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on 11 November 2002
Contains enough information to turn an absolute beginner into an intermediate-to-advanced vi user - but it's not until your fingers start to "think" in vi that you really start to appreciate it.
Robbins collects all the relevant facts, presents them crisply and provides enough information to see the novice or occasional user safely onto the learning curve.
I'm not quite as sure about the material on vi clones - vim for example comes with a lot of very good documentation itself - but this probably belongs on the shelf of any lab where non-experts might need to use vi or one of its relatives.
Cheap, too - difficult to fault at the price.
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on 15 September 2009
A few things to note -

Vi from Solaris 2.6, is the version used to verify the information presented in this publication; it is not the most up to date text. However, Vi is almost certain to be installed any server you might work on, so the commands contained in this booklet are almost guaranteed to work.

Coverage of Vim is rather poor, badly out of date, and pretty much pointless as Vim and Vi are now perhaps better than 98% compatible. Vim is to be greatly preferred where it is available. Similar editors are also given cursory coverage, but to be frank I've never seen any of them in the wild, so I won't comment.

The book is cleverly laid out and contains quite a lot of useful information for anyone who is already a Vi or Vim user. It is a little light on explanations, so not really for an absolute beginner (though the beginner could do worse).

If you are a complete novice I'd recommend typing "vimtutor" at your local command prompt when you've got 45 minutes of concentration time to spare.

Not a bad little book but a bit dated - OK
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on 26 May 2014
VI is the worst editor around. Period. Having said that, this nice little book is you companion in making things better. You will learn to make do with vi, which i effect is a kind of Swiss Army knife editor. It can do tremendous things, for a small and silly editor.

This book eases down the terrible way in which vi switches back between editing mode and beep-mode.

After reading the book I got hooked to jed, joe and nano.
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on 18 August 2015
This book is missing all pages before the page labeled "11". The missing pages were clearly not removed after the fact as page 11 is affixed at the binding to the cover and there are no torn pages at or around the adhesive.

How can you recommend a book with missing pages?
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on 14 September 2009
This guide was last updated in 2003, when VIM was just another VI-variant. It's high time O'R brought out a new edition: their pocket references are one of their best products (although over-priced when new), but this one will soon be a guide to the past.
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on 30 May 2015
A good book and a good size to carry, but if you got access to the internet you don't really need it.
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on 11 November 2014
Can't find a better guide!
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on 23 June 2007
Pocket guides should be in pocket. Since I am not willing to carry ten pocket guides this one is somewhere out of reach when I need the guide. I think I should use copying machine to make pocket page of most essential page of the book, but for that there's quick reference cards at internet. The book is best for checking what can be done with vi, something like introduction to editor features. Ones you remember the features this book transforms to reference material that is hardly ever used.
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on 22 February 2006
Unix has many levels to master and there is no one book that could possibly cover all of them.
I have quite formidable experience with different books on UNIX and related subjects and this one would be in the list of my favorites. It is very well written, very articulate; it goes into many subjects with great attention to details and so on.
As for now there are three major methods had been available: real course, book and knowledgeable friends. I have discovered another one and it is "UNIX Essentials" DVD that I found on and it is well worth mentioning; but since they do not ship outside US I ordered it directly from
The DVD isn't complete as I said there is no way to cover everything in UNIX but, it covers 90% of what one has to know to start work with UNIX independently. It is very nice compilation for someone who likes to learn UNIX but it has to be supplemented by a book like this one. Take both, work trough them for two weeks and there are few people around who could possibly recognize that you are novice. It provides VERY nice training altogether.
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