VectorLinux

The Vectorian Lounge => The Lounge => Topic started by: youngtomedison on December 06, 2007, 08:59:19 am

Title: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: youngtomedison on December 06, 2007, 08:59:19 am
An early-80s ad for Apple's Macintosh showed an office worker attempting to use an IBM-PC (8086) running MS-DOS. He types something. The machine flashes "SYNTAX ERROR". He tries to re-enter the same command two more times, gets the same error message. Then he freaks out, produces a chainsaw from under his desk and chops the machine in two.

That's how I feel about having to use command lines.

When I first learned to use computers, the weak processors and primitive operating systems of that day wouldn't support graphical user interfaces. The command line interface was all there was. It relied heavily on rote memorization, something I'm not very good at. For applications and functions which I used often, it wasn't such a big problem. For seldom-used functions or when software was changed, it often meant that I had to drop everything and call a proctor, or plow through a virtually-unreadable software manual (unfortunately, good programmers weren't always good writers). Sometimes I went crazy trying to figure out why a complex command kept resulting in error messages, only to find that the problem was a misplaced period or space. Or that the argument needed a comma before it. Or a slash after it. Or some other stupid syntax issue.

Then came the menu-driven applications, and the graphical user interfaces, first the incredible MAC-OS, then the much less elegant but still functional MS Windows. What a relief! Instead of having to carry complex instructions in my head, I could click on a menu and find out how to perform a given task.

I started using Linux just this year after years of using Windows. I switched because of the horror that is Windows Vista. I decided that I had had enough of Microsoft's concentration on "wow" (and DRM) at the expense of functionality and dependability. The graphical environments in which Linux functions, like KDE or Fluxbox, are mighty impressive. It's hard to believe that something which functions just as well as or better than Windows could come from a co-operative community of amateur, semi-pro and professional programmers, all working hard to promote computer literacy in the best way possible - by making it possible for people who don't have scads of money to blow on software to have access to personal computing on a first-class level, not a bare-bones level. Revolution OS indeed!

My sole complaint is that certain functions, including some fairly critical ones, must still be accessed in the command-line environment.

Don't get me wrong. Command lines do have their uses. But not for nothing did Apple and Microsoft develop their respective GUI's. Each time I have to use the command-line, it's like I'm back in programming class all over again (which I suppose I am), with a very understanding Linux-junkie friend in the role of proctor. It is dismaying to have to try and set the parameters for my sound system using the primitive, DOS-like user interface of the ALSA mixer, or to have to open the terminal because the appropriate function in the GUI doesn't quite do the job that I need done. And a lot of documentation, on and off-line, is still written in such a way that my mind cannot quite get around it.

I love Linux, I'm glad there are people out there who are taking positive action against Microsoft's virtual monopoly, and I certainly prefer the community of Linux users and developers to the indifferent-to-nonexistent "customer service" departments of most hardware and software companies. But I still wish that I didn't have to cross that time-warp back to the bad old days of computing each time I have to perform a certain task or change a certain setting not accessible through the GUI.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: nightflier on December 06, 2007, 09:25:29 am
Many of us understand the frustrations of the command line.

At the same time, once we learn to use it, the command line becomes a welcome and powerful tool. A lot of tasks are quicker accomplished this way. Also, it is much easier to help some out when you can give them commands to type, or even better: copy and paste, into a terminal.

GUI and TUI are not mutually exclusive. Most Linux users use both.

For most tasks you can find a GUI tool. However, if you want to keep your system lean and fast, some CLI knowledge will be required.

I was reading that Windows Server 2008 will come with a groundbreaking new feature: the ability to boot into text mode. Now that's progress!
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: exeterdad on December 06, 2007, 09:56:09 am
I do agree the command line can be hard at times.  Especially the rarely used commands.  I just don't have the memory I used to, so I quickly forget useful commands or combinations of commands. Thank goodness for Google.

