Dave Taylor is up front about the Mac flavored UNIX OS and gives us 10 commands to cut our
teeth on. He refers to his other book on Wicked Cool Shell Scripts he had published by No
Starch Press over a year ago for folks who want to dig even deeper.
He even shows how to use vi (text editor) and Pine (Email program).
Master the command line? Well, maybe not quite, after all there are a few hundred commands
and this book just hints at the power behind the curtain.
What I did do however was play with X11, and Fink, load NeoOffice/J a Java based Open
Source alternative to MS Office) and goof around some with GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation
Program, Open Source app that functions like Photoshop).
There was just a little bit of frustration as I tried finding the Terminal Inspector (Terminal
>Window Settings > Terminal Inspector) that somehow got stepped over with otherwise fine
screenshots and examples. I still need to get more familiar with Fink and GIMP. Fink opens up a
whole new world by letting Open Source apps into the Mac.
There are 11 chapters and no Appendices, but there is a short ending chapter that hints at shell
scripting with Perl, Python and Ruby and compiling with C and C++, Objective C and Cocoa
Dave Taylor does an excellent job walking us through the Unix process and every once in a
while his humor shows through. He's comfortable in this environment and we should be too.
This book should be a prerequisite for the one I reviewed last month, Mac OS X Tiger for Unix
Geeks, but then again, they already know eat, drink and sleep this stuff. No, Learning Unix for
Mac OS X Tiger is really for the person who is comfortable in the Tiger environment who wants
to play with the cute Siberian Tiger cub. Learn why so many UNIX and Linux folks are going
gaga over Mac OS X Tiger. You already have that cute cub in hand and with Mac OS X 10.4.2,
we may see that Tiger cub having reached adolescence. Learn a little of what they know.
MPN, LLC 2005 macCompanion
August 2005, Volume 3 Issue 8