[OS X TeX] Lost in Mac space

Maarten Sneep maarten.sneep at xs4all.nl
Sat Dec 13 18:29:03 CET 2008

On 13 dec 2008, at 18:18, Alain Schremmer wrote:
> Just googled "Unix for OS X" and immediately found "Mac OS X For  
> Unix Geeks, 4th Edition" exactly the dual of what I need. OK, will  
> try harder later on.

Not the book I'd recommend: it assumes you know how to use Unix, and  
then teaches the specifics of Unix utilities on Mac OS X.

On the Ars Technica forums, I produced this list with comments.

I'd stick with an O'Reilly book. They are generally good for this type  
of instruction.

"Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition" -- This is  
aimed at switchers, I doubt it has anything about the terminal in it.

"Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual" -- Although aimed at “Mac users  
of all technical levels and experience”, I still doubt it deals with  
the terminal.

"Mac OS X For Unix Geeks, Fourth Edition" -- Although it promises a  
“complete tour of Mac OS X's Unix shell for Leopard and Tiger”, it  
assumes quite a lot of prior knowledge and experience with the  
terminal. Don't have it, would not recommend to the OP (whatever he  
means with “learning the terminal”).

"bash Cookbook" -- This teaches you the bash shell. Some may not like  
bash (they like to “bash” it, and hopefully prefer the Korn shell over  
it – kill csh), it is the default shell, and essential in many ways to  
the operation of a Unix system. Might be useful, although not the best  
starter book.

"Mac OS X Tiger in a Nutshell" -- Although still referring to Tiger, I  
think this is a great introduction. Previous editions used the tcsh,  
as it was the default back then, but the BSD layer of Tiger is not too  
different from Leopard that it becomes unusable. I have an older  
edition, and like the introduction + reference style combination of  
it. I can imagine that if you you have no previous experience with a  
shell, this might be less useful. It includes an introduction for  
interactive use.

"Classic Shell Scripting" -- This teaches shell scripting to a rather  
advanced level. Starting from zero, the learning curve might be steep,  
but it is easy to read, and gets you to a level that is certainly  
above average. Includes some focus on security as well - although  
there are better references for that. Notice that this is scripting,  
not interactive use, although the distinction is blurry. Have it, like  
it, not sure I recommend it to OP.

"Learning the bash Shell, Third Edition" -- Good introduction to the  
bash shell, including interactive use and scripting. Don’t have it,  
would probably recommend to OP.

"Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger" -- The abstract almost read as if  
it was written for the OP, but it deals with Tiger. It seems limited  
to the Mac OS X specific parts accesible from the terminal.  
Recommended with care.

Original thread with more comments and books over here:



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