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In the Beginning...was the Command Line (Anglais) Broché – 9 novembre 1999

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Descriptions du produit

Présentation de l'éditeur

This is "the Word" -- one man's word, certainly -- about the art (and artifice) of the state of our computer-centric existence. And considering that the "one man" is Neal Stephenson, "the hacker Hemingway" (Newsweek) -- acclaimed novelist, pragmatist, seer, nerd-friendly philosopher, and nationally bestselling author of groundbreaking literary works (Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, etc., etc.) -- the word is well worth hearing. Mostly well-reasoned examination and partial rant, Stephenson's In the Beginning... was the Command Line is a thoughtful, irreverent, hilarious treatise on the cyber-culture past and present; on operating system tyrannies and downloaded popular revolutions; on the Internet, Disney World, Big Bangs, not to mention the meaning of life itself.

Biographie de l'auteur

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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Détails sur le produit

  • Broché: 160 pages
  • Editeur : William Morrow Paperbacks (9 novembre 1999)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0380815931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380815937
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,3 x 0,9 x 20,3 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 25.793 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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Around the time that Jobs, Wozniak, Gates, and Allen were dreaming up these unlikely schemes, I was a teen living in Ames, Iowa. Lire la première page
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Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The book is a really well written in-depth look at the way we see a computer. The author takes the case of the Personal Computer and the history behind OSeses like BEoS, PCDOS, MS Dos and Windows. It can be considered obsolete and out of date if you do not really pay attention to what a computer is and what it is not. It is actually universal if you take a step back and see down the line on how things can be or could have been. The chapter about the GUI was a good analysis about what our PCs might have been today if people were more thorough about making a decision based on something else than just mere looks. Overall this book is easy to read and while it gets theoretically detailed about notions that most of computer users have forgotten or will never need to know, it is really interesting and never a bore.
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Amazon.com: 126 commentaires
183 internautes sur 192 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
missing history, strange conclusions 4 octobre 2000
Par Noah Green - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I'm a professional programmer and an avid Linux owner. I'm always happy when someone throws a little barb at Microsoft or Apple. That having been said, I think this book generates more heat than light when it comes to the "OS War." It's somewhat weak on history, and a bit out of touch with what the average computer user wants.
A glaring omission is the early history of Stephenson's beloved Unix. To hear him tell it, Unix begins with Richard Stallman and Linus Torvalds. Now, to be sure these two are giants whose shoulders we stand upon, but where is the story of Unix's actual invention at AT&T in the early 70s? The word "AT&T" appears only once in the book, briefly cited as something that Stallman was reacting against. The dark side of Unix's corporate past - the fact that Unix originally was a proprietary operating system under AT&T, and that AT&T completely missed the point of Unix and sold the license to Novell, who also blew it - would have fit right in with Stephenson's argument. Basically, for Stephenson, Unix IS Linux. There is no description whatsoever of the rich Unix tradition that precedes the founding of the Free Software Foundation, nor of the contributions that commercial Unixes like SunOS and Solaris have made, such as NFS, NIS, etc., nor of academic contributions like BSD or X. Stephenson lauds XWindows but makes it seem as if it too were a product of his open-source, hacker utopia - and not of the MIT X Consortium. These traditions were direct antecedents of today's hacker community, and Stephenson gives them short shrift.
Finally, there is Stephenson smugly chiding us on how GUIs make us into sheep led by a corporate shepherd. But he undermines his own argument by detailing (pretty factually) the time and sweat of installing and using Linux. So we are supposed to like this better than Microsoft? For the uninitiated, it sucks just as much - maybe more! If you are a programmer and a professional, Linux/Unix is the best route to go down. For the rest, people want something that turns on quickly, that doesn't wreck their stuff, and is easy to use. Windows isn't that - but neither is Linux. Stephenson is missing out on the real story: the imminent destruction of the personal computer as we know it. Someday very soon, small, highly-networked, specialized devices will replace the generalized, complicated computer. People will only pay for what they need. And what they get will be appliances, things that require neither a $95 per call help line (Microsoft) nor a descent into the depths of hacker message boards (Linux), to fix. Something like a TV set. Probably Linux or its descendant will be the operating system that these things will run on, but most people besides programmers won't need to care.
It's a fun ride, and you'll certainly finish knowing more than you did when you started. If I had to do it over, I'd buy and read this book again. But there is much more than this.
