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Unix for Mac OS X Users unlocks the powerful capabilities of Unix that underlie Mac OS X, teaching how to use command-line syntax to perform common tasks such as file management, data entry, and text manipulation. The course teaches Unix from the ground up, starting with the basics of the command line and graduating to powerful, advanced tools like grep, sed, and xargs. The course shows how to enter commands in Terminal to create, move, copy, and delete files and folders; change file ownership and permissions; view and stop command and application processes; find and edit data within files; and use command-line shortcuts to speed up workflow. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this chapter we're going to be talking about how we can modify the input and output that Unix uses and before we use do that we first need to understand the concept of standard input and standard output and you may already be able to guess what these standard input and output are if you think about it. The input is the keyboard. That's its main way of getting input into Unix. It's the things that you type on the keyboard and the way of getting information out, standard output, is typically the text Terminal, the window, the screen that you're seeing inside Terminal. So that's where it outputs its results to. So when we type a command, we type in the command, we hit Return, that's the input.
It does its process and at the end of it, it outputs the results to the screen so that we can see it. What we're going to be doing is changing each of those. I also want to mention the common abbreviations for standard input are just stdin and for output its stdout. So if you see that, that's what it is referring to, is standard in and standard out, and there are actually sort of special files on Unix that correspond to these and that's inside that dev folder. dev is where information about different devices stored. So inside dev there is a stdin and stdout, which are files that are really sort of references to these two things, to the keyboard and to the Terminal.
What we want to do is figure out how we can work with commands so that we can change the input or the output. So let's start by looking in the next movie at how we can direct the output not to the screen, but instead to go into a file.
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