Workshop 5: Text as Interface

1 minute read

Complete by: Thu. 13 May

Text as Interface: the Command Line

So far in this class we’ve been exploring text as mainly a medium of communication: the text (whether spoken, written, printed, or online) is intended to communicate some piece of content. For this workshop, we’ll explore what it means for text to become an interface. What are the implication of typing a certain word as a command for a computer, and expecting something to happen?

If you have a Mac or a Linux computer, you can begin by opening up the Terminal application (if you can’t find it, search your system with Spotlight or a similar tool). If you are a Windows user, you’ll have to download an application called Git Bash. Follow the instructions in this tutorial:

Once you have a terminal open on your computer, follow the step-by-step exercise in this slideshow: Don’t worry: nothing you will do in this exercise will harm your computer. You’re simply learning a new way of interacting with your computer.

As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or run into any problems. It’s possible that not every command will work exactly the same on everyone’s computer, so if something isn’t working right just let me know right away and don’t stress about it. We’ll work together to fix the problem.

When you’re done, write a reflection on this exercise for the Canvas discussion board. Give special attention to the difference between text as communication and text as interface.