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Mac OS X Power Hound, Second Edition by Rob Griffiths

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Cool Commands

If all you knew of Unix was what you’d read thus far in this chapter, you might assume that it’s a pretty utilitarian, programmery sort of language. And that would be a fair assumption. In truth, though, lurking deep within its exhilarating code, there’s actually a fun, hidden side just waiting to bust loose.

View the Hidden Lord of the Rings Timeline

Your Mac OS X system contains many hidden tools and features, but it also contains its share of timewasters. Deep in the bowels of Mac OS X resides a list of major world events and the days on which they occurred. And within this list is a chronology of the steps that Frodo, Gandalf, and the others took in the Lord of the Rings. (No kidding.) To gaze at this timeline, run the following:

cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history | grep "LOTR"

You’ll see a list that begins like this:

01/05   Fellowship enters Moria  (LOTR)
01/09   Fellowship reaches Lorien (LOTR)
01/17   Passing of Gandalf (LOTR)
02/07   Fellowship leaves Lorien (LOTR)
02/17   Death of Boromir (LOTR)

If you’re curious, and want to see the rest of the historical event list, run this command:

cat /usr/share/calendar/calendar.history | more

The command above is sent through the more pager so you don’t see the entire span of history pass before your eyes in a split second. Press the Space bar to see more (get it?), and press q when you’ve finished and want to quit the pager.

Checking Dates

Unix also has a handy-dandy calendar command, cal. It’s ideal for times when you’re in ...

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