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

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Description 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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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 It can be considered obsolete and out of date if you do not really pay attention to what a computer is and what it is not.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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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta) (Peut contenir des commentaires issus du programme Early Reviewer Rewards)

Amazon.com: 4.0 étoiles sur 5 131 commentaires
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 Probably good in it's time. 15 avril 2015
Par J. Krutsch - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I have to start by saying this book was written in 1999 and is about computer operating systems (OS). As such, it is very dated when viewed from a 2015 perspective. He does a nice job of contrasting Apple vs Microsoft vs Unix vs Lenix and so on. Unfortunately his predictions of the future weren't spot on. While an early Apple fan, he had pretty much written them off as dead. Of course this was only a couple of years after they tossed the clown from Pepsico and the return of Steve Jobs. Who could have imagined the turn around that caused. It was okay for what it was, and fortunately it is pretty short.
46 internautes sur 50 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 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.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Cadillacs and Tanks 21 décembre 2001
Par Patrick Shepherd - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
As a hardware/software engineer I have worked with MS-DOS, Windows, MacOS, and UNIX for many years. Reading this fairly short, critical, and sometimes hysterically funny essay was an enjoyable experience, albeit I had some major reservations about some of Neal's suppositions and conclusions.
Stephenson presents, first of all, a rather simplified version of the history of PC computing world and the operating systems that have helped define and advance (or impede) the development of the PC from something that only a geek could love to a ubiquitous near-appliance. His definition of what an operating system is matches what most programmers, using common sense, would call an operating system: a suite of low level tools that perform the mundane tasks of interpreting what an application wants to do to the physical realm of reading/writing memory, disk files, displaying graphics, etc. This is not a trivial point, as the current insistence by Microsoft that its operating system is inclusive of web browsers, audio/video players, and other application-level programs is a key item in its anti-trust defense. However, Stephenson bypasses the relevance of this in favor of defining the differences between the MacOS, Windows, UNIX, and BeOS. For this purpose he uses a highly useful (and sometimes funny) metaphor defining each OS as a car dealership, each of whom sells their type of product to a different type of customer.
One of his major points is the idea that an OS is a saleable product, even though in essence it is nothing but a long string of 1's and 0's, information only, and not a physical item, represents a paradigm shift, on the order of trying to sell a car's driving interface (steering wheel, brakes, etc) as a product separate from, and having intrinsic value in its own right, the car itself. Given the obvious nonsense of this separation in the case of the car, he makes the case that operating systems should all eventually be given away free, ala Linux, and that businesses that depend on OS income are treading a very dangerous path.
He shows a definite preference for those OSs that allow the user to 'get under the hood' and tweak its operating parameters, such as Linux, and includes a long discourse on the whole concept of simplified, pre-packaged interfaces as culturally defining/defined, including some good analogies with what Disney does to make complex, detailed subjects immediately comprehensible to Joe Six-Pack.
All of this makes for easy, enjoyable reading, whether you are a power user or just someone who wants to send e-mails. But his conclusions about which OS is best and the future direction of OS evolution is definitely skewed towards the power user, someone who is comfortable in dealing with all the inner complexities of computers and software. As such, he sometimes forgets that computers are a tool (even though he devotes a section to different levels of tools in terms of quality , power and user skill levels), of no use to the user except insofar as they provide something that user wants and needs, and it is that end result the user wants, at the absolute minimum of fuss on his part.
A thought provoking essay, whether you agree with him or not.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Good prose, shallow details, dated tecnology 11 mars 2005
Par David Hood - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
While in the midst of getting through Stephenson's Quicksilver I took a break to read this shorter, faster paced, work.

I can't go back and read/review this when it was first published. I wish I could, but I can't. I can only review it as I enjoyed it current day.

It is an argument to the strength of Stephenson's prose that a shallow, dated essay on GUIs and command line operating systems even gets 3 stars 5 years after being published. Analogy and whimsy are well-used by Mr. Stephenson here in discussing the different types of users and how they wish to interact with the machine. He makes a dry subject entertaining.

Unfortunately, this many years past publication the world has move greatly on. Yes the command line vs. GUI worldviews have not changed, but neither has the freeing of OS's happened either.

Additionally, beneath the whimsy and wordplay are only some nifty, but not fleshed out ideas almost laid down as truths. Stephenson needed to back up his ideas with some more evidence rather than thought experiment.

Despite those faults though, it is an enjoyable, but now purposeless, read.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great history of operating systems 4 novembre 2012
Par Casey Knolla - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Being only 25 years old, I grew up somewhere in the middle of the OS's lifetime. This book was educational for someone who takes advantage of modern OSes, and it also sheds light on the blissful console command times. I struggle with GUIs often, and the author highlights the pros and cons of the introduction of them. He also compares the for-profit business model of selling OSes versus open source which I was well aware of, but he makes points I had not considered before.
As a computer person and programmer, I really enjoyed the content and writing style.
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