A/S/L? (15 characters)

I know the title is dated, but the idea is simply to connect and share our stories. I’ll start.

I’m BigEatie! I’m a father to three beautiful girls and lucky to have an incredible wife by my side. I’m a data scientist by profession.

Several years ago my computer crashed and a buddy of mine gave me one of his old ones. It had no OS on it. I had used Linux as a teenager, so I decided to go back to that. I wanted to relearn it a bit, and I stumbled across some distrotube videos. His videos got me interested in learning Vim. In the process of learning it I heard about the Vim/Emacs wars, so I opened Emacs up to see what all the hype was about. I was greeted by a blinding white light and an ugly, clunky, outdated UI from the 90s. After doing a chunk of the tutorial I had no idea why anybody would use Emacs when Vim is clearly the superior editor, and I decided to never look back at Emacs again.

After David made his first EFS video the youtube algorithm serendipitously recommended it to me. I watched it and was blown away. Watching David work was like watching a wizard – minibuffers and side-windows all popping in and out of existence like subatomic virtual particles. It just looked so damn cool. I decided I wanted to learn that power. That was my introduction to this community, and I’ve kept up with it since. Today I’m an Emacs cultist who prays at the alter of St. Ignucius. Linux is now primarily a bootloader to Emacs.

I don’t use social media much, but I did follow David out to Fosstodon: BigEatie (@BigEatie@fosstodon.org) - Fosstodon. I’m also regularly on the Systemcrafters IRC channel.

When I’m not working, hanging out with my family, or tinkering with Emacs, I enjoy playing Chess, riding my motorcycle, exercising, and I enjoy going shooting at the range.

Despite the fact that one of my hobbies is motorcycling, I did not pick my nick because I am a big bad biker dude (sorry Summer). You can blame it on a certain T-rex from one of my five year old’s favorite shows. I am the T-rex now.

Would love to learn a bit more about you guys. What’s your story?


Hello @BigEatie and System crafters. Myself Gold Ayan. I used linux initially to recover files if my windows crash or friend os crash. I started using linux seriously from my college second year, i have no internet at my home so i have to carry my old laptop to my college inorder to update or install any new package. Only guy in my class who use and preach about linux :smile:

I was a neovim user. I used Emacs now and then but it didn’t fit right in. Similar to your story after David’s video, i kind of thought of give it a try and become a emacs fan ever since. Also i got very interested in lisp and functional programming due to REPL and REPL driven programming.

Now i preach/teach about Emacs in lot of meetups in my city and tell them how cool it is. How can you mold it to your needs ?

Currently, Try to bring everything into emacs - Mail, RSS, App launcher, File management, … list goes on :joy: . Learning Guile scheme.

Future plans: Try out Guix


Live in Lisp Ecosystem

Editor: Emacs
Web: Nyxt
OS: Guix
WM: dwl-guile
Web programming: Clojure
Mobile apps: Pico lisp (PicoLisp Wiki: pilbox)

My blog: goldayan.in
Mastodon: @goldayan@clj.social

Hello @daviwil can you do a stream on pico lisp on creating android apps using Pilbox

1 Like

G’day crafters, I’m @theesm! Software developer by trade, usually writing C, PHP and Perl by day, and scheme + elisp by night. Besides computing, I spend my time playing ukulele and on the piano, by building furniture out of wood, and by playing badminton and basketball. “What is System Crafting?” was the first SC video I’ve watched, if I can place this right, I discovered it through a mastodon post recommending it. I’m not a social media person, but you guys can find me on IRC (same username as here), emacs.ch (@thees) and sometimes on the guix-devel/guix-help mailing list.

I got into using Emacs and Linux roughly 20 years ago. Starting in the early/mid-00s, during a summer holidays afternoon when I decided that I wanted to learn game development. I must’ve been 11 or 12 at that time (2005/2006) and since I had read somewhere that my favorite game series, Crash Bandicoot, was written in Lisp (GOOL to be precise), I’ve spent most of the remaining holidays I had playing around with various Lisps I could find information about online and in books I could find in our local library.

I only ever finished writing a handful of games (a simple checkers game and a simulation game where you were the owner of a small florists shop to name two) , as I liked programming games way more than playing them.

