Do I have to be connected to a server to use the command line? I've been using MAMP to learn PHP and mysql. But I want to go outside of MAMP. Some of the tutorials I'm in send me to the terminal's command line but when I type in the code there I don't get the password prompt that's expected. I have a mac book pro 10.6.8. Any suggestions?
You dont have to be connected to a server to use the "command line" on your Mac, but you do have to be connected to a server to run commands on the server.
Applications -> Utilities -> Terminal
That will open up the command line for your Mac, where you can log in to SSH on the server you want to run commands on.
The reason you don't get a password when you launch the Terminal app is that you are already logged in. On OS X, Terminal.app will set you up a login shell (i.e. it executes .bash_profile) but uses already authenticated user account you logged in as when you started the machine. If you want to change to another user you can use
su otherusername just as on any other Unix-like system.