I love monospaced fonts

I don’t know why I love monospaced fonts.

Maybe it’s something to do with a dot matrix printer we had when I was a kid. Maybe it has to do with the DOS command prompt font, which I got to see when I was looking for the games folder to play Stunt Driver (helpfully renamed “carros.exe” by my dad), or Doom.

Maybe it’s got something to do with a typewriter or another that might’ve been laying around at my grandma’s place, but by the time I was using text editors in anger I was already choosing monospaced fonts. I clearly remember choosing Courier New for something or other as early as the late 90s. Was it on WordPerfect or MS Word? I can’t quite recall — probably Word.

Then I was programming a bit, right? So TurboPascal and TurboC++ were there, in their monospaced glory. And the VisualStudio 6.0 IDEs and the Borland Delphi IDE.

Even at that point the idea of different fonts didn’t really get into my head; I liked them, they were pleasant, and I’ve had a penchant for using monospaced every single time I got to choose a font. I thought less about fonts back then than, say, my high school buddy Miguel, who often chose Comic Sans.

In PowerPoint presentations I did use the trusty Courier New, though, although for the life of me I can’t remember what’s a high school student using PowerPoint for. We did do this business launch at some point as part of learning computer science, so at least for that I know we used it.

Some day I should write about my high school experience, which was rather unique.

Then at some point I discovered themes, probably with emacs. I am often a conservative user of technology, preferring to not deviate too much from stock configurations so as not to be in a weird state and… I don’t know, it’s a bit baseless these days, but you could brick a computer or just have it working in a very odd fashion back in the day.

Also at an early gig someone told me “if you use Netbeans and everyone uses Eclipse, how’re we going to be able to help you properly?” which cemented the desire for homogeneous team work environments, healthy or not, at that point.

Theming was a change for me. I didn’t even use to use many Winamp themes or MSN Messenger mods or Windows themes, unlike people around me. When I got into that it was too late; can’t get a proper “Legend of Zelda” (or whatever else) theme for Win10 or 11 or whatever we’re in now, vs what you could do in WinXP.

Then one day I was picking fonts. I can’t recall when it was, but I was installing fonts — Hack, IBM Plex, Jetbrains Mono, Droid Sans Mono, Fira, GitHub’s Monaspace families. It suddenly felt like I had a world of choices.

Out of them all, I really, really like IBM Plex. It was after that one was released that I found out Courier was also an IBM font, which is a weird thing; I’ve had a weird mental relationship with IBM, given culture and timing.

Ligatures are a mixed bag for me, at this point in time. I don’t like that depending on context I want some ligatures and not others. Maybe that’s a bit of the remaining reluctance to be in a weird borked state – which in itself, I just now thought, might be a reluctance to be doing stuff I don’t properly understand in my computer. Even if it’s not strictly true, I think it’s the best true-ish framing of that, so I’ll run with it.

So since ligatures are a mixed bag, I am in this weird spot where I use several of the JetBrains IDEs to configure each with the specifics for the language I’m working on. Even though it all could be done in one. Maybe I have some reluctance for other stuff, too? Fiddly confs that would take a long time to debug? Who knows.

Every system with a GUI I set up, I promptly make sure has Firefox and IBM Plex Mono. It plucks at my heartstrings.

On the other hand, almost all of the the Monaspace fonts make me feel uneasy. Given we’re mostly perception-beings with several co-processors, even if we mostly focus to the apparently-linear “focus” co-processor, I wonder the reason behind this all.