Return of Vim CheatSheet: Setting Up Shop, Finding My Voice

The original Vim CheatSheet is now available for purchase & download once again! The three PDFs included in the download ZIP are sized for letter (8.5″ x 11″), movie poster (39″ x 27″), and A3 (297mm × 420mm) sized paper. All versions include the exact same information.

You can buy it right here:

If you are interested in purchasing a full-sized print, stay tuned: I am working with a nifty company called Scalable Press to provide on-demand printing and shipping. Vim CheatSheet poster tubes will circulate the globe for the first time since the original print run of 500 copies was exhausted. The only changes planned from the original run will be some fixed typos.

Preorders for 2.0 will be available alongside the original as well. Everyone who has already preordered 2.0: Hold fast, you patient angels! I’ll be posting some teasers from the many years of revisions and rejected ideas and drafts here on this blog, but only preorder customers will get to preview the design and offer feedback before it goes live.

If you just want More Vim Stuff Now, take a peek at my funny and informative talk, How to Do 90% of What Plugins Do (With Just Vim). Don’t forget to check the comments! Plenty of questions I could not answer during the talk are thoroughly addressed there.

Some History

I first encountered Vim in 2004. As a budding professional programmer, I felt Vim supported a fundamental truth of computing: At some point, you just have to move bits around by hand, and GUIs tend heavily towards obfuscation. Vim felt like the best of both worlds: All the control and confidence of a native terminal application with the flexibility and (eventually) intuition to which GUI users are accustomed.

Well, that’s not what I thought at first. At first, I was simply baffled. But Vim’s idiosyncrasy is one of the things that got me so attached to it in the first place: There is a whole universe of helpful and powerful tools within the program, but you have to take the time to understand it to tap into that power. I did not realize it at the time, but my experience of autism and masking felt like a parallel: If only someone could take the time to see and  understand my realities, I could accomplish so much more. But I would not have the language for this connection until, well… now! Back then, I just understood that Vim was Special For Some Reason, and found myself defaulting to it for more and more computing tasks, peeking behind its anachronistic mask to glimpse the modular infrastructure that has sustained an entire family of Vim and vi-like text editors since before I was alive.

I launched the Kickstarter in 2012, after a brief yet abortive sabbatical at a certain dark-background alternative social network. I was feeling more disappointed than ever with my prospects in corporate America, so before I went in again, I decided to try a silly idea that I had come up with several years prior.

The project went bananas. Funded overnight, hundreds more backers than I expected by the end of the two-week funding period. It was not enough to live on, of course, and I did not know a thing about entrepreneurship back then. I managed to get a Shopify store setup to sell the remaining printed posters (the original print run was 500 copies), and once they ran out, the digital download kept my domains paid for.

However, in late 2017, I shut down the Shopify account. It is still hard to explain why, because I was going through something that is not well-understood. I’ll probably get into the gritty details of my own burnout someday, but for now I will say this much: this project means a lot to me, and taking it down was one of many peaks in a lifelong career of disorganized self-destruction.

Fortunately, I have friends who were there to pick up the pieces. The online adult autistic community has also been a font of self-knowledge, and I am finally taking the time, myself, to understand my own realities. Almost fifteen years after using it for the first time, I really still feel a weird kinship with this ubiquitous computer program from the 70’s!  Getting the original download available again is a milestone I am proud of, and I am so excited to get back to working with Vim and its wonderful worldwide community.

Thank you, so much, to everyone who has written and reached out. The past few years have been a constant wrestling match with depression, and the steady stream of inquiries over e-mail and social media reminded me that people are still interested in my work. I stopped being able to reply immediately several years ago, but I read and appreciate every single message.

‘Till next time… happy Vimming!

2 thoughts on “Return of Vim CheatSheet: Setting Up Shop, Finding My Voice”

  1. Hi,
    Thanks for making the VIM cheat sheet.

    Consider: most of your audience lives nearby to a FexEx Kinko’s print shop. Kinko’s offers color printing and lamination. The web interface is easy enough. WHEN I need a color print, I send it over there and pick it up in a few hours.

    I don’t know whether they have a referral program or API. I fantasize that you could just set up a big button “PRINT AT KINKOS” on your web site. The fantasy Button lets a person select the nearby print shop, pay you for the graphic/copyright and pay Fedex-Kinkos for the printing. Maybe there are a few paper options such as b&w, color glossy, laminated. They can pick the print up themselves. No tubes to sort and mail, and delivery in hours instead of days.

    Currently, I don’t need an Button to do this since I can order prints through my (free) FedEx-Kinkos account, but it does take a few extra steps and I don’t know which paper is optimal, etc.

    Hope this helps.

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