foone Profile picture
Feb 22 32 tweets 5 min read
It's not the point of the thread so I can't even call them out about it but let me just say this Tumblr post physically pains me in so many ways
They then seem to confuse "only does text" with "has a CLI" and that CLIs are impossible to use.

That's not a hardware limitation, Linux machines now can be used from the CLI.
I also just noticed they said "green on white"

Anyway I think part of the problem with how people approach CLIs is that they imagine they're like D&D where you have a DM and you could say anything to them, like how they imagine interactive fiction works. No.
IF never worked that way really and there's a reason why, when it evolved into graphical arcade games, it (eventually) looked like this:
It's about VERBS applied to NOUNS.

[GET] ye [FLASK]
And similarly CLIs are not some open form "you tell the computer what to do" Infinity possibility space. It's about common verbs and nouns
Your verbs are things like CD/DIR/COPY (or cd/ls/cp), and you move around a directory tree using these verbs.
The part that makes it seem much trickier than it is is that there's an elided verb: RUN.
You don't type "run vi somefile.txt".
You just type "vi somefile.txt"
And your shell goes "well I don't know any 'vi' command. Maybe it's a program?"
then it finds that program and runs it.
So CLIs are definitely trickier to use at first, you so need to learn more up front to be able to use them, but really that's just understanding how a current path works and like 10-20 built-in verbs.

After that, all you have to learn is specific to the programs you run.
And how hard or easy that is to learn will depend entirely on those programs. It could just as easily be hard or easy in a GUI.
Anyway that said, once you get into shell pipelines, programming functionality, or batch scripts (for windows/dos), it does get incredibly complicated.
But that's a power user area. You're never really REQUIRED to know that stuff, outside some very basic pipeline things.
I 100% admit and agree that CLIs are more intimidating to start with. A blank "type anything" prompt is a nightmare for discoverability.
These days you can try "help" and it'll get you started, but in the 80s? Yeah. Nothing. Maybe a command list if you're lucky.
That was the big improvement for GUIs. By having icons and buttons and menus, you can easily look around and see what options are available, without having to read manuals or online help.
But the 80s CLI basically was built on different assumptions: computers came with manuals and they expected you'd read the manual before trying to use the computer.
Or you'd at least have the manual on hand as reference while using it.
I'm not saying GUIs are bad or "dumbed down" or anything. They definitely helped! They're great for times when you aren't super familiar with a program already, and they helped computers expand out of a niche to a thing everybody uses.
But at the same time, I think it's wrong to think of CLIs as these weird arcane complexities that would boggle lesser minds.
You don't have to be a genius to use a CLI.
They just have a sharp initial difficulty curve.
If you're plopped it front of an IBM PC running DOS 2.0 and you have to figure out how to use it with no experience or help, you're gonna have a bad time.
But a big part of why is because it was made in a time and an environment where they never expected you to do that.
The original IBM PC came with a ton of manuals, because they expected that people using PCs wouldn't be just dropping in to try them out, they'd be Professionals about to do some Professional Stuff and would therefore take the time to learn how to do it, efficiently
And honestly they didn't even make it that hard.
You have an IBM PC. What can it do? I dunno, edit text documents? Maybe print them?
But you buy a game or a spreadsheet, and it's gonna come in a box with a manual or at least a quick start guide.
And that'll walk you through any commands you need to run.
Hell, in the early 90s I was buying shareware game disks that included all the documentation I needed on the disk itself.

And I don't mean, like, stored on the disk. Printed on the disk label.
Put it a disk drive, type A: or B:, then type setup? CAN DO!
I was like 7 and had ADHD. How many manuals do you think I read?
But that was enough to get me started learning the DOS CLI.
I actually did try to read the manuals, but since we got our computer used, it didn't have any. So I went to the library, which had books a decade out of date that didn't help at all.
Anyway my point isn't "the CLI is better and you should use it instead of/in addition to the GUI" but that it's not as hard as it may seem at first. It has a learning curve, yes, but it's not all that hard and it's definitely not wizard magic.
There's a lot of cases where the CLI can be very efficient and useful.
And there's a lot of cases where GUIs are efficient and useful and don't have as harsh a learning curve.
Both can coexist and both have their strengths.
We're just now in an era where it's entirely possible to go a full computing career without needing a CLI and I think that artificially inflates people's perception of how hard CLIs are to use.

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Feb 23
dang it Image
what kind of software from 1994 demands I use windows anyway?
this is clearly just a scheme on the part of microsoft to increase sales of windows
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It's here.
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this is for a canceled laserdisc-based arcade game called Albegas/Cybernaut, it's based on an anime called Kousoku Denjin Albegas (Lightspeed Electroid Albegas).
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making laserdiscs is not cheap. animation is not cheap.
What the heck happened so late in the production that meant the game never made it to arcades?
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Does anyone know how to get Xubuntu 21.10 to stop blanking my fucking display?
I've turned off the screensaver and set the power manager to not ever blank my screen, but it keeps going to sleep.
one of the suggestions on reddit to fix the problem in xubuntu 20.04 is to install xscreensaver and then turn it off
that is the worst idea I have ever heard.
I did it, though. Let's see if it works.
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yeah that's not good
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See this thread?
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vs this
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