[OS X TeX] Lost in Mac space

Siep Kroonenberg siepo at cybercomm.nl
Sat Dec 13 13:52:11 CET 2008

On Sat, Dec 13, 2008 at 11:03:20PM +1100, George Ghio wrote:
> Hi peter
> Perhaps this would be the time to bring this up. Myself and many others 
> are not as computer literate as many here in these groups. Therefore, 
> while the answer to a question may well be "cd to the root"  and while 
> you may know the meaning of the answer, myself and many others are 
> bewildered. People learn in many and varied ways. Some can learn by 
> reading about the process while others must do the process to gain the 
> ability.
> ....
> For you, in your experience, the terminal may be the  benevolent angel  
> of mac harmony, but, for some of us, it is the gateway to the devils  
> lair. An example may help. Suppose that your favorite leather jacket was 
> torn. You go to a group on line and ask how to repair it and the answer 
> was "You need a pony, a stitching wheel, an awl and two saddler's 
> needles" and you are expected to deduce the skill of saddle stitching.
> Please, I need to do it to learn it. How do you "cd to the root" and  
> will it allow you to get package files in the correct places?
> And yes, I hope to be able to produce a guide for rank beginners who  
> would like to use TeX but lack the skills to wrangle the terminal.

Most packages from CTAN are already available as TeX Live packages.
If they aren't, it is usually either because of technical
complications or because of licensing issues.

I don't know whether installing something from CTAN would be such a
good project for terminal newbies. If something goes wrong then you
need to be reasonably at home in the TeX directory structure to
fix things.

As to your saddle-stitching example: the follow-up question would
be: where do I learn about saddle-stiching.  As to where to learn
about `terminal wrangling': the Leopard missing manual has a nice
chapter on Unix, with instructions that you can follow along. I am
sure there are many other introductions.

Siep Kroonenberg

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