In Samoa, when elementary schools were first established, the natives developed an absolute craze for arithmetical calculations. They laid aside their weapons and were to be seen going about armed with slate and pencil, setting sums and problems to one another and to European visitors. The Honourable Frederick Walpole declares that his visit to the beautiful island was positively embittered by ceaseless multiplication and division.-R. BriffaultThis document was not written to cause you to relive the experience of native Samoans or cause those around you to better empathize with Frederick Walpole. Rather, it was prepared to help acquaint new users with Unix and vi and provide a quick reference for me in case I forgot a how to do something. Although much of the material contained within this document has the same tantalizing appeal of arithmetic, please try to contain your excitement. This document is a chronicle of my adventures in the proverbial wonderland of Unix. Admittedly, minimal effort was made to accommodate a more diverse audience. It focuses on items which were of particular interest to me.
As our world draws closer and closer to its date with total randomness1 things will change. It should not shock you to find that some of the things contained in this paper are no longer true. Try to deal with it.
It is a profoundly erroneous truism, repeated by all copy-books and by eminent people when they are making speeches, that we should cultivate the habit of thinking of what we are doing. The precise opposite is the case. Civilization advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Operations of thought are like cavalry charges in a battle-they are strictly limited in number, they require fresh horses, and must only be made at decisive moments.
2 Assuming you are not sitting by yourself.
3 For those of you who are easily persuaded, please don't take this paragraph too seriously.
© 1993-1998 Christopher C. Taylor