But I don't know how there could be a GUI that mimicks all of these commands as the command combinations are unlimited.  You may come up with a command or a combo of commands to do a very specialized task.  That would be one heck of a GUI to handle all the possibilities.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: lagagnon on December 06, 2007, 11:28:44 am
That would be one heck of a GUI to handle all the possibilities.
Exactly. Or it would take 1 minute of moving and clicking the mouse for what might be accomplished in 10 seconds on the keyboard. Numerous examples abound. However, you're right, it takes effort to learn all the command possibilities.  :)
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 06, 2007, 01:06:43 pm
I never studied programming. It's something I've never had the slightest interest in, though I certainly appreciate the efforts and admire the skills of those who make it possible to use a computer to do things we didn't even dream of back in the old days. Yet I don't mind the command line and in some cases prefer it.

Being not particularly technical, I can't remember all that syntax. However, in Linux we do have -h or --help we can type after a command and find some usage rules and examples. There are also man pages for most commands, and while they usually go over my head very quickly, I can find the snippet I need for the command I want to run. If we don't know what command we want, we can type something like
apropos move
and get a list of commands that have something to do with moving things. If we don't know where a command is, we can do
locate
or
which
or
whereis
followed by the name of the command.

I must mention that you can also find syntax help for Windows command-line commands. I don't think we had it back in 1987, but it's been available for several years.

My first computer (1987) came with MS-DOS 3.2. Not too long after I got that computer, some programs called shells started coming out. These gave you a screen something like Midnight Commander's and you could manage your files by highlighting and pressing a key combination or function key and some also had a menu for starting your programs. These shells made things a lot easier for the memory- and syntactically-challenged user like me.

Midnight Commander is my faithful friend in managing Linux. It makes it much easier for me to copy files, move files, delete files, change ownership and permissions, create symlinks, edit files, look inside files, and manage groups of files at once. I've never been that fond of Thunar or Konqueror because to me they're clumsier than Midnight Commander.

I'm surprised you find Alsamixer "primitive." I mean, it has a picture and it couldn't possibly be easier to move the bars up and down.

I'm not a Microsoft basher and Microsoft has nothing to do with my preference for VectorLinux as my main operating system. I use Linux because I think it's much more fun than Windows. My laptop has Vista and I certainly don't find it to be a "horror." In fact, I've had zero problems with it, all my hardware except for an old QuickCam is compatible including four printers, one of which goes back to 1993, and nearly all my old software works fine (this includes Win 3.1 programs going back to the early '90s). The hardware requirements are hefty, though. I didn't even look at laptops that had less than 2 gigs of RAM and 64-bit dual-core processors. But so what? The laptop actually cost less than one I bought in 2003 and has much better specs.

While I think our user community here is terrific and a strong reason for using VectorLinux, I hasten to point out that there are some very good user-to-user forums for Windows users and you're not at the mercy of "indifferent-to-nonexistent 'customer service' departments."

Linux is about choice. There are distros whose announced goal is to make the command line totally unnecessary. Those who hate command lines could go to one of them and be happily at home. It doesn't look as if VectorLinux will go there and I'm glad. If I'm using Linux, I like to use "real Linux," not a Linux so jazzed up that a Windows or Mac user might never notice it's a different operating system.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: bigpaws on December 06, 2007, 01:14:57 pm
Your points are well made. If I may offer an insight
into why GUI is not the answer in Linux or Leopard.

First MAC has alot of command line tools available.

The tools that are available can have 10 or more switches
available. How would you develop a GUI to solve that
problem.   

There are those that feel that CLI should be
eliminated. I am not sure it is possible since in its'
current state Linux is all CLI with a GUI sitting on
top of it. It could be done, MS did it but not too many
are interested in repeating MS mistakes.

Your rant appears to be saying that Linux should be
more like Windows. So the question is why?
Linux is not like Windows in philosophy, principle
or design.

Bigpaws
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 06, 2007, 04:39:45 pm
I'm not a Microsoft basher and Microsoft has nothing to do with my preference for VectorLinux as my main operating system. I use Linux because I think it's much more fun than Windows. My laptop has Vista and I certainly don't find it to be a "horror." In fact, I've had zero problems with it, all my hardware except for an old QuickCam is compatible including four printers, one of which goes back to 1993, and nearly all my old software works fine (this includes Win 3.1 programs going back to the early '90s). The hardware requirements are hefty, though. I didn't even look at laptops that had less than 2 gigs of RAM and 64-bit dual-core processors. But so what? The laptop actually cost less than one I bought in 2003 and has much better specs.

