By the first thing I meant..
If you are in a folder and want to act on it, like.. say you are in /usr/src/linux and you want to chmod it, don't type the path in again. Use ./ or `pwd`
It works for any folder you are in right now
For files do:
ls -1 -b|xargs -n1 chmod a+rxw
That will chmod all the files in the directory you are in to make them writable and readable, and executable.
chmod a+rxw ./ && stat ./
You can take the && stat ./ off. That was just to see if they are really changing permissions.
With stat you can check the permission of a file, and a lot of other neat things:
stat <name or directory>
You'll stop miding them when you are used to them