An Introduction to the Kate Text Editor

Kate Text Editor MascotOk, I admit it; I don’t actually spend all of my time in the command line. All-in-all, I spend very little time in the command line.

I’m working on that! Every new bit that I learn makes it easier — and many times faster — to get things done from the command line.

In the meantime, I use multiple applications in the GUI for my everyday tasks, such as text editing.

For normal ever-day GUI text editing on Linux, I use Kate.

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An Introduction to the Atom Text Editor

Atom Text Editor LogoThis week I was introduced to a new text editor. While it is not a command line text editor, or even a Linux-only text editor, it does fit pretty well into the current line-of-thought.

Atom is a GitHub project described as a “hackable text editor for the 21st century”. It is designed to be deeply customizable, but still approachable, using the default configuration. Atom can be run on OS X, Windows, and Linux.

For anyone who does not already know, GitHub is a web-based repository hosting service for Git, which is a version-control and management software for source code. Github is used primarily to host open-source software projects. It’s a popular social network for developers, programmers, and even end-users.

Atom provides support for over 25 web/programming languages, such as HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, Python, Perl, MySQL, C, Ruby, and Java, to name a few.

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How to Work With Archive, Compressed & Zip Files

Zip Archive Compressed FilesThere are file types that exist for no purpose other than to package other individual files together into a bundle, and even to compress that bundle’s file size.

These files are called archive files, or compressed files.

Archive files contain one or more files, neatly packaged together.

Compressed files contain one or more files, packaged in a file size smaller than the combined files’ original sizes.

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A Guide to Filename Extensions, File Formats & File Naming Conventions

File FormatsWhat makes a file recognizable as a photo, or as a video, or as any other type of file? And how does your computer know what program to use, to open each file?

No doubt you’ve already noticed that every file has an extension at the end, separated from the filename with a dot. That file extension indicates the file type, or format.

Graphical file extensions (such as .png, .jpg and .gif) indicate that the file is a photo or image, and that it can be opened with graphical viewing and/or editing programs.

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Directory Structure Fundamentals

Directory Structure FoldersHow do you know where to find files on your computer?

How, for that matter, does your computer know where to find files?

After learning file system fundamentals, the next step is to learn the directory structure of each file system.

The directory structure is the way that directories (also called “folders”) are organized.

By understanding the basics of your operating system’s directory structure, not only will you be able to avoid causing problems, but you should also be able to stay organized more easily.

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File System Fundamentals

File Cabinet (File System Analogy)A computer, contrary to popular opinion, does not actually have a mind of its own.

It is an entity devoted entirely to following the instructions that it is given, whether they be perfect or flawed. (Hint: It’s usually the flawed instructions — or faulty hardware — that lead us to believe that computers are sentient and out to get us.)

As you may imagine, it takes quite a few instructions, all put together, for a computer to function. The more functions it can perform, the more instructions are necessary. By the time you have an operating system installed with a few programs running on it — well, that’s quite a few instructions right there already.

Have you ever wondered how your computer knows where to find all of the instructions that it needs to be able to function? Maybe stop and think about that the next time it takes an extra millisecond for a program to load. It could be much worse!

All of that instructional data is stored somewhere, otherwise it would be lost from memory the first time the computer is turned off.

How is all of that data saved, so that it can be quickly found again when it’s needed?

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Command Line Basics for Windows and Linux

Command Line TerminalToday’s subject is, by popular demand, a continuation of last week’s introduction to the command line.

The conversation that I’m calling “popular demand” went something like this:

Mom: You left me hanging! That’s the first time I’ve ever brought the command post up in my life, and now I don’t know what to do with it!

Me: …do you mean the command prompt?

Mom: Yes! That’s what I mean!

So now that you have your command line open (or know how to re-open it), let’s make use of it.

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Artha, The Open Thesaurus (Dictionary) for Both Windows and Linux

Artha Thesaurus LogoOftentimes, while in the middle of a conversation, there will be a word that I want to use because it fits the context perfectly, and yet I am unable to remember the word.

It hovers there, right on the edge of my consciousness, taunting me. Usually it comes to me a few minutes — or hours — later when I no longer need it.

It would be nice to have a dictionary in my head, but the next best option is to have one on my computer. For this I use Artha.

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