Book Review

Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger – Visual Quickstart Guide

Author: Maria Langer

ISBN 10: 0-321-42337-2
ISBN 13: N/A
PUBLISHER: Peachpit Press
REVIEW DATE: 25th April 2007

CATEGORY: Computing

The book starts with an introduction to Tiger, which lists some of the new features of the OS, and the apparent benefits of them.

Following on from this, albeit brief, introduction to Tiger, we find the chapter: “Setting up Mac OS X 10.4”, which includes a tutorial for the absolute beginner, on how to discover which version of Mac OS they currently have installed on their Macintosh. I'd liked to have seen a simple cross-reference chart, listing the minimum system requirements for Tiger installation. Intel Macintosh users are already running Tiger, as it comes pre-installed on all Intel based Macs, so this is not an issue, but it may not be immediately obvious, to those readers not “in the know”, so to speak.

There is also a section on how to use classic (OS 9) applications within Tiger (PowerPC Macs only!) which is extremely useful, if the reader is upgrading from an installation of OS 9, but is wanting to continue using classic applications, for which there is often no OS X substitute as yet.

I would like to see this book updated to a second revision, to directly reflect and inform upon Apple's recent transition of all it's computers from the PowerPC architecture, to Intel. Including a brief explanation of the “Rosetta” non-Universal Binary, translation layer, and its direct impact upon speed, when running non-Universal Binary applications upon Intel Macs, would be an obvious inclusion of a book of this type.

Considering that all currently manufactured, new Macintosh computers, are Intel-based, the otherwise excellent content within this book, would be much more accurate, when revised to reflect this change. Computing information is often outdated within days, never mind TWO YEARS!. Having contacted Peachpit press themselves, I discovered that this 2005 First edition, is the ONLY edition, to date. Disappointing, but hopefully it will be revised soon. Leopard will soon be in the shops, and to have missed out the Intel Mac entirely, seems very odd indeed!.

The book is extremely well presented, using monochrome illustrations when needed. The screenshots are of a very high standard, and more than sufficient to get their point across, without confusion.


A very well written and presented book, with thorough coverage of the current PowerPC version of Tiger, but I feel badly let down, by the distinct lack of Intel Macintosh information. The revision of the book is not stated within, and I find this also, rather absurd.

This is by no means any substitute for a “Missing Manual” - it misses two years of Apple technological progression ENTIRELY, which is quite unacceptable, in my mind. If you are trying to decide between this and O'reilly's “Mac OS X Tiger Edition – The Missing Manual”, then there is absolutely no contest; “The Missing Manual” wins, hands down.

To summarise: if you have the cash to buy both, then do so, but I would consider this book to “fill in the gaps”, if information cannot be found from the “Missing Manual” book. It can never hurt to have both, but if you wish to choose only ONE book, as a reference, then unfortunately, this is NOT the one.

Matt Foot.