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tap is a very useful command. If you run "tap" by itself, it lists the available applications that are not built into the system. It will not list applications such as Adobe Acrobat (acroread) and Mozilla Firefox (firefox) that are more closely tied to the operating system but it will list most other installed applications. The application descriptions will typically be short but you can usually tell what they are. If not, you can try the applications out to determine what the application is, version number, etc.

tap is used to set up the environment to run an application. It often has a message included to explain something about the application you have selected. The message will pop up whether you run the application from the command line or using a menu. The message may be very detailed with lots of useful information or it may be quite short depending upon who wrote the entry and what they were trying to inform the user about.

If you run "tap mathematica" for example, tap will set up the environment for Mathematica to run and it will display a message indicating that other versions of Mathematica may be available and to run "math" to run command line Mathematica or "mathematica" to get the GUI version.


If you use a particular piece of software often from the command line, add "tap -q <software-name>" to your .bashrc.mine and/or .cshrc.mine which will run tap automatically for you for each terminal you start up.