Another round of clever commands from the depths of /usr/bin

A terminal screen
A terminal screen
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Take a stroll through /usr/bin on most Linux or macOS systems and you’ll find hundreds if not thousands of available commands. The amount of options at your disposal seems dizzying. Although some of these commands won’t be the most relevant or useful every day, the majority of them are quite handy and some are just downright clever.

If we count the number of commands available on a fresh installation of Debian 10 (Buster) it is over 2,000 (you can run compgen -c to see the list for yourself). It would take you years to comb through that many options and…

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Sounds silly right? What could 2,000 year old philosophers possibly have know about computers? Well, they didn’t actually know anything about computers. What they did know is far more important: control.

Stoic philosophers knew how to control themselves. They knew how to control their thoughts, emotions and actions. They knew how to discern what was in their control and what was not. They knew how to move forward through life diligently and with a purpose originating from inside one’s self. The Stoics were not easily influenced by a slew of external, usually unimportant factors.

Being able to reason about what…

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The curl program is a staple of any good software developer’s toolbox. It makes requests from the console quickly and easily, is available on just about everything and has a boat load of built in extra functionality. So much extra, in fact, that you might not know about some of curl’s other handy abilities.

If you’ve been under the impression curl is only for HTTP/S requests I have surprising news for you. Curl actually supports the following protocols:


Open hard drive platter.
Open hard drive platter.
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Cryptocurrency mining, especially Bitcoin, is not widely regarded as being energy efficient. Warehouses full of howling, power hungry machines contribute to a significant portion of global power usage.

“Mining one bitcoin in October 2020 requires outputting 0.9–2.4 trillion watts per hour. That’s a lot of power.”

— Bitcoin’s Energy Consumption by Mike Co

The overall power usage of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin isn’t trending down either. As the mining difficulty of the network increases along with popularity and price the number of miners coming online skyrockets. …

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Cryptocurrency mining is a fundamental element for many popular coins. For most cryptocurrencies, miners provide a distributed way to validate transactions, secure the network and infuse the market with newly minted coins as a reward. For other cryptocurrencies mining as we know it is slowly becoming a thing of the past or was never even included in the initial design.

“Can you still turn a profit?”

Some cryptocurrencies like Ethereum are beginning the shift away from proof-of-work (traditional mining) to proof-of-stake (staking). This doesn’t mean that mining will completely disappear, but there will be less dependency on huge warehouses of…

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Long live Vim!

Vim has been around for what seems like an eternity and it only seems to get better with age. If you aren’t on the Vim bandwagon yet, there are more than a few reasons why switching is a good idea. I’ve covered this before in 3½ Reasons Why You Should Be Using Vim, so definitely give Vim a whirl if this is your first rodeo.

One of the best things about Vim is the plethora of plug-ins and themes available. You can find any particular flavor of add-on to suit your fancy. …

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Living on the command-line is both a blessing and a curse. You might not get all the fancy visual elements of a slick Electron app, but what you lose in beauty you gain in speed and efficiency. Spending 100% of your time on the command-line might not be a possibility in today’s bloated web and desktop application environment, but you can get pretty damn close.

Stripping away the shiny wrappers on popular apps and using a plain, albeit clunky, CLI version removes a few distractions. …

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The Tesla infotainment system is an immense, media-rich platform. Everything from streaming Netflix to changing your car horn to a fart sound is at your fingertips. The connected set of features built into Tesla’s media system does not come without a data cost, though. Tesla offers a default standard connectivity package and a paid premium one. The reality is you’ll pretty much need the paid option to experience all the benefits the system has to offer.

Almost all the services work flawlessly through premium connectivity (LTE), but you’ll still need to connect to WiFi for some things. Most Tesla firmware…

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Building Docker containers and images is an art form. The speed and agility Docker provides developers is absolutely crucial when it comes to building applications and systems. Having the ability to spin up containers of perfectly manicured environments is a staple of modern software development. But the one thing developers don’t want to deal with is sloppy image and container resource management.

Docker left unchecked for long periods of time can cripple a host. Images can pile up and chew through disk space and running containers might squeeze CPU and memory to the limit. …

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Getting up and running with a new VPN technology like WireGuard isn’t always the simplest process. If you’re new to VPNs as a whole this can be even more daunting. There is a lot of new terminology to learn and configuring each connection can be a challenging endeavor.

Although some of the configuration for WireGuard has to take place on the command-line, the ongoing administration, some of the setup and client configuration can be abstracted away nicely behind a web UI.

In this article we’ll check out some third-party projects that aim to simplify managing WireGuard servers and establishing new…

Tate Galbraith

Software Engineer @mixhalo & die-hard Rubyist. Amateur Radio operator with a love for old technology. Tweet at me:

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