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Terminal

The keyhole into Mac OS X’s Unix innards is a program called Terminal, which sits in your Applications→Utilities folder (see Figure 16-2). Terminal is named after the terminals (computers that consist of only a monitor and keyboard) that tap into the mainframe computers at universities and corporations. In the same way, Terminal is just a window that passes along messages to and from the Mac’s brain.

The first time you open Terminal, you’ll notice that there’s not much in its window except the date and time of your last login, a welcome message, and the command line prompt (Figure 16-2).

Up to Speed: Mac OS X’s Unix Roots

In 1969, Bell Labs programmer Ken Thompson found himself with some spare time after his main project, an operating system called Multics, was canceled. Bell Labs had withdrawn from the expensive project, disappointed with the results after four years of work.


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