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Unix is a Four Letter Word...
and Vi is a Two Letter Abbreviation

Author: Christopher C. Taylor

Written: August 1993 Major revision: July 2000

Executive Summary

Unix is a popular operating system among engineers and scientists. Unix has a number of features that make it very appealing, particularly for those who have become heavily dependent on their computers. Unfortunately, Unix has a significant learning curve. For many, the trek up the learning curve reaps generous rewards in productivity in the long run. This document is designed to help beginning and intermediate users of Unix to conquer this learning curve quickly.

Copyright Notice

Copyright 1993 - 2002 by Dr. Christopher C. Taylor. Permission to copy all or part of this work is granted, provided that the copies are not made or distributed for resale and that the copyright notice and this notice are retained.

This work is provided on an "as is" basis. The author provides no warranty whatsoever, either express or implied, regarding the work, including warranties with respect to its merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose.

Corrections and suggestions are welcomed by the author. He can be reached by electronic mail (see below)
or by phone at 1-800-IDIOT-IQ.

Alternate Formats

  • Postscript: The postscript file may be sent directly to a postscript printer. Check here for information on how to view the postscript file on a PC.
  • Adobe Acrobat (pdf): To view this format, you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. The program is freely available from Adobe.
  • A number of mirror sites are available.
Please contact me if you are interested in setting up a mirror site.


  • The original version of this manual was written while I was employed by Hughes STX at EROS Data Center in Sioux Falls, SD.
  • Graphics and web design modeled after The GIMP website.
  • The Vi Reference section of this document is based heavily on "Vi Reference" by Maarteen Litmaath, et al.
  • I also am indebted to readers who have given me feedback on things that could be improved.

Please notify owners of webpages with outdated links to these pages

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1993-2001 Christopher C. Taylor