Be cautious when you copy-paste into terminal

A great article on why you should be careful when copying and pasting commands into a terminal/command-line.

I ensure the material on this site is safe from malicious practices like that, but it’s a good thing to keep an eye when pasting content into your terminal.


Cool themes for Cool Retro Term

They’re actually called ‘profiles’ in Cool Retro Term. Oh, and in case you weren’t aware, this is Cool Retro Term …

That was my personal intro for this beautiful, little beast of a terminal app. Sorry to say, it’s only for Linux and Mac OSX. No worries though, Window’s command prompt looks abysmally old already!

So where are them themes?

Oh yeah! So I’ve finally exported several of my own profiles and posted them to GitHub. They’re as follows:


The one I’ve used for some neat, little asciinema recordings.

Asciinema Green theme for Cool Retro Term


Similar to the built-in DOS theme, this one’s just a tidbit clearer, enough so you can more easily see your pretty QBasic graphics.

DOS Feos theme for Cool Retro Term


It’s pretty, real pretty. Nuff said.

Real Pretty theme for Cool Retro Term


Your like, totally see through!

You're SO Transparent theme for Cool Retro Term

How do I make my terminal look this pretty?

Easy! Just install Cool Retro Term, it’s totally free. Info for installing it on Elementary OS and other Ubuntus here:

If you’re on a Mac, no problem. Just donate your Mac to me and I’ll do a screencast of how to install it. 😉

How do I use these themes?

Easy. Just:

  1. Right-click the “view raw” link under any of the theme codes above, then select “Save target as…“.
  2. Save that file on your computer.
  3. Open CRT (wicked cool acronym, eh?) and go to Edit > Settings > Import then select that file to import it.

Feel free to ask any questions. Cheers!

Cool themes for Cool Retro Term

QBasic through Dosemu in Cool Retro Term

So you’ve dreamed of programming again in QuickBasic, on an old, dying computer? I had the same dream. Cool Retro Term fulfills our dreams.

The details

First, let’s get the venerable QBasic from here:

Simply click to download QBasic 4.5 EN.

QBasic download

Unzip the downloaded file to your /home/ folder (/home/your-username/), so that you see the new /qb45/ folder there (/home/your-username/qb45/).

Unzip QBasic in /home/ folder

Next, ensure Cool Retro Term is installed, details here:

Once that’s installed, run it, then resize terminal so that it’s 25 x 80 (25 row height by 80 column width).Resize to 25 x 80

Install Dosemu by entering the following in the terminal:

sudo apt-get install dosemu

Once that’s installed, run it like so:

dosemu -t

The ‘-t’ parameter lets Dosemu know to send its output to the current terminal. You should see a DOS command prompt in the terminal, like so:

Run Dosemu

Dosemu will mount your /home/ folder as a drive, so we can easily access the files there. To get to the file we downloaded, at the ‘C:\>‘ prompt, enter ‘d:‘.


You’ll notice the command prompt change to ‘D:\>‘. Go to the QBasic folder by entering ‘cd qb45‘.

D:\>cd qb45

Type ‘qb‘ to run QBasic.


That’s it!

You’ve now got QuickBasic running through the original interface it was designed for.

QBasic in Cool Retro Term

You can easily exit QuickBasic by typing Alt F to open the file menu, then selecting Exit.

And to exist Dosemu, just type ‘exitemu‘.


Hope you have some BASIC fun. 🙂

QBasic through Dosemu in Cool Retro Term

Simple typewriter effect using Linux terminal and asciinema

I just found out about asciinema recently, it’s a beautiful little terminal app to record and playback activity in the Linux or Mac OSX terminal. Because of how it works, asciinema provides a sort of typewriter effect, which I happened to need for a recent project. So I threw together this file creator and posted it at my GitHub blog: Asciinema file creator.

Here’s the script live:

It uses jQuery Mobile, to make it easier to use by mobile and touch devices. The source file at GitHub is as follows.


How is this useful?

It’s not really, it’ll only be useful in rare cases like the one I’m using it for (a tiny project yet to be announced).

But here’s a quick example of how I’m using it, through Cool Retro Term.

I’ll try and post more details about how to use it all shortly. For the 2 people that might actually use it! 🙂

Simple typewriter effect using Linux terminal and asciinema

Better autocomplete in Linux terminal with Fish

Most Linux distributions (those using Bash) include auto-complete features in the terminal where you can type a few characters, press TAB and it’ll provide a best guess at what you’re trying to do.

Fish is better at that though, more info about it:

Let’s install it from a PPA on Ubuntu (including Elementary OS and other Ubuntu derivatives), simply copy-paste the following into a terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:fish-shell/release-2
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fish

You can then test it out in that same terminal by typing ‘fish’. You’ll see one of its notable features right away, the auto-complete with syntax highlighting. It’s the main reason I use it, just type a few letters and hit tab to have it auto-complete.


If you like it, replace it with the default (Bash) like so:

chsh -s /usr/bin/fish


chsh -s /usr/local/bin/fish

You can always switch back to the bash shell later too:

chsh -s /bin/bash

Mac users can have a read here:

And of course, Fish is highly configurable. Simply enter the following in your terminal:


And your browser will open to a delightful graphical configuration screen.


As you’ll see, you can configure colors, the prompt and other things as well as being able to interact with the terminal history and get info about environment variables and more.

A note about Elementary OS

Elementary OS includes a custom terminal app that integrates very neatly with the system pager so the system notifies you when tasks are completed in the terminal (such as when installing apps via apt-get or running updates). This works “out of the box” with Bash but not with Fish, not at this time.

Keep updated on progress here:

Additional resources

For more info about command shells in general, here’s a good read:

And of course, a great comparison of the popular shells:

Adding to that comparison, a specific comparison of the more popular unix shells:

Enjoy the colorful Fish! 🙂

Better autocomplete in Linux terminal with Fish