A Pair of Books for Learning the Mac Command Line

Originally published at: A Pair of Books for Learning the Mac Command Line - TidBITS

If you’d like to enhance your command-line skills—either for your personal edification or to support your career as a Mac admin—you won’t go wrong by picking one of two books: the recently updated Take Control of the Mac Command Line with Terminal or the new macOS Terminal and Shell.

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That’s an excellent rundown of two books I was aware of, but haven’t taken the time to investigate whether they would be of use to me. Clearly they would, thanks for a great article @ace.

I also wanted to point out that Armin’s website is useful and interesting for anyone who uses the terminal, especially if you do occasional scripting or configuration via the command line. While it is focused on sysadmins, I have his blog in my RSS reader because the weekly news summary often contains useful nuggets and links that I’ve not come across elsewhere (useful even for mere non-sysadmin mortals).

There are some other good resources, too, such as a guide to moving to zsh (also available in expanded form as a book), and ‘demystifying root’.

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I’m guessing Armin Briegel’s book is an ePub? You should be able to use Calibre to convert it to PDF format if you prefer that format.

I convert Mobipocket format books to ePub via Calibre, but I just download the Take Control books in PDF as I find them easier to use in that format.

Here’s a link to Armin’s site, re. his reasoning for sticking solely to Apple Books. Makes sense for his reasons and uses (especially the in-book video issues):

Re. libraries & formats.
I stick the epubs in my Apple Books, and then also mobi (or other Amz formats) copies in my Kindle ‘docs’ section.* Thus can read on both systems.

(*Can’t obviously add them to the ‘books’ section in Kindle, given that, unfortunately, that remains reserved for Amz purchased titles only, rather annoyingly!).

Maybe one day Apple might do an e-paper reader a la Kindle – well, in my dreams; likely only as an iPad screen mode, or something, circa 2028. Lol! :laughing:

Anyhoo, really great overview Adam. Got the TCO a while ago (along with several other TCO titles), but then…time and tiredness keep interrupting. :slightly_smiling_face:

I dumped iBooks years ago after the iOS 9 update trashed my carefully curated 1,000 books layout (author+series). I moved everything from iBooks to MapleRead SE by MaplePop. I now use Calibre to convert books to ePub (if need be) then upload them to MapleRead.

Yes, while improved somewhat a while ago, Apple Books is still in great need of further polish and refinement. Especially in the metadata tagging department.

Although Kindle has huge pain points too, so one can’t win. :neutral_face:

I’m not quite sure that I understand the absolute stand against ever using Apple Books for a book, if, in fact, that is the only format the author provides it in and your reading devices support it. I can campaigning to the author and publisher to make it available in your preferred format. Nothing stops you from getting and organizing other books in formats you prefer–the Apple Books will just be sitting in their own corner.

In my case, I have a strong preference for Apple Books, to the extent of adding reference PDF’s to my Apple Books library, essentially making Apple Books a cloud database for most of my reading material. I do occasionally come upon a must-have book available only as a Kindle book (or much more economically as a Kindle book). In those cases, I give Amazon its due and add the book to my smaller Kindle library.

As a reader, it’s fine to have a preference, but there’s no need to be exclusive.

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I understand somebody wanting to be exclusive because they’d like all their stuffl in once place. Otherwise you have to remember for each publication which app you have it in. As if we had no Finder and you could only open your files by first launching the right app and then choosing from Open Recent…

As per @Simon - it’s more about having one centralised library, rather than an aversion to one or the other.

You can typically convert from one to the other via Calibre, so you could buy those few in Kindle, convert to ebook, then add to Apple Books. But how well using it to convert books with media within them are, I’m not sure.

The trouble for authors that want to incorporate video or other media, is trying to cross-platform the book to fit all formats without re-editing several times, is it being very time consuming, and seemingly quite fiddly.

So here we are as users remaining seemingly forever in this strange and annoying ebook world of multi-format separated gardens, having to juggle between them.

Yep, I was chatting with Armin about the review and he said that he completely shared my frustrations with Apple Books but was pleased that I called out the movies, since those are the big win.