Mac Expert wants to learn more

Discussion in 'Mac Programming' started by RumorConsumer, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. RumorConsumer macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2016
    hey all

    So I’ve managed to get through about a third of my life working with macs professionally for over 15 years as a technician for many of those years having not learned a ton about the command line. I was wondering where do I start?

    My goals are to become more intimate with how the aspects of the machine work under the GUI, how to remotely manage processes on other machines like a Synology NAS, learn to write scripts, things like that.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    The goals you stated will almost certainly be reached by different means. Some principles may apply to all of them, but mostly because all programming is similar, regardless of the programming language it's expressed in.

    How things work under the GUI might be the most difficult to address, but that's because it seems overly broad to me. Do you want to know the low-level details of how graphics are rendered? Maybe look into Apple's Metal. Do you want to know how to write GUI programs in Swift? Get Apple's free e-book introducing Swift.

    "Remotely manage processes" is likely to need an ssh or other network connection to the remote machine. Google search terms: macos ssh tutorial Ssh is essentially a remote command-line, so if you know how to use a command-line, you know what to tell the remote host to do.

    I did a quick look for how a Synology NAS is accessed remotely, and it didn't mention ssh, only WebDAV or what looks like a Windows-only tool called QuickConnect. You should probably ask about using a Mac for remote access on a site or forum dedicated to Synology products.

    "Learn to write scripts" is presumably referring to shell scripts, i.e. scripts interpreted by the command-line interpret that takes input in a Terminal window and runs commands. Here's a recent thread on that, asking about older books on the subject:

    I recently read somewhere that 'zsh' will be the new default shell in, but 'bash' (the current default) will still be available. Both shells are available as far back as 10.4 or even earlier. So depending on your taste in shells, or your interest in being forward-looking or backward-compatible, you could learn a whole lot simply by studying any book, tutorial, or article on that shell (bash or zsh).
  3. RumorConsumer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2016
    Thank you very much for the detailed response! I am proud to say that I figured out how to do my first cURL maneuver today and downloaded 700+ files from a text file full of URLs. It was glorious. I will check out those materials and yes, in each case, you nailed my intent. Thank you!
  4. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    "apropos" followed by a search term will show you relevant commands for that term. "man" followed by the command will give you the man page for that program.

    cd, ls, cp, rm, mv, vi (or vim, or nano or ...) , and ssh are probably the commands you will use most, so I would start by reading the manual pages for them, then try making a text file with nano, moving it around, copying it, deleting it, etc.
  5. RumorConsumer thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Jun 16, 2016
    thank you! send us a pic of that powerbook g4.
  6. superscape macrumors 6502a


    Feb 12, 2008
    East Riding of Yorkshire, UK

    Many moons ago, I was in a similar position to you (OK, I had some very basic prior Unix experience from college) and this book helped a lot...

    ...although it's pretty old now, I expect that the vast majority of it remains valid. Should get you up to speed on the basic Terminal stuff.

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