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Fear and Loathing at the Command Line

“Long ago, I lost any queasiness about the command line. I’m not
one of those who think it’s the only way to interact with their
computers, but it’s a rare day that I don’t use it three or four
times on my GNU/Linux system. No big deal–it’s just the easiest
way to do some administration tasks. Yet I’m very much aware that
my nonchalance is a minority reaction. To average users, the
suggestion that they use the command line–or the shell, or the
terminal, or whatever else you want to call it is only slightly
less welcome than the suggestion that they go out and deliberately
contract AIDS. It’s a reaction that seems compounded of equal parts
fear of the unknown, poor previous experiences, a terror of the
arcane, and a wish for instant gratification…”


Complete Story