Quantcast

Maximum PC

It is currently Fri Aug 01, 2014 9:18 am

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: The UNIX-HATERS HANDBOOK
PostPosted: Sun Apr 18, 2010 3:33 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
Before anyone takes this title the wrong way... read some of it. It is funny, and sadly, mostly true. Of course, Unix has changed plenty since the time of this book (eg it doesn't crash daily anymore), but a lot of what they say here is still true (eg man pages).

Here are some gems...

In a previous job selling Lisp Machines, I was often asked about
Unix. If the audience was not mixed gender, I would sometimes
compare Unix to herpes—lots of people have it, nobody wants it,
they got screwed when they got it, and if they could, they would get
rid of it. There would be smiles, heads would nod, and that would
usually end the discussion about Unix.


[i]“I liken starting one’s computing career with Unix, say as an undergraduate,
to being born in East Africa. It is intolerably hot, your
body is covered with lice and flies, you are malnourished and you
suffer from numerous curable diseases. But, as far as young East
Africans can tell, this is simply the natural condition and they live
within it. By the time they find out differently, it is too late. They
already think that the writing of shell scripts is a natural act.â€


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 9:13 am 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 3673
Location: The Blue Nowhere
I read that a few years ago. It is actually a really fun read. I will have to dig up my copy and post a few gems as well.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 20, 2010 12:54 pm 
Team Member Top 500
Team Member Top 500
User avatar

Joined: Thu Mar 06, 2008 4:48 pm
Posts: 728
An absolute classic. Guess I'm going to have to dig it back up again too.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 10:14 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
The book covers SOOO much ground that my quotes really only cover a fraction of the 360 (or so) pages. The whole section discussing the nightmare that is Sendmail is hilarious. It is amazing that it could survive this long. The idea that sysadmins really didn't exist until Unix came around is also very enlightening. There was no need... things just worked. Unfortunately, as with much of history, one of spoils of war is often being able to rewrite history in a favorable light. Thankfully, gems like the Unix-Haters Handbook exist to help us keep some perspective on things.

Appendix A contains an excellent account of how vastly inferior software, which Unix certainly was during the 80's and early 90's, was able to dethrone TOPS and LISPM systems. It should be required reading for every introduction to operating systems course.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 8:01 am 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 3673
Location: The Blue Nowhere
I decided to re-read this one. Great read, free copy on scribd.com

"Unix is like herpes -- lots of people have it, nobody wants it. They got screwed when they got it, and if they could, they would get rid of it."


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2010 12:03 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
Lodis4 wrote:
I decided to re-read this one. Great read, free copy on scribd.com

"Unix is like herpes -- lots of people have it, nobody wants it. They got screwed when they got it, and if they could, they would get rid of it."


That was the first quote in my post!!! =P


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2010 4:58 pm 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 3673
Location: The Blue Nowhere
Gadget wrote:
Lodis4 wrote:
I decided to re-read this one. Great read, free copy on scribd.com

"Unix is like herpes -- lots of people have it, nobody wants it. They got screwed when they got it, and if they could, they would get rid of it."


That was the first quote in my post!!! =P


Ha! I forgot you posted that.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 15, 2010 11:17 am 
Team Member Top 50
Team Member Top 50

Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 1026
I've read some of this book so far and tell that at least of it is still relevant, but how much of this book is still relevant.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2010 4:18 am 
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
Monkey Federation (Top 10)*
User avatar

Joined: Sun May 22, 2005 8:28 am
Posts: 3673
Location: The Blue Nowhere
mag wrote:
I've read some of this book so far and tell that at least of it is still relevant, but how much of this book is still relevant.


Well, you still have disparity between flavors of Unix, sendmail (and others) still mangle message headers, cryptic commands with non-standard command switches, the hate for vi will never go away, and a host of others.

The big thing is that all of these issues are handled much better now. No one really cares about the differences between flavors anymore because building a program for your specific machine does not take days any more especially if there is a package manager, the MTA issues are handled much better by both the system and the clients, commands have evolved, and well, there will always be hate for vi.


Most of the complaints are reduced to mere annoyances now but in some cases that is not due to improvements in the system it is due to evolution of technology.


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 7:30 pm 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
Before I forget, another one of the quotes that I really like is...
[i]We now return you to your regularly scheduled “I've been hacking so
long we had only zeros, not ones and zerosâ€


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat May 22, 2010 10:28 am 
Team Member Top 50
Team Member Top 50

Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2005 11:04 am
Posts: 1026
Gadget wrote:
Error Messages and Error Checking, NOT!
This section talks about the lack of error message and error checking. One would hope this area has gotten somewhat better over the years. Hope is in short supply though. Again, I'm not sure if this specific example would still happen, but it would really piss me off if it did...
% cc -o doit.c doit
instead of:
% cc -o doit doit.c
Needless to say I have lost doit.c



I don't know if it was exactly this, but something like this happened to me (fortunately I was working on the file at the time and the editor I was using allowed me to re-save it, so I didn't lose any work).


Top
  Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 11:22 am 
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
Bitchin' Fast 3D Z8000*
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 11:32 pm
Posts: 2555
Location: Somewhere between compilation and linking
mag wrote:
Gadget wrote:
Error Messages and Error Checking, NOT!
This section talks about the lack of error message and error checking. One would hope this area has gotten somewhat better over the years. Hope is in short supply though. Again, I'm not sure if this specific example would still happen, but it would really piss me off if it did...
% cc -o doit.c doit
instead of:
% cc -o doit doit.c
Needless to say I have lost doit.c



I don't know if it was exactly this, but something like this happened to me (fortunately I was working on the file at the time and the editor I was using allowed me to re-save it, so I didn't lose any work).

So that's why there are all those filename~ files being created in emacs! =)

I remember coming across one really onerous use of env vars in Unix one time.... IIRC, this guy had managed to concatenate the values in two different env vars somehow or had managed to use the value of one env var as a kind of pointer for the name of another... I forget now, but I wanted to KILL someone over that nonsense.


Top
  Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 12 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group