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Install Software Quickly via the Command Line

1 minute read

Though you may not believe it from my stunningly youthful good looks, I grew up in the halcyon days of MS-DOS 5.0. One of my fondest memories is sitting in front of my Dad’s 80286 with a hulking CRT screen, and typing the commands to start Prince of Persia.

We’ve come a long way since then, but I’ll always be a command-line guy. It’s not (just) nostalgia either. If you really want to get things done more efficiently, the command line is king.

Example 1: Installing Software

We’ll be using Windows as an example here, since a) loads of people use it, b) I feel like a challenge. 1

<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The joys of downloading software</figcaption></figure>

I’ve almost given up installing software via a GUI 2. It just means a lot of time clicking, changing windows, and losing focus. Usually, if you want to install software on Windows, you have to:

  • Search for the software on Google 3
  • Go to the software website 4
  • Find and click a download link (and make sure it’s the right one!)
  • Find the file you downloaded
  • Open the installer
  • Click, click, click through to install

While each of these steps may not take too much time, they all require your attention and that time adds up.

Whereas, on the command line:

  • Open Powershell <a href=’http://remix.zone/2018/04/03/install-software-on-command-line/#easy-footnote-bottom-5’ title=’Hit Win+r, type powershell and hit enter.

And yes, the above screenshot is not really Powershell. I cheated since I’m on my Linux box right now'>5</a></span> * Type _[choco](http://chocolatey.org/) install name\_of\_software -y_ 6 * Hit enter Okay, so you’ll have to install chocolatey to start with, but after that no windows popping up, no clicking required. A lot of the software we use in Remix is in the Chocolatey database, so installing Virtualbox, Python, Git, Docker, and other stuff is just a few keystrokes away:

choco install virtualbox python git docker -y
Want to update all your software at once? Just run _choco upgrade all_. Want to do the same on a remote machine? No need to bother with all the colorful graphical overhead that guzzles bandwidth. Just pure, plain text all the way, baby. I’ll be talking more about the command line and why it’s the best in future posts. If you’re a command-line warrior yourself, drop a note in the comments with any helpful tips!

Nerdsightedness

less than 1 minute read

With all the questions about ethics and technology lately, especially Facebook data collection and Cambridge Analytica, it seems a good time to introduce the concept of Nerdsightnedness:

n. The inability to see beyond a technology’s interesting technical aspects, particularly to miss its ethical implications; to see the world from the perspective of a nerd.

Or, as Jurassic Park put it:

Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should!

via Kottke

Welcome!

less than 1 minute read

Remix is our open-source online education platform to teach students real-world tools and skills. We combine industry-standard tools into a cohesive whole, with single sign-on and detailed analytics to follow learners’ progress.

Links Roundup

less than 1 minute read

One of the reasons I was invited to be part of the Remix team is because I’m a geek and a maker, as I’m sure many of our users are. With that in mind, here are a bunch of links that I find useful as a geek, maker, and technologist/futurist in general:

  • Hacker News – a roundup of all the latest tech news, gathered by members of the Y Combinator community.
  • Lobste.rs – similar to Hacker News, but smaller. Still has some interesting daily links though.
  • Boingboing, Kottke and Metafilter – Three blogs that have been going forever. They cover all sorts of things, including (but certainly not limited to) maker culture, technology and digital rights.
  • io9 – Without the inspiration of science fiction you wouldn’t have your shiny iPad or iPhone. io9 collects the latest news about sci-fi books, movies, and TV.
  • Reddit – Reddit is a community-determined aggregator of content. It is a social platform where users submit posts that other users ‘upvote’ or ‘downvote’ based on if they like it. I follow just a few subreddits including opensource, askscience, and askhistorians

Hello Mumbai!

less than 1 minute read

I’m super excited to be heading to Maker Mela in Mumbai in a few days. My first time in India and I’m looking forward to meeting the local maker community!

I’ll be showcasing some of the projects I’ve been working on, potentially including:

  • Cyborg Beast prosthetic hand - a 3D-printable open-source prosthetic
  • K8e - a voice-activated robot pet dog, still very much a work-in-progress
  • SpaceGAMBIT

Can’t wait to see you all there!