In the process of teaching myself how to use terminal I found something that probably makes no difference at all, but has aroused my curiosity. Heres the setup: Entering echo $PS1 shows \h:\W \u\$ This is what I expect since there is no .profile or .bash_profile or other start-up file in my home directory. If I make any change to the command prompt, even duplicating the existing prompt - - for example: export PS1=\h:\w \u\$ changes the prompt, but entering echo $PS1 now gives \h:\w \u$ What happened to the backslash between the u and the $? Am I using bad methodology to change the contents of PS1? Its a clean install 10.5.1 on an Intel Mac-mini. Please keep your response pretty simple. Ive been playing with OS X for less than a year, and trying to learn the Unix side for about a month. My knowledge layer is pretty thin - - but chasing down interesting trivialities seems a good way to learn Unix. thanks, - Nick T.