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Guide to Unix Using Linux Paperback – October 11, 2001

ISBN-13: 978-0619130015 ISBN-10: 0619130016 Edition: Revised
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 568 pages
  • Publisher: Course Technology Ptr; Revised edition (October 11, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0619130016
  • ISBN-13: 978-0619130015
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,401,702 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By R. Kastl on February 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
I teach UNIX at a college in the Phoenix area. I was given this book as the school's choice for the class literature. I have since told my students to stop bringing this book and, instead, bring a different one I have chosen. This book fails to address far too much of the UNIX operating system to be of much use as a learning tool.
Missing from this book are discussions on important topics such as links/symlinks, su, detailed discussions of mode/permission settings, suig/sgid program execution, terminal settings, and much more. Large type-face and excessive (unnecessary) illustrations are more the cause for its 568 pages, than is an abundance of content. Additionally, the author spends far too much time teaching the X-Windows GUI than the actual command line which is the fundamental heart of the UNIX system. My students and I have also noticed various inaccuracies with the text content. I have removed this book from the book list for my course, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone wanting to learn UNIX.
What I found most disturbing was the author's own comments that he was more concerned about Amazon initially getting the credits right than he seems to be with accurately and completely presenting information regarding the UNIX operating system.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael M. Thomas on April 11, 2002
Format: Paperback
I too was leery of using this textbook in a Unix workshop that I sometimes teach for a graduate program at IUPUI. After reading the negative comments I contacted Course Technology and tracked down the editor for this title. She admitted that there were some serious typos which made the exercises difficult to complete successfully. She told me that they had hired a Linux expert to re-edit the book and it would hopefully be available in time for my class the summer of 2001. It was ready in time and it worked very well for my class. BE AWARE that the ISBN number wasn't changed and the only indication that you have the revised version is the word UPDATED in a gold star in the upper right side of the text cover. Instructors can get a CD with solution files, Powerpoint slides, Test Manager, and an Electronic Instructors Manual. I would agree that perhaps less GUI content and more of the omitted topics noted in other reviews would make this a 5-star textbook.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mario Lemieux on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I can't belive people can actually rate this book 5 stars. I'm not so sure they tried the exercises. There is so much mistake in the book, that it's rediculous. None of the exercises work, because of the fact that UNIX is case-sensitive and the author sometimes considered that and sometimes didn't. Bottom line is: THIS IS AN EXTREMELY BAD BOOK.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By David S. Lawyer on September 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is simply written and easy to read but it has serious
problems. I felt it deserved 1.5 stars. It has many figures of
monitor screens which are about 90% blank space. The text on the
screens is hard to read since it's fine white letters on black.
There is a lot of wasted space elsewhere.
Why doesn't it show long options using -- or the --help option?
Why were the important symbolic links omitted? Why didn't it show
how to ask for help with the vi editor? The list of important
information omitted goes on and on.
Fig. 2-1 fails to show the important /sbin and /var
directories. The use of the + option for the sort command is
obsolete according to the on-line manual page. The obsolete +
option uses and index origin of 0 which the book fails to
mention. The definition in the Glossary of Telnet as being
a "terminal emulation program" is incorrect. And so on ...
So I'm disappointed with the book and can't recommend it.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tim on September 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I am a College Student using this book, my prof. likes it because he does not have to work at making exercise for us to do, but the whole class seems to hate the book, we only meet once a week, but during those couple hours we find about 10 mistakes. to many typo's, and the review questions at the end of the chapter don't help either, there are more than one spot where the answer could be multiple but there is only one answer ????? i would not use this book. unless you have an O'Reillys "Unix in a nutshell" handy.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Judging by the reviews, this appears to be a book you either love or hate, depending on how you like to learn. Incidentally, my review is based on the edition that preceded this one.

Plusses:

Although you can learn UNIX by reading books or online guides, anyone who has started from "zero" realizes that the process is very confusing to someone who doesn't already know UNIX--as strange as that may sound. This is often the case when the programmers and IT professionals write the books and online guides--you know, those people who believe anyone can look at a man page and understand exactly what is being stated. They forgot how much they know and it is reflected in the way the material is presented, which cannot be easily deciphered by someone who is not already "part of the group." Therefore, "ordinary" people or beginners--even those with experience outside of UNIX--need something better that will cover all the basics in a clear way that can be understood without already being a computer science major in college or an IT professional. For these people, Guide to UNIX Using Linux provides a welcome and relatively easy introduction to UNIX. (Although understanding UNIX is not a trivial process, it is fifty times easier to get acquainted with UNIX using this book than to try to figure out what to do using man pages in my opinion.)

Negatives:

The book contains some fundamental weaknesses. Sure, not all versions of UNIX or Linux the user may encounter are going to be identical, so I did not anticipate that every command would work perfectly with every system, but some of the examples did not work as expected.

When the book refers to something that does not exist in the book text, you have a problem.
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