Syntax highlighting is working for me now. The error was in the vimrc file I copied from another system. It set runtimepath to point at vim63 instead of vim61. Vim on dreamhost knows where to look without setting the runtimepath in one’s own vimrc, so I deleted the line. Problem solved.
Given the impetus by your message, I trimmed my vimrc down to its essentials. It now reads as follows:
[code]" Personal configuration file for vim
As you can see, all of the “different from vi” settings are included. I have tabstop and expandtab set for Python. I tried out “set title” after seeing it in your post and it seems useful enough so I’ve added it.
I’m too used to vim’s colors when bg=light to switch to bg=dark, even though I’m probably damaging my eyes squinting at the shadowy letters on the screen. Oh well.