Ideal for UNIX users who hunger for technical--yet accessible--information, UNIX Power Tools consists of tips, tricks, concepts, and freeware (CD-ROM included). It also covers add-on utilities and how to take advantage of clever features in the most popular UNIX utilities.
This is a browser's book...like a magazine that you don't read from start to finish, but leaf through repeatedly until you realize that you've read it all. The book is structured so that it bursts at the seams with cross references. Interesting "sidebars" explore syntax or point out other directions for exploration, including relevant technical details that might not be immediately apparent. You'll find articles abstracted from O'Reilly Nutshell Handbooks®, new information that highlights program "tricks" and "gotchas," tips posted to the Net over the years, and other accumulated wisdom.
The 55 chapters in this book discuss topics like file management, text editors, shell programming--even office automation. Overall, there's plenty of material here to satisfy even the most voracious appetites. The bottom line? UNIX Power Tools is loaded with practical advice about almost every aspect of UNIX. It will help you think creatively about UNIX, and will help you get to the point where you can analyze your own problems. Your own solutions won't be far behind.
The CD-ROM includes all of the scripts and aliases from the book, plus perl, GNU emacs, pbmplus (manipulation utilities), ispell,screen, the sc spreadsheet, and about 60 other freeware programs. In addition to the source code, all the software is precompiled for Sun3, Sun4, DECstation, IBM RS/6000, HP 9000 (700 series), SCO Xenix, and SCO UNIX. (SCO UNIX binaries will likely also run on other Intel UNIX platforms, including Univel's new UNIXware.)
UNIX documentation typically comes in one of two flavors: at one extreme, light and fluffy books that assume you are a terrified PC user who needs to learn enough UNIX to get by at work, or massive and obscure tomes written for gurus, and indistinguishable from the most incomprehensible man pages.
This UNIX book, in contrast, assumes that you are basically a competent and intelligent individual, and that you are sufficiently secure in your self-image at work that you simply want to get things done, simply, by taking advantage of the real power of UNIX without having to learn "man-speak". It doesn't skimp on clear introductions and overviews, but the focus of the book is on practical examples of the most useful UNIX commands and utilities. A minor quibble: the enclosed CD-ROM is a bit heavy with utilities and packages that are probably already resident on your UNIX system (like Perl, Emacs, pbmplus), but it does contain scripts that are used throughout the book and that you'd probably rather not type in. Highly recommended for anyone who really wants to use UNIX, and not just cower or pose.