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Multi-thread any command
For instance: $ find . -type f -name '*.wav' -print0 |xargs -0 -P 3 -n 1 flac -V8 will encode all .wav files into FLAC in parallel. Explanation of xargs flags: -P [max-procs]: Max number of invocations to run at once. Set to 0 to run all at once [potentially dangerous re: excessive RAM usage]. -n [max-args]: Max number of arguments from the list to send to each invocation. -0: Stdin is a null-terminated list. I use xargs to build parallel-processing frameworks into my scripts like the one here: http://pastebin.com/1GvcifYa

how to find the active X (X11/xorg) username and DISPLAY variable
Requires consolekit (works in e.g. Ubuntu). Here x11-display is DISPLAY

history autocompletion with arrow keys
This will enable the possibility to navigate in the history of the command you type with the arrow keys, example "na" and the arrow will give all command starting by na in the history.You can add these lines to your .bashrc (without &&) to use that in your default terminal.

Random file naming

Create an audio test CD of sine waves from 1 to 99 Hz
This command creates and burns a gapless audio CD with 99 tracks. Each track is a 30 second sine wave, the first is 1 Hz, the second 2 Hz, and so on, up to 99 Hz. This is useful for testing audio systems (how low can your bass go?) and for creating the constant vibrations needed to make non-Newtonian fluids (like cornstarch and water) crawl around. Note, this temporarily creates 500MB of .cdda files in the current directory. If you don't use the "rm" at the end of the command, you can burn more disks using $ cdrdao write cdrdao.toc Prerequisites: a blank CD-R in /dev/cdrw, sox (http://sox.sourceforge.net/), and cdrdao (http://cdrdao.sourceforge.net/). I'm also assuming a recent version of bash for the brace expansion (which just looks nicer than using seq(1), but isn't necessary).

Quick and dirty RSS
runs an rss feed through sed replacing the closing tags with newlines and the opening tags with white space making it readable.

View the newest xkcd comic.

Iterate through current directory + all subs for C++ header files and rank by # of comments
This shows you which files are most in need of commenting (one line of output per file)

Which processes are listening on a specific port (e.g. port 80)
swap out "80" for your port of interest. Can use port number or named ports e.g. "http"

Define shell variable HISTIGNORE so that comments (lines starting with #) appear in shell history
I was surprised to find that with RedHat bash, I could not find any comment lines (begining with #) in my bash shell history. Surprised because in Mageia Linux this works. It turns out that RedHat's bash will keep comment lines if in my .bashrc, I define: export HISTIGNORE=' cd "`*: PROMPT_COMMAND=?*?' Why have comment lines in shell history? It's a handy and convenient way to make proto-commands (to be completed later) and for storing brief text data that is searchable in shell history.


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