failing like never before


My Roommate on Linux

All of my roommates this year have new-ish Intel Macs, and they all love the shinny Apple products. Last night, one of my roommates that I didn't know quite as well, remarked on my laptop. I was tying a few simple commands into xterm to mount my external hard drive, when my roommate noticed and asked me what those strange things I was typing were. I told him that the command line used to be the interface through which people interfaced with computers, that it worked by typing commands into a prompt and then hitting enter, and that the terminal was actually a very powerful and useful tool.

His comment, was, "wow, your laptop must be pretty old." Which is pretty funny, considering my laptop is newer then his. But after that we had to go to sleep since we had early classes, and so I lost the oppertunity to correct his errors.

It really is sad how little most people know about computers.

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Control + s in Xterm

If you happen to be a noob like me, and are used to using a fancy graphical IDE like eclipse, NetBeans, or (God forbid) Visual Studio, then you're probably used to hitting <control>+<s> to save something (I think emacs uses "control + s" for saving too). If this is the case, then you've no doubt hit "control+s" by reflex when you wanted to save something in vim or vi. If you're using GNOME's Terminal or KDE's Konsole this shouldn't be a problem, although nothing will actually be saved.

But in xterm, "control + s" makes it so that you can no longer see terminal output. Basically, whatever you type is still processed by the shell, but you just don't see anything (I can't figure why anyone would actually want to do this). So for the uneducated, it looks like xterm has locked up and you've lost all your precious code. Fear not my friend! You can exit out of this funky mode by hitting "control + q."

In summation, if you ever hit "control + s" while using xterm, and everything appears to lock up, hit "control + q" to return to normal.