- Paperback: 428 pages
- Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 4th edition (September 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 059652062X
- ISBN-13: 978-0596520625
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,160,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mac OS X for Unix Geeks (Leopard): Demistifying the Geekier Side of Mac OS X 4th Edition
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About the Author
Ernest E. Rothman is a Professor of Mathematical Sciences at Salve Regina University (SRU) inNewport, Rhode Island. Ernie holds a PhD in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a BSin Mathematics from Brooklyn College, CUNY. Before accepting a full-time faculty position at SRU in 1993,he held the positions of Research Associate and Scientific Software Analyst at the Cornell Theory Centerat Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. His professional interests are in scientific computing, appliedmathematics and computational science education, and the Unix underpinnings of Mac OS X. Ernie lives insouthern Rhode Island with his wife Kim and Newfoundland dog Joseph. You can keep abreast of his latestactivities at http://homepage.mac.com/samchops.
Brian Jepson is a, programmer, author, and executive editor for MAKE's book series. He's also a volunteer system administrator and all-around geek for AS220, a non-profit arts center in Providence, Rhode Island. AS220 gives Rhode Island artists uncensored and unjuried forums for their work. These forums include galleries, performance space, and publications. Brian sees to it that technology, especially little blinky bits of technology, supports that mission.
Rich Rosen's career began at Bell Labs, where his work with relational databases, Unix, and the Internet prepared him well for the world of Web application development. He's been a Macintosh user for over twenty years, currently using a Mac Mini as his home server, an iMac as the centerpiece of his home recording studio, and a MacBook for live musical performance and writing. He is the co-author of Web Application Architecture: Principles, Protocols & Practices, a textbook on advanced Web application development. Rich currently works at Interactive Data Corporation writing software for the Fixed Income Systems group. He holds an M.S. in Computer Science from Stevens Institute of Technology, and he lives in New Jersey with his wife, Celia.
Top customer reviews
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For an illustrative example: I recently was trying to diagnose intermittent kernel-level crashes in my 2009 Mac Pro running Mavericks. I suspected third-party drivers, and on a Linux system I would be looking at what modules were loaded both at boot into the kernel and also later when specific plug 'n' play devices were added. On OS X, though, the equivalent of kernel modules is the "kext", or kernel extension. Apple provides a whole suite of command-line tools to examine kexts and control which ones get loaded when. The book doesn't go into great detail about kexts, but it gave me enough info that I could find the right man pages to read. Ultimately I did figure out the problem, a pesky third-party kext loading even though I had long since uninstalled related software.
Also appreciated is a detailed discussion of the various ways that user-space programs can be automatically loaded via launchd, cron, and the Launch Items preferences pane--again, things you won't find on Linux.
I would give the book four stars for being useful but not quite as thick and in-depth as it could be. There's a shortage in general of well-organized troubleshooting information about OS X and I'd love to see a chapter added to this book called something like "Troubleshooting OS X with command-line tools"--it could talk about the things just mentioned, kexts and launchd, since they are responsible for so much of the instability and unpredictable behavior that makes people unhappy with OS X.
I have to dock another star, though, just because the book is out of date. Leopard is now five point versions of OS X behind (10.5 vs. 10.10, soon 10.11). While much in here is still accurate in general and sometimes also in detail, a lot of detail is wrong. Whole chapters in a few places do not reflect the current state of OS X. A couple of examples: I'd like to see mention of the printing subsystem that explains the subtleties of configuring printers on OS X using both the printer preferences panel (I'm still not used to typing that instead of Control Panel!) and the CUPS web interface (the latter of which is common to Linux and sometimes a much more effective way to add a printer, e.g. if you have a PPD file from the manufacturer). However, on CUPS, unlike on most Linuxes, access to the web control panel has to be deliberately enabled at the command line--a great example of an OS X specific Unix trick that is just what this book should cover.
More disappointing is the out-of-date coverage of how to get programs from the vast open source world of POSIX-compatible source code installed on a Mac. The book mentions MacPorts and Fink, both of which have greatly declined in popularity since the advent of Homebrew, an extremely powerful and complex package management system that can be used to install almost any program that you can put on a Linux system, on OS X. If there isn't a prebuilt Homebrew package for the software you want, you can create your own trivially as long as you can provide the URL of the source. Homebrew deserves its own chapter --there's no printed documentation available for it at all at the moment, as long as I know--including not only detailed documentation for the package management system itself, but also perhaps an overview of what to use it for--i.e., I'd like to see both a list of "useful open source programs that can be installed through Homebrew," like more current versions of the Vim and Emacs editors than the ones that ship with OS X, and also an explanation of how to make the OS X command line more like the Linux one in terms of adding the GNU tools that Linux users are used to using. (Hint: "brew install gnutls" is the quick way--but there's a lot of details to talk about.)
Please, O'Reilly, update this book for the versions of OS X since its release--Snow Leopard, Mavericks, Yosemite, and El Capitan! It's too good to let it slide.
experts (or at least, proficient users) to OS X, and it certainly does.
We recently bought a Mac Pro to be used as a server but it came with the
usual OS X (not the server version) installed. I have worked before in
Linux an other Unices. Since our needs are restricted (serve file systems
via ssh, open remote desktops and serve web pages) the client version of
OS X (which, as Linux, is also server is some capabilities are enabled)
can be used. The book gives tips to make this and many other things,
apart from pointing to the most useful packages of software to be installed in a machine that is to be used for desktop, server and
Summarizing, an excellent book.
My opinion may be in the minority, but I found this book was essential to get me started using my Mac, even to use the GUI that is supposed to be so user-friendly and self-evident.