There are three main hardware set-ups through which you can use UNIX. A workstation contains something like a MIPS R4000 RISC processor and runs UNIX itself directly. A terminal merely gives you access to UNIX running on a UNIX host. A PC runs DOS which may be running a terminal emulator program directly or though Microsoft Windows.
The local PC or terminal is connected to the UNIX host directly via a serial cable. A remote PC or terminal is normally connected only when necessary via a dial-up telephone line.
When you switch on your workstation it can take UNIX 10 to 15 minutes to initialise itself before it is ready to use. When you switch on a terminal or dial up from a PC, you may have to keep pressing Return, Ctrl-C, Ctrl-Z or Break to give the host a chance to lock on to your terminal's line-speed.
UNIX first displays your terminal id and then asks you to enter your Username and Password. When logging in, the # key effectively deletes the previous character. UNIX then displays its version details and then the prompt:
|%||for the C-shell and
|$||for the Bourne or Korn shells
To change your password you type passwd. It then asks you to enter your current password and then your new password twice. To see what files you have, you type ls. You will then see a list of the files in your home directory. When typing in commands you can use:
|!! or r||to repeat last command (!! C-shell, r Korn shell)
|Del, #, Ctrl-H||to backspace over the previous character
|Ctrl-U or @||to cancel current unfinished command line
|logout, exit, ^C||to log out of UNIX and terminate your session
UNIX file names may be any length, but 14 characters is a sensible maximum. It is best to keep to letters and numbers, but file names can include any characters except:
/ ! @ # $ ^ & * ~ ( ) + ' " \ | ? < > space
These characters have special significance within UNIX commands. File names can be built of parts joined by dots, hyphens or underlines. Eg robs.new.book, flight-nav-prog, draft_accounts_1995.
© 1998 Robert John Morton