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

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

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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
REVISION: Tenth
REVISION DATE: March 2007
REVIEW DATE: 24 April 2007

REVIEWER: Matt Foot
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.

Summary

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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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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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.
 
OP
U
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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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Your Mac's Specs
G4 Cube
Pogue is the man. I wish more manuals were written in his style - fun, easy to read, easy to comprehend. Nice review.
 
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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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