Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review: Master your Mac

Too often computer books are written for either beginners or programmers. Very few intermediate books truly exists but this is the “just right” level for an experienced Mac user who wants to take his or her experience to the next level without learning programming or spending hours at a command prompt. This is the book for the rest of us who want just a little more from their daily experiences.
Instead of reading like a manual this book is in a “cookbook” style with various recipes you can try divided up into sections such as automation, productivity and security. Each recipe includes a justification for the project and tells you the very basics of how to do it primarily to help the reader reach that intermediate level. After establishing the basics, Cone suggests configurations and software to take it to the next level. The built-in functions of Spotlight are great, but programs such as Alfred build on that skill set and make your Mac usage experience extraordinary.

I was initially skeptical, but pleasantly surprised by this book. I expected a series of simple tips and tricks I already knew or topics so advanced and complex that it simply wasn’t worth my time “trying” these ideas. The book has a perfect balance of suggestions and project that can really enhance your Mac. Sure, I could research programs in the App store or online but this book curates all those thousands of programs into a series of basic ideas and solving of problems. Use your Mac with an external monitor? An entire chapter covers little things you can do to prevent annoyances such as knowing where your menu bar is or the annoying resizing of windows when you disconnect your monitor.

Experienced Mac users will benefit most from this book, but even beginners who simply want more will find a great series of ideas in this book. These chapters solve problems intermediate users experience and beginners haven’t quite hit the wall yet.

One of the best books on the Mac I’ve read in recent years and makes a great gift for any Mac user that wants to be more productive and efficient without investing too much time or energy.

Pros: Outstanding series of ways to use your Mac better with detailed instruction
Cons: The book quickly needs a version 2 because I finished the book wanting more of the same.

Five out of Five Dogcows