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Paperback Think UNIX Book

ISBN: 078972376X

ISBN13: 9780789723765

Think UNIX

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Book Overview

Unix has a reputation for being cryptic and difficult to learn, but it doesn't need to be that way. Think Unix takes an analogous approach to that of a grammar book. Rather than teaching individual words or phrases like most books, Think Unix teaches the set of logical structures to be learned. Myriad examples help you learn individual commands, and practice problems at the end of difficult sections help you learn the practical side of Unix. Strong...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


I bought this book a while ago, but only recently got around to reading it. That's the amazing part about this book... the fact that it's readable! Most Linux/Unix books I've seen are the most boring reading material there is. Not so with this one.Jon really knows how to keep it entertaining, while still providing an excellent introduction to [ li | u ]nix. I found myself wanting to try the examples for sheer interest and challenge. He also goes into using pipes, and teaches you how to use them effectively.Yes, this is a great introduction, that's all it was meant to be, and it fills it's purpose superbly!

Excellent! But be careful of your expectations.

Cutting to the chase; an excellent book! I strongly recommend it if you are clear about what it is intended to accomplish. (The author even goes so far as to state his intent in the Introduction.)This book gives an overall understanding of the underpinnings of the Unix (and therefore the Linux) operating systems. It provides a broad-brush overview of how and why 'nix works the way it does, from file structures to manual formats. It does not provide detailed instruction in setting up or operating a system, in administering security programs or protocols, or even in programming.But if you learn like I do (actually, like most people do...) your learning cycle is greatly shortened if you first get a broad-brush overview. It provides a foundation for all the details that come later.If your intent is to learn *nix, my suggestion would be to buy or download a distribution (heck, some 'detail' books even come with one). Then go through the pain and suffering of installing it. (Hint: this is the reason to buy a book or distribution; the manual is very useful!) Then, buy this book to understand what your new system is doing - and why. Once you have, you'll be able to use the detail books, the 'bibles,' far more effectively. You'll even be able to use the documentation that comes with the system - or is readily available on the web - the way it is intended to be used.It was been noted in a previous review that there are a number of technical inaccuracies and typos in the book. I suspect this is the price to be paid for the rapid release of technical books we see these days. I, for one, would rather put up with some errors that an on-line errata clears up than have to wait until a book is perfect, but completely out of date and useless.If you think about it, having the problems corrected quickly via on-line 'patch' is the business model of the modern world!Again, a strong recommendation for this one. It's a very useful document to have, know, and refer to!

not a life-saver, but surely a life-improver

The reason I cannot call Mr. Lasser's book a "life-saver" is because I would not have perished from the Earth without it. Indeed, I probably would have figured almost all of the stuff in this book out, given six or seven years. But you gotta ask yourself, "at what cost?" In hair torn out (it's leaving fast enough, isn't it?), in hyperventilation (save that for the gym), in premature aging. This book is not for Dummies. This book works best with people, as I may have indicated above, who Would Have Figured It Out by themselves. But while you may pretend to enjoy a rugged hike through the steeper parts of the learning curve, Mr. Lasser's book is like strapping on a jet-pack.The book is conversational, sometimes funny (though it helps if you spend a lot of your time in front of computers), and extremely direct. If you are just curious about what this Unix thing might be good for, read the book slowly, learn a lot, and gain a solid foundation for becoming the captain of your computing destiny. If you have something you need to get done, read it quickly, learn-- well, a lot, and get where you're going in a hurry. One caution: this book does expect that you will read it. It is not a ready reference, it is not designed for index-backward utilization. It is a short course in the skeletal framework of Unix, and not a hypertext instruction manual. If you are unaccustomed to reading as it was practiced before computer self-help books arrived to chaff the bookstores of our nation, you will not derive the maximum benefit from this book.I recommend this book to (prospective) users of unix systems who take pleasure in reading, and need to learn a great deal very quickly.

Unix from the inside looking out

Funny, unorthodox, well organized, this book is a great survey of the unix family of OSes, useful both for newcomers to the system with basic computing familiarity & for those who (like me) have used & learned unix haphazardly for years.The first chapter, rather than teaching you frequently-used commands & their options, describes how to find & decipher documentation! The heart (or possibly the lymphatic system) of unix is figuring stuff out for yourself --not an easy matter if you don't know how to find out what you want to know or interpret what you've found. If you've ever stared at a man page, wondering what was wrong with your brain that you couldn't understand a word of something so detailed & apparently written in English, this book is for you!Subsequent chapters describe files (everything in unix is a file), processes, redirection & pipes, networking, regular expressions, shells, etc. --a holistic overview of unix as a complete system.

The way to teach a windows user how to "Think Unix"

This book is a "One Horse" book, that horse being to teach UNIX to those who have used Windows or Macintosh OS's their whole life. Although I have been learning UNIX for over a year, and would like to think I know a little bit about it, it tends to be hard to remember how to tell someone else how to "do this" or "that". This book is great for that. This takes a user who knows how to use a mouse and keyboard, and knows how to navigate under a "windowed" operating system into the world of command prompts and even the X-Windows system. Don't expect this to make you a system administrator, it doesn't even touch many of the things a user doesn't need to know, but it does fulfill its purpose. If you would like to learn UNIX so you can install LINUX on your machine at home, this can be a great start. While a UNIX's are different in some way's, Jon tends to stick to common themes, and points out when a command just has a different name. If you would like to "remember" what your users don't know, this is also great for you. It's a great book to recommend for a user to learn on their own.
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