Terminal-Only Week Day #01 – CMus (Digital Minimalism)

Day 1

When it comes to challenges I love to set myself some boundaries or try out new things over a set period of time in order to gain new insights into the world of productivity. While I tried to learn the basics of vim last week I now want to focus on an entire new level of productivity. Digital Minimalism does not necessarily mean decluttering files, or social media. It could also refer to computing in a minimal, more productive way.

Something about the 80s was magical. Computers for the most part did not offer a graphical interface (at least not in a sense we know today). Thus, computing was pretty minimalistic and straightforward, which is nice in a way. You told the computer one thing to do and it just executed your command. No fancy graphical effects, no distraction, just uninterrupted productivity. As someone born in the early 90s I still got to know this workflow. Last year I decided to head to Linux after some frustration with Windows and after I found out about Elementary OS I became a lot more productive. Elementary OS is basically everything that is great about Linux and combines it with the workflow, design aesthetics and bliss of Mac OS while being pretty lightweight.

But one thing I try to aim for is compatibility between devices. Thanks to the Linux Terminal I can achieve this kind of interconnectivity. And I can work with super fast speed, since Bash basically needs almost any resources. If you had told me last year that I would at some point use a command line I wouldn’t have believed you. Yet, here I am writing an article in vim about an experimental “terminal-only” week. Here are some rules I want to apply this week to make it creatively challenging:

  • I use bash for all my computing on my Notebook/PC/Raspberry Pi (E-Mail, messaging, music, web-browsing, calendaring, file hosting, …)
  • I use the Terminal-UI App on my Android Smartphone as a launcher and everything I can substitue within a Termux bash session
  • Only exceptions are phone calls, posting articles online (not possible in terminal only mode with a wordpress.com blog), Netflix/YouTube on my PS4 (stationary but not possible within the terminal), recording music at my studio PC (not possible without beefy hardware and GUI-Digital Audio Workstations) and telegram messaging (since I want fully encrypted chats, a thing that currently – as far as I know – is not possible within a terminal).
  • I will write about the tools and programs I use everyday to give you an insight into my work flow.
  • I cannot use other devices like my iPad except for SSHing into other computers (like my Raspberry Pi) to work in the shell.

Program of the day: cmus

Cmus is a great tool if you want to listen to music from the Terminal. It is available for Linux and Mac OS X, but can also be compiled for Windows. It basically supports almost any file format that is commonly used, features great keyboard shortcuts for quick navigatin. You can add songs, albums and artists to your library, create playlists and directly play files from their path. And the best thing is, this app is so lightweight (because it runs within a terminal) that you can use it on a 10$ Raspberry Pi Zero without a hassle.

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