1. Changing Directories Quickly

    When you work with the interactive shell, there's a common pattern that is used a lot: Copying or moving files to a directory and then changing to the target directory using cd. In these cases, you find yourself typing the name twice:

    $ cp file1 file2 file3 /very/long/path/name …
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  2. Controlling Firefox via Command Line

    Mozilla-based browsers like Firefox have inherited a useful feature from the good old Netscape Navigator: Controlling a running browser instance via the command line. Using command line options, you can open URLs or files inside your browser window without having to enter them in the address bar.

    Suppose you're working …

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  3. Creating HTML Reports with Oracle's SQL*Plus

    Oracle's sqlplus command line utility feels a bit antiquated for spoilt open source users. But with a bit of tweaking, you can generate nice database reports in HTML. Sure, the syntax is arcane, but if you're used to Perl you can get used to anything.

    The following basic example prints …

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  4. Printing RFCs and Internet Drafts

    The a2ps command line utility converts text files to PostScript which can then be sent to a printer. The resulting output contains all kinds of boxes and additional information which limits the space on the printed page to make your own notes.

    Of course, this can all be turned off …

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  5. Using D-Bus Introspection

    To control a D-Bus-enabled application, you need the interface definition to find out which methods are offered and which parameters they expect.

    Of course, you can get the relevant interface definition from the application's source distribution. But there's an easier way: Ask the object in question via D-Bus to …

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