June 20, 2005
"Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger": Mac Users Get More Power With Unix
Sebastopol, CA--If you're a Mac user running OS X, you know you've got the
coolest operating system. But you may not know that beneath OS X's smooth
graphical interface, called Aqua, lies power--like a behemoth iceberg,
what you see on the surface is only a small part of the whole package.
Once you delve beneath the surface with Unix, you'll encounter empowering
flexibility that will completely change the way you think about your Mac.
Tap into that power, and you've caught the OS X Tiger by its tail. You're
customizing commands to perform functions you could only dream of in the
past, and outfitting your machine with your choice of thousands of open
source applications that rival the priciest software packages available,
all of them free from the Net.
"The simplicity and elegance of the Mac, and the Power of Unix." That's
how Apple characterizes OS X, and what distinguishes OS X from its
predecessors. For Dave Taylor, author of Learning Unix for Mac OS X
Tiger (O'Reilly, US $19.95), the upshot of the upgrade from OS 9 is, in a
word, power. The Unix system underpinning OS X is "ready to leap into
action at a moment's notice," Taylor says. "All you have to do is command
Unix to take action."
Command is the operative word here, since understanding the command line
is fundamental to using any Unix system. But why would a contented Mac
user want to type in a string of Unix commands instead of just clicking
the mouse? Simple, Taylor says: because the mouse gives you access to
only a fraction of Mac OS X's functionality. "To really know what your
Mac's doing" and to "make it match what you want and need your Mac to do,"
Taylor believes you have to get acquainted with the Unix side of OS X.
Once you're comfortable with how it works, the command line hands you the
controls. There are thousands of files and directories on your Mac that
you may never have known existed, because the Finder doesn't reveal
them--but the command line will. Search for files according to when they
were created--or by whom--with a simple Unix command rather than poking
around with the Spotlight. If you suffer from "Spinning Beach Ball of
Death" syndrome, the next time Microsoft Word locks up you can try to
force quit, or you can string together a few quick Unix commands and get
out in seconds. And those are just warm-up exercises.
Learning Unix for OS X Tiger was written to quickly teach Mac users the
basics and "expand your Unix horizons," as Taylor puts it. A Unix
developer and self-described "command-line junkie," he starts by
familiarizing his readers with the Terminal, the application that lets Mac
OS X users power up with Unix.
Features and functions covered include:
The Mac Filesystem--File management and the four different ways Unix lets you look in and search for files using a wide range of criteria
Super Commands--Create and perform the exact task you need and execute by enabling programs and files to connect in new ways
Remote Access--Access your Mac from other computers in the Unix network and copying files between computers
Command Line Surfing--Surfing the Web directly from the command line
Install Unix-Based X11--Use the Unix-based graphical interface called X11, embedded in your Macintosh system to run powerful programs only it can access
Use Fink--The installation tool developed for Unix on Mac OS X to tap open source software like GIMP, a graphics editor that rivals Adobe Photoshop, or NeoOffice/J, a robust Microsoft Office Suite replacement
Learning Unix for OS X Tiger will give you a clear sense of how much
more flexible and powerful your Mac can be when you dive beneath the
surface to where the base of its power resides.
Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger
ISBN: 0596009151, 260 pages, $19.95 US, $27.95 CAN
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