Linux Beginners SIG, August 2013, ZShell vs Bash, Mint DVDs

August 13, 2013
6:00 pmto9:00 pm



I’ve mentioned ZShell fairly often, and I always imply that it’s better than Bash for command-line activity, but I’m not sure I’ve ever really gone over the additions that zsh provides to make life easier.  I’m going to correct that this month.

I have burned DVDs of the KDE and XFCE editions of Mint 15 (aka Olivia) if anybody wants them, as well as the Mate and Cinnamon editions left over from last month.

I’m also going to give a demo of the Parallel utility, which automatically runs a loop on as many CPUs as it can find.  For example, consider a short loop like this:

for i in *.txt
   txt2html $i

This would run the txt2html conversion on each .txt file in the current directory, one after the other.  If txt2html is a slow program and you have many, many files to process, this can take a loooonnngggg time.  OTOH, if you have a quad-core processor, then the command

parallel txt2html *.txt

will run in one fourth the time, doing the conversions four at a time in parallel.  If you have dual-core, it would be twice as fast, and so on.  (That’s not QUITE the actual syntax; I’ll get into the nitty-gritty at the meeting.)   In case you think this is a fanciful example, how about using the Convert program to take your 2,000 vacation pictures, each 20 Mpixels, and re-sizing them all to 1024×768 to email to your friends, and simultaneously making 128×96 thumbnails of them.  Parallel would probably cut an hour down to fifteen minutes.

See you Tuesday.


See the Linux Beginners SIG page for location, contacts, etc

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