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In the Beginning...Was the Command Line

160 pages, 1999

science & nature

science & nature

1064 books


392 books

This is Neal Stephenson's command line -- a personal view of the art (and artifice) of computer-centric existence. And considering that Stephenson is the hacker Hemingway, acclaimed novelist, pragmatist, seer, and nationally bestselling author of groundbreaking literary works (Snow Crash, Cryptonomicon, etc. ) -- his voice is worth hearing.

The thoughtful, irreverent, and hilarious In the Beginning... was the Command Line is a well-reasoned examination of computer-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.

Understanding the Power of Command Line

In the Beginning...Was the Command Line, Neal Stephenson explores the power and potential of the command line interface. He shows us that it's not just a tool for tech geeks, but a powerful resource that can help us understand and control the digital world around us.

The Evolution of Operating Systems

Stephenson takes us on a journey through the evolution of operating systems. From the early days of DOS to the modern era of Windows and MacOS, he gives us a fascinating look into how these systems have shaped our digital lives.

The Metaphor of the Bazaar and the Cathedral

One of the most interesting parts of the book is when Stephenson uses the metaphor of a bazaar and a cathedral to describe the difference between open-source and proprietary software. It's a great way to understand the fundamental differences between these two approaches to software development.

The Impact of Corporate Influence on Technology

Stephenson doesn't shy away from discussing the impact of corporate influence on technology. He digs into how companies like Microsoft have shaped the tech landscape, for better or worse. It's a thought-provoking look into the business side of tech.

The Importance of User-Friendly Design

In the book, Stephenson emphasizes the importance of user-friendly design in technology. He argues that while command line interfaces are powerful, they can be intimidating for the average user. This highlights the need for tech developers to create interfaces that are easy to use and understand.


Ev Williams

Ev Williams

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