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The first section of the book use amazing . but there were 3-4 other books attached that had nothing to do with Alexa commands.
I liked the format of the question and answers. It covered everything I wanted to know, and some things I didn't. It is a amazing reference for those who wanted to know the best method to phrase a question. It also had a amazing run down on the primary skill set of Alexa.
(The King of Egypt - with his sword drawn - and his Queen, together, converse about killing Moses, servant of the Most High God) ... Queen Nefretiri: 'Bring it back to me, stained with his blood!' Pharoah Rameses: 'I will... to mingle with your own!' Inspired by the Book of Exodus, this Cecil B. DeMille-directed, Academy Award-winning biblical epic, the seventh most successful movie of all-time, needs no further analysis. Among the undisputed, where exceptionally classic one-liners are concerned, The Ten Commandments is a timeless generational masterpiece, and a National Movie Registry-honored landmark of the Hollywood cinema industry ... Period. Five out of five glittering stars.
An old creaker of a 12 chapter Foreign Legion serial actually puts John Wayne in the forefront of the action despite having him appear only fourth in the credits. The production standards of course were nothing to write home about then and are certainly slapdash now but the action has some nifty inventive moments and it was all shot on zone which was a huge plus. The amazing natured comraderie between the "musketeers" was definitely used as a prototype for Gunga Din, created six years later by RKO. Some notable appearances by Noah Beery Jr, Lon Chaney and Yakima Canutt will interest movie historians and the adventure is entertaining enough even if you can't obtain through all the chapters in one sitting. Not the greatest old-time serial ever created I'm sure but I'll watch John Wayne in anything and the DVD was worth the purchase.
This android game is simple to pick up controls and video test and hard to place down. The android game plays very well and a amazing tutorial. The missions are very well thought out and immersive. The android game has bags of potential, can see it opening wide when the online pmc versus pmc is introduced. One mechanic which would be amazing on the assassination missions, where the opponent says they have Intel, there should be an option. Either assassinate for a little possibility you search the intel, or to interrogate for a bigger possibility of intel for missions and weapons/ gear to unlock. However while interrogating there is a possibility that backup will arrive for them inwl which you would need to war to gain the Intel or retreat.
Really this android game would obtain a higher review because I do have fun the gameplay, it's easy but fun. However I immediately realized the android game pushes you into micro-transactions. The first mission I did had a challenge to end a battle in 2 days. Didn't sound too difficult the guide created it look simple (especially for an simple lvl 1 mission), but small did I know completing the challenge would be impossible without buying gold so I could refill ammo or obtain armour plates. Capcom has a decent android game here. Stop with these in the face micro-transactions. I would buy your android game but to hell if I'm gonna have another application that forces me to buy a premium currency to obtain the most out of it.
I was so hyped for this android game until I realized the amount of microtransactions that were shoved in my face. Over 8 opponents with only 400 ammo? 30 seconds for the whole mission only? I ran out of time for a mission and was asked to pay 15 gold to increase time? Who is responsible for this ridiculous execution for the game? I'd honestly would be surprised if they created any profits off this game. Waiting for a fix for this. If nothing changes I'm uninstalling, sorry not sorry.
Quite a letdown, The video test is really dry and there is a lot to be desired. States that range is necessary but is solely determined by your frontman. It takes 20+ rounds to take out a guy by a 5 man team by ex-military personnel with a sneak attack? high potential genre, not good follow through. Also the Collect belongs feature is absolutely unnecessary and quite heartless the method that it is implemented and explained.
Beautiful damn amazing game, however it has a lot of BS. Constantly throwing tanks at you (2-3 a mission) and they require scarcely available rockets to destroy. Missions to help allied units or escort caravans. Cool. Mortars instantly slay them causing you to fail the mission. Overall a amazing game, but it needs some balancing work.