Well, resources here on Earth are ultimately finite and Windows (especially Vista) leaves less room for using applications. I don't want the software I use to waste most of the hardware I throw at it. A lot of my classmates here at college have had pretty bad experiences with Vista and I don't care for it at all.

Returning to the subject of the OP, I daresay that some distributions are more inclined towards the Windows approach. I have remained faithful to Vector in spite of its flaws because I find it to be an easier version of Slackware (which is command-line centric), because it is very lean and, most importantly, because the community is great. Your mileage may vary. Mainstream distributions such as Ubuntu and SuSE, for example, might be more appropriate for someone who is accustomed to the Windows way of doing things.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: nightflier on December 06, 2007, 08:53:37 pm
youngtomedison, I give you credit for giving Linux a try even if you prefer to avoid the command line. Sounds like you won't let that scare you off!

Stick with it, it will be worth the effort.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 06, 2007, 09:59:31 pm
youngtomedison, I give you credit for giving Linux a try even if you prefer to avoid the command line. Sounds like you won't let that scare you off!

Stick with it, it will be worth the effort.

Before long, youngtomedison will be able to make ASCII characters dance like flaming moths and will wonder why he ever doubted the value of the command line.  ;D
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Freston on December 07, 2007, 03:47:06 am
Quote from: hanumizzle
Before long, youngtomedison will be able to make ASCII characters dance like flaming moths and will wonder why he ever doubted the value of the command line.
ROFL

--

It's the combo of CLI and GUI that is the winning combination. Sure! The CLI takes a long time to learn. But if you realize the CLI has ~2500 commands, each of which has multiple options and they can be used in combination as well.... If you where to design a graphical interface for that it would become so complex in it's own right....

You know, sometimes it bothers me to do something in the GUI 'cuz I just can't find the button I need to click. Sometimes the CLI bothers me because I cannot decide which flag to raise.
And I'll be darn if I have ever been able to remember the flags needed to extract the different archive formats from within the CLI. I actually solved that by making a script called <howtar> which echo's a list of options. And the next time I'm gonna extract an archive I'm gonna test my homebrew script <atar> which decides which flags to use automagically. *sigh* I just can't memorize them...
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: rbistolfi on December 07, 2007, 04:52:53 am
There is no possible gui to beat pipes and such. The thing is, what we call 'the command line', is a very powerful language, and innumerable things can be done with it a gui can't. O f course, in the other hand we have the learning curve.
I think vl has the perfect balance respecting gui / cli usage. You could spend month without viewing a terminal, and you could view it only when other forum member ask for it and tell you what to write.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: nightflier on December 07, 2007, 05:57:12 am
What I also soon found out, is that the Linux shell is a far cry from ye olde DOS. It is a modern and maintained tool with features like auto-complete, scroll capability, editable history, copy/paste,  clickable links and no need to hunt for that darn backslash, which has no standard keyboard location.

I will admit that documentation is not the greatest, though. Without internet search, I could not do Linux.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: uelsk8s on December 07, 2007, 06:21:59 am
Quote from: hanumizzle
Before long, youngtomedison will be able to make ASCII characters dance like flaming moths and will wonder why he ever doubted the value of the command line.
ROFL

--

It's the combo of CLI and GUI that is the winning combination. Sure! The CLI takes a long time to learn. But if you realize the CLI has ~2500 commands, each of which has multiple options and they can be used in combination as well.... If you where to design a graphical interface for that it would become so complex in it's own right....

