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UNIX Power Tools

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  • Posted March 27, 2010

    If you have more than a nodding acquaintance with Unix, but get to use it rather infrequently (so that you forget the tricks for getting things done), this is the book for you.

    I bought this book because I occasionally use the command line in Mac OS X to accomplish some unusual task that is not covered by any of the mouse-and-window applications. Retired now, I worked for years in Unix environments, but it has been a long time, and I am rusty. This text is almost perfect for me, in that it provides a very comprehensive reference organized according to what you are trying to accomplish (in contrast with man pages).

    If you are still learning how to make effective use of the Unix pipes-and-filters model, you want a more basic text than this. And if you do not have access to a good set of man pages for your brand of Unix, this text won't supply that either. But if you fit it's niche, this book is GREAT. There were a few places where I could have used a couple more examples, and a few places where the gap between the text and the (sometimes cryptic) OS X man pages took some head scratching, but all that was minor compared to the tremendous amount of clearly explained reference material provided. I am delighted to have this book on my reference shelf!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2003

    Definitive UNIX 'Reference'

    With all the books available about UNIX, this headline might seem a bit brash but I have yet to see another book that describes so many different 'tricks' you can do with UNIX. Part 'UNIX general almanac,' part reference, part 'helpful tips,' this is a book you can refer to over and over when looking for a particular trick or command to use in a specific situation. While a general understanding of UNIX can be easily learned, it at the same time can also be a very powerful system for doing what you'd really like it to do for you. Once you learn how to 'harness' this power, you as a user or programmer can have lots of 'fun' with it. This book of course is huge (over 1000 pages) and as such is not really something to read through over a few weeks' time. There are specific topics you can 'jump' to which then refer you to other related topics in the book. For example, I love Vi, which some people may think is crazy, but I like it for its various features. The book contains a couple chapters of 'Vi tricks' to try out. I also happen to like Emacs, a UNIX screen editor and I found a chapter devoted to that as well. Other topics you can learn 'new tricks' about are your shell environment, file management and moving around to different files and directories, the UNIX kernel, scripting, and security issues. This book covers so much information, you could spend literally hours, even days learning about everything in this book. I found this book to be an excellent resource.

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