Sucks Hard pay to victory on 1st mission. Must buy premium gold to win. Capcom proves greedy devs too stupid to produce a android game that makes cash over time. Trying to obtain it all at one. Read all the reviews all say the same. Sucks. Do not download unless you are a small boy spending all of your mamas hard earned rent cash and wish to be homeless. This will suck you dry.
Tldr: avoid like the plague, impossible to play with buying micro transactions every 10 minutes. Is the android game play good? yes. Is everything else good? Hell no, to do a mission you need "bullets", this amount is basically the total amount attack troops you have, on said missions you will have to eliminate a lot of people, you have 200 bullets, each attack costs around 100, there are 6/8 targets.... It's a shame that this is 100% broke of a android game by greed of capcom forcing a pay to play meta, no one wants to pay £1 per 5 mins of android game play....
Already i know the guide will bore fresh players away...I expected more from Capcom really. From the begin im forced to go through a long and painfully boring guide and am not allowed to check out the game. I JUST GOT IT! I WANT TO CHECK EVERYTHING OUT! Why am i being forced so much. The backround of the android game is so not "Birds eye view" its just green lines and smudges. I expected a 3D layout even if its just green lines depicting the structures itself.
not willing to bother with help just uninstalling. training 1 fails to load properly, I assume because it says it is syncing gps but without asking for permission to use my phones gps... I even attempted to grant gps access to the application myself through settings but it only asks for storage and phone permissions no option for location.
It pay to victory and not even online battle. I mission is hard to do because I ran out of bullet all the time. At first I see this android game be like a zombie android game but nope it boring pay to victory game. I think you will be in the same map over and over just like the other game.
P2P. You take limited ammo per mission and you use so much ammo per engagement. It then forces you to resupply during the mission or you will fail it. And you can't avoid opponents in most missions, so you have to use ammo. And even when attacking from behind it doesn't always trigger sneak attack so your ammo gets used. Amazing android game apart from the P2P aspect.
Pros: It's okay. Plays well, very straightforward. F2P needs to avoid the tanks like the plague. Its doable. Also attacking from behind is insta-KO and costs Zero ammo. 5/5. Cons: this thing heats up my Razer phone like crazy and drains its battery just as crazy. And I'm trying not to play a grind android game with that kind of heat. PS. Story is meh.
It isn't... Great. I plan to give it a small more time to see if it turns around but it's incredibly minimalistic, the aesthetics are just all around awful, the writing is horrid, and video test doesnt seem engaging at all. Having served in the Troops theres a lot here that is beautiful offensively poor lol this is the sorta items we would create fun of together, the cheesy military-wannabe entertainment pieces. Oh man it's just... No. Youre better than this Capcom.
I pre registered For the android game and only got the Gold AK.. Then i found out that i NEEDED gold to even stand a possibility at this game. Very pay to victory right after the Tutorial. I was hyped for this android game but its another Microtransaction Game.
Capcom.......you disappointed me with this pay to victory android game amazing video test idea. Needing gold for everything truly makes me lose interest it just let's me know this android game no matter how much you place in you won't obtain it out of the android game [email protected]#$%! was various
I, as well as a lot of others can't begin the first mission (tutorial) from the game, due to graphical corruption/freeze of the screen. Because if this I can't play the game, and thus i can't accurately rate the game, so the 1 star is just there since i can't rate it no stars. I have emailed help about the problem, and they replied saying that they know about this problem, and are working to solve it. They also asked for phone and OS details, to better analyze and search the root of the problem. I highly encourage everyone who suffers this issue to contact help to further support Capcom solve the problem, and i ask everyone to just be patient and wait for the issue to be fixed. Helping Capcom will create everything quicker and support yourselves in the process, so don't rate 1 star and uninstall, but rather wait for the android game to be fixed, and then rate it.
