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I was going through a python book Learn Python the Hard Way and stumbled across this phrase :

Learning the command line teaches you to control the computer using language. Once you get past that, you can then move on to writing code and feeling like you actually own the hunk of metal you just bought.

I tried to google this but didn't got any results, is own the hunk of metal actually a phrase? What's the meaning in the current context?

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    Your computer is (basically) "a hunk of metal". – Mark Beadles Sep 13 '17 at 13:20
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    The meaning is literal, "hunk (large piece) of metal" refers to the computer. – user66974 Sep 13 '17 at 13:21
  • @MarkBeadles and Josh Thank You ! this explains it :) why don't you put your comments in the answer so that i can mark it as answer – Winnie Sep 13 '17 at 13:24
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    @Josh: Not really. If we apply a literal interpretation the clause is utterly pointless (obviously if you just "bought" something, you "own" it, regardless of whether you know how to use it). The intended sense of own in the cited context is what would often be written as pwn on today's Internet (effectively, a sort of metaphorical slang usage meaning control). – FumbleFingers Sep 13 '17 at 13:31
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    Referring to a computer as a 'hunk of metal' is obviously not an unmarked usage. Most people wouldn't walk into a store and say 'i want to buy one of those hunks of metal over there'. It's either despairing, would-be comical, or (as here) whimsical (probably with a bit of both). It couldn't be called a set phrase (though used for an old and decrepit car, 'pile of junk' probably is). – Edwin Ashworth Sep 13 '17 at 13:34
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Coming from the computer science and learning python these days I get it why author used it.

See you have a computer but if don't know how to use it you will feel alienated from it's features. It will be overwhelming for you to buy such an expensive piece of machine whose internals are literally made of metal and not know how to use it. It will be just a piece of metal for you, like a hammer.

Once you start learning command lines you will have the confidence over your investment and feel quite satisfied.

But once you start writing code and making application you are directly commanding a machine to do stuff for you. You will feel like you have complete control over it and deeply satisfied with investment thus feeling like you actually own the hunk of metal you just bought.

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