I’m not used to getting unexpected visitors in the middle of the day (or in the evening, for that matter), so when I heard the sharp, impatient raps on the door I wondered what it could be. I was in the middle of doing some dishes, so I turned off the water, peeled away the dishwashing gloves, and ambled up to the front door.
By the time I got there, there was nobody outside to see through the peephole. I thought “Maybe someone stuck some kind of survey or ad on the doorhandle, or maybe there’s a package. Well, we aren’t expecting any packages, so it’s probably junk advertising.”
I opened the door and was puzzled to find a box sitting there. It was slightly larger than the average Amazon book shipment box (I know this because of all the Amazon shipments we get, being bibliophiles and fond of low prices). I brought the box inside, and looked at it. I found it was addressed to me, specifically, which seemed odd. It was sent by Pearson Education, whatever the heck that is. Even more puzzled now, I sat down in front of my laptop and talked to the SigO in IMs. I figured that, if she knew about it, I should find out so I’d know whether it was something I wasn’t supposed to open yet. It’s getting into that holiday season, after all.
She knew nothing about it, either. I looked at the box again as I pulled a knife out of my pocket (being prior Army airborne infantry, I got in the habit of pretty much always having a knife on me for utility purposes), I saw some fine print on the shipping label. It reads:
PRAC GD LINUX COMM&SHELL
Woah, wait a minute — suddenly it all came back to me. A few years ago (give or take; I don’t really remember when), I wrote an Amazon review of an excellent piece of Linux tutorial and reference writing by Mark Sobell, titled A Practical Guide to Linux Commands, Editors, and Shell Programming. Earlier this year, someone got in touch with me and asked whether I would mind if my review was quoted in the frontmatter of the second edition of the book, which would be coming out soon. Of course I said I’d be happy to be quoted; if I like a book, I have no problem letting others know about it. Well, they promised me a free copy of the book when it was printed, and now here it is.
There’s my quote, in the frontmatter. It reads:
"This book is the best distro-agnostic foundational Linux reference I've ever seen, out of dozens of Linux-related books that I've read. Finding this book was a real stroke of luck. If you want to really understand how to get things done at the command line, where the power and flexibility of free UNIX-like OSes really live, this book is among the best tools you'll find toward that end." --Chad Perrin Writer, TechRepublic
I hope to find the time to look over this second edition in the near future and write a review, probably for TechRepublic. If it’s anything like the previous edition, though, I’m sure it’ll be a very worthy addition to my library of technical books.