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January 17, 2003

Guide to Mac OS X's Inner Workings Explains the Hows and Whys of Unix: O'Reilly Releases "Learning Unix for Mac OS X, Second Edition"

Sebastopol, CA--Elegant, sleek, powerful, and stable, Mac OS X has delighted many a loyal Mac user, and gone one step further--it's turned them into Unix users, too. For many, this is strange territory. Perhaps they're familiar with Unix, but just not on the Mac. Or, perhaps they opened their Utilities folder, double-clicked on the Terminal icon just to see what happened, and found themselves faced with a command line interface. The question they're likely to ask is what does it all mean? Or, even more to the point, why would they ever want to venture into this seemingly user-unfriendly territory?

The new edition of Learning Unix for Mac OS X by Dave Taylor and Brian Jepson (O'Reilly, US $19.95) answers these questions and more. This compact book provides a user-friendly tour of the Mac's new Unix base. As readers explore Terminal and familiarize themselves with the command line, they'll also learn about the hundreds of Unix programs that come with their Mac and begin to understand the power and flexibility of Unix. And if Unix isn't new to them, readers will discover how it translates into this new Mac incarnation. Updated to cover Jaguar (Mac OS X, 10.2), this book will keep Mac users current with the latest features of their operating system.

"Learning Unix for Mac OS X, Second Edition" begins with a quick, but in-depth, introduction to Terminal and the command line interface. After learning about launching and configuring the Terminal application, readers will find out how to manage, create, edit, and transfer files. The book covers all the common commands, explained simply with accompanying examples, exercises, and opportunities for experimentation. There are even problem checklists to help out along the way if one gets stuck. Readers will learn how to:

  • Customize the shell environment
  • Manage files and directories
  • Successfully print from the Unix command line
  • Edit and create files with the vi editor
  • Perform remote logins
  • Access internet functions
  • Understand pipes and filters
  • Use background processing
  • Use Fink, an easy way to install open source Unix software on Mac OS X

With Terminal, it's possible to access areas of the Mac that you just can't get to from the desktop. Mac users may find themselves turning to Terminal for greater efficiency on a particular task or to use one of the thousands of open source programs that are now available. Unix continues to thrive as an operating system because of its power, flexibility, and simplicity, and the vast community that supports it. "Learning Unix for Mac OS X, Second Edition" can be the key to understanding all of it.

Praise for the previous edition:

"Mac users have sort of been thrown into deep water with the introduction of Apple's Mac OS X operating System. All of a sudden, the cuddly interface was slapped on a Ferrari-like Unix engine. Sure enough, there is a large pent-up demand among Mac users to find out how that powerful Unix engine works, ably addressed by this book...It's a good resource for the advanced beginner who wants to play under the hood."
--Netsurfer Digest, May 23, 2002

"That little iMac sitting on your desk has literally industrial strength web serving capabilities. Taylor and Peak give a gentle introduction to the world of the Unix command line within OS X."
--Peter Cramer, Macintosh Users of Delaware, June 2002

"In fact, this is an excellent (and very good value) introduction to Unix in all its flavor."
--IT Training, September 2002

"Opening 'Learning Unix for Mac OS X' was like visiting an old friend...OS X adds considerably to its Unix base, so this book has a lot of Mac-specific territory to cover. Fortunately, the journey is a pleasurable one...I know this book will stay close to my G4 and get well worn over the years."
--Jack Dolby, Club Mac of Hampton, August 2002

"So, you bought your brand-new Apple computer, excited to try out OS X and all its Unixy goodness, only to find out that while Apple is happy to tout the Unix heritage of OS X, they don't put any emphasis on all the goodies under the hood. The product manual shows you around the sexy new GUI, but you're left to stumble through the command-line toolbox that comes with it on your own. O'Reilly's 'Learning Unix for Mac OS X' is the first book (that I'm aware of, anyway) out there to help the Mac faithful get a grip on Unix. It's a smallish tome that won't scare off folks who are used to pointing and clicking (with only one button!) their way through life...you happen to be in possession of an Apple machine running OS X and want to make use of the command-line tools, this is a great book to start with. Folks who are going from Windows to the Mac or people moving from older Mac OSes will find this book a real handy companion...The book is well worth the $19.95 cover price if you're not familiar with Unix. It might just make command-line enthusiasts out of the Mac faithful."
--Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier, UnixReview.com, September 2002

"Unbeknownst to most owners of the 2 million Macintosh computers running the new OS X operating system is that these machines are based on the powerful Unix language...There's hardly a word about this in the manuals from Apple, but that lack of information gets fixed very nicely by a new book from O'Reilly & Associates 'Learning Unix for Mac OS X.'"
--James Coates, Chicago Tribune, July 29, 2002

Additional Resources:

Learning Unix for Mac OS X, Second Edition
Dave Taylor and Brian Jepson
ISBN 0-596-00470-2, 141 pages, $19.95 (US), $30.95 (CAN), 13.95 (UK)
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938; 1-707-827-7000

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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