I assume I'm looking for something like EDLIN (shudder) but haven't a clue
what that might be - I was looking forward to all the graphical stuff!

What editors do you have installed? Surely anything you have is better than EDLIN!

I've never used Debian myself. I tend to stick to FreeBSD, Linux is a little too progressive for me, But, on most Unix operating systems, there's a tool called "vi" that can be used to edit a text files that comes preinstalled with the OS.

For example, on FreeBSD I'd type this:

  vi /etc/X11/xorg.conf

(I have no idea if Debian uses the same location for the config file, or even whether you're using x.org vs XFree86)

"vi" is something of an acquired taste. If you're not familiar with it, you could get very frustrated by it. If you have it, you might try a different editor, like emacs or pico. Pico is very easy to use.

  pico /etc/X11/xorg.conf

But, I don't know if you have it installed. FreeBSD also comes with an editor named "ee" (which is short for "Easy Editor") preinstalled. That's very easy to use, but I don't think I've ever seen it in a Linux distro.

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