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The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin Paperback – September 1, 2008


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The Daemon, the Gnu, and the Penguin + A Quarter Century of UNIX
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Reed Media Services (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097903423X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979034237
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.5 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,788,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bas Vodde on May 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Daemon, The Gnu and the Penguin" is a short history of free and open (the author prefers free :P) software. Its written by 'the unix historian' Peter Salus, who has been around and has been an active part of this history. There are probably not much other people who would be more suitable to write this book than Peter Salus.

The book is quite thin (about 200 pages) and contains quite many chapters (30). The book is not following the history chronologically but neither is it totally random. It dives into one 'track' of the history, then comes back and shows how the different tracks have influenced each other. Each chapter is an essay which can be read independently. The book is feels exceptionally well researched and the author does not shy away from giving his opinion on the topic. Although, the last few chapters of the book were perhaps a little too anti-Microsoft (plus the predictions on Windows 7 can probably be exclaimed wrong).

The chapters are too many to all cover in this review. The book covers a history of unix from the perspective of one of the first Open Source applications and one of the first clashes with lawyers about openness of source code. It covers the different unix clones and especially BSD unix and how it led to vi editor and relates to Sun Microsystems. It side-tracks in Richard Stallman, the creation of Emacs, the founding of FSF and the creation of the Gnu Public License. The book covers how Linux relates to all this and how the different Linux distributions started, how they related and what their influence was on the world of Open Source. It even dives into the, perhaps, failures of Hurd, BSDi, and Plan 9... which not much people know about.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Walden on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
No book can completely document all of the open source computer activities that have happened over that past decades. Other books go deeply into the philosophy of open source activities. This book provides relatively short summaries of many open source projects and threads them together in a relatively logical chain or network. The book is a good place to start if you are just learning about open source or weren't paying attention while the big open source change came upon us and now want to review.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A masterpiece! If you are interested on the subject, it is a must read.
I strongly recomend this great book..
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