Book Review – The Unix Haters Handbook

The Unix Haters Handbook - CoverBack in 1994, a book was published that I read at the time and up to this day, I am not sure how serious the people who wrote it were about it. Its title: ‘The Unix Haters Handbook‘. Having been in my bookshelf for the better part of the last 20 years, I recently stumbled over it again because quite some time ago, the authors have made an online version available to download for free.

Reading some parts of it again these days brings back fond memories and the realization that computers might be faster and more colorful today, but the problems frustrating people are still the same. Two examples to make my point: The Unix ‘rm’ command still deletes permanently and is probably one of the most dangerous commands at the disposal to shell novices. Or how about ‘inappropriate online behavior’? At the time it was flame wars on Usenet, today it’s flame wars and hate comments on your preferred ‘social media’ website. Nothing has changed except the number of people now involved.

It’s great fun to read! Learn about the past, present and future of problems of interactive computing, all in one volume that will keep you in its ban from before the anti-forward by Dennis Richie right to the bibliography!