GNU parallel is a shell tool for executing jobs in parallel locally or using remote computers. A job is typically a single command or a small script that has to be run for each of the lines in the input. The typical input is a list of files, a list of hosts, a list of users, a list of URLs, or a list of tables. If you use xargs today you will find GNU parallel very easy to use, as GNU parallel is written to have the same options as xargs. If you write loops in shell, you will find GNU parallel may be able to replace most of the loops and make them run faster by running several jobs in parallel. GNU parallel makes sure output from the commands is the same output as you would get had you run the commands sequentially. This makes it possible to use output from GNU parallel as input for other programs.
The MirBSD Korn Shell (mksh) is an actively developed successor of pdksh (the Public Domain Korn Shell), aimed at producing a shell good for interactive use, but with the primary focus on scripting. It is intended to be portable to most *nix-like operating systems as long as they're not too obscure. mksh incorporates improvements from OpenBSD and Debian, as well as bugfixes and enhancements developed for the MirOS, FreeWRT, and MidnightBSD projects and Android. The emacs command line editing mode is UTF-8 capable, and Byte Order Marks are ignored in scripts. The shell supports large files, as well as all pdksh and some csh, AT&T ksh, zsh, and GNU bash features, is compatible with the Bourne shell and POSIX (within limits), has no limit on array sizes, and incorporates some other useful builtins and features. While being already fast and small (without losing functionality), flags to make it even smaller can be given at compile time. An interactive shell reads "~/.mkshrc" on startup.