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[vox-tech] printing manpages and really temporary variables
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[vox-tech] printing manpages and really temporary variables



a few months ago i stumbled on something useful.  maybe other people
will find it useful too.

often i want to print manpages in very small font.  using enscript -f
Courier7, usually.

but doing so is a paper waster unless you start resizing the xterm since
by default, you'll get 80 characters per column.  to get the full width
of my printer, i use:

COLUMNS=120 man latex2rtf | enscript -f Courier7 -o /tmp/blah;  gv /tmp

i just learned about the first part of this recently.  apparently, when
you say:

   $ VAR=value program

VAR contains the value "value" until bash prints the next command line
prompt (i don't know how else to say this).  like this:

   $ VAR=value program    # VAR=value while program runs
   $                      # VAR no longer equals value

it's especially nice for using with, say, dpkg because doing this
doesn't upset the real value of COLUMNS.  for instance:


p@satan$ dpkg -l "tetex-base"
+++-==============-==============-============================================
ii  tetex-base     1.0.2+20011202 basic teTeX library files


p@satan$ COLUMNS=100 dpkg -l "tetex-base"
+++-===================-===================-======================================================
ii  tetex-base          1.0.2+20011202-3    basic teTeX library files


p@satan$ dpkg -l "tetex-base"
+++-==============-==============-============================================
ii  tetex-base     1.0.2+20011202 basic teTeX library files

the last one illustrates that COLUMNS is no longer equal to 100.  of
course, you could always resize the xterm to re-establish the value of
COLUMNS, but this way you don't have to.

anyway, i found this to be very useful...

pete

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