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Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal--New from TidBITS: How to Harness the Unix Command Line

April 13, 2009

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal Ithaca, NY—For many Mac users, the Unix command line is a thing of mystery. It offers unparalleled power, but forces users to give up the ease of use of the Mac's graphical interface and requires a completely different mindset. To enable Mac users to gain competence and comfort with the Mac's Unix command line, the 111-page ebook Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal (TidBITS, $10.00 USD) is now available.

Written by by award-winning author Joe Kissell, the ebook starts with the fundamentals and walks readers through more advanced topics as their knowledge increases. To help readers put their new-found skills to use, Kissell includes 40 real-life "recipes" for tasks that are best done from the command line.

Topics covered include:

  • The differences between Unix, a command line, a shell, and Terminal
  • Exactly how commands, arguments, and flags work
  • The basics of Terminal's interface and how to customize it
  • How to navigate a Mac's file system
  • Basic file management: creating files, copying files, opening files, etc.
  • The types of command-line programs
  • PATHs and profiles
  • How to create and run scripts to automate repetitive tasks
  • Checking which programs are running and what system resources they're consuming
  • How to quit programs that won't to quit normally
  • Enabling the command line to interact with the Finder
  • Controlling another Mac via its command line using ssh
  • Understanding and change an item's permissions, owner, and group
  • Running commands as the root user using sudo

Questions answered include:

  • Which shell am I using, and how can I change my default shell?
  • How do I quickly figure out the path to an item on my Mac?
  • How can I customize my Terminal window so I can see man pages behind it?
  • How can I make a shortcut to avoid retyping the same long command?
  • Is there a trick for entering a long path quickly?
  • What should I say when someone asks if I know how to use the vi text editor?
  • How do I change my prompt to suit my mood or needs?

For a review copy or more information please email takecontrolpr@oreilly.com.

Joe Kissell has written numerous books about the Macintosh, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He's also Senior Editor of TidBITS, contributes frequently to Macworld, and previously spent ten years in the Mac software industry. Joe Kissell joined the TidBITS staff in 2006 as Senior Editor and currently lives in Paris. He has written more than a dozen Take Control ebooks, including the best- selling Take Control of Mac OS X Backups. He's also the author of numerous print books about Mac OS X and a frequent contributor to Macworld magazine. Joe runs a business called alt concepts, which publishes such Web sites as Interesting Thing of the Day and Truffles for Breakfast.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9781933671550

Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal
Publisher: TidBITS
Joe Kissell
Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal,
PDF format, 111 pages, free 30-page sample available
PDF Price: $10.00 USD
ISBN: 9781933671550

About TidBITS
The Take Control series is published by TidBITS Publishing Inc. TidBITS co-founders Adam and Tonya Engst have been publishing highly regarded news and editorial since 1990 when they created the online newsletter TidBITS, which covers Macintosh- and Internet-related topics. The Take Control series has helped many thousands of readers with high-quality, timely, real-world, cost-effective documentation since 2003.

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