Learning Unix (Was: Technical Writer Education)

Subject: Learning Unix (Was: Technical Writer Education)
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- FS -dot- COM -dot- AU>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 12:30:45 +0800

George Mena <George -dot- Mena -at- ESSTECH -dot- COM> said:
> ... how I can get my hands on a secondhand Sun 3/60 with hard disk and
> some decent programs. On the one hand, I know getting the secondhand
> hardware is possible, even if it's not very well-publicized (and I
> wish it were). Finding the programs to run on it, however, is another
> matter. Where would I get an earlier version of Applix or Island
> Draw, for example? Or a good shell compiler, that sort of thing?

Unless you have a particular reason for wanting to buy non-Intel hard-
ware, a better (and cheaper) solution might be to run Linux on a PC.

The Linux world is huge, diverse and friendly. There is a wealth of
books, news groups, and good, free (really free) software. You can
download, compile and install the sources (no doubt a good learning
experience), or pay a small charge for one of the shrink-wrapped CD
distributions. I believe the 'Red Hat' distribution is the best at
present. It includes compilers, shells, windowing software, net
software, applications, utilities and more.

Once you're set up for the Net, you can start plowing through the
Linux news groups and software archives. If you have a basic PC with
a good-sized hard disk you can install both Linux and Windows and
boot into either as required. Linux runs well on a 386.

I use a lot of Unix freeware for my work, and in my experience it's
pretty stable and well-documented. Of course there is good software
and not so good. Most software is trash -- look at any CD shareware
collection. But if you have a good mailer, editor, ftp client, shell
and graphics editor, what does it matter if there are two or two
hundred bad ones out there?

Stuart Burnfield "Fun, fun, fun
Functional Software Pty Ltd In the sun, sun, sun. . ."
mailto:slb -at- fs -dot- com -dot- au

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