Aims of this Guide

UNIX is a very powerful and popular operating system that is used by a significant proportion of the computer industry. Yet many perceptions of the computer centre around PCs, and the operating systems commonly run on them. Upon encountering UNIX, whether it be on a personal computer or a mainframe, confusion and frustration often results, causing UNIX to be branded as archaic and unfriendly. But this is only due to UNIX being a vastly more complex system, as it copes with multiple platforms, processors, disks, and brings truly platform independent computing to many users simultaneously. With a bit of patience and a bit of study, this monstrous beast can be tamed, and your experience with UNIX, for whatever purpose, can be an enjoyable and profitable one. And that's where this guide comes in. It aims to get you over that initial hurdle, and on your way to greater things. But of course this is only a beginning. There are countless books which provide more extensive and advanced material, and you are advised to read one or more of these after this guide, should you wish to pursue your mastery of UNIX further. Just about any appropriately titled book will help you, but there are two which can be particularly recommended:

Graham Glass, UNIX® for Programmers and Users, A Complete Guide, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1993.
Daniel Gilly, UNIX in a Nutshell, a Desktop Quick Reference, O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 1992.

Conventions Used

Different styles are used to make certain parts of the text stand out. These adhere to the following conventions.

About the Authors

Matt Chapman has recently graduated from the University of Warwick, UK, with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. He is now working as a software developer for IBM UK (Hurlsey) based in the IBM Centre for Java Technology. His other projects include a Window Managers for X page, a brief guide to imagemaps, a Finite State Machine Explorer in Java, and a variety of small games and utilities for X/UNIX platforms.

Frankie Blaskovic is a second year Law student at the University of Warwick. He is responsible for the University of Warwick Students' Union WebPages as well as for the Warwick Boar. He is currently working on numerous projects, the most important of which is the managment of the New Technologies Programming Team in the UK. He is also active on many commercial web sites, keep a lookout!

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Matt Chapman
Last modified: Sun Aug 10 15:58:38 BST 1997