Sunday, April 08, 2012

Book Review: Teach yourself visually iMac

I'm not quite sure what the target audience is for this book, but I know it fails to adequately speak to any audience. The hallmark of this book is extensive screen shots for each topic and no matter what the topic is, it only takes 2 pages. Every aspect of using an iMac is covered including iPhoto, iTunes and other iLife apps.

My biggest concern with this book was that it was too advanced for a novice audience and too basic for an intermediate or advanced reader. For example, a novice doesn't need to know about DHCP numbering schemes but an intermediate or advanced user doesn't need to know about how to shutdown the computer.

The organization of the chapters is simply bizarre. The author's flow is based on setup rather than usage. The starting chapter includes setup and networking and moves to sharing with other users, a clearly more advanced concept, and then swings back to running applications and then organizing files or folders. Waiting until chapter 5 to talk about web surfing really doesn't make sense to me. Most users want to hook up their computers and immediately surf.

Later on in the book, information about remote connections and printer sharing are included, but given the same amount of space as sending an email or watching a DVD on a Mac. Different concepts require different amount of space to cover, so a new user might easily get overwhelmed they didn't understand some of the more advanced concepts.

I'd like to say the topics were covered well but they weren't. The illustrations were extremely busy with as many as 8 flags on one screen requiring a legend and color coding to decipher.

Pros: Comprehensive
Cons: Coverage of topics inconsistent, confusing illustrations, too much information for a novice and not enough for an intermediate user

2 out of 5 Dogcows

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