You will get a shell account to practice, which you can access from the Internet. You configure the client machine, basically by installing a terminal emulator. In the process you get familiarize yourself with the concepts: console, shell, terminal, remote log in, etc.
In this unit you'll be introduced to the manual pages and the GNU Info, the two primary documentation systems built into any Unix system. Also you'll get to know two other ways of finding short information, called the --help option and the help command. Finally, you're reminded of command completion and command history: two features which greatly simplify your typing.
In the early days it was common for many people to work in one machine, often at the same time. Naturally ideas like messaging, chat, mail, etc. were part of Unix right from the beginning. In this week's unit you will get to know some of those original tools for viewing users logged on at a specific time, write and talk to them get information on users who are off-line and finally how to e-mail in the command line.
The objective of this week is to understand what a modal text editor is and why a terminal based text editor has to be modal. Then to make a start in learning the single-key commands used in the original Unix editor ed and its successor vi.