John D. Cook: I’ve long been impressed by shell one-liners. They seem like magical incantations. Pipe a few terse commands together, et voilà! Out pops the solution to a problem that would seem to require pages of code. Are these one-liners real or mythology? To some extent, they’re both. Below I’ll give a famous real example. Then I’ll argue that even though such examples do occur, they may create unrealistic expectations. I agree with his overall argument, but the good news about the command line is you don’t have to become a wizard to get value out of it. Start small and go from there.