I spent the day doing remote maintenance on multiple Linux machines via ssh. The revelation is that ChatGPT is the bomb for these tasks: What does that command option do? I am trying to remember. What syntax is to install that peculiar and rarely used package on Debian? I am getting this locale configuration error; what was the fix again? All this stuff is answered much sooner than searching online, no matter the search engine.

The feeling is having a good, untiring Linux connoisseur (and of all the various ancillary packages) sitting right next to you, always ready to lend a hand. I also think, and I’m probably wrong (but my experience seems to bear this out so far), that because these are all simple questions about stuff well carved in stone, hallucinations are unlikely to occur.

My assistant today was ChatGPT 3.5, which is very old by today’s LLM standards. It is also free to use, which makes it all even more impressive.