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Shell Programming for beginners


Guide to (mostly) Harmless Hacking

Vol. 5 Programmers' Series

No. 1: Shell Programming

 Honest to gosh -- programming is easy. If you have never programmed in your life, today, within minutes, you will become a programmer. I promise. And even if you are already a programmer, in this Guide you just might discover some new tricks that are lots of fun.

 Amazingly enough, many people who call themselves hackers don't know how to program. In fact, many el1te haxor types claim they don't need to know how to program, since computer programs that do kewl stuph like break into or crash computers are available for download at those HacK3r Web sites with
the animated flames and skulls and doom-laden organ music.

 But just running other people's programs is not hacking. Breaking into and crashing other people's computers is not hacking. Real hacking is exploring and discovering -- and writing your own programs!

******************************************************** In this Guide you will learn:

* Why should hackers learn how to program?
* What is shell programming?
* How to create and run scripts
* Shell scripts on the fly
* Slightly stealthy scripts
* Examples of fun hacker scripts

Plus, in the evil genius tips, you will learn how to:

Why Should Hackers Learn How to Program?

 Back in 1971, when I was 24, I was as nontechnical as they come. But my husband at the time, H. Keith Henson, was always talking about "buffer in," "buffer out" and assembly language stuff.

 Keith was one of the earliest of hackers, and a hacker in the pure sense, someone who wasn't afraid to try unusual things to save memory (a scarce resource on even the biggest computers of the 1970s) or cut CPU cycles. So one June morning, tired of me looking dazed when he came home babbling excitedly about his latest feat, he announced, "You're going to learn how to program." He insisted that I sign up for a course in Fortran at the
University of Arizona.

 The first class assignment was to sit at a punch card machine and bang out a program for the CDC 6400 that would sort a list of words alphabetically. It was so fun that I added code to detect input of characters that weren't in the alphabet, and to give an error message when it found them.

 The instructor praised me in front of the class, saying I was the only one who had coded an extra feature. I was hooked. I went on to write programs with enough length and complexity that debugging and verifying them gave me a feel for the reality of the Turing Machine Halting Problem theorem.

 I discovered you don't have to be a genius to become a professional programmer. You just have to enjoy it enough to work hard at it, enjoy it enough to dream about it and fantasize and play with programming in your mind even when you aren't in front of a keyboard.

Evil Genius tip: The Turing Machine Halting Problem theorem says that it is impossible to thoroughly debug -- or even explore -- an arbitrary computer program. In practical terms, this means that it super hard to make a computer network totally secure, and that it will never be possible to write an antivirus program that can protect against all conceivable viruses. For a more rigorous treatment of the Turing Machine Halting Problem theorem -- yet written in language a non-mathematician can understand -- read the "Giant Black Book of Computer Viruses" by Dr. Mark Ludwig, American Eagle Publications. This book will also teach you how to write the most deadly viruses on the planet -- or programs to fight them! You can order it from http://www.amazon.com. Warning-- in order to fully appreciate this book, you have to know assembly language for 80x86 CPUs. But it is the most electrifying computer manual I have ever read!!!!

 That is the heart of the hacker spirit. If you are driven to do more and greater things than your job or school asks of you, you are a real hacker. Kode kiddies who think breaking into computers and typing f*** every third word while on IRC are not hackers. They are small-time punks and vandals. But if you aspire to become a true hacker, you will become a programmer, and reach for the stars with your code.

More shell programming--->>

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