The Command Line is Back

I grew up using a command line for all of my computing. I started with a Commodore VIC-20 as a youth, moving on to Apple IIs, TRS-80s, and then OpenVMS in university classes. It wasn’t until I started doing graduate work that I started to enjoy graphics in the X Window System, though many of my windows just ran bash and korn shells on SunOS. Since that time, I’ve mostly made my living in Microsoft Windows and OSX, using graphical programs. I’ve still been quick to open a command shell at times, but not too often.

However there have been times when I’ve needed PuTTY to access remote machines, or I’ve had to struggle with some PowerShell remote commands. What would be nice is to have some of these tools on every machine. I love PowerShell available, but it’s often a pain when I encounter a new machine.

However things might be getting easier. Apparently OpenSSH may be coming to Windows. It’s not there yet, but I think this will be a nice addition to allow remote access. I can see the day when I need to access an overloaded SQL Server and can use SSH to get a remote terminal and make a DAC connection with SQLCMD quickly. Or I can access any *nix machine without having to download and install a utility.

I’ve often used command lines because the speed of getting processes to run and fail quickly is under my control, not some programmer that might not be responding to keyboard and mouse events. I love the command line cut/copy/paste in Windows 10, and I look forward to being able to make SSH connections quickly and easily for a variety of tasks, including secure version control and software development tool connections.

Steve Jones

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