I tell people who are curious about Linux that you really don’t need to open a terminal to run a Desktop. The terminal is a scary thing for noobs. They get the willies when you start talking about it. While it is true that modern desktops provide pretty much all the point-and-click functionality you could ever need, between you and me, I know that the real power of Linux lives on the command line. You can do amazing things with just a few keystrokes if you have a bit of knowledge under your belt. One of those amazing things is that you can automate just about anything using Cron.
Cron is already working on your machine even if you’ve never heard of it. It works totally in the background, stealthily running commands provided to it by different programs that are installed on your computer. It mainly handles rather mundane maintenance tasks but any user can tap into its functionality and make Cron do their bidding. (Read the rest at Freedom Penguin)