Archive for January 19th, 2015

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson.

Cover of "In the Beginning...was the Comm...

Cover of In the Beginning…was the Command Line

In the Beginning…Was the Command Line. , Neal Stephenson. 1999. ISBN 9780061832901.  A short pithy and often hilarious essay by one of our eras better science fiction writers, coders and journalists.  I discovered that Neal had released quite a lot of his material into the public domain and in my searches found this essay.   Written about the time Apple was in a decline, Microsoft in the midst of antitrust suits and Linux was in a heyday, it is a great history lesson and guide for future programmers.   As an old UNIX programmer I know exactly what he is saying about its robustness and have at times decried that IOS is just a version of Linux, completely locked away from the bulk of the users.  This not a Cathedral vs Bazaar argument, but a simple story about how to get utility and usage out of what is available these days, if you want to.

A great comment, ” Apple has always been a hardware company first, using its software to protect the walled system system.  While Microsoft has chosen to be a software company,  using the cheap hardware out there, and forcing hardware manufacturers to write the code/drivers to work with Windows. , which extends Windows at no cost. ”

It will be interesting to see if his predictions play out – that OS  prices may inevitably  drive to zero.   Well written and useful if you like this kind of material.

A montage showing author Neal Stephenson and f...