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In the beginning... was the command line

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An interesting book by the author of Snow Crash, Cryptonomicaon etc Neal Stepheson.

Just finished reading this interesting essay on operating systems. He really shows quite what a geek he is, which does come out in fiction, and it describes the relationships between us users and the various operating systems out there.. It did come out in 1999 but is still kind of relevant today with the only things to have changed is Apples climb from being a almost non-entity and BeOS not living long after the book was written. see Haiku for BeOS inspiration these days.

Well thought out articles with not too much pandering to the stereotypes of Apple = cool, Microsoft = evil, Linux = geek. Just well thought out apraisals of how the OS's developed there flavout up until that point. Without MS hardware prices would not have fallen as they did, Apples GUI 'helping' MS develop its windows style. He doesn't bemoan the fact that Linux can do everything for everyone, is free and yet isnt taken up by the masses.

Quite an interesting read if you are into computers. Not quite worth the asking price though.

He does credit apple with his move to linux and I am familiar with the cause, those old MAC II's trashed files at school for me all the time and this probably resonantes in my baseless distrust of Apple these days. I just cant see the benifits of me purchasing a Mac over my love of tinkering with electronic equiptment and incremental upgrades.

Linux I really would like to know more intermately but I am afaid something always intervenes to make the process infuriating and I always come out felling a bit of a newbie. I first instaled Linux in 1999 which wrote over partitions I thought it wouldn't and trash a lot of docs (only some where backed up) but managed to recover most of them. Ever since every 6 to 12 months I'll try again get a little further in and trash the OS by tinkering with something I shouldn't have and I dont have the skills to get it back to its workng state quickly so I run back to the relative comfort of windows.

My current problem is that a machine that WIndows 7 goes on perfectly seems to have hardware issues with the latest Ubuntu Release. I'll give it another try but I dont know how long I can persist

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  1. satanpenguin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SleeperService
    Quite an interesting read if you are into computers. Not quite worth the asking price though.
    The price was ok for me as I read it on the author's website for free

    Check it out here, In the Beginning was the Command Line

    BTW if you're interested in the Unix philosophy a good read is The Art of Unix Programming by Eric S. Raymond. It's more of a guide of why things are done in a certain way, than the typical programming book with source code examples and reference that get outdated in a couple of years.

    As for starting with Linux, maybe you should try giving it a go inside a virtual machine; that way you can never harm anything important and even rollback when things get out of control. Both VMWare and Virtualbox have been able to "take snapshots" of the vm for a long time).
  2. SleeperService's Avatar
    I did have a linux css server up on a VirtualBox VM for a while which was working properly except for the virtualbox ports and firewall rules which I couldn't work out so it remained rather isolated.


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