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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Using csh & tcsh (Nutshell Handbooks) Paperback – July 8, 1995


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Product Details

  • Series: Nutshell Handbooks
  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates; 1 edition (July 8, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565921321
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565921320
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.6 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,040,353 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

If you use UNIX, you probably use csh to type commands even if you've never heard of it. It's the standard shell (command line) on most UNIX systems. tcsh is an enhanced version that's freely available and highly recommended. Using csh & tcsh describes from the beginning how to use these shells interactively. More important, it shows how to get your work done faster with less typing. Even if you've used UNIX for years, techniques described in this book can make you more efficient. You'll learn how to: Make your prompt tell you where you are (no more pwd) Use what you've typed before (history) Type long command lines with very few keystrokes (command and filename completion) Remind yourself of filenames when in the middle of typing a command Edit a botched command instead of retyping it Let the computer correct command spelling for you This book does not cover programming or script writing in csh or tcsh because the tasks are better done with a different shell, such as sh (the Bourne shell) or a language like Perl.

From the Back Cover

If you use UNIX, you probably use csh to type commands, even if you've never heard it. It's the standard shell (command line) on most UNIX systems. tcsh is an enhanced version of csh that's freely available and highly recommended. Using csh & tcsh describes how to use these shells interactively from the beginning. More importantly, it shows how to get more work done with less typing. Even if you've used UNIX for years, the techniques described in this book can make you more efficient. You'll learn how to make your prompt tell you where you are (no more pwd), use what you've typed before (history), type long command lines with very few keystrokes (command and filename completion), remind yourself of filenames when in the middle of typing a command, edit a botched command instead of retyping it, and let the computer correct command spelling for you. This book does not cover programming or script writing in csh or tsch because these tasks are better done with a different shell, such as sh (the Bourne shell) or a language like Perl.

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Customer Reviews

This book's title verb "Using.." is misleading to say the least.
egf@nmia.com
If you're also having trouble figuring out how to do things like getting your terminal to backspace correctly, you may find it helpful to read Chapter 5.
calvinnme
So it boils down to this: this is an excellent book for learning how to make the most of the interactive environment of csh and tcsh.
R. E. Bradley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

87 of 87 people found the following review helpful By R. E. Bradley on October 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
The five reviews of this book that have come in ahead of mine range from 1 star to 5! The reason is simple, but the people panning the book didn't explain (or understand?) the problem very well.

Here's the dope: a Unix shell is both an interactive command interpreter, and an environment for writing scripts, which are basically programs using the interactive commands and some logical control structures to automate tasks that don't really need to be run interactively.

The author of this book, Paul Dubois, is of the opinion that neither csh nor tcsh are appropriate environments for shell scripting. I happen to disagree with him, at least insofar as I teach a little shell scripting in tcsh in my sophomore level software course. However, his opinion is worthy...making the argument that csh and tcsh shouldn't be used for shell scripting. Dubois recommends sh and perl for scripting.

So it boils down to this: this is an excellent book for learning how to make the most of the interactive environment of csh and tcsh. It's loaded with neat tricks and good insights. And it's a particularly good reference for tcsh, which usually gets little mention in other books.

If, on the other hand, you want a book about shell scripting, save your money: THIS IS NOT THE BOOK FOR YOU. It has no material on shell scripting.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 24, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is the book I wish I had found years ago. It is a no-nonsense approach to using a Unix utility that few people exploit to its full potential. I've often thought in the past, while performing some tedious, repetitive task: "There's *got* to be a better way to do this!" Paul DuBois' book has shown me how.
One thing I particularly like about his approach is that he doesn't try to sell csh as some kind of "mega language" that can be adapted to all scripting tasks. Its states explicitly on the back cover: "This book does not cover programming or script writing in csh or tcsh because these tasks are better done with a different shell, such as sh (the Bourne shell) or a language like Perl." The emphasis is on interactive use, an area in which tcsh shines.
Speaking of tcsh, I appreciate that the author comes right out in Chapter 1, pg. 5 and says: "I recommend you make tcsh your login shell for daily work. tcsh is more powerful and convenient than csh, and can help you get your work done more effectively." The first book I bought on this subject ("Unix C Shell Field Guide") didn't even mention the extended features of tcsh, and it went into *way* more scripting examples than I cared to read (i.e., the Swiss Army knife approach to csh). I was just looking for a way to minimize my typing and maximize productivity, like the Unix wizards I used to see hanging around the computer labs in college.
I remember watching those guys and being amazed at the pages and pages of data that would scroll by as they calmly typed in keystrokes. I thought they must be typing a mile-a-minute to be getting all that output, but they never broke a sweat.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 7, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've seen many books on unix shells, however almost all the other books focus on shell programming instead of actually using shell to work more effectively and efficiently. This book fills the gap (hence the name "Using...". I personally recommend Zsh if you are looking for the most comprehensive shell. However zsh is too comprehensive and there is no book on it. Tcsh shell is an EXCELLENT shell to do your work (type in commands, listing files, and etc). It has all the essential goodies: command line completion, command-line editor, history, and etc. It found it more friendly than ksh and less complex than bash and/or zsh. This book teaches you step by step how to use the shell to do your every day work effectively. The author explains everything clearly which is more than what I can say about many books that just touches a little bit of using the shell as a command interpreter aspect of the shell as if everyone spend more time writing the shell scripts than using the command line. These aspect of the csh/tcsh are the basis for similar utilities in the other shells: ksh, bash, and zsh. I find that even if you use bash or zsh, you'll appreciate the information in the book. The other reason the author didn't write much on programming is because c-shell is less frequently used in shell programming because of the now famous posting of "C shell programming considered harmful", which is also on the book's homepage. If you have the patience to read through the book, you will find it an excellent investment of time. (The only other book I would say this for sure is the "Learning the vi Editor."
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By egf@nmia.com on September 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is an example of an author who didn't finish his work. This book's title verb "Using.." is misleading to say the least. There is not one iota of coverage in here about shell scripting constructs like control flow! This means you will not learn about: while, switch, if-then-else, break, continue, goto, and the like in here. If one uses a shell, s/he would most assuredly need to learn the control constructs so as to write loops, test variables,and the like. The author says [in private email] that in so many words, he is a fan of Tom Christianen who once wrote that c shell programming is considered harmful. How else would one pass some complex test across all files in a dir, for example? I need to do such things regularly. What does Mr Dubois recommend for these needs? Jump into sh/bash, do it the correct way, then exit back into csh/tcsh? I don't think so. Why didn't he include the whole picture, and let each choose what s/he found useful, instead of censoring out what he didn't like about the features of these shells?! If Mr Dubois couldn't, or wouldn't explain the full feature matrix of these shells, why even write a book about csh/tcsh?!? Maybe he doesn't really know the material fully, or else didn't have time to fully research and try out the full power that these shells give one. Why didn't he just write a book about ksh, bash, or something else that he really knows about or approves entirely about?! I purchased the book over the net, and was unaware that the author stated on the rear cover that no programming constructs were covered. I didn't have the luck to peruse the book at a local store first, lest I would have passed on it. caveat emptor
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