Mac OS X Hints
500 All-Time Best Tips,
Tricks, and Secrets of Jaguar 10.2
By Rob Griffiths
0-596-00451-6, Order Number: 4516
400 pages, $24.95 US
- What the Book is About
- Mac OS X Hints: The 500
Most Amazing Power Tips is about some of the more advanced things you can do
with Mac OS X. Authored by Rob Griffiths, and edited by David Pogue, Mac OS X
Hints: The 500 Most Amazing Power Tips, is a great compilation of some of the
very best hints that Rob hosts on his website at http://www.macosxhints.com. The website is actually a searchable
database of 3,500+ tips, and is worth a daily visit.
- Target Audience
- In the "About the Author"
section that begins this book, we are told that the author began working with the
Public Beta of Mac OS X, but had an "innate fear of Unix and no understanding
of the command line". This certainly struck a chord in me, as it will many Mac
OS X users who are already advanced OS 9 users, but are still finding their way around
in Mac OS X. This book is a great way to begin to familiarize intermediate users
with the hidden power of Mac OS X, and illustrates some of the real advantages of
this new Operation System.
While, this book can benefit both new and intermediate Mac OS X users, I found it
to be primarily targeted at intermediate Mac OS X users (much like Rob Griffiths)
who have been working with OS X for a while, but are just beginning to scratch the
surface in terms of how much more advanced OS X is compared to previous Apple Operating
- What to Expect
- The first chapters of the
book begin with the Finder (as most things do on a Mac), and moves towards providing
a deeper understanding of the built-in apps that ship with Mac OS X, including Mail,
the Address Book, etc. In addition to providing some useful hints on day-to-day use
of these apps, Rob also moves on to cover System Preferences, other Finder elements
(like the Dock). From there, he expands on several of the iApps that are provided
by Apple, including iTunes, iCal, iPhoto, etc.
Next, Rob moves on to tips for specific Web browsers, as well as general use tips
that apply to all of them. Finishing up the applications sections, he has even provided
hints for some popular Mac programs, including BBEdit, Microsoft Office X and Photoshop,
and goes on to review some third-party add-ons that make Mac OS X easier to upgrade,
maintain, and administer.
- Chapters 14, 15 and 16 (the
last 3 chapters in the book) are the real gems of this hints collection. This is
where Rob delves into the Unix area of Mac OS X, and provides some great tips that
don't just have you typing blindly into a terminal window, and wincing when you hit
the enter key. Chapter 16 goes into the powerful and extensible Apache web server
that is included in every version of Mac OS X (server and client), and details some
additional third-party enhancements that can turn your desktop Macintosh into the
equivalent of an advanced Web and FTP server ˝ easily managed and rock-solid to boot.
- Mac Guild Grade
- A (Outstanding)
- Final Words
- While this book has a fantastic
collection of power tips, to stay current with this type of information, you really
should visit the Mac OS X Hints website. I have continued to follow the progress
of this site, and always consider it a first stop (particularly when it comes to
the Unix areas of Jaguar) when trying to find information quickly, and usually find
that there at least 3 different ways to do the same thing.
The website is frequented by a host of different types of users, which include Unix
afficianados, new Mac ýswitchersţ, long-time Mac OS 9 users that are making the switch
to X, and Mac OS X users that have continued to cut their teeth on each new version
that Apple has released. The hints are usually well documented (as they were in the
book), and the forum style that Rob maintains on the site allows anyone to post a
question, or request clarification on the hints. Registration is free, but not necessary.