You know, sometimes it bothers me to do something in the GUI 'cuz I just can't find the button I need to click. Sometimes the CLI bothers me because I cannot decide which flag to raise.
And I'll be darn if I have ever been able to remember the flags needed to extract the different archive formats from within the CLI. I actually solved that by making a script called <howtar> which echo's a list of options. And the next time I'm gonna extract an archive I'm gonna test my homebrew script <atar> which decides which flags to use automagically. *sigh* I just can't memorize them...
archive formats
Guess what? Tar is smart enough to figure them out by itself. just leave the flag for the different archive formats off. "tar xvf" works on everything i've ever thrown at it.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 07, 2007, 06:26:41 am
It's the combo of CLI and GUI that is the winning combination. Sure! The CLI takes a long time to learn. But if you realize the CLI has ~2500 commands, each of which has multiple options and they can be used in combination as well.... If you where to design a graphical interface for that it would become so complex in it's own right....

Perhaps, but everyone uses only a very small subset of those commands. According to the bash directive 'history', I only use something like two dozen commands on a regular basis.

And the next time I'm gonna extract an archive I'm gonna test my homebrew script <atar> which decides which flags to use automagically. *sigh* I just can't memorize them...

It's an agglutinating grammar, basically.

tar xvf something.tar/something.tar.gz/something.tar.bz2

x - extract
v - be verbose (i.e., print out files)
f - use following file

IMO, it's best to learn the command line switches for tar if you don't use something like KDE's Ark (which is pretty good)
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: BlueMage on December 07, 2007, 06:31:27 am
Well, like GrannyGeek, I both use Vista and am disinclined to bash it (truth be told, I love it - it works beautifully and looks even better) but there are times I despair its lack of CLI, which I have become quite fond of in VL.  Using multiple desktops, I frequently have at least one desktop devoted solely to a CLI.  Additionally, I generally find all the help I need for most commands in the man pages - what I can't find, the community here is quick to provide.  Of course, the community can't always help (my laptop cardreader srsly u guys >:( ) but in those instances, it just means I have to dig.  And by digging, one learns.

Fun and games all 'round.

And no, I likely will never give up Windows entirely - I still play too many games (and DirectX10 games look jaw-droppingly AWESOME)
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: kidd on December 07, 2007, 06:53:57 am
CLI junkie here,  so my opinion may be biased (whose is not :).
GUI interfaces are more 'user friendly' than CLI,  that's for sure, but having to trim what appears on the menus make imossible doing some specific things. Without knowing where to find the correct checkbox, hidden inside a tabbed 'option' window with 10 tabs inside (MsWord Tools->Options...).

Unfortunately, most GUI applications are designed only with a 5 minutes learning curve in mind, so if you plan to use a program intensively, you cannot do much to improve your experience apart from learning all that Alt-someKey (Photoshop users use that all the time).  As you get more 'professional' with a tool, you tend to memorize the actions and their relations with keybindings, that's the way everybody does.  But here, some problems arise:

- Your function does not have a predefined keybinding and you would like to have it. (I remember me doing things like Alt-i,o,Return,Tab,Tab,space,Alt-F4)

- Version changes, interface changes.

CLI apps, seem to be more robust, and the hability to script them is a great feature for me.
As CLI is made with keyboard in mind, programs seem to be more configurable, so you can say CLI is more flexible than GUI (Strange assertion,eh?)

Linux Command line may have 2500 commands, but you rarely need more than 20. If you don't use them, they don't bother you. However, GUI shows you 'all the fish', and you have to visually choose what do you want to do.

As said, at first it's intuitive and easy, but for me I prefer to minimize my usage of the mouse because I find it being the bottleneck in my Human-Computer interface.  Example:

You want to start firefox.
Option1: Fetch the mouse, click the right menu button (every distro has its own 'menu logic'), glance the menu for available options,click submenu, find the right icon (if it's iceweasel, the icon will be blue, ff has the red one), click.
Option2: Alt-F2, firefox, Return

Once you get used to it, CLI is pretty fast, and once you learn it well, you can change distros without decrementing your productivity.

As said before, tab helps you a lot in the console completing files (and more if you have it properly configured), man will help you with commands and flags.

