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This chapter is from the book

Getting Help from Other People

Unix evolved organically, with features and commands being added piecemeal over the years. Even with all of the books written about Unix, person-to-person interaction remains the best way to become comfortable with using Unix, and it's often the only way to learn about new features or the more sophisticated uses of features you already know about.

Becoming connected to other Unix users is your best route to Unix mastery. Table 3.2 shows several good places to start.

Table 3.2. Human Help Resources



Apple Discussions (

Apple's official Mac OS X discussion forums. No charge, but you need to set up an Apple ID account.

Apple Mailing Lists (

E-mail lists for users and developers.

Darwin mailing lists (

Apple hosts a number of e-mail lists about the Darwin operating system. The Darwin-UserLevel and DarwinOS Users lists are most likely to be useful to a new Unix user.

Google Groups (

A combination of online discussion groups available through a Web interface. Includes the venerable Usenet system of discussion groups.

Mac OS X Hints (

A Web site devoted to tricks, hints, help, and arcana about Mac OS X. Includes extensive discussion forums. Created and run as a labor of love by Rob Griffiths. If you find the site useful, consider donating $10.

The WELL (, or from the command line telnet

The WELL has been a vibrant online community since 1985. Participants tend to be highly literate and interested in a wide range of subjects. The Macintosh and Unix discussion areas are extremely high quality and worth the $10/month fee all by themselves. Several of the people who helped with this book are WELL users.

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