odd tricks and notes
  i've found strange "features" from time to time and sometimes after a five minute search, or literally five years later a solution has popped up. in an attempt to keep things together so i won't forget i've been meaning to write someting up, so here's the attempt. maybe it will be useful to someone else? maybe not... <g>

  dircolors: honestly, i hate directories that show up blue when you issue "ls". i've been using this DIR_COLORS for years and may have just copied it, or may have actually modified it. i honestly don't remember... <g>.
  termcap oddities: description coming soon... see termcap and the notes around the Eterm entries.
  hit backspace and you get "^H": the backspace key has always been a problem for me, and it's always been in one major place: elvis, the vi clone. and it only happens in x, using eterm. the console was fine, and in the xterm elvis was fine. in an eterm, without the fix, if i hit backspace, it just spit out "^H". so, for a long time i edited the elvis config files so it would behave. then i found that you could simply put this line in your shell rc (eg: .tcshrc/.bashrc/.cshrc):

stty erase ^H

this fixes the problem by changing term settings and setting the "^H" to "erase the last character typed" (see the man page). it's nice not to mess with config files...
  tcsh: TERM: Undefined variable: this one happened quite often, for years, when i ssh'd, scp'd, rsync'd via ssh and i just couldn't figure out why. from time to time i searched and found nothing. so, after awhile i was able to just ignore it. then, one day, in a 30 second search i found it!

if you get this error, check your shell rc file (.tcshrc/.cshrc etc). there is probably something like this tcsh example:
if ("$TERM" == "") setenv TERM linux
if ("$TERM" == "unknown") setenv TERM linux
turns out, the "if" statement isn't very happy if you're doing something that is a non-interactive session. like can be done via ssh or rsync. the solution? make sure TERM is defined:

if ("$?TERM") then
  if ("$TERM" == "") setenv TERM linux
  if ("$TERM" == "unknown") setenv TERM linux
before doing anything, we simply check to make sure TERM is defined, and if it is, then we move on. otherwise we don't do anything else and the error magically goes away. wow... (i found the answer in this discussion)

problems, questions? e-mail olmstead at tr1tium.com
this may have been useful...
last major update: 9/6/2016