I somehow managed to never discover this until today. I was chatting with Ryan about myriad topics from spatial programming abstractions to distributed system consistency, but by far the bit of information that would most immediately and dramatically change my life forever was xterm-256color. Simply
export TERM=xterm-256color, and bam—you now have a rainbow of colors in Vim and Emacs. It should work right out of the box these days—it works for me in GNOME Terminal and Putty. Fantastic.
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