This crash course in Unix should give you a first helping of guidance—enough to perform some genuinely useful tasks in Mac OS X, and to acquire a feeling for how Unix commands work.
There's a lot more to learn, however. As you peruse beginner-level Unix books and Web sites (see Appendix E), for example, you'll gradually become familiar with a variety of important terms and tools.
Don't be confused: Aliases in Unix have nothing to do with traditional Macintosh icon aliases. Instead, Unix aliases are more like text macros, in that they're longish commands that you can trigger by typing a much shorter abbreviation.
Figure 17-4. A new nano session. One key difference between nano and, say, TextEdit: To scroll, you must use the up and down arrow keys, or the Prev Pg and Next Pg commands—not the Terminal scroll bar.
For example, remember the command for unlocking all the files in a folder? (It was sudo chflags -R nouchg [pathname]. To unlock everything in your account's Trash, for example, you'd type sudo chflags -R nouchg ~/.trash.)
Using the alias command, however, you can create a much shorter command (unlock, for example) that has the same effect. (The alias command takes two arguments: the alias name you want, and the command it's supposed to type out, like this: alias unlock='sudo chflags -R nouchg ~/.trash'.)
On the down side, aliases you create this way linger ...