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on 2 June 2000
I do not know about you, but for me, a book has to be pretty darn exceptional to persuade me to buy a second edition of a book which I already own the first. Unix Power Tools is one such book. It is simply packed with tons of useful tips which the authors have accumulated over decades of using Unix, and is a sort of `crème de la crème' of O'Reilly reference books.

Praise aside, the book is not for everyone. It is an intermediate level reference, not an introductory tutorial. If your problems are like "How do I delete a file?", you should read something else first, get acquainted with Unix, and then return to it. If, however, the questions you face are more like "How do I delete a file with a null name?", then this is exactly the book for you. Unless there is a real Unix wizard around you, this book is likely to earn you this title in your environment.

The second edition focuses on POSIX systems rather than on SysV/BSD, uses Bash and Tcsh instead of Sh, Ksh and Csh, and has moved from Awk to Perl. The two-colour printing is gone, though. Fortunately, the superb index - one of the best I have seen - is still here, and so are the cross-references in the text. Accompanying CD-ROM might be essential if you are living in the mountains of Tajikistan, but anybody connected to the Internet will probably prefer to download newer versions of software on-line.
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on 8 December 1997
I was stuck in a corporate software mess with a compilation of legacy UNIX Script, awk and other languages calling and executing both locally and remotely. With only intermediate experience in UNIX, a rather large pot of coffee and Jerry Peeks UNIX tools I was able to filter through, straighten out, and document the nightmare legacy code within half the time I expected.

The book has an outstanding state of the art, referencing and indexing to key words and commands while you read. I did not find myself flipping back and forth to the index. I was able to get the information very quickly without loosing train of thought. A fantastic book, I have several UNIX books and many in other languages and this one has the best layout and most complete reference.

Only one suggestion... don't let this book go out of print for so long. I had to wait months to get this new version. The old version was sold out all over the US. Maybe I will buy a few extra copies for investment purposes.
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on 22 March 2002
Very occasionally a book is written about or for Unix System Administration, or Unix in general. If the author or publishers get the mix right it receives acclaim. Very, very occasionally one of those books achieves legendary status, by finding its way onto 98% of all Unix Sysadmins book shelves.
This book is one of those legendary tomes. Just about every Unix Sysadmin I know has a copy of this sitting alongside books like Evi Nemeth's "Unix Sys Admin Handbook". OK so it has a lot of information that isn't new to most sysadmins, but that's not where the beauty of the book lies. The real treasure is found in the countless nuggets of Unix info that have been long since forgotten, or yet to be learned.
In my humble opinion, a true Unix Classic! If like me, you earn a living from Unix, then think of this book as a carpenter would his set of chisels. You don't use them for every job, but when needed, can prove invaluable.
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on 2 September 1999
I've been a Unix user for over fourteen years ( Xenix, SCO, AIX, Solaris). This book covers the real problems Unix users and administrators face. If nothing else, the examples are worth the cost of the book. Many of those items in man pages which are mentioned but never shown in detail are covered. The best aspect of the book is the coverage of shell scripts especially the comparison of how things would be done using C, Bourne and Korn shells. Even without the CD, the book would still be worth it.
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on 29 April 1998
For the last several months I have been dealing with a Unix/Linux environmnet. I had no prior experience with Linux or Unix. However, I have to document and explain scripts, modules, and such every day as part of my work.

This is the first book that has given me bite-sized, useful information in an explanatory format that doesn't waste my time. Whereas O'Reilly's Running Linux helped me very little after a nearly-full read-through, Unix Power Tools has taught me something every time I pick it up. What's more, the chapters are small (and intriguing) enough that a flip-through during a bathroom break can send me back to the keyboard to try something new.

It's like an encyclopedia and your friend the SA in one. Get this and Essential System Administration and you cover the practical needs and the complex activities (respectively) of working in Unix-like-environments in two volumes.
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on 10 August 1998
Excellent! This book covers all major versions of UNIX and then some.
The tips and tricks are easy to use and very pertinent.
Installing the software from the CD was a breeze! By far the best collection of freeware for UNIX I have ever seen.
The book was very well written. Those with some moderate UNIX experience will get the most out of this book.
A must have for any serious UNIX buff.
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on 15 October 1998
Absolutely essential book once you are beyond the online manual pages. With 15 years of unix experience, I still return time and time again to this book for help when all else fails. It is also humorous, entertaining, clever, interesting, enthusiastic, ... all the tings you don't expect from this type of book.
The one book to replace all other unix books.
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on 18 July 2000
I purchased the first edition when I saw it May 1993. It proved invaluable, I used that first edition so much it fell apart. I have since replaced it with the second edition which is also starting to look well used.
This book is the best Unix book I have ever come across and would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
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on 10 March 1999
I am a business analyst and as such need to use UNIX on occasions but not in as much depth as say a UNIX systems administrator.
This book is excellent as it can be quickly referenced for specific instructions and also used in depth as a training guide. I have strongly recommend this book to other people.
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on 21 May 1998
And I mean sailor, not someone who hasn't seen a body of water and is out on a $200 cruise! In other words, this book would be a great help to intermediate to advanced UNIX users, while it'll leave novice programmers in a ball game with the vice president. Every page has at least 3 mantras and the chapters are packed with "rabbit-out-of-the-hat" tricks that'll amaze (and scare off!) anyone looking over your shoulder at your terminal as you try out one of the numerous recipes mentioned in this book. Definite asset for any serious UNIX programmers (or wannabe's)!
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