One of the tasks I find myself doing a lot these days is reviewing web and application logs. Working in a Windows environment with a product responsible for literally billions of transactions each year it’s difficult if not impossible to do this. A single days’ log can easily exceed the capabilities of many Windows text editors and those that can manage it aren’t as fast as Unix tools.
I don’t have a huge need for sed, the Unix stream editor, but I make extensive use of awk. grep is also another tool that plays an important role in my toolbox. Since awk and grep both make use of regular expressions it was nice to find a chapter dedicated to the subject.
There are three chapters dedicated to sed and four geared towards awk. Each utility also has its own quick-reference guide.
The book hasn’t been updated in some time (pre-2000) but let’s face it, not a whole lot changes with basic Unix functionality. I found the examples to be concise and well-suited to helping me grasp the concepts. The material goes much deeper than what I need for my daily tasks but it’s nice to know that a lot of power is at my fingertips should I need it.
If you’re new to ‘nix system administration or like me and trying to clear off the dust this is a great reference book. Grab a copy!