[OS X TeX] Lost in Mac space

Alain Schremmer schremmer.alain at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 20:12:54 CET 2008

On Dec 13, 2008, at 12:29 PM, Maarten Sneep wrote:

> 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.

That was exactly my point: Me No Unix Geek
> 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.

It doesn't. And, in any case, I am still with Tiger. Considering the  
traffic on, e.g. tlmgr, I consider myself fortunate.

> "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.

That takes care of me: Hey, I don't even know the difference between  
bash and Kom! I once looked up bash in Wikipedia and …
> "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.

Mmmm. I will have to look it up.
> "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.

Whatever OP stands for, I think I will pass that one.
> "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.

Sounds good, will look it up.
> "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.

I just looked up Reilly and noticed it. If worse comes to worst, I  
can always buy both. (Budget cuts don't seem to threaten me.)
> Original thread with more comments and books over here:
> http://episteme.arstechnica.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/8300945231/m/ 
> 862009175931?r=890009475931

I will check that sometimes this weekend along with the archive of  
this list.

Grateful regards

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