Beautiful special tactic android game with a blend of true time and turn based gameplay. Has some RPG mechanics as well. It also has the typical phone android game systems on top but I don't mind it. Makes it easier to understand how things work if you have played a lot of phone android games already
Well, I was very hyped for this one and I am mostly happy except this one thing. When playing the game, it basically forces you to buy stuff. During battles and missions, you rely on ammunition. The issue later on is that each mission lets you take a certain ammount of ammo and whenever you attack, it uses ammo, and it uses a lot of ammo most of the times. Once you run out of ammo, you have to reset the mission and you lose the ammo you used up. Ammo crates are used midgame to restock but you may have to use them beautiful often to victory wars and to obtain these crates, you will have to use cash or be lucky and search a ammo building midgame. Also it feels like microstransaction are heavilly pushed upon the player and it kinda ruins the experience. The video test is amazing by microstransactions ruin it.
I love it, I've seen a lot of comments from people talking about having to spend cash because the android game is too hard, I reached PMC level 4 in two hours, didn't fail a single mission besides the ones with the first tanks, and I've received 3 stars on every scenario so far. This android game is not for people into this type of android game genre. People who are used to this form of RTS android games will be better at it and will have to spend small to no cash on micro transactions.
Fix the core mechanics and it's gonna be my favorite mobile game. Some attacks that should be sneak attacks aren't and you guys need to implement the ability to change your route without having to war or arrive at a point, especially when you have militia ambushes pop up during movement. There needs to be a method to destroy tanks without premium stuff or any tanks on your side, especially with the ridiculous time requirements for gift rewards. I'd also like to see weapon unlocks re-worked. You shouldn't just search random weapon info that you can't use until you RNG the lower tier weapons first. It's just a sloppy method to handle progression that doesn't create you wish to work towards it.
My review after playing as far as i could. Gave it a very begin minded shot, but the blatant pay to victory formula is very hard to ignore, it is balanced in such a method that IAPs are absolutely important to progress anywhere in this game. The actual video test is quite pleasant, and could potentially be an immensely fun tactic game. With a rebalance to the in android game economy to skew microtransactions towards them being optional instead of, and i really do mean it when i say it, absolutely necessary, would be a solid step in the right direction. But in it's current state, unless your cash to brain cell ratio is horribly out of balance, i would pass this and not look back. Hopefully Capcom recognizes this fatal flaw in a android game that is actually very fun to play when you actually can play it without purchasing ammo every turn, and rebalance it. Would hate to see the actual video test be ruined by important IAPs. I would gladly pay for this android game if it were premium if it meant the IAPs were completely and entirely optional. If any other consumer has read this far, well cheers, and have a amazing day.
Catton is America's acknowledged expert on the Civil War. His detail is exhaustive, and illuminating. His narrative seems to be without editorial bias. He aspires to be a completely neutral observer, a purveyor of the facts. His writing style is Mid 20th Century so readers fifty or so years after this book was written might search the passages and paragraphs overly long by the standards of today's staccato tempo of data exchange. We have gotten out of touch with the politics, the bureaucracy, and the wildly divergent quality of federal military leadership, however. So books by Bruce Catton are essential to the education of America - lest, in our ignorance, we repeat the mistakes of the past.
Interesting story, occasionally bogged down with war tactics and troop deployments that were impossible to follow without a map and nearly created me give up reading. Ever test reading a map on a page in Kindle? Also seemed to have a lot of info about a lot of insignificant characters. I wanted more insight into Grant. The book assumes we know much about the general, including his life before the war. Book also ended abruptly. I had hoped it would wrap up with a summary of his post-war life, at least how the battle impacted it..
The whole series was perfect but this final volume was the best. I've read quite a bit about the Civil Battle but learned some fresh facts in this well written look at the final days of the Civil War. The "myth" is that Grant operated with an overwhelming superiority in manpower - but Catton breaks down how the numbers are extremely misleading and reinforcements for Grant were very over inflated. This was a book I really enjoyed reading and I was disappointed when I came to the end. I highly recommend this volume and the entire "Grant" series by Catton, one of my favorite authors.
