Command line keyboard shortcuts

^-A – Move to beginning of line
^-E – Move to end of line
^-U – Delete back to beginning of line
^-W – Delete back one word
^-L – Clear screen
^-C – Cancel current command (get out of trouble…)

Looking after yourself

Self care is important. Here are a few of my favourite resources at the moment.

Take care everyone.


How do I write the date to a file in Vim?

I keep a journal at work – you should too, if you’re a software developer. I decided to start adding date and time stamps so I don’t have to think. It’s really easy to do in Vim*, just type this in normal mode:

:r !date

and hit Enter. BOOM the date appears on the next line.

If you’d like a bit more detail on why this works run :help :r, or read the rest of this post. The “r” is short for read and generally means “read from another file”.

It can also read the output of a command. Since you can run external commands in Vim by putting an exclamation mark in front of them, you can do things like :r !pwd to litter your current file with /Users/josh/journal/hopes_and_dreams and the like.

Have fun!

* In Linux-based systems that have the date command at least.

“The starting point for your own words”

Always read with a pen in hand. The pen should be used both to mark the text you want to remember and to write from where the text leaves you. Think of the text as the starting point for your own words.

– Mandy Brown

Lately I’ve been building a webpage to show random quotes from (This is an exercise from FreeCodeCamp which I’ve done as a codepen: While testing, it throws a lot of great quotes at me, like this little gem from Mandy Brown. You can read it and similar reflections on their website.

How Do I Write Good CSS?

That’s been the question on my mind ever since I tried to write some CSS and it was terrible! Here are some of the things I’ve been reading.

Maintainable CSS – a guide to using semantic HTML, combined with not trying to write reusable CSS, in order to make modular styles that can be edited without causing problems elsewhere.

Learn Layout – a very clear tutorial on how to position elements on a page.

BEM Key Concepts – I’ve been starting to get my head round BEM (Block, Element, Modifier) as a way of organising styles. This ties in well with the Maintainable CSS piece, above.

.bashrc is your scout badges

In the Scouts you get badges for the things you learn, and you show them off by wearing them on your sleeve, once a parent has stitched them on.

Lately I’ve started curating aliases in bashrc. For anyone who hasn’t used it, it’s a file in which you can store settings for controlling your computer, including abbreviated versions of commands you use a lot (aliases). Some people like to share these files, or snippets from them, to give other programmers ideas for which shortcuts to include in their own collection.

The nature of the file lends itself well to this sharing. You do the work of learning some new command, practise using it until it is part of your everyday toolkit, and then make a shorter reference to it. These references become a list of what you know and can do, and a neat little resume of your command line experience.