A good email reader

Mutt is a fast, customizable mail-reader with lots of features:

  • color support
  • message threading
  • MIME support
  • various features to support mailing lists, including list reply
  • an active development community
  • POP3 and IMAP support
  • full control of message headers when composing
  • support for multiple mailbox formats (mbox, MMDF, MH, and maildir)
  • configurable key bindings and macros
  • automatic configuration changes based on recipients, current folder, and more
  • good search capability
  • Delivery Status Notification (DSN) support
  • easy inclusion of attachments when composing, even from the command line
  • multiple message tagging
  • replying to or forwarding multiple messages at once
  • ease of installation
  • translation into at least 20 languages
  • small and efficient program

My setup is almost identical to that of Dave's mutt config. Figure 20 shows message 1 of 27 from my inbox. My screen displays 47 lines at a time, and most of my email messages are shorter than that, so I rarely have to scroll through multiple pages to see if I need to keep or act on a message.

Reading my inbox
Figure 20. Reading my inbox


Most wheels aren't worth reinventing. If you find yourself constantly rewriting the same code snippets or email, it's time to pick a language and a template setup.

Perl and the Text::Template package suit me fine, but if push comes to shove, any decent scripting language with variable substitution can serve as a template engine.

Here are some of the better articles I've seen on choosing (or writing) a template system.

Code fragments or cliches

If you spend more than five minutes figuring out how some language function or WordSmasher-2000 utility works, write it down. I have a directory called ~/cliche that holds things that held me up, things I don't want to lose, or things I don't feel like typing in again (Figure 21).

Snippets I'll use again
Figure 21. Snippets I'll use again

I called it cliche because most of the snippets are the moral equivalent of "I'm just here for the team"; people expect them, and I'll probably end up using them sooner or later. For example, the file ~/cliche/ASCII/alphabet simply keeps me from having to stumble all over the keyboard if I need to loop through the alphabet for some reason:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

The file ~/cliche/perl/yesterday is a four-line function in the Perl language providing the time 24 hours ago, and so on.

Useful Links

Karl Vogel is a Solaris/BSD system administrator at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.

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