I am not a student of the Civil Battle yet I found this to be a remarkable history book. It is well written and anointed, yet very private in its descriptions of Grant through the latest year or so of the Civil War. One interesting thing from the book is the incompetence of some of the Union commanders and how close the Union came to losing the war. Grant held it together and had the plan for success.Excellent reading! Hard to place down.
This is one of the best books on Grant that I have read. Catton has done extensive research for this book as he contains a lot of letters from enlisted and officers to their wives that give necessary insights into history. Catton not only describes Grant as a strategist but as a commanding general that has to deal with troops logistics, feeding and clothing newly liberated slaves, and vicious politics both within the troops and within the U.S. government. The issue that I have with this book and others like it is without maps showing troop movements it is hard for the reader to visualise the necessary battles. This book rates five stars for the depth of research and showing the vast complexities of war.
Must say one of the best books I have read on the subject of the Civil War. The book is well written with lots of detail in regards to people, locations and wars fought during the battle between the states. Can obtain a small over detailed, but that is what makes this book amazing to read. I thought I knew somewhat a lot about Grant, but learned so much more through this book. Fascinating to read the relationship he had with Lincoln, Stanton, Mead, Sherman, etc. Also his utmost respect for Lee, but also wanted to destroy Lee and everything to do with the Confederacy. Suggest if you into Civil Battle History to read this book.
Now I know why readers have loved Bruce Catton for years!! This is a very readable work that gives a very human perspective of a man who really had the fate of the nation in his hands and who persevered to a amazing and final victory. Catton's style as a story teller is amazingly amazing for such a detailed historian, and I predict you will not place this book down until you finish.
Both this book and it's companion volume Grant Moves South are highly readable works of "popular" military history. Written in the 1960s, they are never the less perfect introductions to the Civil Battle campaigns of our greatest soldier. While they may lack in detailed campaign maps and illustrations, they do provide an perfect prose style which brings the characters, the surroundings, political atmosphere, and wars to life. They should be a part of everyone's Civil Battle "library"
The book reminded me of the very significant sacrifices that we created and the poor slaughter that occurred 1861 to 1865. The issues he encountered and a note that stuck with me was the use of animals and because the animals were not in shape to move the Troops forward the Troops waited for the horses to regain their strength I believe 90 days. I am guessing 1/3 of the book is notes and credits.
Bruce Catton is the grandmaster of nonfiction books written for the general public about the Civil Battle as seen from the Union perspective. "Grant Takes Command" is about exactly that--the period just before Grant is appointed as the third Lieutenant-General in the history of the U.S. through the end of the Civil War. This is a fascinating tale, colourful and Catton does a remarkable job explaining General Grant to the reader. He does much to explain Grant's style of leadership, his relationship with others including President Lincoln and General Meade, and how the soldiers in his troops (and those in the Confederate Army!) regarded Grant. Catton also discusses Grant's problems as regards drinking, and largely concludes that Grant had conquered this opponent long before he took on the Confederates as the Union's top me, the most interesting aspect of the book is Catton's perfect analysis as to how Grant finally managed to seize the initiative from Robert E. Lee. After Gettysburg, this was no doubt easier than it had been earlier in the Civil War, but nevertheless it must be remembered that no other Union general had ever really managed to do this prior to Grant, excepting perhaps General Meade at Gettysburg. Incidentally, Catton is relatively complimentary towards Gen. Meade, and points out that so was General Grant.I found the relationship between Grant and President Lincoln to be particularly insightful. It may be summed up that Lincoln quickly began to have complete and implicit trust in Grant, and was frankly relieved to have some of the burden of the battle shifted from his shoulders to Grant. For his part, Grant was loyal and respectful of the President, and was the excellent American general insofar as he thoroughly respected and acknowledged the core American value of ultimate civilian control over the fascinating anecdote was Mr. Catton's relating of an incident at the War of Two Harbors, where Grant proposed to General Lee after the battle, that both sides agree to let their respective medics onto the battlefield unmolested during a stipulated time, to save life and relieve the horrendous suffering of wounded and dying men lying between nomansland. Grant was indifferent to gaining or losing face, and focused solely on quickly coming to an arrangement in order to obtain on with the business of relieving the agony of the wounded. Lee, on the other hand, postured for over a day in an effort to create it appear as though Grant were the supplicant approaching Lee the victor. Meanwhile most of the wounded got on with the business of dying, and a lot of lives were perhaps needlessly lost. Candidly, this did nothing to improve my opinion of General Lee, and Catton relates this incident without judgment or rhetoric, allowing the reader to draw his or her own conclusion. He does so largely by quoting the actual letters exchanged by the two generals, so Catton's relating of the happening should probably be regarded as uncontroversial. My own conclusion was that my private estimation of Grant was heightened. I do not, in relating this event, mean to attack General Lee, who is certainly one of the most regarded generals in American history. But it does say something about both ton has a clear style of writing, and he embellishes his narrative with colourful and relevant anecdotes about each war and incident from the perspectives of generals, officers, and men alike. This is a amazing book about a amazing man during amazing times. Unforgettable.
