A very handy tool and well-known is the one called ‘cat’, named such for the way in which it catapults the contents of a File upon the screen. For very long files this may be unwieldy and o’erwhelm us with a mighty Torrent of data, yet for small Files none can match it. And as is the way with many of our Creator’s wondrous gifts, there is more that this catapulting device may evince.

A Hedgehog

There may arise occasion that your Files contain Special Characters, letters not found in the Book of ASCII. These ungodly runes are invisible to the eyes of mortals. Tabs they may be, or Bi-nary characters, or even, shudder to think it, line-endings of DOS, Damned Of Satan. Who of us hath not wept and gnashed our teeth after finding a File full of ^Ms?

A Dragon Flying over a Panther

This is where we summon ‘cat’ with the aid of a trinity of Options: ‘-vet’, dash vee ee tee, named for the Roman Army’s animal-healing veterinarius soldiers. Give these thrice bless’d options to ‘cat’, and they will reveal to you the perilous secrets of the Special Characters within your Files.

Tabs are shewn: ^I

Newlines thus: $

DOS newlines: ^M

Bonus Tipp: these characters odd and mischievous can also be seen in ‘vi’, if thou giveth the command ‘:set list’. (Enter ‘:set nolist’ to banish these letters from your sight once again.)

Ctrl-D, Amen.

A Hedgehog, about 1270, Franco-Flemish
A Dragon Flying over a Panther, about 1270, Franco-Flemish
Digital images courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program

~ this page pub. 21 October 2013 ~
« previouse page: Sponsors ~ Table of Contentes ~ next page: Wyld Kingdom: lions »