Yes, we know. Fundamentals, principles, and all of that is boring. You bought a book called UNIX Power Tools and expected to read about all sorts of clever tricks. You didn't want the book to start with a bunch of lectures.
Well, this book contains plenty of tricks. We promise. But there's something else you ought to know. For UNIX, the biggest difference between a power user and a duffer is that a power user knows what he's doing and why he's doing it. The duffer may know as many commands and have his own army of tricks - but he won't know when to use them, or why he's using them. Many of the tricks aren't really tricks at all: they're really fairly obvious solutions to common problems, once you've learned how to think about the problem correctly. Our goal is to help you to become "creative" about UNIX: to get you to the point where you can analyze your own problems and come up with your own solution for them. A grab-bag is really no good unless you know how to give yourself your own presents.