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The Altman Code by Gayle Lynds
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The Autobiography of Malcolm X retold by Alex Haley
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Galactic Pot-Healer by Philip K Dick
Giorgio by Anita Benarde
GIS: Socioeconimic Applications by David Martin
Good Bones and Simple Murders by Margaret Atwood
Headache Relief for Women by Alan M. Rapoport and Fred D. Sheftell
Housekeeping by Marilynn Robinson
In the Beginning... Was the Command Line by Neal Stephenson
The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
The Mother's Recompense by Edith Wharton
Mario and the Magician by Thomas Mann
Mrs. P's Journey by Sarah Hartley
Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Puckoon by Spike Milligan
Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain
Sacred Flowers by Roni Jay
Sacred Symbols: Ancient Egypt by Thames & Hudson
Something Rotten by Jasper Fforde
Spooky California by S. E. Schlosser
Trapped in Death Cave by Bill Wallace
The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
Ward No. Six by Anton Chekov

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In the Beginning... Was the Command Line: 05/19/07

In the Beginning... Was the Command Line

In the Beginning... was a RABCK to me from another BookCrosser. I had put it on my wishlist after enjoying Snowcrash and wanted to see what he'd have to say in a nonfiction book about computers. Stephenson's turn of phrase reminds me a bit of Scott Adams in both the good and the bad.

Overall I enjoyed the book but I was glad it was a short one. The chapters from his comparison of Disney World to the modern day operating system onward drag. These final essays are more rants than insights into the nature of computers and programming. I got rather tired about his wining about failed computers and his inability to install Windows NT after giving up on MacOS. What he fails to realize is that hardware failures are part and parcel of working with mobile machines (laptops). They will never be as stable as their desktop counterparts. Instead, though, he blames the OS.

The book also suffers from being out of date. BeOS is dead and MacOS is now a flavor of Unix. It also has a command line. New Macs also now run on Intel chips so his complaints against the Motorola chips are also moot. But in all fairness, the book was published in 1999 when Apple's future wasn't too bright.

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