An example to pick out your interest (try to do it in a GUI):
Say you want to get every pdf file in a given url, following the links to other urls (deepness 1) , spanning domains, but without going to parent site (only go down), and leaving your files only in one directory (not spanned in the different directories it finds the files).  Being a polite websurfer, we'll wait 5 seconds between our download requests.

wget -r -l1 -H -t1 -nd -N -np -A pdf -w5  www.foobar.com
 
Credit goes to jeff veen ( http://www.veen.com ) and fravia (http://www.fravia.com (http://www.fravia.com))

Obviously I don't remember this string by heart, but knowing it can do those amazing things,  is good to start diving into it.

Hope it hasn't been too long .

Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 07, 2007, 11:46:03 am
Well, like GrannyGeek, I both use Vista and am disinclined to bash it (truth be told, I love it - it works beautifully and looks even better) but there are times I despair its lack of CLI, which I have become quite fond of in VL.

Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

Even with my limited use, I've discovered that the XP/Vista command line does autocomplete (by tab) and history ( up arrow key), which are basically all I care about. Also copy and paste, but that's been available since Win 95 at least.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 07, 2007, 11:53:36 am
And I'll be darn if I have ever been able to remember the flags needed to extract the different archive formats from within the CLI. I actually solved that by making a script called <howtar> which echo's a list of options. And the next time I'm gonna extract an archive I'm gonna test my homebrew script <atar> which decides which flags to use automagically. *sigh* I just can't memorize them...

I just highlight the file in Midnight Commander, hit F2, and it's easy from there. I don't have to remember anything.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 07, 2007, 12:06:02 pm
Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

I've used them and, while the addition of tab completion is better, it's still not as good as the possibilities of bash or zsh. For example, the extra bash completion that comes standard on Knoppix (and should on Vector, IMO) will circumscribe file completion matches to the kinds of files that are used by the program. So, for example, 'gv' would match .ps, .ps.gz and .pdf files IIRC. The syntax for programming constructs in the Windoze shell is also pretty tedious compared to (relatively) compact forms like for i in list; do yada; yada; yada; done.

Linux Command line may have 2500 commands, but you rarely need more than 20. If you don't use them, they don't bother you. However, GUI shows you 'all the fish', and you have to visually choose what do you want to do.

Yes, I would much rather think about a concise language where the images are in my head and thus easier to manipulate than pick them out on the screen. That's one reason I stopped using LyX in favor of straight LaTeX because formatting mathematics is a major pain in the ass in LyX. I'd enter the Math Menu, click on the integral sign, click on super-script, click on...arghhh!!!! and then get something that didn't look right at the end. Ironically, with LaTeX I get a high-level overview of how the document will look in DVI or PDF form and so can visualize the result without much distractions.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 07, 2007, 12:53:29 pm
You want to start firefox.
Option1: Fetch the mouse, click the right menu button (every distro has its own 'menu logic'), glance the menu for available options,click submenu, find the right icon (if it's iceweasel, the icon will be blue, ff has the red one), click.

That is certainly the worst-case scenario. I hardly ever use the desktop menu ("Start" menu). In fact, I remove it from the Panel. In XFce's Settings manager, I set up a margin on one side of the screen for Fullscreen so that a sliver of the desktop background shows there. Then when I need the desktop menu for something I don't use much, I right-click on the background sliver. I also remove the Pager because a middle-click on the background sliver shows the Workspaces and what's running in them. I remove the Show Desktop icon because Control-Alt-d toggles to the desktop and back. In XFce I use what amounts to a QuickLaunch bar. All the applications I use regularly are under 8 icons of my choice on the left of the XFce Panel. The way it comes by default in VL is pretty much a waste of space unless you never use anything but Thunar, a text editor, and the default browser. But if you add your applications in the proper category, you just click on the main icon or on the little arrow to the right and then on the desired application's icon. No right clicks, submenus, yada-yada. Easier than Alt-F2. It takes a few minutes to set up your launch bar to your needs and preferences, but once done you don't have to do it again.

If I'm using the same version of VL on another computer, I just copy my ~/.config directory from one computer to another after I've customized it on the first computer. I do this *before* I start XFce for the first time and it comes up all set with my preferred background and settings already in place.

