Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger reviewed by Robert Pritchett
Author: Dave Taylor
Released: June 2005
$20 USD, $28 CND, 14 GBP, 17 Euro
Requirements: Beginning knowledge of UNIX and Mac OS X
Tiger as UNIX 101.
Strengths: Assumes nothing. A great training guide.
Weaknesses: Some processes take more than one look to figure
out, but maybe that's just me.
Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger by Dave Taylor is a beginner's guide to looking behind the
curtain with Mac OS X, but don't let that cute Siberian Tiger cub on the front cover fool you.
There is a whole lot of power that is just begging to get out o f the bag and Dave Taylor has a
very good grasp on how best to instruct on how to get there from here.
There is a whole new world for the Unix wannabees and I actually learned a lot from this book
as I went through it. In the process, I discovered I had a lot of the tools discussed towards the
back regarding X11, Fink and Open Source Software when I loaded XTools 2. I also found out
that I could have saved a penny or two for what I paid for Fetch and Transit, if I had known
about the FTP commands built into the Mac OS X Tiger version of UNIX if I wanted to do the
command line thing. It really is all there after all. I like Fetch and transit, however because they
have all those neat GUI goodness about them and I prefer not to be command lining everything.
However, if I want to get geeky and talk turkey with the Linux techs, I need to know this stuff to
communicate on their level. And of course, there is X11, which is the GUI for UNIX and allows
secure remote accessing from other Macs or UNIX systems with Apple's version for Macs.
You might as well get into Terminal rather than going postal with Tiger. Sooner or later you are
gong to want to know how to clean caches, and grep (global/regular expression/print) around a
bit. Heck, I even discovered that I could do multitasking from the command line. And instead of
Option Apple Escaping to shut down recalcitrant programs, I can discover all the other processes
(many hidden) that are running that may be adding to the system hiccupping that may be the real
root cause of the problem.
MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8