901 reputation
45
bio website cheshireeng.com
location Pasadena, CA
age 50
visits member for 3 years, 1 month
seen 58 mins ago
Engineer, Magician, Jack of all Trades

Mar
18
awarded  Yearling
Feb
11
comment What is the point of the `cd` external command?
+1 for the observation about side effects and error messages. It is not always well explained to new users that a lot of clever idioms in Unix come from careful use of side effects. And the man pages themselves have never been good at describing the bigger picture.
Nov
11
comment How Wine is not an emulator?
WINE is also a slightly stretched backronym, a kind of humor that appeals to the personality required to create WINE in the first place.
Oct
7
comment Why is Linux's filesystem designed as a single directory tree?
@BruceEdiger I'm not going to try to argue that DOS was right. Just pointing out that there is context for why Windows is the way it is, and that it wasn't just something that MS pulled out of a hat.
Oct
7
comment Why is Linux's filesystem designed as a single directory tree?
Minor nitpick: the drive letters in Windows default to ascending alphabetical order, but they can be and often are renamed.
Oct
7
comment Why is Linux's filesystem designed as a single directory tree?
And that (rhetorical) question does have an answer: tradition. Just a different tradition than Unix came from. Windows gets this from DOS, which gets it from CP/M-80, which followed a common pattern of many minicomputer and mainframe operating systems. The drive names just got shortened from DISK0: or SY: to A:.
Mar
18
awarded  Yearling
Nov
30
comment Why there are multiple shells in a Unix like system?
Even COMMAND.COM in DOS was replaceable. However, you often got a very brittle system due to the assumptions of other applications (and other users). As a result, there are few successful alternatives to CMD.EXE. One is PowerShell, which has the inertia of Microsoft backing it. Another example is, strangely enough, bash due to decent support from the Cygwin community, not to mention the MinGW folks. As for Window Managers, Windows has only had one at a time, but there have been several over time as the Windows environment itself evolved.
Mar
18
awarded  Yearling
Feb
8
awarded  Good Answer
Jul
21
comment Shell and applications
You will notice that /bin/[ exists, and is a hard link to /bin/test on most (all?) *nix boxes. It wasn't a builtin to the classic Bourne shell. There are also confusing animals such as busybox that implement most of core commands and a shell, deciding which they are at run time by inspecting the name used to invoke them.
Jul
21
comment Shell and applications
Note that many builtins are also available as external commands, probably in /usr/bin or /bin. This is largely for historical reasons; the classic Bourne shell had far fewer builtins than bash does.
Apr
28
awarded  Editor
Apr
28
revised How to unfreeze after accidentally pressing Ctrl-S in a terminal?
stupid typo
Apr
28
comment How to unfreeze after accidentally pressing Ctrl-S in a terminal?
I used to wonder why DEL had the code 127 rather than being grouped with the other control characters, until I first played with some paper tape and an ASR33. Once I realized that it had the effect of punching all the holes, which meant it could be overstruck on any previously punched character to delete it, it made sense.
Apr
28
awarded  Nice Answer
Apr
27
awarded  Teacher
Apr
27
answered How to unfreeze after accidentally pressing Ctrl-S in a terminal?
Mar
18
awarded  Autobiographer
Mar
18
awarded  Supporter