A Weird Imagination

Emotional error messages

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Cowardly tar

$ tar c
tar: Cowardly refusing to create an empty archive
Try 'tar --help' or 'tar --usage' for more information.

That's what the GNU implementation of tar says. For comparison, Debian includes FreeBSD's implementation of tar in the bsdtar package as the bsdtar command:

$ bsdtar c
bsdtar: no files or directories specified

Clingy lynx

In the text-only web browser lynx (not to be confused with links), if you press q to quit, it asks

Are you sure you want to quit? (y)

Most keys quit the program, but if you decide not to quit and press n for no, lynx shows the message


which goes away after a couple seconds allowing you to continue browsing.

Transferring many small files

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The problem

Transferring many small files is much slower than you would expect given their total size.

The solution

tar c directory | pv -abrt | ssh target 'cd destination; tar x'


cd destination; ssh source tar c directory | pv -abrt | tar x

The details

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