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Old 01-07-2007, 11:22 AM   #1
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newbie's script ideas

I am a linux newbie. I have ideas for scripts and would like some constructive input on how practical they seem to more experienced users.
First I am thinking of making some basic scripts to retrieve information, ie: If I have loads of text files about... say people(each file about 1 person) with "age:xx" and "name:xx" on different lines(1 field per line) and I want a script to retrieve various data relative to input:
Run script, then as prompted enter age >20, and script gives me the names of all people older than 20 and writes the names to a txt file and sends somewhere to print it.
I know there are database programs that can do this. But I think using a terminal, script and text files would be much quicker, as it only processes exactly what is needed as I run the script. I also use text files a lot so I can use them everywhere without having to install software setup for the right os etc, plus the fact that they are small and tidy. I also believe some limitations of programmed software does not apply to scripts, as If I wanted to create user accounts based on the script I just detailed I could add another section to the script to create accounts based on the names it retrieves, where as a database program would not be programmed to do this because software is only designed to do specific tasks, and correct me if I am wrong, using scripts you can do quite a multitude of different functions?

Another more complicated script I was thinking of was to backup data. I work on different computers to do different things, but I use the same files on all of them so when I actually get around to networking them I would like to make a script that automatically updates the other machines when I modify a file on one of them, say computer A, I add/modify some files, a script could check dates or existence of file, and if computers B and C are out of date, the script would automatically copy the new/modified file to those machines. And I could make the script run automatically every hour so I do not have to even worry about it. This would save me having to write down the files I modified every time I do so before manually backing up.

These sound like a great ideas to me but being a newbie I wonder if I am missing some obvious realities?
So your thoughts are welcome. If you think something is a good idea or a stupid idea, explain your reasons.
Old 01-07-2007, 11:28 AM   #2
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For writing scripts, there are lots of tutorials on the net. Use google to find them.
O'Reilly do a really good book "Classic Shell Scrpiting", which beats all the net tutorials, but it's $35.

For backing up like you suggest, please take a look at the rsync command.
And welcome to LQ!
Old 01-07-2007, 11:34 AM   #3
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I would like input on how practical the functionality of my script ideas are, relative to efficiency I suppose.

Not how to actually write the scripts.
Saying that, some actual programming pointers would be helpful. Book adverts, not so helpful.

However I will look into that rsync command....
Thanks for replying.
Input on practicality anyone?
Old 01-07-2007, 11:45 AM   #4
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These are fairly practical... not very hard if you know what you're doing.
Old 01-07-2007, 01:21 PM   #5
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Good. They did sound very practical to me. Guess I was being paranoid.
I think I can manage the scripts, the hard part is sorting out networking my computers first. Then I can have fun with scripting.


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