Mac OS Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide
Posted: 29-Jan-2003

Mac Guild Grade

Publisher: Peachpit Press


Reviewer: Judd Spitzer $24.99

Mac OS Advanced: Visual QuickPro Guide

By Maria Langer
ISBN 0-201-74577-1
291 pages, $24.99 US

When I first heard that I was going to receive a Visual QuickPro Guide, I thought, I don't have Visual QuickPro. I quickly realized that this is a style of computer book that provides a new way and a quick way to learn a particular topic with a hands on approach. After reading the introduction I was excited by the thought that a person who is a true Mac enthusiast wrote this book.

What the Book is About
This book covers Mac OS X 10.1 specifically. It's broken up into 12 chapters and an appendix:
  1. Moving Up to Mac OS X
  2. The Classic Environment
  3. Unix Basics for Mac OS X
  4. Unix Security & Utilities
  5. Networking
  6. Multiple Users & Security
  7. AppleScript & Mac OS X 10.1
  8. System Preferences
  9. Fonts
  10. Mac OS Utilities
  11. Speech Features
  12. iDisk
  • Appendix
Level of Reading
According to PeachPit, this book is considered intermediate/advanced. I would consider this book to be an intermediate level book. If you use your Mac for the purpose of surfing the net, printing up a letter, doing email, and music, then this book will take you far beyond the use of your Mac. If you are the curious type and want to know the in's and out's of how to get your Mac to maximize its potential, then you've come to the right starting point.
What to Expect from the Book
If you haven't looked at Mac OS X yet, then for a seasoned Mac User, this definately is the book for you. I was able to gauge my own level of knowledge of Mac OS X by reading through the book. I found in some areas, I was highly proficient, and other areas I found myself learning more, especially in the area of AppleScript. This is by far the most concise manual to Mac OS X that I have seen!
Highlights of the Book
I personally think that the best parts of the book are within the first 6 chapters. I specifically think that the chapter on Unix Security & Utilities is worth noting. As our Macs continue to find themselves connected to the Internet with high-speed connections and many people including your family members start to use your Mac, the importance of security becomes paramount. This chapter lays down a good foundation and understanding into the Unix aspect of security.

Other highlights are the high level of screen shots used to demonstrate the "how-to" aspect of the book. You are not only guided through doing different tasks, but are shown what you can expect to see.
Mac Guild Grade
A - Outstanding
Final Words
This is the book for people who want to really have a good understanding of Mac OS X and the Aqua GUI. It is concise in its presentation. It gives you the essentials without filling the book with fluff. I think that most people will find something useful from Applescript to Unix shell, and everywhere in between.