January 30, 2013

Useful Linux stuff
1. Search on the internet
2. Bash and the command line
Useful information in one place
About ME/CFS


As for me+ME: It is as was, i.e. I am still not well for not having slept enough because of the problems with my eyes. If my eyes and my energy are up to it there will be another Nederlog today on another subject - intellectuals, of all things (probably) - but I make no promises.

The present Nederlog is about what the title says:
Useful Linux stuff, where it should be understood that I am still on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, and probably will be in the foreseeable future, because with my bad eyes I need the High Contrast Inverse option that is on Ubuntu, that switches black and white in menus.

, I like it a lot better than MS Windows and regret I have not switched sooner - but there is much to learn, though that is mostly a matter of choice, since Ubuntu can be used by quite naive users without problems.

n any case, for those who want to know more about Linux, here are a number of things I found useful.

Search the Internet

This sounds obvious, but it generally works, in my experience, at least in the sense that I usually found more about a topic than I wanted to read, and that also I usually found some sort of relatively clear answer fast.

For beginners with
Linux like me, this option arises - for example - once you start looking in the innards of Linux, e.g. when using top (alternatively, with a graphical interface) htop, that shows one what is running at the moment on one's computer: Lots of things, but then one should like to find what these thingies are and do and whence they come from.

I usu
ally got a helpful answer fast, and often more than I wanted or needed to read to get some basic understanding.

2. Bash and the command line

is the Bourne Again
Shell, which is - so to speak, for Windows users (and I know I am hugely simplifying) - the DOS for Linux, except that it is a lot more powerful and useful. It also can be programmed, and there are lots of commands, many with lots of options, that allow one to do much more than one can do on Windows.

re are quite a few shorter and longer introductions to Bash (which is one of several shells for Linux, but almost certainly the most widely used, at the time of writing), not all of them as clear as one should like them to be.

The best one I found so far can be found here:

This is by William Shotts Jr. and the link is to a html-version of it, where you also can find a quite useful and clear tutorial about shell scripting (programming Bash), and a pdf version of a large book of the same title, that you can also buy on paper, from No Starch Press. I did not do so, but I do have books about programming from the same publisher, and these were both well done and well made.

In any case: This is quite helpful, quite clear and well written.

Useful information in one place

What one also finds when searching the internet for a specific topic -
 in general, not just about Linux - is lots of information on one aspect of the topic that is not very useful, and often also not really informed nor well written.

What one should like is lots of information on one site, written by a specialist, who does know how to write tolerably clear English.

Here are several such places - and yes: I know there are the man pages in the Bash shell - type man command, for any command, and you get lots of info, usually -
but I like to have it a bit better formatted, in a web browser:
This is originally by Binh Nguyen, currently on, with very many terms. I found it very useful.

Bash (or some alternative shell) is the fundament of the Linux I use and sine there is an enormous amount of useful things it can do, one would like to have an overview. Here is a good one:
The first is on, where there is more useful stuff about other subjects, including the Windows Command Line (for those wedded to Windows). I found this very useful and well done: You get a long list of commands with short explanations, and a link to more extensive explanations and options. Tthe second, is on, from a book I haven'ŝ read - Linux in nutshell (of 944 pages) - but to which applies the same, and o'reilly's version lists 687 commands.

I s
aved what seems to be the best reference for the last:
The reason it is last and I write "seems" is that I only found it today, and there is a huge amount of information there, but what I read was very well done and a pleasure to read. [1]

Anyway... so far for Linux today.

[1] As it happens - not only on Linux - only a small percentage of the texts that relate to programming and tech stuff is well written, which is a great pity. (It seems as if most who are good at mathematical stuff are not very good at writing, and most who can write well have no head for maths. There are exceptions, such as - outside computing - Poincaré and Russell.)

About ME/CFS (that I prefer to call M.E.: The "/CFS" is added to facilitate search machines) which is a disease I have since 1.1.1979:
1. Anthony Komaroff

Ten discoveries about the biology of CFS(pdf)

3. Hillary Johnson

The Why  (currently not available)

4. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2003)
5. Consensus (many M.D.s) Canadian Consensus Government Report on ME (pdf - version 2011)
6. Eleanor Stein

Clinical Guidelines for Psychiatrists (pdf)

7. William Clifford The Ethics of Belief
8. Malcolm Hooper Magical Medicine (pdf)
Maarten Maartensz
Resources about ME/CFS
(more resources, by many)

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