Week 1: Linux, Installfest, the Command Line

Hello world! I’ve decided to start a blog to track my learning progress with the goal of becoming a full-stack developer. If you want to delve into the wonders of The Odin Project (TOP), I hope this blog can provide you with some insight.

As for my background, I come from the healthcare field with little programming knowledge. In my academic studies, I took a programming class in high school that focused on C++ and I hated it. In college I took a Nursing Informatics class, which was about information and communication technology, but no coding whatsoever. So yes, I’m a registered nurse aspiring to become a developer.

Fast forward to this year, 2016. For several months, I dabbled with various resources from Udacity, Udemy, edX, Codecademy to learn HTML, CSS, and a little bit of Python. I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon The Odin Project to provide me with a solid curriculum that I can follow. Without it, I probably would’ve dabbled aimlessly from course to course until I lose interest.


Screenshot of my desktop and a terminal window showing the manual for ‘sed’

2016: Week 1:

11/07     Started Odin Project

11/08     Learned how internet worked in detail. Necessary foundation for a clueless noob such as myself

11/10     Started Learn the Command Line on Codecademy and installed Linux. Relatively easy to install after figuring out how to access my laptop’s BIOS. Had to completely remove Windows as my OS, because partitions were confusing. Also encountered problems with transferring the bootloader from the USB to my computer’s hard drive. Google saves the day!

11/11     Jumped forward and began the Installfest. Encountered a lot of errors that needed troubleshooting. Visited a ton of forums. Command line basics helped with troubles such as deploying rails app. I certainly understand how this process alone can deter people from continuing this course.

11/12     Finished 4/4 of the recommended 2/4 sections of command line basics on Codecademy. Started this blog.

Codecademy’s course is short because you need to upgrade your account to access most of the subsequent sections, quizzes, and projects. Having taken the JavaScript course, also on Codecademy, I preferred the older interface and their way of teaching. It introduces the new concept first and let’s you figure out the solution by yourself, with hints. The newer method involves having you enter the code first and then explaining it to you. It’s less critical thinking, which means less demand for help forums, which has now disappeared. I haven’t checked out other courses, so I’m not sure if this teaching method is being applied across all subjects.

Started A Command Line Crash Course from the Viking Code School Prep Work. Some information was a repetition of previous course on Codecademy. Got rabbit-holed into learning a little bit about permissions.

11/13     I realized some of the information from the Viking Code’s course is for the Mac or Windows. After some research, I’ve made a table to help clarify the differences between operating systems or keyboards?

Action OSX/Windows(?) Linux
To open a file or directory open . xdg-open *
To jump between applications cmd + tab alt + tab or

ctrl +  alt + tab

To open a new window cmd + n ctrl + shift  + n
To open a new tab cmd + t ctrl + shift  + t
To cycle between tabs within a terminal window cmd + shift + left/right arrow alt + 1

(1 stands for the number of the tab. So it can also be 2, 3, etc.)

To close selected tab ctrl + shift  + w
To remove a directory rm -r or rmdir

* openvt is a command, but the terminal returns the error message: Couldn’t get a file descriptor referring to the console. According to the manual, xdg-open is to open a file/URL in the user’s preferred application. Openvt is to start a program on a virtual terminal. I’ve experimented and I’m not sure how to initiate a virtual terminal, so I’ll figure that out later on.

11/14     Skimmed over the section, “Beyond Basics: Chaining Commands Together, Redirection and Piping”. The last two sections of Codecademy’s Command Line Basics taught redirection and piping in a more interactive way. I’m able to access the .bash_profile through nano. It has a couple of commands that doesn’t work when I enter them in the terminal. Otherwise, it’s empty. Will configure the environment variables later. Skimmed through the last powerpoint.

Read Chapter 1 of Conquering the Command Line. It’s a comprehensive review. It did give additional information about links and optionals regarding mkdir and cp. If you are still confused after doing all three assignments, it would be best to visit the Additional Resources. Exercise at the end TOP’s command line page done.

Started studying Viking Code School’s list of Terms to Know.


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