I’ve touched on using the Mac’s command line a few times over the years in my free, weekly MacTips:
I haven’t gone into it in much depth though because quite frankly I know very little about it myself.
I’ve read the odd thing here and there, and can copy and paste lines of code with the best of them, but I always struggle when trying to type instructions into the Terminal.
Now, finally, I’ve started reading a clear and well-written explanation that’s specific to Mac users. It’s one of the very fine Take Control series — Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal (US$10):
Learn how to release your inner geek!
If you’ve ever thought you should learn how to use the Unix command line that underlies Mac OS X, or felt at sea when typing commands into Terminal, Joe Kissell is here to help! This 111-page ebook will help you become comfortable working on the Mac’s command line, starting with the fundamentals and walking you through more advanced topics as your knowledge increases. And if you’re uncertain how to put your new-found skills to use, Joe includes numerous real-life “recipes” for tasks that are best done from the command line.
I’m supposed to be doing other things today, but after a dozen pages the temptation is very strong to just keep going.
Just yesterday I was trying to use the command line to list files on an external drive that was behaving erratically. I painstakingly listed a directory, changed directory, listed a directory, changed directory and so on. Very tedious! I imagine by the time I’ve read this book through I’ll know how to do it all with one quick and easy line of code.
The Take Control books have never let me down yet. I’m happy to have bought yet another in the series, in spite of operating on a very tight budget these days.