Mac OS X Panther
The Ultimate Collection of Sidebar Tips (Without the Sidebars)
By Scott Kelby
309 pages, $29.99
- What the Book is About
- Mac OS X Killer Tips provides
over 500 hundred tips and tricks on the use of Mac OS X (Panther) and other Apple
applications, such as iLife. The form the author prefers to use to present this information
is through the vehicle of a sidebar. In other books, a sidebar is the little paragraph
that addresses a particular topic of interest outside the main flow of the test.
Using this approach, the author is not encumbered with maintaining continuity from
tip to tip, but presents each tip concisely.
- Target Audience
- As the author states in the
introduction, there are two types of computer owners. The first reads all of the
manuals and reviews the packing material before assembling and starting their computer.
The rest of us tear open the box, assemble the computer and crank it up. If we crack
the manual, it is usually to read the sidebars. This book is for the rest of us.
- What to Expect
- In general, the book is divided
into thirteen topical chapters. I am grouping the chapters into four main topic areas:
- Operating System
- Tailoring & Troubleshooting
- Fun Stuff
The operating system portion deals with window behavior, the Dock, Iconic functions
and the Classic environment. The application portion provides tips for the programs
provided with the system. These include Mail and iCal as well as the iLife applications,
with a full chapter devoted to iTunes. The tailoring and troubleshooting group includes
Stopping Annoying Things, speeding up Mac OS X, and Troubleshooting. Fun stuff includes
Cool Tips and Pranks. The author provides an annoyance factor for each of the tips
in the Pranks chapter, but I did not find much value in these factors.
Each chapter contains a brief introduction that describes the domain of the tips
it contains, followed by the tips, usually two to a page. Each tip contains a title,
an illustration and a detailed description of the tip. The description provides sufficient
detail to take advantage of the tip that is usually expanded upon with additional
Finding your way around is fairly easy, since the table of contents contains the
chapter headings with a list of the tip titles that it contains. This feature allows
the reader to quickly skim the contents of each chapter to find the tip that they
are interested in. With high resolutions illustrations that summarize the tip, the
production value of the book is very high.
- The book presents a wide variety
of information concisely. I found the tip titles in the table of contents particularly
useful for searching a particular topic, but mostly I like to simply pick up the
book during a moment of free time to simply browse through it. The book is well organized
and tip descriptions provide an appropriate level of detail to make use of the feature
the author is describing. The humor that the author injects into his introductions
and tips simply add to the fun of reading this book.
- Mac Guild Grade
- A (Outstanding)
- Final Words
- Whether you are a member of
the "rip open the box and put the computer together" group, or you fall
into the group that reads the manual from cover to cover, you will enjoy this book.
It lives up to its promise of providing tidbits of information in a clear and organized
way. Its production value is high and the tip illustrations provide an excellent
visual summarization of the tip. This is the book that you will pick up and browse
during that free moment late at night waiting for the latest install to complete.