Join Us For The February News Nerd Book Club Hangout

In the Beginning Was the Command Line

The votes have been counted and re-counted, and now we can say with certainty that Neal Stephenson's In the Beginning ... Was the Command Line is the people's choice for the February News Nerds Book Club reading.

This essay was first published online in 1999, and later published as a book in November of that year. You can download a zipped text file from Stephenson's site or buy it wherever older books are sold.

In the Beginning... is about the relationships between users and their computers, and how those relationships have changed over time. It's a 1999 opinion on the state of technology in 1999, leading Neal Stephenson to write just four years later:

In the Beginning was the Command Line is now badly obsolete and probably needs a thorough revision. For the last couple of years I have been a Mac OS X user almost exclusively.
– Neal Stephenson, in a 2003 post on his website and a 2004 Slashdot interview

With that glowing recommendation, we'll let you get started reading. The February meeting will be held via Google Hangout on Wednesday, February 11, at 1 p.m. Eastern time.

The invite and link to RSVP are here (and here is a direct link to the Google hangout for quick reference).

The March book club meeting will be held in person at NICAR. If you'd like to suggest books for that and future meetings, you can do that over on our reading list hackpad.

Happy reading!