A few more shell commands

Here are some Linux commands that I encountered in a feature article in the current issue of Linux User & Developer that I had not met before:

cd --

This returns you to the previous directory where you were before with having to go back through the folder hierarchy to get there and is handy if you are jumping around a file system and any other means is far from speedy.

lsb_release -a

It can be useful to uncover what version of a distro you have from the command line and the above works for distros as diverse as Linux Mint, Debian, Fedora (it automatically installs in Fedora 22 if it is not installed already, a more advanced approach than showing you the command like in Linux Mint or Ubuntu), openSUSE and Manjaro. These days, the version may not change too often but it still is good to uncover what you have.

yum install fedora-upgrade

This one can be run either with sudo or in a root session started with su and it is specific to Fedora. The command performs an upgrade of the Fedora distro itself and I wonder if the functionality has been ported to the dnf command that has taken over from yum. My experiences with that in Fedora 22 so far suggest that it should be the case though I need to check that further with the VirtualBox VM that I have created.

A rake of new cameras

Nikon D300The websites of Amateur Photographer and Tech.co.uk are good places to find out what is happening in the world of digital cameras, which is just as well given the recent camera launching frenzy. It all seemed to start off with Canon’s EOS D40 and EOS 1Ds Mark III. The former seemed to be a case of playing catch up but I still think that Canon should have used the opportunity to pull ahead, at least in the megapixel stakes; Sony is working on a 12 megapixel offering and could be about cause of 12 megapixel sensors becoming the norm for consumer digital SLR’s like they did with the 10 megapixel level. I realise that megapixels aren’t everything but it has seemed to go like that thus far. Playing catch up doesn’t apply to the 1Ds Mk III with its having a monster sensor resolution of 21 megapixels and, needless to say, the improvements to the favoured DSLR of landscape photographers don’t stop there. Nikon were also in the fray with new 12 MP offerings: D300 for the enthusiast and D3 for the professional. The sensor in the latter interestingly features a sensor that sits between full frame and the more usual APS-C sizes. Panasonic have also announced a new DSLR but a number of manufacturers have new digital compacts on the market too. All of the previous makers have something as does Olympus. It was amazing to see this all happening at once but I suppose that’s how it goes. IFA has been on over the last week but some launches preceded this; it’s usually something big like Photokina that results in this sort of thing…

Update: I have discovered since the Nikon’s D3 has a sensor sized in the full frame domain. It might be 36mmx23.9mm rather than 36mmx24mm but the FX format comes extremely close and the advent of full frame DSLR’s being purveyed by a number of manufacturers may be upon us.