Mac: Spotlight Training CD
By Rick Ligas
Version 1.0, 2005
- What is on the CD?
- The Discover Your Mac Spotlight
CD contains -
- A two hour and fifty minute
QuickTime movie that demonstrates the extensive features of Spotlight.
- A Table of Contents Viewer
application listing an outline of the movie's topics covering Spotlight's capabilities.
- A PDF file that describes
- The System Requirements
- The Installation instructions
(actually there are none because the movie can be played directly from the CD). The
instructions do state that the CD contents can be copied to your hard drive or anywhere
else you like.
- Instructions regarding how
to use the Discover Your Mac Spotlight movie
- Instructions regarding how
to use the Table of Contents Viewer
- Information regarding how
to contact the author (Rick Ligas)
- A paragraph requesting the
user to support the author's efforts
- Target Audience
- Anyone wanting to learn how
to use Mac OS X Spotlight would benefit from this CD.
- What to Expect
- The material is extremely
good. The majority of the movie consists of live action screen displays that a user
would see while observing the instructor's monitor while he is stepping through the
paces of demonstrating how to use Spotlight. The material is well organized and is
presented in logical order. The audio track consists of Rick Ligas verbally describing
what is being done as the cursor moves across the screen and various items are clicked.
The video is smooth and realistic, the audio is clear. The author is an adept speaker
and delivers the instruction in an entertaining manner.
The audio instruction is very detailed with considerable commentary beyond describing
the actions being displayed on the screen. The information is very comprehensive
indicating the author is an experienced user of Spotlight as well as being an accomplished
instructor. When keyboard shortcuts are discussed, a clear image of a keyboard appears
on the screen indicating which keys are pressed to get the desired result. The content
includes information regarding how to use Spotlight to find virtually anything you
can store on your computer including documents, images, audio files, music, movies,
email messages and much more. The author encourages the new Spotlight user to think
in terms of searching metadata like keywords, content, color labels and designing
what are called "smart" folders. He also describes various ways to "flag"
items that Spotlight uses to help the user organize their work. The instruction effectively
teaches and demonstrates that Spotlight takes information searching far beyond the
old and simple file name, file size or date stamp metaphor. With Spotlight it is
no longer necessary to remember where you stored your photos, work files, music,
images or anything else for that matter.
I was disappointed that specific topics in the movie cannot be launched directly
from the Table of Contents Viewer application. The Discover Your Mac Spotlight movie
has to be pre-launched in the QuickTime movie player before the Table of Contents
Viewer topic links are live so it is not quite as easy to access as a Help file is.
- Sense of "being there":
It literally appears as if you are looking over the author's shoulder at his monitor
as he demonstrates and teaches you how to use Spotlight.
Author's Experience: The author demonstrates in-depth knowledge of the Spotlight
software and also demonstrates an experienced method of instructing how to take advantage
of Spotlight's capabilities.
Organization: The Table of Contents is well-organized which makes it easy to find
specific topics and start the movie at the point that topic is covered.
- Mac Guild Grade
- A (Outstanding)
- Final Words
- I rate the CD with a solid
"A" grade. My initial thought was that it might be a bit overpriced at
$29.99. However, considering the fact that the product provides almost three hours
of excellent video instruction and makes the content almost as easy to access
as a help file, I believe it's worth the price.