Why everybody should try terminal programs?
First of all, I am a big fan of terminal programs. They are light, they usually built for one specific task, and they are keyboard based, which is perfectly tied how I like to use my computer.
In this post I share my thoughts about why everybody at least should try to use sometimes the terminal and some of my favorite programs I like to use on a daily bases.
First a little background about me. I grew up in a family where books are valued above every entertainment. Despite growing up in a country where we had - well I was born a little later - one day of television broadcast a week. Books were still special. We can say that we have a mini library. My mom had a typewriter that I was very interested in early an, and I learned to type on that. Later when computer and keyboards become the norm, I had no problem to use them in a faster than average way. I still don't know how to touch type properly, but I am probably can beat the world average - if that exist, hehe.
I always loved typing, and I love that I don't have to look down, to write.
I also excelled at learning some of the computer stuff. My learning started with MS-DOS, so my keyboard knowledge came in handy, since it involved lots of typing.
I switched to Linux in 2006, and despite of having some really cool desktop environments (to this day Gnome 2 and KDE 3 would be perfectly usable, but we need to reinvent the wheel every decadesm because we get bored otherwise), but I quickly realized that learning terminal stuff is very useful. So I did learn some stuff.
Why you should try using the terminal?
Terminal is a written, command-based environment. Unlike in a graphical interface, where we can accidently delete a lots of things, just by dragging, in the terminal you have to know the commands and their possibilities to do things.
People always afraid of something old, or misunderstood. Terminal is like that, but people don't like it, because they have to learn it. Also we are visual creatures, and it might be easier to learn in a visual environment.
Terminal is NOT difficult
If you are a Linux user, pull up a terminal now. You can search for it, and usually your DE has its own terminal.
You will get a prompt, something like this:
username@hostname ~ $
It is basically an ID, where we can see what user we logged in, the machine name, which is more important if we are using a network (like at work or in school). The ~ is the sign that we are in our home directory, and the dollar sign tell us, we are a normal user, and not root. Now this prompt can be vary, because we can customize that, and if you are on your own computer, you probably don't need that much.