Over the years I learned most of what is in the early OReilly book below through daily use of the commonly used programs it describes.
However I still go back to this book for the troff examples. The troff manuals I have seen are fine by me, but I believe this book provides more "working examples".
Whenever I read this book again, I am reminded of how much UNIX know-how is probably being lost to new generations that are steered away from learning the foundations that still make up their operating systems.
(No matter how many programs have been or will be subsequently written to "replace" them, it is still not difficult to find these old programs on millions of computers. Avoiding any debate of why they are there, it is uncontestable that when one knows how to use them, they work wonderfully for the simple things that computer users will always need to do.)
Be warned, if one demonstrates the effective use of such old programs to others who have committed themselves to todays large, complex software, the reactions may not be positive. They might be dismissive or insulting, they might accuse one of being a "luddite", or perhaps a "neckbeard" practicing some unexplained type of "elitism".
The uninitiated person who sees the results of UNIX text processing as nothing short of "magic" is rare indeed. It is that person who might enjoy this book.
I'd love to know the story about how # ended up being DEL and DEL ended up being SIGINT. There must be some funky terminal hardware explanation.
My very first Unix experience was bash on a VAX 11/785. Which was great until the time I sat at the teletype console for that VAX and typed Ctrl-P to bring up the previous command line I'd typed. On that console, Ctrl-P is "halt immediately".
They could likely sign up an account with the Living Computer Museum in Seattle, and possibly find an appropriate machine running actual Unix V7.
Aside, the Living Computer Museum is amazing, and well worth a trip for anyone. Most of the computers are set up with the expectation that you can play with them.
FYI: On this site adblocker reports that site tries to run CC-mining code...
ed(1) is actually quite usable, I remember editing lots of documents using ed/troff at university in the early 80s as still occasionally drop into ed if I wasn't to do a small change to a simple txt file (I remember that using vi was frowned on as an egregious waste of memory)
You are using vi? And complaining? And you are using more?
Be a proper lad/lass, and use ed!
For the hardcore that actually want to try it, here's an x86 version of V7. The assembly boot code is gorgeous.
Installation is a bit of a pain, but possible. The ISO goes live, so that's good enough to start.
I don't understand how just using SIMH on a pre-made disk image wouldn't have been simpler than what the author ended up doing.