Do you have a nice customized shell and environment? Do you have a wonderful prompt that displays your current working directory and username? Does it change your terminal window name when you login?
Do you have aliases set up so that things like oem_setup_env or ls –la are as easy as typing "oe" and "ll"? Is your PATH variable set so that you don't have to explicitly enter the path to the command you're trying to run? Are your favorite settings and commands--like "set –o vi," "stty erase^" or rm asking you if you really want to delete that file--all ready to run when you login?
Like anyone, I love having the same prompts, scripts and tools available across all of the LPARs I manage. This gives me the same familiar look and feel each time I login to my machines. I'm sure you can relate. When you work for a company you can set things up the way you want--at least as far as your own user ID is concerned. Of course, customizing your team's root login usually involves some level of compromise when multiple admins are involved. How do you decide which customizations will run with the root ID?
As a consultant, much of my work these days involves others' machines. The various sites I travel to are all customized to others' specifications. I cannot just login and change things to fit my preferences. In fact, when I do new OS installs, I generally don't have anything other than defaults to work with anyway. I always figure I'll need to login and quickly run "set –o vi." That's usually the minimum of what I need to get by (although "stty erase ^?" is a close second on many systems). I just need to be sure to periodically run "uname –a" and pwd so that I know which system I'm on and which filesystem I'm in.
This is my job of course, but these experiences are nowhere as nice as working my own machines and having the prompt setup to give me the information I need in the manner that I like no matter where I am. However, facing the unfamiliar isn't all bad. I've picked up good ideas from the customers I visit, and sometimes they borrow some of my customization preferences.
I assume most of you work in one environment. How do you customize it? Engage me in a thought experiment: What if your favorite tools and scripts weren't always available to you? What are the first things you like to add to a new system? Are you so set in your ways that you'd freak out working in a bare-bones new install environment?