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Command Line Terminal

Proper Computing, in real text terminals

Never mind the Windows! The GUI is in many cases an unnecessary affectation of computer operating systems. Although GUI (Graphic User Interface) has its uses, it's been made far too prevalent, possibly in an attempt to dumb-down computing.

Meanwhile in proper computing, on terminals on mainframes, it was possible to command the computer what to do. The method involved a keyboard like a typewriter, and a screen on which characters were displayed. Basic two-way communication was going on between the person and the machine. It is in such computing environments that computer programming developed. You type what you want the machine to do. It does it. You soon developed the skill to get the computer to do all kinds of things. Look, here's computer programming explained

It was only in later aberrations of computer construction that windowy things appeared. In the early days when Microsoft created Microsoft Basic, it was a proper command line, but later when Microsoft got into the business of creating operating systems, disaster fell on the computing community. Later versions of Windows were even more dumbed-down and made the customer have to behave like an ass. Similarly with Apple, many of the basic and obvious things that were requirements of computing were oddly obviated.

If the same thing had happened to the Piano, it would have been developed away from having a full keyboard to having a few notes with auto-complete regardless of the talent of the player, and then it would have developed to being a hurdy-gurdy with a handle that you turn, and then to an auto-hurdy-gurdy with built-in monkey, and then to a machine with a switch that you press and it just plays something arbitrary.

The last stand for proper computing may have been Linux, which was a proper operating system even into the mid zero-zeros decade. (A proper operating system has a real command line terminal and you can write computer programs and run them, by your own command).

Unfortunately, in 2010, there seems to be a Linux Problem, in which snazzy presentation has taken priority over use and practicality. When upgrading from Fedora Core 8 to Fedora Core 13, it was found that the text was ludicrously tiny and that splat screens went over the top of it all, and that the terminals had become almost unusable. Also, there appeared no way to undo the problem and to revert to 80x25 text.

It is almost as if Fedora has become the new Microsoft, having swallowed all the GUI nonsense that has been about for years about using graphics to display things even if they are not graphical.

The thing with a real text commandline terminal was that it was uncluttered by deceptive imagery. You could think of things and put them into action. With practice, thoughts would be turned into stuff in computers. However, in a GUI this is denied as you are reduced to the level of some small caged critter tranced by visual things and unable to take control. Besides the fact that the visual processing parts of the brain take up a vast amount of brainpower. Turn the lights out and see what I mean.

I propose that proper commandline terminals be brought back! Linux can still do this provided it dumps a lot of the excess ballast which Microsoftishness and Applisation have lumbered it with. I don't care if it looks clunky. I don't care if it looks oldfashioned. What matters is that it works.