I must admit, I have a deep-seated affection for vi. It harks back to the eighties, a time when I first ventured into the world of computing. Yes, you might say I’m a bit of an old-timer when it comes to these things. Back then, the journey into vi’s realm was not for the faint of heart. The learning curve resembled a steep mountain, and the resources at our disposal were as sparse as a desert oasis. No YouTube tutorials to guide us, no online courses, just the enigmatic man page and a few knowledgeable colleagues sitting beside you, ready to share their wisdom.
Even in the present day, I find myself returning to vi, especially on my trusty Mac, whenever I need to accomplish a task quickly and without fuss. It’s a testament to vi’s timeless utility. These days, we’re spoiled for choice with an array of plugins available for both vi and its modern incarnation, vim. Such luxuries were unimaginable during my early days with the editor. With the right plugins, you can effortlessly transform vi into a highly efficient and lightning-fast integrated development environment (IDE).
Of course, I’ve dabbled in more modern IDEs like Visual Studio Code and PyCharm when the need arose. But vi remains my ever-reliable problem-solving companion, a tool that feels like an old friend.
Besides my Mac, I also have an Acer PC running Kali Linux. It’s my go-to for tasks I’d rather not associate with my company-provided personal computer. While setting up vi on this Linux box, I decided to seek out some visually appealing configurations. I found one that piqued my interest, and I was all set to embark on the installation journey.
The installation process appeared straightforward enough: copying files, moving others, and overwriting some. On a Linux system, the common practice often involves using ‘wget’ and piping the output to ‘bash.’ However, I operate my Linux box with a standard user account, avoiding administrator privileges whenever possible—a basic security practice, in my opinion.
Here’s where my caution kicked in. I didn’t personally know the individual behind these configuration files. How could I entrust one of their scripts to run on my machine? To alleviate my concerns, I delved into their GitHub repository and scrutinized the scripts intended for installation. Much to my relief, nothing nefarious jumped out at me, so I proceeded as per the recommended installation steps.
Reflecting on this experience, I realized how easy it would have been to run an unknown script from an anonymous user without a second thought—a rather reckless notion. There’s a substantial risk involved, with the potential for harm to you or your computer looming large.
Indeed, a malicious actor could easily clone a well-established GitHub repository, surreptitiously insert malicious code, and unwittingly infect the machines of unsuspecting users. It’s a stark reminder that one should exercise caution and discretion in the digital realm.
In light of this, I’ve resolved to be more discerning in my online interactions and exercise due diligence before running any scripts from unknown sources. After all, a little extra vigilance goes a long way in safeguarding oneself and their digital environment from potential threats.