A Proud Dad

March 16th, 2011

I saw this on my computer screen the other day, and I’ve got to say it really warmed my heart. I’ll explain below if it doesn’t provoke that reaction for you.

Evidence a 4-year-old has been using my computer

So here’s why that made me happy. Well for one, it was the first time Jacob had left stuff on my computer that I found later. And of course he left his name there.

But moreover, he’s learning a bit about the Unix shell. sl is a command that displays an animated steam locomotive. I taught him how to use the semicolon to combine commands. So he has realized that he can combine calls to sl with the semicolon to get a series of a LOT of steam trains all at once. And was very excited about this discovery.

Also he likes how error messages start with the word “bash”.

Categories: Children & Computing, Debian, Family, Linux

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Comments Feed12 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    Next you need to teach him shell functions, so he can make crazy procedures with arbitrary names and run them.


  2. Anonymous

    sl actually taught me something new. Its blocking of SIGTERM led me to learn about SIGQUIT and Ctrl-\ .


  3. Erik J

    Ah, the joy! my 2 year old loves while true: do sl; done


  4. Amaya

    That is SO cute! /me is jealous :)


  5. Christian Perrier

    cperrier@mykerinos:~/travail/debian/l10n-nmu/TODO$ sl
    bash: sl : commande introuvable

    /me jealous!


  6. John Goerzen

    apt-get install sl will fix that for you ;-)


  7. Christian Perrier

    Gee, I learned something!
    BTW, this package still uses Homepage in package description. Shoul dbe fixed..


  8. Colin Watson

    So cute!

    We just introduced Judith (2) to sl, inspired by your post; she sat pressing up-arrow/enter for a while and occasionally clapping and making “woo-woo” train noises. Definitely a success.


    John Goerzen Reply:

    Wonderful! I can hear that happening. Sounds great.


  9. Pit

    Thanks! I also introduced “sl” to my son Sol (2) and he can simply not stop typing it again and again! Sometimes he wrongly type “ls” and this command is very disappointing for him! ;;)


  10. A 4-year-old, Linux command line, and microphone | The Changelog

    […] our boys to play with. I’ve already written how our 4-year-old Jacob has fun with bash and can chain together commands to draw ASCII animated steam locomotives. Today I thought it might be fun to install cw, a program that can take text on standard input and […]

  11. N3RD

    I tried to teach my little brother to use Linux a while ago, but it failed because none of my wireless network card would work… I have 2 wifi cards: 1 USB, 1 PCI, the USB one worked perfecly but it’s range was shit, the PCI one does not work on Linux


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