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Clueless at the Prompt

By Mike List, troll@net-link.net

Welcome to installment 10 of Clueless at the Prompt,

Here's this month's account of the triumphs, trials and tribulations that I caused myself or encountered since the last time, and a couple tips that may come in handy and increase your understanding of Linux.

*Splitvt and Screen:

Last month, I suggested splitvt as a substitute for virtual consoles when using a serial terminal. I still recommend splitvt since you can work in two separate windows that are in sight of each other- cut and paste with gpm is a snap for scavenging previously written scripts or.... But several people wrote to tell me about screen, which is an even better substitute for virtual consoles when using that dumb terminal. I'm still working on making screen work fluidly, Alt-F* took a little getting used to at first. Instead of the A-F* combination you use the C-a* keys to open a new window. There are some other features that I have only read about, the only difference between screen and virtual consoles is that each new screen is already logged on.

Like I said, I'm not familiar with all of screen's features, but to use it, basically you type:

	screen progname
and your screen session is started in VT0. To add more VTs you can use:
	Ctrl-a c
and to change from one screen to another:
	Ctrl-a 0-9
and you can change from screen to screen, depending on how many you have opened. Note that the screens are numbered 0-9 rather than 1-10, the only clumsy feature of this program, IMHO.

*Back to basics:

Some friends of mine, the nefarious UGD folks have a page "User Guide Dog"which details many, if not most of the usual commands that a new user might find useful but not clearly documented. I don't have to tell you that man pages can be pretty hostile to a gnubee (ever wonder what that picture was?), but if you check them out after using the programs to do the things you most commonly need to do, you will most likely achieve enlightenment - the information is suddenly much more clear. The UGD Project is shaping up as a good vehicle for this journey, if you can take the ride. Bring along your sense of humor, one of the guys is a Canadian from out on the tundra ; ).

*Some stuff you may not hear anywhere else (so basic they forgot to tell you):


No I don't really do "make dev" when I make a kernel (maybe I could blame it on my keyboard)make dep is what I meant.

If you have a subject that you would like to see covered or have any corrections, comments or flames let me know, and I'll look into the matter. troll@net-link.net

See you next month!

Previous "Clueless at the Prompt" Columns

Clueless at the Prompt #1 - Feburary 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #2 - March 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #3 - April 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #4 - May 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #5 - June 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #6 - July 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #7 - September 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #8 - December 1997
Clueless at the Prompt #9 - February 1998

Copyright © 1998, Mike List
Published in Issue 26 of Linux Gazette, March 1998