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In the Beginning...was the Command Line (1999)
by Neal Stephenson
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http://pro-libertate.net/20130930/216-read-beginning-was-command-line ( )
From a point of view of entertainment, this essay is terrific. Never learning was so funny.
This is a historical document about operating systems, which I expect would be interesting to very few people these days. I picked it up because 1.) I just recently returned to the command line myself, and 2.) Neal Stephenson is writing about computers and that's, like, my favorite. It's a little immature and a lot biased, plus the metaphors get completely out of hand. But rarely have I seen a final essay so nicely tie up a book like this, and as everyone knows, I'm a sucker for a good ending.
A bit dated now, and would love to see some updates ... but still a cool overview of the great OS wars. Makes you feel like reading a lot of Neal Stephenson again.
A brief history of operating systems and user interfaces. It's a quick read, and has some fun soliloquys on plebians. It's not necessary reading, but it's a good distraction for an hour or two.
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Wikipedia in English (1)
This is "the Word" -- one man's word, certainly -- about the art (and artifice) of the state of our computer-centric existence. And considering that the "one man" is Neal Stephenson, "the hacker Hemingway" (Newsweek) -- acclaimed novelist, pragmatist, seer, nerd-friendly philosopher, and nationally bestselling author of groundbreaking literary works (Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, etc., etc.) -- the word is well worth hearing. Mostly well-reasoned examination and partial rant, Stephenson's In the Beginning... was the Command Line is a thoughtful, irreverent, hilarious treatise on the cyber-culture past and present; on operating system tyrannies and downloaded popular revolutions; on the Internet, Disney World, Big Bangs, not to mention the meaning of life itself.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)005.43Information Computing and Information Computer programming, programs, data, security Systems programming and programs Systems programs
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