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Mac EvangeList iWriter - Milo
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Milo, the author of has programmed computers since 1957, including mainframes, super computers, minicomputers, and Microcomputers, and NASA satellites. He's worked in dozens of assembly languages high level languages. Milo also a musician, an artist, a film editor, and has even been a TV sports news anchor.

Prompts, commands, and man pages

In our last adventure, we started up Terminal. And some of us finally emptied out the trash. And apparently, some of us had trouble finding Terminal. For those who couldn't find Terminal, try using Sherlock (command-F) and typing in "Terminal".

In this column, we will explore the shell prompt, UNIX commands, and the notorious "man" pages.

When you start up Terminal, it will type a bunch of intimidating "garbage" at you. That isn't to scare away beginners (really). It is called the prompt and it actually contains meaningful information (if you know how to read it).

If you (or someone else) haven't changed Terminal, it will type something like:

Welcome to Darwin! [localhost:~] yourname%

The "Welcome to Darwin!" let's you know that Terminal is running in Mac OS X's UNIX layer, which is called "Darwin" (note that not all people will get this or a similar welcome message under all conditions -- don't worry if you don't get it)..
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Article Archives:
Prompts, commands, and man pages - Friday, 22 March 2002
Terminal - Thu, 28 Feb 2002

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