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5 Command Line Tools to Break Your Dependence on the GUI

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Software

If you are a Linux sysadmin, you tend to spend a lot of time on the command line. Over the years I have learned to do much of my work without ever touching the mouse. Also, if I open a browser it is just too easy to be distracted. Social media, news articles, and funny cat videos all are designed to suck you in, and it works. In this countdown we will explore 5 things you can do from the command line to keep you productive and break your dependence on the GUI.

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today's leftovers

  • Plop Linux 19.1 released
  • How do you say SUSE?
    SUSECON 2019 has come and gone and was definitely one for the books. Whether you were able to attend the event in person or not, you can still view plenty of videos and content that was shared at the event. One of my favorite videos from the week was “How do you say SUSE” -which comically reminded attendees how to properly say “SUSE.” Don’t quite know exactly how to pronounce SUSE? We’ve got you covered….Broadway musical style. The keynote videos from each day are not to be missed as well as the series of amazing music parody videos that have recently been created. One of the major take-a-ways this year was the recent announcement that as of March 15, not only did SUSE become an independent company, we are now the largest independent open source company in the industry.
  • In 2019, Most Linux Distributions Still Aren't Restricting Dmesg Access
    Going back to the late Linux 2.6 kernel days has been the CONFIG_DMESG_RESTRICT (or for the past number of years, renamed to CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT) Kconfig option to restrict access to dmesg in the name of security and not allowing unprivileged users from accessing this system log. While it's been brought up from time to time, Linux distributions are still generally allowing any user access to dmesg even though it may contain information that could help bad actors exploit the system. The primary motivation of CONFIG_SECURITY_DMESG_RESTRICT and an associated sysctl tunable as well (dmesg_restrict) is for restricting access to dmesg so unprivileged users can't see the syslog to avoid possible kernel memory address exposures among other potentially sensitive information that could be leaked about the kernel to help anyone trying to exploit the system. But even with these options being available for years, most Linux distributions leave dmesg open to any user.
  • Is Email Making Professors Stupid?
     

    I can think of at least three strong arguments for why higher education should be that industry, significantly restructuring its work culture to provide professors more uninterrupted time for thinking and teaching, and require less time on email and administrative duties.

  • What is ZIL anyway?
     

    The Infocom ZIL code dump has kicked off a small whirlwind of news articles and blog posts. A lot of them are somewhat hazy on what ZIL is, and how it relates to MDL, Lisp, Z-code, Inform, and the rest of the Golden-Age IF ecosystem.

    So I'm going to talk a lot about it! With examples. But let's go through in chronological order.

  • Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people

    Edward Tufte’s full report makes for fascinating reading. Since being released in 1987 PowerPoint has grown exponentially to the point where it is now estimated than thirty million PowerPoint presentations are made every day. Yet, PowerPoint is blamed by academics for killing critical thought. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos has banned it from meetings. Typing text on a screen and reading it out loud does not count as teaching. An audience reading text off the screen does not count as learning. Imagine if the engineers had put up a slide with just: “foam strike more than 600 times bigger than test data.” Maybe NASA would have listened. Maybe they wouldn’t have attempted re-entry. Next time you’re asked to give a talk remember Columbia. Don’t just jump to your laptop and write out slides of text. Think about your message. Don’t let that message be lost amongst text. Death by PowerPoint is a real thing. Sometimes literally.