Thursday, November 20, 2008

Command Line Life v2.0

In reference to an earlier blog post I thought I might expound on my use of the command line and explain to how addictive it can become when you finally get your "rig" set up.

This bug, itch as it were, is a hard one to kill. Once you get it, very difficult to completely remove. It could be that it is comfortable for some aspects of your computer experience, yet not something you can completely embrace. But for most, with the resources, this CLI (Command Line Interface) is addictive and efficient.

I've seen better men succumb to the influence of the command line. Some fall in love over the security, others for the low bandwidth usage. Some come to love the responsiveness, others it's efficiency of execution.

In this post, I intend to list the applications (not just file commands) that I use in my command line arsenal to keep my focus on the terminal window. I should confess first so that it is clear to understand that I use terminator and screen (inside of terminator) to have many of these programs running simultaneously.

I have a terminator window open full-screen and split into two vertical windows. In the first I launch mutt for email. Then in the second, I use screen to launch in the first session irssi for irc and then a ssh connection to my remote server in the second. I leave the third free in the case I need to use any of the other command line tools.

I like to use cmatrix on a fourth session to use as kind of a "boss-key" which most just ignore instead of trying to understand. I wish to be perfectly clear that learning all of the keyboard commands for screen and terminator are important for making efficient use of these tools. Practice makes perfect and if you wish to be proficient, you should practice the keystrokes until they come without thinking about it much.

So here is the list of apps that I've used, currently use or have had recommended to me;

a2ps - printing
vlock -- a lock for the CLI (tty)
cmatrix -- a screen saver
vifm -- my favorite file manager
ncftp -- FTP client
antiword -- converts Word .DOC files to text
screen -- console multi-tasking
sipcalc -- IP calculator
cal - calendar
irssi - irc client
centerim - cli IM client, multiprotocol
mutt - email client
alpine - mail app
**fetchmail -d 60 -keep (get mail, check every 60 sec, leave on server)
**this is needed since for POP3 mail isn't collected by the mail apps above.
w3m - web browser
elinks - web browser
wget - web download
newsbeuter - RSS feed reader

Add comments with your favorite command line application.


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