A decent editor is essential if you’re doing any writing work. And I mean an editor—not a formatter. Writing in something like MS Word or OpenOffice.org Writer is atrocious. A warning: please don’t ever mention Notepad to me. Ever. Any programmer who tries to use Notepad to code is either high or is not too bright.
I already know some of Vi, and am not too crazy about it. So am thinking I’ll go with Emacs for now. No comments for the Holy Editor Wars—I’m neutral for now.
Another thing that makes learning Emacs that much more enticing to me is Lisp. Emacs is totally customisable in its own dialect of Lisp, Emacs Lisp. Lisp is a truly beautiful language that I’m just wetting my toes on for now. Any chance to learn some more Lisp is not to be missed.
The dialect I’ll learn properly when I do get around to it will probably be Scheme. Whatever little I’ve seen makes me drool… There’s a free book online if anyone’s interested: Teach Yourself Scheme in Fixnum Days.