Sunday, October 10, 2010

Book Review: Snow Leopard The Missing Manual

Weighing in at over 3 pounds and close to 900 pages, this book isn't just the missing manual, but the definitive guide to everything Snow Leopard. If it isn't in there, you probably don't need to know it.

Seriously, though, this is a great guide and each time Pogue comes up with a new edition of his Mac OS Missing Manuals, they just keep getting better and better. Similar to previous editions, the author takes you through every aspect of the operating system and the included applications and even some of the iLife apps. Menu commands, their functions, and their relation to real world situations is a hallmark of the Missing Manual series. Screen shots are used where appropriate but not so many that you feel like you are reading a comic book. Of course, sprinkled throughout the book are tips, tricks, and "nostalgic corners" telling us how we got to this 6th generation of Mac OS X.

Unlike previous editions of the book, the author is including more of the intermediate users in his mix. Many more advanced topics aren't just mentioned, but clearly explained. In particular, the book explains the difference between Applescript and Automator and how to write practical scripts and workflows the average user would benefit from. Other more advanced topics include Windows and Mac file sharing (especially the problems Windows 7 poses), virtual private networking, and top "useful" unix commands.

The book is designed to be a reference guide more than a how to or walkthrough book. The table of contents and index are indispensable tools for zeroing in on exactly the right command and program to get the job done. Every IT department and help desk should have a copy of this book.

Pros: Extensive information geared for both novices and intermediate users
Cons: Requires lifting with the legs, not the back

Five out of Five Dogcows

Article was republished by the Lawrence Apple User's Group 2.0 here , Macsimumnews here as well as other groups listed on the right