UNIX (Visual QuickStart Guide)

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9780201353952: UNIX (Visual QuickStart Guide)

UNIX is the most commonly-used operating system in the world. Once considered too arcane and difficult for the creative user to learn, it is now used daily by millions of Internet users and developers. It's the system the Internet is built on. The task of learning UNIX, with its seemingly complicated commands and hundreds of different flavors, can seem daunting without a straightforward guide.

UNIX: Visual QuickStart Guide is the easiest way to get going with UNIX. The unique Visual QuickStart presentation strips away the mystery and technical jargon that surround this system. Simple step-by-step instructions, backed up with graphics and illustrations, guide readers through commands and applications both common and obscure. Beginners will applaud theVisual QuickStart Guide's uncomplicated approach, and seasoned UNIX users will find it to be an invaluable reference.

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Review:

In Unix: Visual QuickStart Guide, the authors take the time to explain correct Unix lingo as well as concepts and processes to be aware of as a daily user. The real-life implication of reading Unix is not only that you won't receive irate messages from your system administrator, but that you'll be able to manipulate your Unix environment, making it a genuinely enjoyable workspace.

For more experienced users, there are plenty of cool tools and shortcuts to make the book worthwhile (sdiff, head, and procmail, for example). The authors provide a generous section on scripting--a good introduction for advanced users who may be spending too much time on repetitive tasks. The authors also touch on how to intelligently include regular expressions in searching, a pleasant addition to an already outstanding section.

Some of the authors' decisions on what to include merit warning, although not enough that users should turn away from this book: the authors only cover the bash, ksh, and csh shells; they focus on only the pico and vi editors--not emacs; and their excellent section on e-mail covers only pine (briefly mentioning that elm really isn't worth its salt for a new user). While the book isn't all-inclusive, it isn't meant to be. The authors make their preferences clear, and for the user, this amounts to a good deal of clarity and time saved. --Jennifer Buckendorff

About the Author:

Deborah S. Ray and Eric J. Ray are syndicated columnists, consultants, and co-owners of RayComm, Inc., a consulting firm with clients like Compaq Computer Corporation's AltaVista Search Servce. The authors of many books on computers and computing systems, the Rays are the recipients of several awards from the Society of Technical Communications, including an International Distinguished Technical Communication award and an International Excellence award. While not working with UNIX systems or otherwise staring into computer monitors, Deborah and Eric work on their home and spend time with their family.

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Deborah S. Ray; Eric J. Ray
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