Linux Command Line Tips And Tricks: Noobie To Ninja

Ninja noobie commands

OK, there’s a ton of things we could cover here. But let’s just go for some quick wins that will save you a ton of time, and make you look like you know what you’re doing – kind of.

I draw the line at giving away all my secret ninja tips – but these will serve you well 😉

Switch Back To Last Directory

How many times have you copy and pasted the path of the last directory you used..? Or worse, retyped it in full…

When you could have just done this:-

cd -

Home Directory 2 Ways

You might already know this shortcut for the home directory:-

cd ~

But you might not realise you can also just type:-


There you go, saved you 2 key strokes, and raised your ninja profile, marginally.

Listing Directory Contents, The Ninja Way

I’m willing to bet you’ve typed ls -l hundreds of times already. But no more – bet you didn’t know you can get exactly the same results just by typing:-


Go on, I know you’re dying to try that one out ;-). Works for most distros. Continue reading

Another Funny Friday

Used Grep Once, Unix Master

It is funny how geeks tend to be more modest people generally – at least in my experience. You always come across the across the “I’m a ninja” geek though – whose bluff and blag way outweights their ability. I knew one particularly good example, let’s call him John, as that was his name :-).

Now John could write code, and on the whole he was a decent guy. Unfortunately, he had convinced himself that he was the best coder around and had ninja level tech skills. He had ninja level body odour but that’s another story. One day (way back) when I was a mere youngster and he was a good 20 years older than me, he was happily showing me what he’d learnt in this new web language called php. It was essentially a glorified ‘hello world’ page, that became his personal website. Now I’d already built full applications in php by then, but I verbally patted him on the back and told him it was definitely a language worth getting deeper into. He should have kept quiet at that point, but instead he had to say it. He told me he’d be happy to teach me, but he wasn’t sure I would be able to understand it 🙂

Some Thoughts On Where To Draw The Line

When you’re messing around with tech stuff, websites and programming – I think you need to know your limits.

In two ways really. Some stuff is just fun to do so you’d rather do it yourself. Even if it made more sense to pay someone else a few dollars to do it for you. Other stuff is simple beyond your abilities and you’re probably better off just handing it over.

It may not be that simple though. Say you need to install a WordPress website but have never done it before.If there is a decent probability you’re going to be installing other sitesin the future, then it makes sense to learn how to do it yourself. Sure it will take longer, but once you know how, all the future Wordrpess installs will go much quicker. But if it’s extremely unlikely you will ever need to do this again, then there isn’t much point learning how to do it yourself this time. Unless you just like the challenge and geekery of learning something new.

There’s no real wrong answer. Just what makes sense for your situation.

It’s a decision that applies to non-techies just as much. Every small business has a website these days, or at least a Facebook page. Software like WordPress makes it easy for quite non-technical people to manage and publish their own content. The problem is though that software is never simple – WordPress is a bloated monster of an application. Particularly when you add in all the code for themes and plugins too. It’s a maintenance nightmare. Yet non-technical users are expected to understand and apply very regular updates to both plugins, themes and the core application. All with potential for incompatibilities. All with the potential to take a site down completely, leaving a user with no idea how to fix it. Continue reading

Go Play Tetris Noob

Heh, this one still makes me laugh.


For those of you too young to actually remember noobie games like Tetris – it was a bit like Candy Crush only in black and white (seriously!).


Not That Much Of A Noobie

We’re all noobies at something. Even though we rarely like to admit it.

I’m a noobie at way more things than I care to list right now.

But one thing my inbox didn’t reveal my noobieness (is that a real word?) for was an email promising me the world on a plate. I’m sure you’ve had these too, but this one wasn’t spam because I did request to be on the mailing list.

You see, lottery games are something I’ve toyed with for years, so I read a few blogs and get a few emails about tips and techniques for playing them all the time.

And once in a while like today I get one recommending something that can predict the lottery. Oh, OK, let’s be really fair, it says it can ‘help’ predict. That’s a fine line between statement of something useful and hedging in my opinion but let’s keep this accurate.

Now I don’t know about you but I’m a bit of a sceptic when it’s comes to this whole prediction lark. I mean, we are after all talking about predicting something which has essentially been designed to be unpredictable hasn’t it? Continue reading