This is a brief history of, and commentary on, the development of computer operating systems in the context of the competing business models of Apple and Microsoft, and how newer freeware operating systems like Linux relate to these corporate structures. As with all of this author's works, the writing is interesting and engaging. It is written for the lay-person, and I learned a lot from it. Published in 2009 and covering the state of affairs in the private computer industry probably up to 2007-08, the book is now somewhat outdated. Much has happened in the past 10 years, the bulk of it not very amazing or encouraging. How about a sequel? Why has commonly used software like Microsoft Office passed the point of maximum efficiency in the user-to-operating-system interface? Why, with every fresh release, is it becoming increasingly cumbersome and dumbed-down to the point of uselessness.
As a hardware/software engineer I have worked with MS-DOS, Windows, MacOS, and UNIX for a lot of 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 ephenson presents, first of all, a rather simplified ver of the history of PC computing globe 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 app 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 vehicle dealership, each of whom sells their type of product to a various type of 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, info 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 vehicle 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 risky path.He shows a definite preference for those OSs that let the user to 'get under the hood' and tweak its operating parameters, such as Linux, and contains a long discourse on the whole concept of simplified, pre-packaged interfaces as culturally defining/defined, including some amazing analogies with what Disney does to create complex, detailed topics immediately comprehensible to Joe l 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 various 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 effect the user wants, at the absolute minimum of fuss on his part.A thought provoking essay, whether you agree with him or not.
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 want 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 various types of users and how they want to interact with the machine. He makes a dry topic entertaining. Unfortunately, this a lot of years past publication the globe 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 required 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.
Although a bit out-of-date I enjoyed the romp through history and the final return "...under it all, even today, is the command line..." Like all of Mr. Stephenson's writing it's clear, enjoyable and his "voice" strikes a nice balance between telling and portraying.
I had never heard of Neal Stephenson before and got this due to the intriguing title. Working in IT (as a DBA) I firmly believe that GUIs with their ever expanding feature sets are de-skilling certain necessary technical tasks. This is creating a fresh breed of IT professional who is very proficient at 'point-and-click' but who has small to no idea what is event in the background. I wanted to see what Neal Stephenson had to say about this and the respond is not much. I can sum up his book by saying it talks about how operating systems should be free, how Apple (MacOS) and Microsoft (Windows) are as poor as each other in terms of their approach and shop stance and linux is wonderful. He makes a few amazing points and some clever wise cracks towards the end, but overall it was light, entertainment rather than a serious insight into technological issues.
