The cpio command may seem cryptic at first glance, but after you use it a few times, it will become an indispensable addition to your Linux toolkit. Especially if you are one of the many users with no tape drive and no commercial backup utility, learning cpio and swapping floppies sure beats the (non-existent) alternative after a disk crashes or you make a mistake with the rm command...
Eric Goebelbecker (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a systems analyst for Reuters America, Inc. He supports clients (mostly financial institutions) who use market data retrieval and manipulation APIs in trading rooms and back office operations. In his spare time (about 15 minutes a week...), he reads about philosophy and hacks around with Linux.
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