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Book review: Mac OS X Tiger Edition - The Missing Manual

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Member Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posts: 182
unlokia can only hope to improve

unlokia is offline
I just wrote my first proper book review. Maybe it will be helpful to some of you.


Book Review

Mac OS X Tiger Edition – The Missing Manual

Author: David Pogue

ISBN 10: 0-596-00941-0
ISBN 13: 978-0-596-00941-0
PUBLISHER: Pogue Press/O'Reilly
REVIEW DATE: 24 April 2007

CATEGORY: Computing

Deceptively simple, a lot like OS X itself, yet very in depth and comprehensive, but in no way overly complex to the point where the reader could become confused.

Caters for both beginners and advanced users alike; in no way patronising, but also unassuming of the beginners level of knowledge.

Gets the point across, using wry humour (without being crass) using simple analogies and examples that are easily understood, relating to real life situations whereby the particular application/feature would become immediately useful to the everyday user of OS X. Procrastination and over-complicating something simple, is something this author has left to other, less skilled writers - (I feel this is very important, as over-explaining is more often than not, extremely confusing to the reader, and can verge on the point of patronising them!).

Extremely well illustrated, without being overdone in such a way as the pictures could take over, and leave the reader trying to figure out everything from illustrations alone. The screenshots are monochrome, but this in no way detracts from the simple tasks and actions they convey to the reader. I found the textual/pictorial balance, to be perfectly struck!.

The overall theme, is fun and intuitive to read, be it chapter by chapter, or more likely dipped into, when need be. The tongue in cheek humour is quirky and amusing, without the author trying to be too funny, in a way that could quite easily distract the reader from the overall point and content of the book; after all, this is a reference book, not a comedy audition, but having said this, the humour does remove the tedium that is all too often the norm, in computing lierature, and make the often stressful learning curve, seem less daunting and less “geeky”.

The author has covered how to install Tiger, but in no way is this merely an afterthought of a paragraph. This is done informatively and simply, as a section in it's own right, and even contains an explanation, whereby the user learns to install Tiger onto a Macintosh that doesn't have a DVD-ROM drive, by means of restoring the DVD to an iPod, using another Macintosh, and using the iPod as the installation source. So simple, but I'm sure other books would have left this out – genius!. How many other publications jump straight into the basics of learning the OS, whilst assuming that the reader's computer came with Tiger pre-installed?. I'd bet, quite a number!.

If a book is to be considered a “Missing Manual”, then it MUST tell the reader how to install or re-install the operating system, otherwise this manual would be incomplete.


From installation of Tiger, to hacking the GUI and learning basic Unix commands, through to changing system permissions, this book is indeed an invaluable asset, and a must have reference for any Macintosh user worth their salt.

To review this book in it's entirity (all 847 pages!) would be nigh on impossible to do. At GBP 21 the value of the content held within FAR outweighs the very respectable price tag, which in all honesty, is an absolute bargain.

Highly recommended – a book which is truly a “must have” for any Macintosh user today!.

Matt Foot.
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Member Since: Apr 18, 2007
Posts: 19
riley is on a distinguished road

riley is offline
Dear Unlokia,
This is one of the better reviews i've read. Informative and to the point. You might want to change careers unless you are a writer already. I will be taking the plunge and purchasing a Mac in the near future. After reading your review, as a newbie i will take your advice and definitely buy this book. This website and people like you have been most helpful.
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Member Since: Dec 17, 2006
Posts: 9
jbgordon is on a distinguished road

jbgordon is offline
Well said. I am just finishing reading the book, as I am a very recent switcher, and I have found it very informative and thorough.
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christm's Avatar
Member Since: Dec 18, 2005
Location: Devon, England
Posts: 2,288
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Mac Specs: ibook g4, imac 2ghz c2d, mbp 2.4ghz c2d - 10.5.1

christm is offline
i have got a similar book
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Member Since: Dec 16, 2006
Posts: 182
unlokia can only hope to improve

unlokia is offline
Well... I am dumbfounded, but also very much appreciative of such good feedback!. Thanks chaps, I like writing, and no - I am not a writer (yet!). I hope this book helps you out, as much as it has me.
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Member Since: Feb 17, 2006
Location: High Wycombe, Just outside London, England
Posts: 385
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Mac Specs: 20" iMac 2.0Ghz, 2Gb RAM Early 2006, 30Gb iPod 5th Gen. 15" MacBookPro, 2.33GHz

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I too have this book and your review tells everything that needs to be known about Tiger.

Great review, +1 Rep.
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Member Since: Jan 18, 2006
Posts: 1,868
kaidomac is just really nicekaidomac is just really nicekaidomac is just really nicekaidomac is just really nice
Mac Specs: G4 Cube

kaidomac is offline
Pogue is the man. I wish more manuals were written in his style - fun, easy to read, easy to comprehend. Nice review.

Mac Sites - down for reconstruction
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Brown Study

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Member Since: Mar 11, 2004
Location: Winnipeg
Posts: 1,964
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Mac Specs: G4 — Tiger and OS 9

Brown Study is offline
A good review, unlokia. Rep!

I came across this hard-drive file-recovery story by David Pogue. (He writes for CBS's Sunday Morning, too, as well as a column in the New York Times.)
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