Wednesday, November 23, 2016

O'Reilly Book Bundle!

There's a pretty awesome pay-what-you want sale over at Humble Book Bundle, featuring O'Reilly Unix books.  One of my all time favorites, which I own in original dead-tree version, Unix Power Tools, is included if you pay $8 or more.   If you pay $15 or more, you also get some pretty awesome networking tomes, including O'Reilly's excellent TCP/IP and DNS/BIND books, and a couple more.

I really can not recommend the Unix Power Tools book enough, so I'll just cover a few reasons why I think everyone should read this book, even though it was last revised in 2002. It remains a fantastic tome, and well worthy of reading.

Three top reasons to read it:

1.  It has the best written explanation of the zen of Unix-like systems that I have ever read, the composability paradigm, and the sometimes baffling array of choices you have, such as between various shells.

2. It covers most of what you need to be a competent user, developer, or system administrator on Unix-like systems, Linux or otherwise.

3. It will get you started in a hundred different things, whether it's awk or sed, or vi (lately vim), shell scripting, or the myriad of standard utilities for finding things (learn when to use find, when to use grep, when to use locate/updatedb, and others) and so many more things.

This was the book that taught me enough that I started to actually grok the unix way. Before this book it was a random walk through chaos and entropy. After this book, it was still a random walk through chaos and entropy, but with a wry smile and a sense of understanding.

Even if you think you're a Unix expert you'll learn lots from this book. It's been taken down and thumbed through dozens of times, and I've read it cover to cover twice. Go grab it!  And give the fine folks at O'Reilly some love, tell them linux code monkey sent ya.

Update: If you're one of the millions of people who was happily working away in your Windows only world, and then someone had to go and bring Linux into things, and you are expected to learn how to just SSH into a wild Linux boxen and remotely deal with it,  and that is something that scares you, there's a book in the bundle that starts exactly with installing Putty on Windows and learning what to do when you get into the mysterious world of that bash shell in that remote Linux system that you now have to learn, and may even learn to enjoy.  If this sounds like you, check out the Ten Steps To Linux Survival title in the Unix bundle above.

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