44 internautes sur 48 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
QED 17 février 2000
Par Bill Schwabenland - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I had read and enjoyed the author's previous book, "Cryptonomicon" and was impressed with the amount of technical discussion he included (and the insight and detail he included about the Seattle and Silicon Valley tech lifestyle). I had often wondered if there was any "there" there. This book proves it. While I felt the book stopped short by only discussing the evolution of operating systems since the advent of PCs (I go back a lot farther; and there were other PC OSs that could have been mentioned), I thought he did an excellent job of capturing the recent evolution and the related technological-social debate. In fact, beyond the depiction of the technical underpinnings of the current OS wars, and beyond the knowledge of Seattle/Silicon Valley geek life-as-we-know-it (on a par with Douglas Coupland's Microserfs), the other reason I really enjoyed this book is that Mr. Stephenson managed to express in writing the very complex and convoluted feelings that I have about the whole Microsoft/anti-Microsoft debate (and have not been able to adequately express to my friends). So I have been recommending that they read the book instead.
111 internautes sur 134 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Required reading for all computer users 23 mai 2000
Par L. Alper - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Warning: I am a die-hard Neal Stephenson fan. If this bothers you, don't read further!
That aside, "In the Beginning Was the Command Line" should be required reading for anyone who a) regularly uses a personal computer b) has expressed an opinion on the current DOJ vs. Microsoft case. Most computer users are as unfamiliar with why they use Windows (or Macs) as they are with the history of the elevator. The elevator did not significantly change the world; GUI's & PC's have. I know half of you are already yawning, looking for another book to purchase, but wait...this is a really quick read, &, better yet, it's hysterically funny! Yes, folks, you not only get informed, are given some concepts to contemplate, you actually enjoy the process!
Stephenson admits this book is simply an essay, his musings on the 4 main operating systems currently in use (MacOS, Windows, Linux, BeOS) & how they can be viewed in the context of global culture. He gives examples from personal experience, & unlike most techno-geek/hacker types, he doesn't appear to view Bill Gates as the anti-christ (which is probably why some people hate this book). But please, don't let that scare you off. This book is an easy read for those who have never typed a single line of code in their life, while still being thought provoking for even the "Morlocks" (Stephenson's term) of the world.
Let's face it: if you're reading this, you're an Internet user. Thus, you use computers. You need the information in this book. It's only $6. BUY IT!
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Brilliant - but free elsewhere 1 janvier 2003
Par T. Snook - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I'm surprised to see this "book" for sale here.. you can download it from Neal Stephenson's own website, it comes to about 80 pages if you print it out on letter sized paper.
I'm a new convert to Stephenson (I've read both Cryptonomicon and Snow Crash in the past couple of months) and find his writing brilliant. This "book".. really more like a very long essay.. is the only bit of nonfiction writing of Stephenson's that I'm familiar with. While the PC vs Mac, UNIX vs Windows discussions are interesting (I'm a PC user but I'm no techie), what really gets my blood flowing in this work is when Stephenson dares to get "philosophical" -- he's quite good at it. His take on postmodernism had me nodding in agreement and howling with laughter at the same time.
17 internautes sur 19 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Beneath the metaphor is . . . another metaphor 29 décembre 1999
Par J. R. Lavelle - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
After 50 or so pages of throat-clearing, Neal Stephenson gets down to the real business: he regards the GUI (graphical user interface: think Windows/MAC desktop)as a metaphor for the failure of intellectual discipline and curiosity in our age and in the generations of children and grandchildren we will leave behind.
The very simplicity of using a GUI-based computer these days is, to Stephenson, exactly the problem. We don't know what we don't know, and we are rapidly losing our ability to learn just what it is one should learn if we are going to function as intellectual beings. Once the thread is lost, how will we regain our grip?
Sure, we're victims of time pressures and the world is overcomplicated and we can benefit from the "executive summary," but how does consuming predigested knowledge make us fit for our job of advancing man's place in the universe?
This is a heavy challenge, especially to parents who deal on a daily basis with offspring who either won't or, sadly, in some cases, CAN'T read.
Just as pocket calculators cover up arithmetical shortcomings and Velcro conceals an inability to tie one's shoes, reliance on a technological marvel such as the GUI (whether it's on a computer or a TV screen, or, in a tableau vivant, at Disney World) actually accelerates the dumbing-down of society.
That Neal Stephenson presents such a grim picture within a personal, quirky and quite humorous narrative is a terrific achievement. This is a book I am going to pass around to my friends, techies and non-techies alike.
Note to my friends: Beware, there are lessons contained in this slim volume.
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