Eric F Crist asked on Sun Jan 18, 2004:

> For what purposes will I find I need to use all these tools you write
> I'm talking about awk, ed, ex, etc.  I haven't found the need to do so,
> but I'd like to possibly learn this stuff before I really do need it.

Logfiles and config files are usually text, and a standard set of text
processing tools exist. This leads to the Unix tradition of sticking little
things together.

For example, I'm doing a 'make release' - there's a lot of repeated output,
so it's hard to see how far it's gone if it crashes. So to save the output,
I run it under the script(1) command. Then on another tty, I run

  tail -f /var/tmp/script | grep '^[>+]'

which shows the main headings of the build process.

After a while, many admin tasks start to look like text processing problems.

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