Harley Hahn’s Guide to Unix and Linux

I’m happy to report that Harley Hahn’s recent book, "Harley Hahn’s Guide to Unix and Linux", appeared on my doorstep a few days ago.  Front cover for Harley's new book

Why is this relevant to me and to Sun?

It’s relevant to me because I reviewed the whole book, chapter by chapter, as Harley wrote it. I was by no means the only person to do so, as you will see when you read the acknowledgements, but I’m proud to have been part of the effort. This is a new book following Harley’s earlier "Student’s Guide to Unix" and "Harley Hahn’s Student Guide to Unix"; I’ve now done this (ie, review a book on Unix for Harley) for the third time, but still there’s a lot to be learned from helping (if only a little) on such a project.

I also believe it’s relevant to Sun, as I helped convince Harley to use Solaris as a test platform for his examples, besides Linux and FreeBSD (Harley was kind enough to forward me some snippets of my own emails proving this). I need to thank my colleague and former team mate Helmut vom Sondern, as he was kind enough to let Harley access a zone (and was very helpful keeping it accessible from across the Atlantic) on one of his systems to do all those tests (Antoon Huiskens also helped initially).

Initially, I got involved in this effort in 1992, when Harley sent out a message on comp.unix.questions, titled "Request for opinions about a new Unix book" (here‘s the complete message), which I saw and responded to. Apparently, Harley saw some merit in what I had to say, and I ended up reviewing the whole book (which then became "A Student’s Guide to Unix") for him. Since then, I also reviewed the 2nd edition and various other books about the Internet for Harley, though none in as much detail as the Unix books.

I’ve stopped reading usenet since (mainly for the sheer volume), but it shows what can happen if you’re not careful 😉

You might like to know that the artwork on the book’s cover, as shown in the picture, is from one of Harley’s own paintings – he has quite a few of them at home! There’s still a debate going on whether he’s a better author or a better painter.


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1 Response to Harley Hahn’s Guide to Unix and Linux

  1. Good stuff!
    I’m vaguely interested, but I don’t think I’d get $80 of information out of it. In particular I’m curious about the "How the Unix Companies Blew It" section. Salacious heading, but it’s not on Safari and I can’t see parting with $40 to Amazon to find out what it says….
    I’m not certain, but I may have bought the Internet yellow pages back in 1995 or so.
    – Matt

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