After having used Debian (since 2005) and NixOS (since 2016) before, I made the switch to exclusively using Guix System a year ago and have been a happy Guix user ever since (thanks to the talks on Guix in the FOSDEM dev room last year and to the videos on Guix by @daviwil that made me install Guix almost immediately)!



Introduction To Linux

I first got introduced to Linux while I was listening to a podcast on the bus ride back from Tennessee School for the Blind. I don’t remember exactly what distribution it was, but I did have remember that the gadget I was listening to the podcast on was running some variant of the Linux kernel, and had an honest to god terminal in it (which was unheard of for blindness PDAs at the time, or so I have been told).

With my interest piqued, I proceeded to install VMWare Fusion on the dormitory computer at TSB to try out Vinux. Unfortunately, this didn’t go too well, since the computer itself was ancient and took ages to open applications (we would boot the machine and go outside to play).

Fast forward a few months, and I finally got a computer of my own (an Acer of some sort). Still remembering my attempts to use Vinux, I had tried to boot a USB stick with it installed and learned a lot along the way, namely that BIOS can be quite the PITA from time to time, and the manufacturer instructions are sometimes inaccurate or flat out wrong. There were a lot of cool things about Vinux, namely the in-built accessibility enabled at startup and the relative ease of installation; the only fly in the ointment being that Ubuntu systems seem to have a problem of going belly up, especially going from version to version.

Fast forward a few (years? months? it’s been so long), and I came across the Sonar Project, chiefed by Jonathan Nadeau. It was there that I discovered Arch Linux, and proceeded to try that out and found the support and hardware to be a lot more reliable (although it was using Manjaro at the time). It was around that time that I came across my mentor and good friend, Storm Dragon and got to hanging out on his Mumble and IRC servers (either that or he was on Freenode, I don’t remember exactly). It was there that I got inspired to run a vanilla Arch machine of my own, along with trying out an OpenSUSE image a friend of ours had at the time. After a time, I got bored with Arch and branched out to Gentoo, which was quite difficult (I did have a running system on that old Acer for a few months before I borked it, and a few bragging rights during my high school technology course at the ATC).

Not much interesting happened thereafter; I went back to Arch, got an Alienware machine that was the bane of my existence for a few years, and discovered reproduceable configurations a few years ago. I guess the only points of interest after 2015 were my internship with F123 Consulting, where Storm and I worked on F123Light, which is now Stormux.


I don’t remember how I got into Emacs. Maybe it was from the Linux course I took on EdX in 2014 or so, or perhaps it was something referenced on the program-l list, but I do remember my first experience trying to get the thing working.

I was in one of the GMU cafeterias with a friend of mine, and I had the idea of installing Emacs on my system and trying to get Emacspeak working. Unfortunately, this was when the docs weren’t as good (or my lack of experience, I’m not sure which was to blame), but we were having a whale of a time trying to get the espeak server to actually talk. After about five or so hours, we finally came across the realization that a package was missing and finally got something working. It was there that I discovered erc, the awesome Git tool magit (which I still use to this day, despite VC being a thing), and company (which I have since replaced with Corfu and a bit of hacked advice to make it work). From what I remember of my original configuration, I used a lot of the custom interface and very little elisp, save the bits I scraped off the internet and info pages. Miraculously, it got me through a few computer science courses and IT courses once I switched to that, but I did wind up defecting to some other tool for a while (NetBeans or some other behemoth of a program).

Around 2017 or so, I got the idea of trying out Vim for a semester while working with F123Light, from which the main takeaways being awesome modal editing (I remember relying a lot on yank inner quotes), and the efficiency of the terminal (coming off a few years of GNOME usage and running tintin in gnome-terminal), but there were a few things I missed from Emacs, namely the refined nature of Emacspeak and how it does completion (although perhaps the same ideas could be ported to vim or neovim, I haven’t tried it). It was at this time that I tried out the various frameworks, namely Prelude, Spacemacs, and Doom Emacs, eventually circling to a custom configuration that I have been using to this day (a few bankruptcies and forge migrations notwithstanding).

Other Stuff

when I’m not hacking on something, I’m generally playing games (Mistworld and Alter Aeon lately, though I’m trying to pick up Storm’s Doom interest also) or listening to music (I am quite eclectic, enjoying John Coltrane, Archspire, Yes, Gentle Giant, Jinjer, Dream Theater, …).