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4.0 out of 5 stars Good introduction,
This review is from: Learning the Unix Operating System: A Concise Guide for the New User (Paperback)This is a good first book on Unix. A reader of the book can decide which of the subjects covered in the book interests him, and go deeper by reading other books. Be sure to check the errata page at oreilly.com for mistakes in the book.
4.0 out of 5 stars Every UNIX Admin Group Should Have One� To loan to users,
This review is from: Learning the Unix Operating System: A Concise Guide for the New User (Paperback)Every UNIX Admin Group Should Have One... To loan to users
You are perceived to be a UNIX guru. People regularly come to you with great deference to ask you for advice and help. Someone apologizes for his/her lack of knowledge for the third or fourth time and asks about a basic command. You grab a thin book from the shelf. "Take a look at this book", you say, "You probably know most of what's in here, but maybe some of it will help you. Just give it back when you're done." With relief he/she clutches the book and thanks you several times. He/she almost bumps into your neighbor's cubicle wall as he/she walks away reading this book...
Buy this thin book and this may happen to you. Well, the first part you'll have to manage yourself, but no self-styled UNIX novice has been ungrateful to borrow this book. Anyone seen as a guru will find that this book will pay for itself as a time-saving loaner.
I must say, that perception plays a great deal in this case. The book is amazingly thin and sports an O'Reilly animal on the cover. Anyone in corporate IT will associate this book with the O'Reilly books the in-house experts have on their shelves. I have another book that I feel may be a bit better for UNIX beginners, but given a choice, people will grab this one.
One can't help but notice sections that are probably unnecessary for computer-savvy UNIX beginners, such as "working with a mouse" and the description of a directory structure. But these sections are brief and clear and the authors move on quickly to UNIX-specific items such as "Redirecting I/O".
I definitely prefer "UNIX: Visual QuickStart Guide" from Peachpit Press, so I'm compelled to give this book less than a perfect score. I must admit that people who borrow this book seem much more enthusiastic when they borrow it than when they return it. But they also seem ready to move on to heavier books, and that's well worth the price.
5.0 out of 5 stars Now all that text means something...,
This review is from: Learning the Unix Operating System: A Concise Guide for the New User (Paperback)I remember my first look at a UNIX terminal. A little '%' with a flashing cursor. I don't remember how long I stared at the little prompt not knowing what to do. Then I pressed some keys and things became much worse.
Now I'm surfing around dizzying hierarchies of file structures, able to get to the root and back again and make and edit text files. I bite my thumb at weird commands that used to seem as comprehensible as medieval scholasticism.
I wouldn't have been able to accomplish any of that without this little book that's as intimidating as a ladybug.
The most difficult part of the book, in fact, is actually finding a UNIX environment to log into. If you're not at a University or a fairly good-sized corporation (and if you don't know UNIX they won't let you near a command line anyway) you may wonder where to go. Linux, in most cases, is a good substitute; or check the web for free UNIX (or Linux) shell accounts. Combine your new-found account with this book and UNIX will no longer be a gut-wrenching incomprehensible monolith.
Don't consider yourself an expert, however, and don't stop there. UNIX may not be as difficult as some like to think it is, but it's also not easily mastered. Take this book, digest it, then move on to bigger tomes (there is no shortage of tomes in the land of UNIX, as you will find).
Lastly, the owl on the cover rules.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best quick reference for UNIX in my library.,
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for total Unix newbies,
Some of the books strengths are its using of examples and illustrations. Using screens shots to show what the user will (or should) see helps the Unix shy better understand should happen when they do something. This book really does a good job in going step by step in order to accomplish. New users definitely won't feel like they will get lost.
The other strength is how the book covers errors that users might encounter, and how to deal with them. Afterall, new users will make mistakes, and it helps to have a book that will tell users why they got that error.
If you have a fair amount of experience in Unix, you should definitely read other books. If you are really new to Unix, then definitely read this book. You will definitely feel more confident when you are done. Even those who have learned Unix before just might learn sometihng new (I did). :)
5.0 out of 5 stars valuable out of the box,
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Learning the Unix Operating System: A Concise Guide for the New User by John Strang (Paperback - Oct 29 2001)
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