Mac OS X is a stunning technical achievement--a virtually crash-proof Unix core paired with the sleek Aqua interface, bringing style, usability, and stability to a new level. It has almost everything that Macintosh fans have been waiting for: protected memory, crash resistance, and the ability to run the 18,000 existing Mac programs and an unlimited supply of Unix and Open Source software. An instant success among longtime Apple users and developers, the new Mac operating system is becoming the system of choice among serious Unix users as well. There is plenty of territory to explore in Mac OS X, and O'Reilly's latest Nutshell book, Mac OS X in a Nutshell, offers all audiences--both longtime Mac users and converts--the most complete guide to this remarkable operating system.In the tradition of O'Reilly's Nutshell series, this new title offers a thorough treatment of Mac OS X version 10.2, from its BSD Unix foundation to Aqua, the new user interface. The book's "Unix Command Reference" is the most complete and thorough coverage of Mac OS X Unix commands you can find anywhere. Each command and option in this section has been painstakingly tested and checked against Jaguar--even the manpages that ship with the system can't compete in accuracy. The reference incorporates the new command-line tools that come with Apple's Developer tools. It familiarizes readers with the Finder and the Dock, file management, system configuration, network administration issues, and more. Later chapters include bonus material for the Unix user, including advanced use of the Terminal and how to configure a DAMP (Darwin, Apache, MySQL, Perl/PHP) web publishing system. Other topics covered in the book include:
Running Java applications
System and Network Administration
Directory Services and NetInfo
Scripting on Mac OS X
Unix Command Reference
Installing and Running X Windows and BSD Unix applications
Mac OS X in a Nutshell follows the common-sense O'Reilly approach, cutting through the hype and giving readers practical details they can use every day. Serious users who want more from their system will find everything they need to know systematically documented in this book. It provides a wealth of knowledge for anyone who wants to make the most of Mac OS X.
Jason McIntosh lives and works in and around Boston. He has co-authored two O'Reilly books, Mac OS X in a Nutshell and Perl & XML, and writes occasional columns and weblog entries for the O'Reilly Network. His homepage is at http://www.jmac.org.
Chuck Toporek cut his teeth on a Mac II system when he got his first job in publishing in 1988, and has been using them ever since. Chuck is a senior editor in charge of the Mac OS X/Apple Developer Connection (ADC) series for O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. He is also the author/editor of the Mac OS X Panther Pocket Guide, co-author of Mac OS X in a Nutshell, and author of the upcoming title, Inside .Mac.
Chris Stone (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a Senior Systems Administrator (the Mac guy) at O'Reilly & Associates and coauthor of Mac OS X in a Nutshell. He's written several Mac OS X related articles for the O'Reilly MacDevCenter (www.macdevcenter.com), and contributed to Mac OS X: The Missing Manual from Pogue Press. Chris lives in Petaluma, California with his wife, Miho, and two sons, Andrew and Jonathan.
Our look is the result of reader comments, our own experimentation, and feedback from distribution channels. Distinctive covers complement our distinctive approach to technical topics, breathing personality and life into potentially dry subjects. The animal on the cover of Mac OS X in a Nutshell is a German shepherd. The model for this picture was Vinny, a search and rescue dog for the King County (Washington) Sheriff's department. The German shepherd was hand-drawn from photographs of Vinny by his aunt, Lorrie LeJeune, an editor at O'Reilly.Search and rescue dogs are in quite a stressful field of work. In order for the dogs to be able to perform well, it must adapt to many different things-- for example, modes of travel, new people, all kinds of weather, and various types of terrain. Often, search and rescue dogs are medium to large in size. They are expected to be intelligent, strong, and generally even-tempered. The German shepherd is by no means the only breed of dog who takes on this line of work. Ultimately, search and rescue dogs must have a strong nose and be physically fit. It is a difficult job that requires the dedication and commitment of both the dog and its owner/partner. Mary Brady was the production editor and copyeditor for Mac OS X in a Nutshell. Ann Schirmer was the proofreader. Sarah Sherman and Claire Cloutier provided quality control. Genevieve d'Entremont, Judy Hoer, Andrew Savikas, and Reg Aubry provided production assistance. Julie Hawks wrote the index.Emma Colby designed the cover of this book, based on a series design by Edie Freedman. The cover image is an original illustration created by Lorrie LeJeune. Emma Colby produced the cover layout with QuarkXPress 4.1 using Adobe's ITC Garamond font.David Futato designed the interior layout. Joe Wizda and Mike Sierra converted the files from Microsoft Word to FrameMaker 5.5.6 using tools created by Mike Sierra. The text font is Linotype Birka; the heading font is Adobe Myriad Condensed; and the code font is LucasFont's TheSans Mono Condensed. The illustrations that appear in the book were produced by Robert Romano and Jessamyn Read using Macromedia FreeHand 9 and Adobe Photoshop 6. The tip and warning icons were drawn by Christopher Bing. This colophon was written by Mary Brady.
