What books got you into tech?

Following up from our Episode 32, I was curious what books got you folks into different aspects of tech.

For me, it was Slackware Unleashed, which I bought with my staff discount when I worked at an education book store:

From Amazon:

This Brobdignagian tome has all the usual information on what Slackware Linux is and how to install it, but it also has good tutorials on bash, pdksh, tcsh, vi, emacs, joe, groff, TeX, shell programming, and a bunch of other utilities. In terms of graphical interfaces, Parker and his associates cover XFree86, Motif, OPEN LOOK, and OpenWindows.

Programmers will love this book, as it pays adequate attention to C, C++, Perl, tcl/tk, and a score of other languages. Granted, this section of the book won’t teach you how to write C programs, but it will help you figure out what’s unique about C and other languages under Slackware Linux. Another section of the book covers advanced programming topics, such as writing network applications under Linux. Online services (including mail, news, FTP, WAIS, Gopher, and the Web) are well documented, and security is discussed, though that’s not this book’s strongest suit.

Slackware Linux Unleashed wraps up with capsule documentation of many utilities, productivity applications, and games. The companion CD-ROM includes Slackware Linux 3.1 (not the latest release), XFree86 3.2, some compilers, the complete GNU archive, and a book about CGI programming that is in HTML.

This book got me into Linux. It was also when I first heard about this notion of a global community working together to create cool stuff. From then on I was hooked.

What about you folks?

Mine was “Running A Perfect Internet Site with Linux”, which was some version of Slackware. “Site” here actually refers to a more general purpose ISP-like server with finger and gopher daemons alongside a httpd…

This book published in 1998, rediscovered only last month in a clearout of my childhood home:

It was given to me by my uncle, who worked as a programmer, and bought it (according to the written text on the frontispiece) in 1990. Note that it “includes 3 5 1/4” disks"! I must have obtained it in about 1992 or 1993. I remember working through C tutorials on an Amstrad “Portable” PC 512, with twin floppy disk drives and a monochrome LCD screen.

Learn C Now! Learn it! Learn! Come on! <whip crack>

Start Programming With The Electron, the absolute gold standard of computer books. Yes. Well, sorta.

The Amstrad CPC464 BASIC Programming Manual, and then the HiSoft DevPac Z80 Assembler “IDE” manual.

I read “When Harlie Was One” when I was… 5? 6 maybe? I was a bit young to understand every aspect of it… but the core idea fascinated my nerdy little mind and fueled my early computer tinkering.

Not quite a book, but

Found these the other day

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