Learning Unix for Mac OS X
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: May 2002
Pages: 160

The success of Apple's operating system, Mac OS X, and its Unix roots has brought many new potential Unix users searching for information. The Terminal application and that empty command line can be daunting at first, but users understand it can bring them power and flexibility. Learning Unix for Mac OS X is a concise introduction to just what a reader needs to know to get a started with Unix on Mac OS X. Many Mac users are familiar and comfortable with the easy-to-use elegance of the GUI. With Mac OS X, they now have the ability to not only continue to use their preferred platform, but to explore the powerful capabilities of Unix. Learning Unix for Mac OS X gives the reader information on how to use the Terminal application, become functional with the command interface, explore many Unix applications, and learn how to take advantage of the strengths of both interfaces.

The reader will find all the common commands simply explained with accompanying examples, exercises, and opportunities for experimentation. The book even includes problem checklists along the way to help the reader if they get stuck. The books begins with a introduction to the Unix environment to encourage the reader to get comfortable with the command line. The coverage then expands to launching and configuring the Terminal application--the heart of the Unix interface for the Mac OS X user. The text also introduces how to manage, create, edit, and transfer files. Most everyone using a computer today knows the importance of the internet. And Learning Unix for Mac OS X provides instruction on how to use function such as mail, chat, and web browsing from the command line. A unique challenge for Mac OS X users is printing from the command line. The book contains an entire chapter on how to configure and utilize the various print functions.

The book has been reviewed by Apple for technological accuracy and brandishes the Apple Development Connection (ADC) logo.

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O'Reilly MediaLearning Unix for Mac OS X
 
2.0

(based on 4 reviews)

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1.0

Learning Unix for Mac OS X Review

By Ian

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Unix for Mac OS X:

This book is a blatent rip-off of previously published O'Reilly material. I am really disgusted that I fell for this and bought it. At the very least, it is badly misnamed.

Lately I've spent a lot on O'Reilly books and some seem pretty good (vi, emacs). I will certainly think twice about buying another.

I thought O'Reilly himself recently said in an interview that they only write books if they don't see a good pre-existing book on the topic - well, based on that, I expected the authors to do a lot more research on OSX and write a book about it.

Something which would explain some of the UNIX oddities of MacOSX. Just a few of the things which would not be in a general UNIX text. The only useful MacOSX information I can see is how to set up my printer as lpr. Not that interesting to me, but it appears to be there.

Maybe some information which is not easily available through a Google search. Or, something which does not appear to be cut and pasted straight from other O'Reilly books.

This tiny book is just a terribly brief re-hash of other OReilly UNIX primer material. Tiny is wonderful if it's dense and useful, like Strunk and White, but this book still manages to incorporate a lot of uninteresting UNIX features which will never be used, while not delving into any of the Nextstep/Openstep/MacOSX features/issues which may not be well documented already by Apple.

By all means use the free Apple documentation instead, search Google for articles about features which insterest and mystify you on OSX. Search Google on how to use man pages and then use them for details.

Perhaps buy a full size UNIX guide from O'Reilly or whoever. I can't recommend this book to any imaginable target audience.

- Ian

 
1.0

Learning Unix for Mac OS X Review

By Anthony T.

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Unix for Mac OS X:

This book was hyped a lot so maybe I expected a whole lot more, but I have to agree with previous reviewer, Martin Simoneau: This book is only a (VERY) brief introduction. I really don't feel that I got all that much more from this book than I got from O'Reilly's "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" (which is a fantastic). In fact, most of the first four chapters of this book tell me much of the same thing as "The Missing Manual" command line and terminal chapters. Since you can get most of this information, if not more, for free off the Net, why would I pay 20 bucks for it?

A chapter on "Customizing the Terminal Window" is a waste of space (plus, it's in "The Missing Manual"). Any Mac user that can't find the preferences menu and mess around with fonts and colors to get things the way they like, shouldn't be messing with the command line (IMHO).

I did expect a little more explanation about the "in's and out's" of going into the Unix command line to customize my Mac... like a bunch of the articles that are on O'Reilly now. Things like sending e-mail via the command line and surfing the web are all but useless to me... why would I send mail that way when the Mac GUI is so wonderfully easy to use? Another chapter is on accessing the Internet via TelNet... hardly secure in this day and age, but the book only spends a paragraph on security... how about some space devoted to configuring Unix's firewall? So that makes another two of the 10 chapters of this book essentially useless (at least for me, and I would imagine, most Mac users).

The last chapter "Where to go from here" tells me about the Unix's "man" (manual) command (which is in "The Missing Manual") and ends up being just a plug to go to oreilly.com and sign up for the pay services.

What's left is a chapter on command line printing (6), a chapter on redirecting I/O (7) and a chapter on multitasking (9)... hardly worth 20 bucks!

I guess that I am just disappointed because I expected a lot more.... at least since many consumers will buy this book, as I did, based on the quality of "MacOS X: The Missing Manual".

 
2.0

Learning Unix for Mac OS X Review

By Martin Simoneau

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Unix for Mac OS X:

This book doesn't describe the real Mac OS X unix specificity. It's only a brief introduction to unix. Nothing about:

- Bundle

- NetInfo (except for adding a printer)

- the different filesystem hierarchy:

- /private directory

- /Library

- /System

- the filesystem domains (local/networs and user)

- the boot process (rc.boot and rc Scripts)

- Startup items

- DirectoryServices

- the specific OS X processes

- nibindd

- netinfod

- ATSServer

- pbs

- Application packaging

- Frameworks

- HFS+

- Mac alias vs standard symbolic link

- Resource Fork for a file

- etc...

You can obtain the same information present in this book for free, take a look at these URLs:

http://wks.uts.ohio-state.edu/unix_course/unix_book.pdf

http://www.freebsd.org/projects/newbies.html

 
4.0

Learning Unix for Mac OS X Review

By Mike D.

from Undisclosed

Comments about O'Reilly Media Learning Unix for Mac OS X:

A very good basic book on UNIX. It gives the beginner a good introduction to the core functions of the terminal and the command line. I had gone through Chris Stone's excellent "Learning the Mac OS X Terminal" series on oreilly.com and got my unsupported Epson 850Ne network inkjet printer working in OS X by following instructions at http://homepage.mac.com/balthisar/printing/ (which is also an excellent resource) before reading this book. I still learned quite a bit from this book. It filled in a lot of gaps in my basic UNIX knowledge. It definitely left me hungry for more especially in the area of shell customization.

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