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REVIEW: "The Mac OS X Command Line", Kirk McElhearn

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Ha
    BKMOSXCL.RVW 20041223 The Mac OS X Command Line , Kirk McElhearn, 2005, 0-7821-4354-7, U$34.99/C$48.95/UK#24.99 %A Kirk McElhearn kirk@mcelhearn.com %C
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2005
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      BKMOSXCL.RVW 20041223

      "The Mac OS X Command Line", Kirk McElhearn, 2005, 0-7821-4354-7,
      %A Kirk McElhearn kirk@...
      %C 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501
      %D 2005
      %G 0-7821-4354-7
      %I Sybex Computer Books
      %O U$34.99/C$48.95/UK#24.99 800-227-2346 info@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0782143547/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0782143547/robsladesin03-20
      %O tl i rl 2 tc 2 ta 3 tv 2 wq 2
      %P 438 p.
      %T "The Mac OS X Command Line: Unix Under the Hood"

      The introduction lays out some of the structure of the Mac OS X
      operating system: the traditional GUI (Graphical User Interface) on
      top of the command line based UNIX. McElhearn also notes that the
      book is probably best used as an exercise tool: try out examples and
      get familiar with a given command before moving on.

      Chapter one presents the Terminal program, as it provides access to
      the command line, and demonstrates some basic commands, mostly
      concerned with file creation and management. More on the Terminal,
      primarily settings for appearance and function, is provided in chapter
      two. Following that is an "Interlude." The interludes are too short
      to be chapters themselves, but it isn't completely clear why they
      can't be integrated with the other material. This first one, for
      example, involves a discussion of command syntax, which could have
      been broached with the first command line illustrations, or could have
      waited until more sophisticated commands required the explanation.
      (In responding to the draft of this review, the author has noted that
      the interludes address significant topics that have application in
      more than one section.) Chapter three outlines the UNIX help systems,
      such as man and whatis, and is followed by an interlude dealing with
      filenames and directory paths. However, the directory information
      could have been presented in chapter four, which deals with directory
      navigation. The next interlude, on redirection of input and output,
      could also have been included with chapter five, which works with file
      commands. The interlude on cloning your startup folder does not seem
      to fit easily into the chapters thus far.

      Chapter six presents tips for making command line use faster, such as
      filename completion and the command history. The locate, find, and
      grep search commands are described in chapter seven. Utilities for
      viewing files are listed in chapter eight. Chapter nine explains some
      of the text processors and editors available. Printer and queue
      management commands are in chapter ten.

      Chapter eleven outlines compression and archiving utilities. Accounts
      and permissions are in twelve (followed by an interlude on the use of
      sudo, for operating with other permissions). Various network
      applications are described in chapter thirteen. Chapter fourteen
      looks at process management. Maintenance and utility software is in
      fifteen. Shell configuration, in chapter sixteen, revisits and
      extends some of the points from chapter two.

      The writing and explanation of the UNIX commands and utilities is
      clear and well presented, even if the structure is a bit odd. Any
      user should be able to begin working with the UNIX command line with
      this book as a starting point.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2004 BKMOSXCL.RVW 20041223

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Any noun can be verbed. - Alan J. Perlis
      http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade
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