just how much can you do with?

Christopher Chaltain chaltain at gmail.com
Mon Mar 4 18:00:16 UTC 2013

Interesting, at my first job after graduate school in 1988, I was told 
to learn C and was given a copy of K&R in braille! I learned C on DOS 
with EdLin. After that, I moved on to OS/2, Windows, AIX and now Linux.

On 03/04/2013 11:51 AM, Martin McCormick wrote:
> 	I started my present job in March of 1990 and was told
> on the day I was hired that I was to learn C as in the C
> programming language, and Unix. There is no end to what there is
> to learn so you'll never catch up. I have done an average job of
> trying to learn about C and Unix but I was once in much the same
> spot as Karen finds herself. The difference is that it is much
> easier to find accessible information today than it was in 1990,
> actually 1989 when I was working here part-time.
> 	Even with the graphical interface, Unix is still a lot
> more cerebral than Windows since it is an operating system based
> on commands, numbers and words that happens to have a graphical
> interface added to it.
> 	Note, I've been saying Unix and not Linux and that is on
> purpose.
> 	Linux is but one flavor of Unix and I can remember being
> thrilled in about the year 2000 when I first got Linux going on
> a Dell Pentium that had previously run Windows95.
> 	I was afraid that Linux would be sort of a toy version
> of DOS but nothing could be further from the truth.
> 	Now for some specific advice on two unrelated things:
> 	Since you come from a DOS world, you are always the root
> user. In Unix this is called the superuser and you can pick any
> color cape you want to ware but it should be flashy and glow in
> the dark or something. You can add, delete and mess up anything
> on your system you desire as superuser. There is a much safer
> route to travel, however, and that is to be yourself as much as
> possible. You can still wreck your home directory all you want,
> but you aren't as likely to trash the operating system or to
> have to start all over or even reboot if you log in as you and
> then only become superuser when you must. That's thing number 1.
> 	The second thing since you mentioned perl regular
> expressions is to tell you that the keys to the Unix kingdom
> belong to the expert on regular expressions. Even after 23 years
> of this, I still keep learning about regular expressions because
> they are so, so useful.
> 	Don't let the perl part confuse you. Perl is a
> programming language that was put together by real brains in the
> field. It uses regular expressions but so do a huge number of
> other Unix applications that have nothing to do with perl.
> 	Regular expressions are lists of symbols such as
> [0-9a-f] and tons of other blobs of what might look at first
> like somebody's cat walked on the keyboard, but these blocks of
> what look like garbage are rules that determine whether or not
> text should be ignored, printed or modified. There is an older
> text editor called ed and if you do a man command on ed as in
> man ed
> on some systems, you will see a big discussion on the use of
> regular expressions. Also, you can use google to find countless
> articles on regular expressions and their use.
> 	You will amaze yourself eventually on how useful these
> things are.
> 	Well, enough rambling. I hope this helps. Just focus on
> one task at a time and don't try to eat the elephant in one
> sitting. It causes heart burn and most people can't eat that
> much elephant at once.
> Martin
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Christopher (CJ)
chaltain at Gmail

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