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Revision as of 16:48, 28 September 2007 by Kolar (Talk | contribs) (FAQ)

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  • What is "terminal" and how do I use it?

Terminal is a way to type commands to the Linux operating system, to navigate between directories (folders), copy files, run programs, and do many other useful things.

> To open a terminal, right-click the mouse anywhere on the screen and select "New Terminal".

A terminal will open, and a command line prompt will appear that identifies the computer (cmn#), your login name and the working directory, which is the location in the directory structure from which you are navigating. After the prompt, you can type commands.

For example, you can navigate around the file system by using the "change directory" command: cd pd-lab will navigate into your pd-lab directory.

> If you want to see your current location in the directory structure, type pwd which stands for "print working directory".

> If you want to see what files and folders are in the working directory, type the "list" command: ls

  • How do I copy files from the course directory into my project directory?

In a terminal, you can use Linux commands (based on Unix commands, tutorial:[1]) to copy files.

> The copy command, cp, allows you to make a copy of one file to whatever location you specify.

For example, if you have a project directory called "pd-lab" and you want to copy the "straightWire" Pd patch from the course examples directory, after the command prompt you would type exactly (including spaces):

cp /usr/ccrma/web/html/courses/220a-fall-2007/pd/straightWire.pd .

The period at the end indicates the location where the file will be copied is the working directory.

> If you want to copy an entire "pd" directory and its sub-directories, you would type:

cp -r /usr/ccrma/web/html/courses/220a-fall-2007/pd/straightWire.pd/* .

  • How can I get information about how to use Linux commands?

The "man pages" (manual) can be accessed by typing: man followed by a space and whatever command you want to find out about. For example, man cp will pull up the man page for the copy command.

  • How do I play MP3s on the Linux machines?

Use the XMMS media player.

  • Where can I get the software for my own computer?

> If you have a computer that runs Linux, or a PC you want to run Linux on, you can install Planet CCRMA: [2] and get all the software we use here. Talk with Nando or Carr for more info or to get help with this.

> If you have a Mac or Windows machine, there are versions of some of the applications used in the class that you can download for free and install on your computer.

get Pd: [3]

get Audacity: [4]

get Chuck: [5]

  • Why are there so many steps in the labs?

Moving information from one place to another on a computer is a multi-level process. Working with music making tools on a computer requires the ability to work with the computer on a variety of these levels, depending on the software tool(s) and the nature of the project. In this course we will be exploring a range of ways and levels of working with computers. This is part of the learning process. Details are explained and covered in the labs, classes, and via conversations with other students and the instructors. Please ask questions if you are new to any concepts or ways of working with computers!