Going to a music place? Use a terminal

No, I’m not talking about a bus or train terminal. I’m referring to a Linux terminal (also called console), which one can use to play music: mpg123 /path/to/mp3file.

My friend says that using a terminal is much better than driving a mouse in a GUI setup. I agree.

I use a terminal for the following tasks (among many):

  • Playing music: ogg123 $HOME/Music/*ogg (ripping audio CDs from my friends has never been more fun)
  • Reading and sending mails: mutt
  • Consulting a dictionary: dict <word>
  • Editing config files: vi /path/to/file
  • Numbers crunching: bc
  • Managing databases: mysql (for my personal one) and postgresql (for my office)
  • Connecting to my files in another machine: ssh
  • Viewing a pdf file: pdf2text /path/to/pdf – | less

Despite the popularity of GUI, why do we still insist that using terminal is still relevant and a must?

Use a terminal because:

  • Your machine is a bit old and low on memory.
  • It looks geeky and your friends will get impressed.
  • Some Linux’s X apps don’t provide keyboard commands or shortcuts for some important tasks. Have you read my rant on this?
  • Your mouse runs out of function (maybe a cat rammed through it mistaking it for a real mouse 😀 ).

Are there more reasons? Just let me know.

My only beef with using a terminal is that it’s very hard to instruct a friend to use a terminal given the gaps in language (talking to a noob) and technology (erratic signals in mobile phones). I also have this theory that age may play an important factor: memory lapse may frustrate one who might forget that the network devices configuration file file is located in /etc/network/interfaces (for Debian and Debian-derived systems), for instance.

One comment

  1. Thanks for the link, Dong. I have a different thought on instructing a friend (presumably remotely) who’s using a terminal. I think it’s actually easier! Because you can just tell him or her what to type, rather than describe what and where to click.

    It’s also better for me who’s playing the role of help desk because I remember commands better than the layout of the GUI.

    Typical conversation:

    “O sige, anong labas ng command ng df?”


    “Type mo dee-eff, tapos Enter.”

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