Top positive review
2 cute little guys that will work hard for you
on July 1, 2004
I've had this book for 3-4 years now and find it to be mu handiest refernce. I even use ot more than my vi book.
The raw power of sed and awk will humble even the proudest VB programmer and this book will help you get the most out of both the "Aho, Weinberg and Kernigan" and the "stream editor".
The first chapter section is entitled "May You Solve Interesting Problems" a paraphrase of the old Chinese curse, but with sed and awk no problem seems insurmountable and wil make all problems appear interesting.
This book is an outstanding reference and will get you up and running with both of these handy little programs in no time.
Just to give you an example - the first time I ever used these programs (sed and awk) I developed a cron script to query a database every day at midnight, sort the results, grabbed lines with tagged values within certain limits, added a few totals, did some averaging, "starred" the lines that departed from certain parameters, then formatted the results into a report with a header showing the dates, times and query results, statistics then packed them into a report file and e-mailed them to a dozen recipients and added a few recipients if the data was outside certain values.
I did this remarkable feat by copying a few examples from the book, changing a thing or two and in the end had a little shell script that was a few K-bytes at the most.
This VB guy from corporate worked on a VB version of the same function and ended up with six revisions, several megs in the executable and never was able to get it formatted right. Not to say that it couldn't be done but..... I wrote mine before lunch one day. He worked on his for weeks and weeks.
Such is the power contained within should you want to tap it Grasshopper.
Great book. Amaze your friends and colleagues. Have the office women ( or men) throw flowers at your feet as you enter every day - well maybe not, but this will make you more productive.
You real nerds will hardly get finished with a single box of Pop Tarts before you are writing really cool scripts when using this book.
Like all O'Reilly books this one is terse, practical and highly usable - just like UNIX.