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Re: [K12OSN] Advocacy in Curriculum



On Dec 20, 2006, at 1:53 PM, Robert Arkiletian wrote:

There are some great Orielly and Sams Teach Yourself books on Unix. As
well as online stuff like tldp.org. Anyone have other suggestions?

Unix for the Beginning Mage is cute:

http://dl.cyberciti.biz/unix_for_the_beginning_mage/uftbm.pdf


Todd

P.S. I think you can teach command line stuff as soon as they can
type fast enough that it's not frustrating. The key, though, is
motivation. They're not going to want to use the command line to do
something they can do easier with the GUI. Finding tasks that are
easier with a few typed commands would be key to making it
interesting for students.

This is a common misconception. The Unix command line IS the most
powerful human interface ever. Just sit beside some Linux gurus and
you will see. I like to compare it to a light saber. Hard to learn but
once proficient, watch out. Since I teach python programming AND
linux. I make it clear that GUI programs are fine but how can you
script mouse movements and clicks. You can't! But you can script
anything you can do on the command line with system calls. So my
students know that the stuff they are learning on the command line
will enhance/extend their programming ability.

Kids today are addicted to the mouse. The key is to teach them how to
use the terminal and keyboard efficiently. I sometimes tell them to
put their mouses on top of their computers so they are forced to use
the keyboard. Soon they realize (TAB-TAB) how much faster they work.
But in the beginning it's tough to break the mouse GUI habit.

Let me clarify. I agree with you that command-line tools are much more powerful, but you have to get over the "Why do I have to do all this typing if I can just click?" mentality. Scripting is a very good way to do that, and Python's a terrific language to use. My guess is that grep, ssh, and some other powertools are a good place to start.

Todd


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