I’m calming down now after a Fanta and a couple of mandazi. But I just took Stege IV for a Unix lab: the one where they log in and enther their passwords and type ls and other exciting things. They took notes, they typed commands. They even answered some simple questions, all the signs that the lesson was going according to plan (my plan)….

But somewhere near the end I asked a question, a simple question (given the subject), about how the things we had been looking at interact with one another. (GEEK ALERT specifically: since ls is the program to show information about files, I got them to do ls -l /etc/ls which means they are using the ls command to look at information about the file that contains th program which is executed by the ls command, and I asked them to say what they thought /bin/ls was.)

We sat there for half an hour while I asked each of them in turn leading questions that gave part of that curcular story, then asked any of them to make a sentense in English that summarised what we’d learned. Nuffin! Not a dicky bird. I kept smiling… but it was tough. Exhausted!

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