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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual
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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual
by David Pogue
Paperback - 450 pages 1st edition (December 15, 2001)
O'Reilly & Associates
ISBN: 0596000820
Dimensions (in inches): 1.41 x 9.28 x 6.92

Widely esteemed Mac authority David Pogue weighs in on the latest offering from Cupertino with Mac OS X: The Missing Manual. It's a fact-packed romp through the operating system and the extras that come with it, made resoundingly more readable by the depth of Pogue's knowledge, his familiarity with Mac history, and his eagerness to engage novices as members of the Mac user community. Unlike most books about Mac OS X, this one explores its Unix-like underpinnings (the Apple implementation is called Darwin) pretty thoroughly. However, based on the logic that if you wanted to use Unix, you would, Pogue emphasizes the traditional, graphical Mac interface over the Terminal window.

Pogue, who's written about Macs for years and whose professional qualifications extend beyond computers (he's an orchestral conductor), writes about Macs at the user level with clarity. He's also quite good at dealing with the numerous options and variations that apply to Mac procedures, and makes very good use of sidebars for clarifying details. In a section on printing, for example, Pogue explains why there's no longer an option to turn off background printing (true multitasking has rendered the option obsolete). There's also good coverage of the online iTools, tailored to people unfamiliar with integrating remote resources into their personal computing environments. --David Wall

Topics covered: Apple Mac OS X for people who will use the operating system, either on a standalone computer with Internet access or on a computer that is part of a home or organizational network. Running applications (in Classic mode as well as in native Mac OS X mode), printing, networking, multimedia, security (including Keychain), and utilities are all covered.

Spotlight Reviews:
Reviewer: Anthony L. Trendl from Wheaton, IL
If you are reading this review, you are like I am, a devoted Mac fan. Furthermore, you probably own a David Pogue book. It is time to buy another. "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" is a necessary addition your technical libary.

Technical manuals for the Mac OS are abound, but Pogue manages to steer clear of the techie-talk that so often plagues the other books. In keeping with the tradition of Apple, and the creative nature of Mac users, he approaches "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" with a tongue-in-cheek sensiblity. Pogue sorts out the pros and cons of OS X, while acknowledging the future of the Mac OS. He keeps his explanations simple, honoring the basic truth that Macs are easy to use.

Users new to Macs will be pleased as Pogue points the way to a transitioning to from a Windows-based OS. No reason to be intimidated by the 400+ pages. The book is organized well, and will be comfortable to use either as a manual, or as a reference book. I fully recommend "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual" by David Pogue.

Reviewer: bobsaldeen from Illinois, USA
If you have OS X and you don't have this book, you're missing out. Pogue writes near perfect after-market computer manuals--easy enough for beginners but with plenty of meat for computer professionals. With a touch of humor too, just enough to be pleasant. I'm looking forward to other books in the "Missing Manual" series.

Reviewer: A reader from Birmingham, Michigan USA
A superb all-around guide to OS X for those who are already familiar with the basics of computing (e.g. how to use a mouse, the difference between a file and a folder, etc.) but aren't especially interested in the complexities of Unix. What sets Pogue apart is his tone - you feel as though you're learning from a real, opinionated human being who anticipates your questions and answers them in a friendly, down-to-earth manner, without being cloying or condescending. He not only explains how to do things, but whether they're worth doing, and why. If I were to write a Mac guide, I would want it to read like this one.

If you're completely new to computers and Macs, I would recommend this as a supplement to Robin Williams' "The Little OS X Book", which focuses more on the fundamentals and provides more visual guidance. But both books are superb all-around guides for the average user.

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