A few days ago, we were trying to explain to a MS-DOS user how the VI editor works. Here's what we come up with:
Vi is an editor with two distinguished modes:
In Edit mode you have all the capabilities of grandma's typewriter right under your finger tips! You can make the very same mistakes as you did with granny's typewriter (and your possibilities to correct them are about the same).
That's why Vi was provided with a second mode, namely the _Beep_ mode. On a vt100 terminal or compatible you can get into Beep mode by pressing an arrow or escape function key. In this powerful Beep mode even the more innocuous keystroke will promptly produce a Beep sound. As an example, arrows, return, blank spaces and most capital letters will produce beeps in the most arbitrary places of the screen. Just think about the whole world of possibilities that this mode gives to you:
--Compose a monotonic symphony or rap while editing your thesis!
--Send messages in Morse code to the secretary next door!
--Keep yourself awake with the clear sound of the Beep tone!
The variations are endless.