|December 1st, 2016|
I spend most of my day standing in front of my work desktop, doing some combination of programming, code review, documentation, and email. Over the years I've figured out a relatively productive setup:
- browser on one monitor
- tile the rest of the space with tall terminals
- put some extra terminals for starting jobs etc off on the side
This looks like:
(This is divided over two monitors, with the browser and the first vertical terminal on the left-hand monitor.)
I spent an embarassingly long time having to hand-configure this each time I had to restart my computer, and avoiding restarting as much as possible to keep from having to do this, so I eventually learned how to use -geometry arguments to set this up:
# Make the background black. Not that # the background should ever be visible # or anything. fbsetroot -solid black # Start and place terminals. 81 columns # because code here is limited to 80 # columns and emacs reserves a column for # the wrapping indicator. uxterm -geometry 81x90+1428+0 & uxterm -geometry 81x90+1920+0 & uxterm -geometry 81x90+2412+0 & uxterm -geometry 81x90+2904+0 & uxterm -geometry 73x22+3396+0 & uxterm -geometry 73x22+3396+310 & uxterm -geometry 73x22+3396+620 & uxterm -geometry 73x19+3396+930 & google-chrome & # Start the window manager last, and # don't run it in the background. fluxbox
I also used to manually adjust the settings on xterms each time I started them up, but then I learned how to use xrdb. I put xrdb -l ~/.Xdefaults in my .xsession, which contains:
xterm*metaSendsEscape: true xterm*reverseVideo: on xterm*visualBell: False
I also have pretty strong preferences about how fonts should look. Specifically, unless I'm in a hidpi environment, I don't want the modern thing where you use a vector-graphics based (true type) font and then through some combination of hinting and antialiasing you fit it to the screen. Instead I want precisely pixel-aligned bitmap fonts, which happens to be exactly what xterm uses by default.
What am I talking about? Here's a zoomed-in view comparing xterm with its default font to gnome-terminal with its default one:
The gnome-terminal rendering isn't terrible, especially when you're at a normal zoom level, but it's much less crisp than the xterm rendering.
(This is one of the things that makes ssh-from-a-browsers annoying: I don't believe there's any way to get text to render device-pixel-perfect, so until hidpi displays are everywhere you can't get away from the blurry fonts there. This is much less of an issue for ordinary web text than terminal text, because I run my terminals at a much smaller font size to get as much as possible on the screen at once.)
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