In the Beginning...Was the Command LineOriginally published in 1999, Neal's essay on operating systems is, like most of his writing, multilayered and filled with palatable prose and a thought provoking potpourri of info that, especially in the case of this essay in book form, often requires rereading for proper al has a lot to say in Command rst and foremost, I walked away with the following impression: in the globe of Neal, Windows is a important but doomed operating system. Neal explains why as only he can. He also tells you why Apple is doomed and Microsoft might be. Furthermore, Neal explains that there are better operating systems available and makes a case for why you might wish to test them out: they are free, and they don't crash. These two operating systems are Linux, which is a variant of UNIX and BeOS, which is the product of a angry Frenchman but which has a lot of merits that outweigh the product's French mand Line is filled with memorable statements that sometimes border on or are in all actuality, r instance - "Contemporary culture is a two-tiered system, like the Morlocks and the Eloi in H.G. Wells The Time Machine, except it has been turned upside down. In The Time Machine, the Eloi were an effete upper class supported by lots of subterranean Morlocks who kept the technological wheels turning. But in our world, it's the other method round. The Morlocks are in the minority, and they are running the show, because they understand how everything works. The much more numerous Eloi learn everything they know from being steeped from birth in electronic media directed and controlled by book-reading Morlocks. That a lot of ignorant people could be risky if they got pointed in the wrong direction, and so we've evolved a famous culture that is (a) almost unbelievably infectious, and (b) neuters every person who obtain infected by it, by rendering them unwilling to create judgments and incapable of taking stands."In other words, Neal is saying, there are the people who read the book and there are the people who only watch the film that is created about the book, and the people who read the book are the people who really know what the author was saying. The people who watch the film don't really obtain it, because they obtain the filtered version, the dumbed down version, the ver built for mass consumption by those who are less smart or perhaps just not as mand Line isn't for everyone. It's for Morlocks, or those who wish to be Morlocks. If you've never owned a pocket protector, opened your computer case up or tinkered with the innards of any of the plethora of electronic devices you own, then you probably won't consume this book with relish, as I , if you've stuck with my review to this paragraph, you likely are the type who will have fun Command Line. Most importantly, you are, in all probability, the type to ponder on and eventually benefit from Neal's closing, in which he compares God to an engineer and remind his readers that, "if you don't like having your choices created for you, you should begin making your own."I came away from reading Command Line thoroughly convinced that I need to discover BeOS when I return from the battle I'm currently fighting. And of course, I will continue making my own choices whenever possible, rather than letting others create them for me.Update: Since I wrote the review I've been talking to people and reading Neal's web site. Two things are apparent to me: a) the book is very dated and b) Macintosh created the very intelligent decision to move their OS to a UNIX based product. This book will still be a highly enjoyable read if you have the soul of a nerd, as I do.
I'm a professional programmer and an avid Linux owner. I'm always satisfied when someone throws a small 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 create 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 wish something that turns on quickly, that doesn't wreck their stuff, and is simple to use. Windows isn't that - but neither is Linux. Stephenson is missing out on the true story: the imminent destruction of the private 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 obtain will be appliances, things that require neither a $95 per call support line (Microsoft) nor a descent into the depths of hacker notice 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.
Allow me preface this review by saying that Neal Stephenson is one of my all-time favorite authors -- I've read all of his books, even under the pseudonym Stephen Bury, all of his Wired articles, and everything I see that he's written online, and I loved every word of them. This book is about the length of one of his shorter Wired articles or a chapter from Cryptonomicon -- more on the order of a pamphlet or a "young adult" e automobile sales metaphor in the first four pages that compares Windows, Linux, Be-OS and the Mac is worth reading. Stephenson's comments about the command line are not. If you really wish to know why to use a command line, check out Hunt and Thomas's "The Pragmatic Programmer". As they point out, it's all about the automation, and this is essentially a professional's tool. If you really wish to understand the marketing side of things and the network result in order to understand why Microsoft has shop share, read "Information Rules" by Shapiro and Varian; to understand how hard it is to port geek solutions to the masses, check out "Crossing the Chasm" by Moore. Otherwise, read some of Stephenson's fiction, which is far more enjoyable.