February 20, 2019

Linux Books--Then and Now - page 3

In the Ancient Times

  • October 4, 2004
  • By Rob Reilly

Libraries normally have some ancient Unix texts and the occasional early Linux titles. Selections are limited and dependent on the location of the library. It's an interesting place to go to chronicle computer history, since many of the books are hopelessly out of date.

One problem that the libraries have is that they can't buy the information, ie: books, quickly enough. Web content describing an application or new technique becomes available mere days after a new product release. The Open Source community, in print and via the Web, definitely push new information delivery limits, as compared to other industries, in that respect. As a consequence, the effect of speed of content delivery has hurt the traditional library business model. The hyper information delivery rate that shows up on the Web, would seem to negatively affect the bookstores. It doesn't seem to have much effect.

Still, a trip to the public library, just to reminisce over dusty old vintage 1996 Linux books could be fun.

I haven't been to a large college library in years, but I would think that if you are near one, it might be worth a trip, just to see what they have.

Speaking of college, I remember buying a brand new copy of "The C Programming Language", by Kernighan and Ritchie, way back in about 1982 at the main campus bookstore. As a student I coughed up the $22.50 for my copy. I never did that much programming, but I think it's kind of neat to own a piece of history. Especially one that had such a great influence on the Unix, Open Source and Linux worlds.

Some Linux User Groups keep libraries of books that are available to their members.

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