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Created January 10, 2012 07:59
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(l.i.v.i.n.g) (s.o.c.i.a.l) part 2 response

Sae Rom Hong

Open Source Tech Evangelist / Front End Designer How to Fall in Love with the Command Line

Imagine a mythical forest. This is a forest that at first, exists only in the invisible nth-dimension of your imagination. Just like Peter Pan's Neverland. This forest is the world of the Linux/Unix command line, and everything is enshrouded in a thick, black, darkness. The only remnants of light glow and flicker between walls of forward slashes, glittering periods, and blinking cursors.

Deep inside the forest hides an elusive silver unicorn. The unicorn flits in and out, behind thick trunks of trees, a hint of a mane trailing in the darkness. You have heard a rumor that it is possible to catch a glimpse of this unicorn, if you use a little “magic”.

Guardians of the forest, or “System Administrators”, have heard and understand your desire to catch a glimpse of this legendary unicorn, and instead of ushering you out have generously decided to help you along the way. The Guardians decide to give you a small map of little “spells”, or alternately, “commands” that magically do your bidding, simply in virtue of your “casting” these spells by typing the commands into a digital command prompt.

Patience, they whisper, as they sense your growing impatience. With practice comes expertise, they admonish. You blink and stare through the black mist, and bring the map up close to your eyes:

  • cd [destination] : change directory
  • mv [origin] [destination]: move
  • rm [stuff] : remove previous traces you left behind
  • man [spell] : reference manual, should you need to look up how to use a spell
  • / : center of the forest
  • . : your current location
  • .. : your previous location
  • pwd : reveals current location

You suddenly realize the generosity and hard work of the Guardians, as they seek to illuminate your way through the dark forest by creating little spells for you, even leaving glowing lanterns along the way should you get lost (“man [command]”).

Limit is 300 words. Contact/hire me for the next chapter, "Magic Wands: Vim and Emacs". :)

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