Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS? - Unix

This is a discussion on Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS? - Unix ; Hi, Could anyone recommend a good Linux book for a Perl and C progremmer, and a Win32/DOS power user (I've used MS oses since MS-DOs 5). Using GUIs is easy but I'd like to understand the CLI, explore major config ...

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Thread: Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS?

  1. Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS?

    Hi,
    Could anyone recommend a good Linux book for a Perl and C progremmer, and a
    Win32/DOS power user (I've used MS oses since MS-DOs 5). Using GUIs is easy
    but I'd like to understand the CLI, explore major config files, dir
    structure, have an overview of the most useful Gnu tools, and Bash with
    analogs to stuff I already know: Perl, Regexp, DOS, and C programming. I'm
    experimentally using LInux (Ubuntu due to it shipping with a GUI screen
    reader) at home for coding, text processing and inet use. I'd be especially
    interested in stuff that has to do with text and saving time, being legally
    blind, as well as audio.

    I usually start learning by reading a good book or the manual, and then
    begin experimenting on my own having gained the big picture of how things
    work. Practical advice and rationale of why things are like they are would
    be useful, not to mention ideally a concrete tutorial approach as in Sans
    books.

    For example, I only really understood the short dir names being handy,
    though not discoverable, since they are so brief to type on the
    command-line. I also used to be scornful about how non-interactive and
    dangerous some Linux CLI tools are, but having coded POSIX in C a bit at the
    Uni, now I understand they are very thin wrappers around syscalls for
    scripting, and sometimes for interactive use.

    Similarly Learning Perl really got me understanding regexp, I never properly
    got it reading Unix man pages for grep and the lot. Now I use regexp on a
    daily basis to save enormous amounts of time with speech, even in Win32.

    I'm glad Perl taught me all that. Now when something in Linux works like
    Perl, I think, ok this is lifted from Perl, although it is actually the
    other way around, PErl taking Unixisms with it. Explaning y if you know x
    speeds up things enormously, just recently I wrote a Lua tutorial for Perl
    programmers and there is a staggering amount of parallels between the two
    languages.

    Any help appreciated.

    --
    With kind regards Veli-Pekka Tštilš
    Accessibility, Apps and Coding plus Synths and Music:
    http://vtatila.kapsi.fi



  2. Re: Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS?

    On Sat, 2 Aug 2008 14:10:42 +0300,
    Veli-Pekka Tštilš wrote:
    > Could anyone recommend a good Linux book for a Perl and C progremmer,
    > and a Win32/DOS power user (I've used MS oses since MS-DOs 5).


    Not to put you off, but realise that you'll start at the beginning.
    You'll have to re-learn almost everything. :-)

    General advice: To get started, don't focus on linux, and especially
    avoid books that focus on a specific version of a specific linux
    distribution, or a specific version of a specific other unix-like OS
    release.

    Unix has been around for 35+ years and there are a few large
    ``families'' that are more or less related. Understanding a bit of
    the history[0] and its structure and philosophy helps much more than
    learning by rote. So, find a book that explains the principles. linux is
    a relative newcomer[1], and has its own quirks, so a book on that would be
    appropriate as a follow-up after you've gotten the basics. The closer
    you get to the bare metal the more system-specific it gets, so to get
    started a non-specific unix book is appropriate.

    One such book I'll mention is [lunix], which I've heard good things
    about but not read myself. Others can probably chip in with other books
    like it.


    [lunix] Learning the unix operating system, 5th ed, o'reilly
    http://ora.com/catalog/lunix5

    [0] EG. why error messages are so terse: Long error messages (like the C
    compiler trying to be helpful) are hell on a 300 baud tty, and that
    was *fast* 40 years ago.
    [1] And not a member of the family by code.

    --
    j p d (at) d s b (dot) t u d e l f t (dot) n l .
    This message was originally posted on Usenet in plain text.
    Any other representation, additions, or changes do not have my
    consent and may be a violation of international copyright law.

  3. Re: Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS?

    "Veli-Pekka T?til?" wrote:
    > Hi,
    > Could anyone recommend a good Linux book for a Perl and C progremmer, and a
    > Win32/DOS power user (I've used MS oses since MS-DOs 5). Using GUIs is easy
    > but I'd like to understand the CLI.


    The small O'Reilly book with the Owl is a start. There's
    a bunch of user oriented *nix books; Unix for Programmers
    and Users (Glass & Ables), Think Unix (Lasser) and Unix
    for the Impatient (which is right around here somewhere.
    I never can choose, although I do like the Glass and Ables.

    > interested in stuff that has to do with text and saving time, being legally
    > blind, as well as audio.


    Don't know much about audio. You are going in the right direction
    for a text-oriented system.

    > I usually start learning by reading a good book or the manual


    Read book.
    Run "man" command.
    Try command.
    Iterate ad libitum.

    > For example, I only really understood the short dir names being handy,


    What's short is many of the commands. Directory names are up
    to you (or your sysadmin.)

    > I'm glad Perl taught me all that. Now when something in Linux works like
    > Perl, I think, ok this is lifted from Perl, although it is actually the
    > other way around.


    Indeed.


  4. Re: Book for Understanding Linux Knowing Perl, C, Win32 and DOS?

    "Veli-Pekka T?til?" wrote:
    > I'd be especially interested in stuff that has to do with text and
    > saving time, being legally
    > blind, as well as audio.


    Forgot to add:

    A $36.00 USD one time fee will get you an account at
    SDF aka Freeshell http://www.freeshell.org where you
    can experiment all you want, of necessity in a
    CLI environment. Plus there's a lot of users, and
    IIRC correctly someone there mentioned a usability
    project, where I daresay your comments would be
    appreciated.

    They have a nascent sdf.* newgroup system and
    a rather idiosyncratic BBOARD discussion system as
    well.

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