While I have not read this book extensively I have mixed feelings about it. I like the command reference (and neither want nor need another manual on Perl or AWK (as O'Reilly publishes books on that, I don't see a need) but found a couple of things a bit glossed over.
Check out the chapter on setting up users and groups outside of the Preference pane for it. The amount of info on that subject (something I would like more info on) is sketchy at best. Though I dont have the book in front of me, it boils down to: "netinfo is the way you do it." (sigh)
Also while the DAMP chapter (available as a download) is a nice start. It is nowhere near sufficient for what I want to do:
How about more on Sendmail, setting up a webmail interface on your web server would be nice. And brfore someone mentions Squirrelmail. I have tried it and failed. Maybe I am a doofus, but I think not...
How about setting up FTP (not anon.) so only specific users have access to a shared folder. No I am not setting up a Warez server. I keep personal (work) files there for easy access on the road and post the occaisional picture or movie for family and friends and would love to set up everyone with their own account in a shared directory.
So while I thought the book was good I found some of the subject matter curiously lacking in subject depth. However I would still recommend this book. It has come in quite handy as a reference for basic UNIX and system admin tasks.
I found OS X in a nutshell a pretty good reference. If you were an early adopter of OS X, you've either figuered out most of the information in the first half of the book using survival instincts, or you don't care about the less-than-obvious OS X panels, apps and utilities.
I have to compliment the writing team for covering a gazillion different mac and unix topics in one volume. That being said, some of the topics are a little thin to apply to practical use without some additional information.
I really liked the DAMP chapter. I never had the opportunity to lauch a web server before, but I had Apache up and running in 5 minutes, exactly as documented!
A pretty good all-in-one refernece for those of us who don't touch unix every day, or never earned a sysadmin merit badge. By the time this book wears out, we'll all be using OS XV.
This could easily be a great book, but the manual pages have a two huge flaws:
1) there is no man page for Perl! How can O'Reilly, the publisher of all things Perl, leave out a basic man page for Perl on the highest volume Perl shipping platform ever in history, Mac OS X? This is unbelievable.
2) there is the worst man page for Awk ever given. It lists one or two options. It should at least be Brian Kernighan's own page which is a nice summary of the language. A full man page is given for the rarely used bc (binary calculator) -- which is nice don't get me wrong -- but why give a bc page with great detail and NOT do the same for the most useful utility in the system (awk), or the most used utility (perl).
The first half of the book is interesting, but should be in the "Mac OS X for Unix Geeks" book. I'd like to see Awk and Perl treated with some dignity and respect and put with all of the man pages alone in a separate volume, tiny print, thin Bible paper, in a ultra-cool pocket reference that would really fit in a standard shirt pocket.
Also, the authors do not know Macintosh history very well. They say that AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) was introduced in Mac OS 8.5. Try Mac OS 6! There are quite a few other technical flaws, and a few very bad grammatical errors due to words being caught by spell checkers, but not by decent proof readers.
My advice? Wait for a 2nd edition that fixes these fundamental flaws.
This book is very good. It replaces my previous #1 macintosh book, Mac OS X Unleashed, because of its detail, conciseness and that it is the most up-to-date Mac OS X book. The sections covering the BSD Unix / NextStep underpinnings of Mac OS X are excellent. My only criticism is that the book seems to be written for the client version and is missing the Mac OS Server specific commands, etc. An example of this is: diskspacemonior or IP failover. It is very well writtten. Amazon has this book for appx. $10 off the cover price! Check it out.