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Files, directories and links

Posted 12-26-2023 at 09:09 AM by hazel
Updated 02-20-2024 at 08:29 AM by hazel

Here's the dirty secret: directories/folders on a computer don't actually contain any files at all. Nary a one! In fact, directories are themselves files and therefore can't contain anything but data. They do contain rather unusual data compared with other files, and there are all kinds of safety checks in standard file-handling utilities that stop you from looking inside them as you would with any other type of file, but files they are all the same.

I think we have been seriously...
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Views 146 Comments 0 hazel is offline
Old
Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

Technological fossils

Posted 04-17-2019 at 01:11 PM by hazel

One of the problems of old age is that nothing looks the way it ought to any more. Take telephones. I have a very clear mental picture of what a telephone ought to look like. It is black, shaped like a truncated pyramid with concave sides and a cradle on the top to hold the receiver. On the front is a circular dial with a chrome-plated surround containing 10 holes. You dialled a number by putting the tip of your index finger into a hole and pulling the dial around clockwise as far as it would go,...
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Views 774 Comments 3 hazel is offline
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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Installing a Brother printer in 64-bit Linux

Posted 11-28-2017 at 01:13 PM by hazel
Updated 11-03-2023 at 03:00 AM by hazel

Having just succeeded in installing the software for a new Brother laser printer in Debian and Crux, I thought it would be worthwhile summarising the procedure.

Proprietary Linux drivers for Brother printers typically come in two packages, one labelled cupswrapper and the other lpd. You will need to install both. Only two formats are available: rpm and deb.

If you have an rpm-based or deb-based distro, the simplest way to install is to use the all-purpose installation...
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Views 1175 Comments 3 hazel is offline
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Rating: 6 votes, 4.83 average.

So what is Unix?

Posted 09-02-2017 at 02:01 PM by hazel
Updated 07-29-2019 at 12:17 PM by hazel

People often ask "Is Linux the same thing as Unix?". And they are usually told that Linux is one of the Unix family of operating systems but that there are many others. This site, unusually for a Linux forum, has forums for some other Unixen as well. But what qualifies an operating system to be considered as Unix? Here are my on the properties an OS ought to have to qualify for this distinguished club. Additions are welcome.

1. All hardware and filesystem...
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