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RE: Logging all console activity to a text file

Hi Brian,

Thanks ever so much for your explanation.  Once again I seem to be turning
normality on its head.  It's usually the more advanced things that come easy
to me, yet the simple fundamentals elude me, hehe.

Anyway, script it is.  I can always manually (or why not push the boat out
and do it automated?) remove any junk later on.

Thanks again,


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> Subject: Re: Logging all console activity to a text file
> Hussein Patwa wrote:
> > Thanks for your very detailed post.  I'm no Unix guru so I'll be 
> > honest and say some of that wasn't entirely clear to me.  It seems 
> > that, as what I'm doing with cygwin is really pretty basic 
> > (compressing/decompressing, subversion operations, ssh operations, 
> > etc), trying a different shell like xterm as you mentioned 
> may be the 
> > best and simplest bet.  I doubt at this stage of learning 
> I'd even notice the difference.
> I think you're confusing the concept of a shell with the 
> concept of a terminal.  They work together, but they're 
> independent parts.
> The shell is the program that interprets what you type at a 
> prompt.  Its job is to do things like find where on the PATH 
> the program is located and invoke it, expand wildcards into a 
> list of matching filenames, redirect input or output if you 
> typed "<" or ">", etc.  The shell has nothing to do with the 
> physical window that you see on your screen, and in fact in 
> many cases the shell runs with no terminal at all, such as 
> when it's given a script file to execute with input and 
> output redirected, or when it's running a cron job, etc.
> Bash is the default Cygwin shell, but there are alternative 
> shells such as tcsh, zsh, csh, ksh, ash, etc.  The Windows 
> native shell is cmd.exe.
> The terminal is the thing that displays characters on the 
> screen, and interprets keystrokes from the operating system, 
> translating them into escape sequences that are parsed by 
> whatever is reading input. The terminal doesn't know anything 
> about what is running inside it, it's just a device that 
> prints characters to a rectangular box and sends keystroke 
> sequences.  You can have a terminal with no shell, such as 
> when you invoke a program directly and it prints to stdout.
> The default Cygwin terminal is a Windows Console, and so it's 
> Windows that draws the box, displays the characters, scrolls 
> the screen, etc. 
> Alternative terminals are rxvt and xterm.
> As you can see what most people might call a "Cygwin prompt" 
> or "shell prompt" or a "shell" is really a combination of a 
> shell and a terminal. 
> You can mix and match from the above list in any combination: 
> The default is bash with a Windows Console, but you can use bash+rxvt,
> bash+xterm, zsh+Windows Console, zsh+xterm, and on and on.  If you
> switched your terminal from a Windows Console to xterm you 
> would still be using bash, unless you changed that too.  
> People seem to think that because they click on that Cygwin 
> icon and the "cygwin.bat" just runs "bash.exe --login" that 
> the box they see on the screen is drawn and controlled by 
> bash, but that's not really true.  The operating system 
> provides that console to bash, which is why it looks exactly 
> like the console from a standard Windows Command Prompt.
> Anyway, using 'script' is really much more simple than 
> switching to xterm, which is an X11 app which requires 
> installing an X11 server, etc.  Install the util-linux 
> package, and from the prompt type "script filename".  Now 
> everything typed and output is written to filename, until you 
> type exit.
> Brian
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