Tag Archives: automation

Tool tips: Find

The find utility is so useful for automation that it deserves a special mention on its own. I will not attempt to cover all of its features, only the ones that I use on a daily basis. I typically use find for two purposes: To create a list of files matching some search terms. To […]

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Tool tips: Tee (and standard streams)

Tee is a wonderful but often-overlooked core utility. It's purpose is to intercept a pipeline, write the output to a file, and pass the output along the pipe. It can be used to easily add output logging to any command pipeline or script. To get the most out of tee, it pays to read up […]

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Tool tips: File

Today, I would like to highlight the usefulness of the file utility. It is a command-line utility that is common on Unix systems. File will take one or more files and try to determine what type of file they are by examining their contents. It's the most accurate general-purpose tool of its type that I […]

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Better living through automation, pt. 3: Shell Scripting: Becoming a Wizard

Using just the shell and the coreutils, it is possible to write commands which wrangle massive amounts of files, translate data into the format you want, etc. But what if you want to take things to the next level? This is where scripting comes in. You can write scripts which are capable of performing a […]

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Better living through automation, pt. 2: The Shell and Coreutils

From here on out, I'm going to assume that you have access to a Unix environment. If you use Windows, I suggest that you install Cygwin to get a Unix environment on your machine if you want to follow along. The default Windows terminal is also pretty crappy so I¬†recommend¬†installing the rxvt-native terminal from within […]

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Better living through automation, pt. 1

Anything that's tedious is repeatable; anything that's repeatable should be done by a computer. -Robert Muller I spend a lot of time working on my computer every day. Many of the tasks that I need to perform on a computer can be incredibly tedious. Copying and pasting text from a website into a spreadsheet. Renaming […]

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