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  • Unix: Having fun with diff

    Posted June 28, 2014 - 5:37 pm

    The diff command can be your best friend when you’re troubleshooting problems on a Unix system, but are you using it effectively as you could?
  • Unix: Writing more maintainable shell scripts

    Posted January 25, 2014 - 8:55 pm

    Do you find yourself rewriting scripts because it's easier than finding or modifying your old ones? Do you find yourself spending far too much time reworking scripts when you need to make what seems like a small change? Let's look at how you can write scripts that are easier to reuse and easier to maintain.
  • Unix: Debugging your scripts even more effectively

    Posted November 23, 2013 - 1:27 pm

    Last week's post provided some tips and tricks for debugging scripts. This week's provides some even better ones!
  • Unix: Debugging your scripts

    Posted November 15, 2013 - 6:06 pm

    All kinds of things can go wrong with your shell scripts, but they don't have to. Let's look a some debugging tips that can help ensure your scripts run the way you intend.
  • Unix: Avoiding repetitious work with sed

    Posted September 9, 2013 - 5:49 pm

    The only thing wrong with sed is that most of us barely grasp how powerful it is. We use it in pipes to change "this" to "that", but we rarely consider it for the big editing jobs where it could save us considerable time and effort -- especially when it comes to boring repetitious work.
  • Rediscovering sar

    Posted July 22, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    The best trick for understanding performance problems on a Unix system is to understand performance when it ISN'T a problem. If you know what acceptable performance looks like, you'll quickly spot what's out of whack when a system is hurting. And one of the best tools for routine performance monitoring is built into many Unix systems -- sar, the system activity reporter.
  • Unix How-To: Checking Responses with ckyorn

    Posted September 1, 2010 - 8:11 am

    In last week's column, we looked at ckrange, a Solaris tool for validating numeric responses in scripts. A related command, ckyorn (for "check yes or no"), ensures that a user responds with some version of yes or no. With similar behavior to ckrange, ckyorn has the same advantages of simplifying your code so that you don't have to check whether a user has entered y, Y, Yes, yes, n, N, No, no or even YeS or nO.
  • Automating System Comparisons

    Posted October 8, 2008 - 12:54 pm

    When you run into a system problems, one of the first questions you might ask is "How is this system different from the others?". Let's take a look at how you can automate system comparisons and get your answers more quickly.
  • Another script to make Knowledge Base searches easier

    Posted July 23, 2008 - 10:55 am

    Here's a simple scripted Web page you can save onto your hard drive and use to google the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
  • Script to make Microsoft Knowledge Base searches easier

    Posted July 3, 2008 - 7:36 pm

    Do you ever get tired of typing "site:support.microsoft.com" into the search box when you're using Google to search the Microsoft Knowledge Base? I certainly do--here's a short script to give your fingers a break.

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