I couldn't think of any better title than this to describe my reaction to Paul Murphy's "The Linux killer application" column.
First of all, no real Unix admins use telnet unless over a vpn or within a local network. But never mind that, Paul's real gripe is that he thinks the command line is what is dumb: according to Paul, the right way to administer a Unix machine is with the GUI or Webmin.
You know that feeling you get when somebody says something so dumb, so impossibly stupid that you just can't believe it? Well, maybe even Paul himself realizes that he's made a colossal fool of himself, because in the comments he claims that everyone has misunderstood him and he needs to rewrite the column. Sure, I can see that. For example, Paul says:
The right way, of course, is to use a Unix workstation with a big screen - that's why Sun still sells a 550Mhz USII with a 21 inch screen - and the GUI of your choice with remote X-windows.
You can see how people could misinterpret that, right? What he probably meant was that the command line has much more power for certain tasks than any GUI ever made, but that sometimes a GUI is more convenient. Which is why REAL Unix admins use the appropriate tool for the task at hand.
Ooops, guess not. In another comment, Paul says:
Ok, I guess I wasn't clear -using a character interface is dumb, using a GUI is smart.
Using the WRONG tool is always dumb. If you don't understand that there are tasks that are nearly impossible without a command line, perhaps you need to think about why even Microsoft is adding a better shell.
Sometimes the GUI is the right choice, but not always.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2009-11-07 Tony Lawrence
UNIX does not allow path names to be prefixed by a drive name or number; that would be precisely the kind of device dependence that operating systems ought to eliminate. (Andrew S. Tanenbaum)