by Adam C. Engst <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Netscape plug-ins are all the rage these days (see Jeff Carlson's MailBIT above), stuffing multimedia features galore into the overburdened Netscape Navigator browser window. We've got Shockwave playing Director movies, Amber displaying PDF documents, and a host of QuickTime and PlainTalk plug-ins that only work on the Mac.
In all this multimedia fuss, a small group of students at Linkoping University in Sweden are fighting back with a new type of plug-in for Netscape. You know how Netscape is attempting to turn Navigator into an operating system in its own right? Well, the new WebCommando plug-in takes that one step further, providing a full Unix-based command-line interface within Netscape Navigator's browser window.
Finally! Enough frothy movies and scratchy sounds! Now you can get back to basics with such long-time Unix favorites as ls and cd. Worried about Java applets deleting files? I'd worry more about accidently typing "rm *" in WebCommando. As an added bonus, WebCommando has a couple of Web-specific features. You can grep the contents of Yahoo and Alta Vista with it, and if you need to test a Web page, you can even run Lynx within WebCommando.
Pining for pine? Anxious for awk? Sighing for sed? WebCommando is the answer. Installation is a breeze - you just download the plug-in and put it in the plug-ins folder. Make sure Netscape Navigator has at least 32 MB allotted to it and that the disk cache is set to 80 MB, and launch Navigator. The requirements may seem a little steep, but remember that you're running Unix, actually a variant of Linux, within Netscape Navigator.