Just as there are ways to get good with the CLI, there are ways to make the GUI more efficient and more suited to the way someone likes to work. A lot of users just aren't very good at customizing their graphical interfaces. They don't know keyboard shortcuts and don't know how to organize things so it's easier to find what they're looking for. I'd rather spend a few minutes learning how to customize things to my liking than suffer every single day because the only thing I know is how to point and click.

Quote
An example to pick out your interest (try to do it in a GUI):
Say you want to get every pdf file in a given url, following the links to other urls (deepness 1) , spanning domains, but without going to parent site (only go down), and leaving your files only in one directory (not spanned in the different directories it finds the files).  Being a polite websurfer, we'll wait 5 seconds between our download requests.

wget -r -l1 -H -t1 -nd -N -np -A pdf -w5  www.foobar.com

Well, I can't envision myself every needing to do such a thing. :) However, on the nonexistent chance I might want to, I'd copy that elaborate command to a Tuxcards file I have with computer tips. Then if I need to use it, I copy it and paste it into a terminal. Not only saves me memorizing or figuring out the syntax, but prevents typing errors.

The CLI commands I use the most are df -h, locate, man, mcedit, installpkg, and wget. I use Midnight Commander for most file management, including copy, move, chown, chmod, rename (same as move), extracting archives, looking inside files, making directories, and making symlinks. I haven't found any graphical file managers I like as well as MC.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: easuter on December 07, 2007, 01:04:28 pm
Quote from: GrannyGeek
Well, I can't envision myself every needing to do such a thing. Smiley However, on the nonexistent chance I might want to, I'd copy that elaborate command to a Tuxcards file I have with computer tips. Then if I need to use it, I copy it and paste it into a terminal. Not only saves me memorizing or figuring out the syntax, but prevents typing errors.

There must be a gold mine of knowledge in those Tuxcards by now  :D

Quote from: hanumizzle
I stopped using LyX in favor of straight LaTeX because formatting mathematics is a major pain in the ass in LyX. I'd enter the Math Menu, click on the integral sign, click on super-script, click on...arghhh!!!! and then get something that didn't look right at the end. Ironically, with LaTeX I get a high-level overview of how the document will look in DVI or PDF form and so can visualize the result without much distractions.

I also dropped LyX (and latex for that matter, for now). I simply use OO's math editor. MathML is pretty easy. You can click to get what you want, but after reading a few tutorials and seeing some examples, its a lot faster to simply type the stuff by hand.

This takes a few seconds by hand:

Code: [Select]
size -1 {%sigma = sqrt {{%SIGMA csup N csub i=1 (T_i - T csup "_")^2 } over {N(N-1)}}}
I wouldn't even bother trying if I had to point and click to get that done!
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 07, 2007, 01:21:06 pm
This takes a few seconds by hand:

Code: [Select]
size -1 {%sigma = sqrt {{%SIGMA csup N csub i=1 (T_i - T csup "_")^2 } over {N(N-1)}}}
I wouldn't even bother trying if I had to point and click to get that done!

It looks a little redundant, but I guess that's nice. Good luck with university courses!!
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: easuter on December 07, 2007, 01:52:39 pm
Yeah, its just an example. I haven't had to do any very large scale typesetting (yet!)  ;)
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: BlueMage on December 07, 2007, 04:34:10 pm
Well, like GrannyGeek, I both use Vista and am disinclined to bash it (truth be told, I love it - it works beautifully and looks even better) but there are times I despair its lack of CLI, which I have become quite fond of in VL.

Have you tried Run...cmd? Vista actually has a pretty rich command line that goes way beyond the old DOS command line. I know people who are real Vista command-line junkies. I'm not among them, but if CLI is your thing, you can do more with it in Vista (and XP) than you might expect.

Even with my limited use, I've discovered that the XP/Vista command line does autocomplete (by tab) and history ( up arrow key), which are basically all I care about. Also copy and paste, but that's been available since Win 95 at least.
--GrannyGeek

Quite aware of that - I use it fairly frequently, espeically when network debugging.  And yes, I know it's expanded from Vista to XP.  I guess I've just gotten used to how further "expanded" CLI in linux is.

