UNIX-Haters Handbook, a Book Review
From its humble beginnings in 1969
as a quick way to get a game called "Space Travel" to run on a DEC PDP-7,
has had its supporters and its detractors. Some of the latter
group banded together on an Internet Mailing List called "UNIX-HATERS."
That list has been cleverly turned into a systematic attack in book form.
The UNIX-Haters Handbook is
edited by Garfinkel, Weise and Strassmann, and published by IDG Books, 1994,
ISBN 1-56884-203-1. Now available in PDF format for free
I found myself laughing out loud on the bus while reading it. I even
described it to my wife as "fun reading" as opposed to "work reading."
It is often cruel and
sarcastic but it is difficult not to empathize with the frustration that many
of the users have endured, as reflected in some of their chapter headings:
- UNIX - The world's first computer virus
- Welcome New User! - Like Russian roulette with six bullets loaded
- Documentation? - What documentation?
- Snoozenet - I post, therefore I am
- Terminal Insanity - Curses! foiled again!
- The X-Windows Disaster - How to make a 50-MIPS workstation run like a PC
- csh, pipes, and find - Power tools for power fools
- Security - Oh, I'm sorry, sir, go ahead, I didn't realize you were root
- The File System - Sure it corrupts your files, but look how fast it is!
You learn more about someone from their
enemies than from their friends:
Two of the most famous products of Berkeley are LSD and UNIX. I don't
think that this is a coincidence.-----Anonymous
Anyone else ever intend to type
and type this by accident:
rm *>o ?
Now you've got one new empty file called 'o', but plenty of room for it!"
rm *>o removes all my files and
redirects Stdout to the file
removes only the files ending in
.o. On most
* is shift-8 and
shift-period, so this is a common typing error.