Disarranging Mine

Tuesday, August 27, 2002, 8:09 p.m.

She would never say where she came from...

Keeping the command line alive ::: or ::: Googling the command line way.

What the....? You're kidding, right? Bring back my Sharpie, dude! (As inappropriate as it is for the occasion, I've always wanted to say that. No, not really, but I do now.)

Are you from the "old school?" Do you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way? Do you have fond memories of the days when you turned on your personal computer and all that was on the screen was the "C" prompt? How ‘bout an "A" or "B" prompt? Oh, sorry, I didn't realize you'd never seen one.

Anyway, for those of us who like to keep the command line alive, here's a little tip. You can execute a Google search without launching your browser and going to their web site. Yep. Uh huh.

In Windows 95 and newer (I'm not sure about XP Windows, because I've never seen it), go to:



and a little box will appear (I'm loathe to use the phrase "pop up," even as a verb). That's the command line. There, you can type:


Replace the word "searchterm" with the word you want to search, unless, of course, you actually want to do a search of the word "searchterm." You can even search more than one term:


Say, for instance, you want to search in Google Groups, replace the "www" with "groups." Like this:


If you want to see more than the standard ten (or is it 20? — can't recall) results appear on a page, add "&num=50" (or 75 or 100) to the end of your string:


Once you have everything typed on the command line the way you want it, click okay (or just hit the return key).

I just did a command line search with the following terms:


and got 71,900 hits, with the number one hit being:

Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center - news

Woo hoo! Who'da thunk?

Going a step further, you can launch any web page from your command line by simply typing in the URL.

Don't be scared, give it a try.

If, on the rare chance, you're still running Windows 3.1 or older, you already know where your command line is. However, even though I still have 3.1 on the computer next to this, I haven't tried it.

And, I figure I don't have to tell non-Windows users how to get to the command line, one, because I don't really know, and two, because I'm totally confident that all non-Windows users are very familiar with how to execute the command line. Hey, do non-Windows computers even have a command line? I'm sure they do. Right?

Anyway, seems like everyone's got their little gigs going. I.E., the mirror project, Monday Mission, BlogSnob, stuff like that. Ya know? Well, I'm thinking about starting a command line project, where on the third Thursday of February, June, and October, except in odd numbered years, when it'll be every other month, except in months when the seasons change and not on days when the moon is full, everyone will send me their command line tip. I'll compile everything and publish it (perhaps as a whimsy nostalgia book), and reap millions. Ya think?

Stay tuned for my next tip when I'll discuss how to make a log file of just about anything you do in "shell." That'll appear on the day after Jimmy Carter's mother's first cousin's grandchild swims across the Missouri River at its most shallow point. Or sooner.

© L.M. Carnes 2002.
All original content herein owned by L.M. Carnes unless otherwise noted.