[OS X TeX] Error: I can't write on file '(name)'

Peter Dyballa Peter_Dyballa at Web.DE
Tue Mar 27 10:55:15 CEST 2007

Am 27.03.2007 um 04:05 schrieb Alain Schremmer:

> Right now, my installation has been fixed by my unix friend and the  
> strike at my school has just come to an end so I have to go teach  
> tomorrow morning and then catch up with all the tex stuff. Once I  
> have caught up, though, I will study what you wrote above but maybe  
> you can suggest an introduction to the terminal that *I* can read.  
> (With big stress on "I")

Terminal has a built-in Help node – see the menu bar! And in that  
Help node you'll find links to further help on UNIX ...

Terminal itself is a rather simple programme. It allows to select  
fonts, font sizes, and (text) encodings for text input and output, or  
to use colours and transparency. You can choose between a few  
blinking or steady text cursor symbols. Or can have more than one  
view of the contents in Terminal. The actual power behind Terminal  
(and most other terminal emulation programmes) is that it allows to  
use the whole UNIX. It's a few thousand programmes. It's even more  
shell scripts. And it's an infinite number of pipes – UNIX constructs  
in which the (standard) output of a programme is fed as (standard)  
input to another programme, used to filter a big amount of output  
(and there is also a standard error stream or file descriptor). An  
example is my line on which texmf.cnf is typed into Terminal (via the  
cat [concatenate] programme), but its text does not appear there  
because it's fed via a pipe (the ``|´´ symbol, VERTICAL BAR) into the  
next programme, sed (the stream editor), and its filtered/changed  
output does not appear either in Terminal because it is redirected  
via ``>´´ into a file (with ``<´´ you can make a UNIX programme read  
your input from a file, kind of remote control or scripting the  

UNIX is to learn (to understand and later to use) these concepts,  
knowing how to get information about a particular topic (``man  
whatsoever´´ in a second or third Terminal) – and knowing a few  
things about the thousand documented UNIX programmes! And once you  
have Leopard's Time Machine running you won't be able to destroy your  
Mac from the command line ...



There's no sense in being precise when you don't even know what  
you're talking about.
                                   -- John von Neumann

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