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Set laptop display brightness
Run as root. Path may vary depending on laptop model and video card (this was tested on an Acer laptop with ATI HD3200 video). $ cat /proc/acpi/video/VGA/LCD/brightness to discover the possible values for your display.

Gzip files older than 10 days matching *
Useful for a cron job that runs nightly, gzipping or alternatively deleting files from a specific directory that are older than 10 days (in this case)

Convert text to lowercase
Usage: lower [STRING]...

Change timestamp on a file
-a for access time, -m for modification time, -c do not create any files, -t timestamp

Lists all listening ports together with the PID of the associated process
This command is more portable than it's cousin netstat. It works well on all the BSDs, GNU/Linux, AIX and Mac OS X. You won't find lsof by default on Solaris or HPUX by default, but packages exist around the web for installation, if needed, and the command works as shown. This is the most portable command I can find that lists listening ports and their associated pid.

Recursively grep for string and format output for vi(m)
This is a big time saver for me. I often grep source code and need to edit the findings. A single highlight of the mouse and middle mouse click (in gnome terminal) and I'm editing the exact line I just found. The color highlighting helps interpret the data.

Get AWS temporary credentials ready to export based on a MFA virtual appliance
You might want to secure your AWS operations requiring to use a MFA token. But then to use API or tools, you need to pass credentials generated with a MFA token. This commands asks you for the MFA code and retrieves these credentials using AWS Cli. To print the exports, you can use: `awk '{ print "export AWS_ACCESS_KEY_ID=\"" $1 "\"\n" "export AWS_SECRET_ACCESS_KEY=\"" $2 "\"\n" "export AWS_SESSION_TOKEN=\"" $3 "\"" }'` You must adapt the command line to include: * $MFA_IDis ARN of the virtual MFA or serial number of the physical one * TTL for the credentials

Get a brief overview of how many files and directories are installed
To start, you first need to make sure updatedb has been run/updatedb, and initialized the db: $ su -l root -c updatedb This locate command is provided through the mlocate package, installed by default on most GNU/Linux distributions. It's available on the BSDs as well. Not sure about support for proprietary UNIX systems. The output is self-explanatory- it provides an overview of how many directories and files are on your system.

Print the 16 most recent RPM packages installed in newest to oldest order

Add an iptables rule on RH/CentOs before the reject
Rather then editing the /etc/sysconfig/iptables file, or during a kickstart doing some awk/sed magic, easily add a rule in the correct place within iptables


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