Mom versus an Ubuntu Terminal My Life 20 APR 2011

I must admit, I was actually quite proud of my mother the other day, when I asked of her a near impossible thing and we came 95% close to actually achieving it!

It all started after another successful Tuesday of working from home while looking after Jessica. Having achieved a fair amount of code during the day, I happily ran a SVN commit before sleepy time and went to bed.

The next morning as I arrived in the office, it struck me like a thunderbolt that I hadn’t run a SVN add before the commit and seeing as committing via a terminal doesn’t automatically do this, I was now in a situation where some of my newly created files from the day before wouldn’t be available to me here in the office!

Now I knew mom was on Jessica babysitting duty for the day, so I took a chance and grabbed the office phone, putting a call through to our home number. Sure enough, mom picked up and after a little banter, I requested that she head for the home office and get comfy.

There I attempted to navigate her through the process of accessing the Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal menu option, changing directory to the correct working folder which I needed her to be in, running various SVN commands like info and status, as well as returning a list of files and directories within various folders.

Now to someone like me this is pretty trivial, but bear in mind that my dear old mom isn’t exactly a PC power user, never mind the fact that she’s only ever used Windows before – and now I have her running around on a text only command line terminal!


Anyway, we got amazingly far, all the way such that we had successfully identified the three missing files which needed to be added to the SVN, added them to the SVN and were now ready for a commit, the final step which I needed in order to solve my dilemma back in the Touchwork offices.

And damn it, wouldn’t you guess that the final little jump was just that little jump too far. The SVN commit command opens up a text editor for a comment, which you need to enter, save and close before the commit transmits the file and it was on this step that I couldn’t adequately direct mom, which meant that after a couple of attempts, I decided to pull the plug and throw in the towel.

I worked around it in the end and uploaded the missing files when I got home in the evening, but man I was telling everyone in the office just how proud I was of mom after our epic 30 minute terminal adventure, even if we didn’t come out on top.

So thanks for the effort mom, I was MORE than suitably impressed!! :)

And I guess I owe you a reward sometime as well! ;)

Related Posts:

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.