But then, as I'm sure I've mentioned, I also like eye-candy, so the GUI gets plenty of love from me.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: toothandnail on December 07, 2007, 05:31:01 pm
I just highlight the file in Midnight Commander, hit F2, and it's easy from there. I don't have to remember anything.

 ;D You do like to do things the hard way. I just highlight an archive in MC, hit return so I can navigate through the files using MC's virtual file system. I can then use F3 to view a file within the archive, or highlight a file and use F5 to extract it to the path shown in the opposite pane.

I don't know how anyone can survive without MC. Well, certainly, how anyone as lazy as I am can survive without it...

paul.


Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: rbistolfi on December 07, 2007, 05:36:12 pm
I love mc as well, but I want to point is a gui, it just not needs X, and is very keyboard friendly, but the concept of the user interface is graphical. A damn good one, btw.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 08, 2007, 07:45:43 am
I love mc as well, but I want to point is a gui, it just not needs X, and is very keyboard friendly, but the concept of the user interface is graphical. A damn good one, btw.

MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: kidd on December 08, 2007, 08:04:09 am
MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

I used vifm for some time, but finally went back to pure bash/zsh file managing system :)
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 08, 2007, 02:39:21 pm
MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

Explain, please. I don't know what a virtual file system is (and I think I don't want to know, either :) ). I've also never noticed such a thing in Midnight Commander.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 08, 2007, 04:05:59 pm
MC's virtual filesystem is very nice. Too bad I generally find file managers too clumsy to use otherwise.

Explain, please. I don't know what a virtual file system is (and I think I don't want to know, either :) ). I've also never noticed such a thing in Midnight Commander.
--GrannyGeek

It's a very masturbatory description of how a file manager can treat a file as though it were part of the file system. MC can use tarred files in such a way.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 08, 2007, 05:39:34 pm
It's a very masturbatory description of how a file manager can treat a file as though it were part of the file system. MC can use tarred files in such a way.

I still don't understand. Do you mean seeing inside the tarred file and letting you extract individual files?
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: toothandnail on December 08, 2007, 05:56:26 pm
It's a very masturbatory description of how a file manager can treat a file as though it were part of the file system. MC can use tarred files in such a way.

I still don't understand. Do you mean seeing inside the tarred file and letting you extract individual files?

It allows archived files to be treated as an extension to the normal file system. So you can use MC to explore the contents just as though it was a part of the file system. MC VFS also extends to things like FTP, so you can view a remote site as though it were part of the local filesystem.

paul.
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Triarius Fidelis on December 08, 2007, 06:36:07 pm
It allows archived files to be treated as an extension to the normal file system. So you can use MC to explore the contents just as though it was a part of the file system. MC VFS also extends to things like FTP, so you can view a remote site as though it were part of the local filesystem.

...and network file systems. I forgot that!
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: GrannyGeek on December 08, 2007, 07:00:28 pm
It allows archived files to be treated as an extension to the normal file system. So you can use MC to explore the contents just as though it was a part of the file system. MC VFS also extends to things like FTP, so you can view a remote site as though it were part of the local filesystem.

V-Com's PowerDesk for Windows does the same thing with archived files (Zip files, for example). I guess I just take it for granted that a file manager should do that.
--GrannyGeek
Title: Re: A minor rant from a recovering Windows user
Post by: Pita on December 09, 2007, 03:26:57 am
10 years ago when I got a new computer since I finally got a telephon and I could connect to the Internet. It so happened Windows was installed w/o asking me if I wanted it. My first look at  it was shocking. What primitive programs compared to the dos command line programs. I brought the machine back to the shop and asked them to uninstall Windoof and they charged me $10.- which I gladly paid.
Luckily Linux was just around the corner with RedHat4.5. Before that I browsed the Internet in DOS with Ensemble of geoworks. No email so.

My grey brain cells are as well diminishing thanks to good wine I enjoy. Therefore I have always handy the book Linux in a Nutshell by O'Relly, or this forum or google. I am and always have been in command with command line, was it in DOS or now in Linux. Good mental execise for preventing Alzheimner disease.