Registered: Mar 2005
Would you recommend the product? yes | Price you paid?: $35.00 | Rating: 10
Thorough, extensive and readable
I don't own all that many Linux reference books, but this is definately the best that I've bought. The other books are 'Linux for Beginners' type books which are useless after a couple of weeks.
A quick rundown of the contents:
INTRODUCTION: basics, history, shell, X
FILES: files/directories, sharing, finding, managing
TEXT: viewing, editing, analyzing, formatting, searching, typesetting, fonts etc
IMAGES: viewing, editing, importing, postscript
SOUND: playing, recording, editing
PRODUCTIVITY: storage, printing, converting, reminders, scheduling, maths, games
NETWORKING: communications, email, www
Then there are extensive appendices.
This book with it's 788 pages is a very complete and thorough reference for Linux in general. It uses the 'ground up' philosophy, ie using the command line. GUI applications are of course covered, but the basic command line tools are really where this book excels.
I am relatively new to Linux, but there were some very basic things that I didn't know. The section on text, which is divided into 8 chapters, covers an incredible breadth of usages. Vim and Emacs feature a lot, as do grep, sed, uniq, aspell, ispell, sort, join, etc etc. Some of it is rather complicated, but generally it is extremely well laid out and explained. Examples, usually 2 or 3 are given for each usage being explained.
I would say that it is a good and extensive general reference book written from the point of view of someone who likes using the tools he refers to here, and knows a lot about them.
There are so many tools covered in this book, it is hard to see how anyone could have such an extensive knowledge but this book is a pleasure to read and own. Highly recommended.
To quote from the introduction:
"... the outer shell moves with the fashions of the season, it ages and becomes obsolete...while the inner core does not.
The core melds, picks up new features, refines or discards them, but somehow it lingers and remains... This inner core is the language of UNIX, and it is the foundation upon which the entire system is laid.
It has always been my desire... to teach that foundation in the Cookbook..."