Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: October 2009
Pages: 906

For a company that promised to "put a pause on new features," Apple sure has been busy-there's barely a feature left untouched in Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard." There's more speed, more polish, more refinement-but still no manual. Fortunately, David Pogue is back, with the humor and expertise that have made this the #1 bestselling Mac book for eight years straight. You get all the answers with jargon-free introductions to:

  • Big-ticket changes. A 64-bit overhaul. Faster everything. A rewritten Finder. Microsoft Exchange compatibility. All-new QuickTime Player. If Apple wrote it, this book covers it.
  • Snow Leopard Spots. This book demystifies the hundreds of smaller enhancements, too, in all 50 programs that come with the Mac: Safari, Mail, iChat, Preview, Time Machine.
  • Shortcuts. This must be the tippiest, trickiest Mac book ever written. Undocumented surprises await on every page.
  • Power usage. Security, networking, build-your-own Services, file sharing with Windows, even Mac OS X's Unix chassis-this one witty, expert guide makes it all crystal clear.

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O'Reilly MediaMac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual
 
4.2

(based on 10 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

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    (0)

80%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (8)
  • Accurate (6)
  • Helpful examples (6)
  • Well-written (6)
  • Concise (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (7)
    • Novice (6)
    • Student (6)
    • Expert (4)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Educator (3)

    Reviewed by 10 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Far too much Apple polishing

    By JAL

    from Manassas VA

    About Me Designer

    Pros

    • Easy to understand

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

    • Student

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

    I've been reading David Pogue since the Macworld/MacUser magazine days. He has taught me a lot over the years, but in this work he is not exhaustive and his glorifying of Apple's dangerously insecure Bonjour/Zero-Config/Sudo "features" without appreciable, useful caveats does him and his customers a disservice. For example, Apple's systems in the last several years come with all walls unlocked: firewall off, Bluetooth on and discoverable, Airport on, multiple sharing panes populated, and its unalterable (as far as I know) slow-sync system running through an unalterable default, Bluetooth DUN.

    (7 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    YOU are going to teach ME… REALLY?

    By MeatBurglar

    from Washington DC

    About Me Designer, Developer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Expert
      • Intermediate
      • Novice
      • Student

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

      My experience:
      • Day1: Being a veteran user of every popular OS today, I laughed at the thought of reading this. I took a look, if only to confirm the for-fanboys-by-fanboys mockery of a book I expected it to be.
      • Day 2: Just as I expected. But, wait… there's more.
      • Day 3: Finished it, cover to cover, like a thriller novel you can't put down. You see, I learned about half the tricks in here tinkering with OSX myself. The other half and the unifying logic behind them would have taken me much more tinkering, much more time.

      Buy this because it's TIME EFFICIENT, buy it for the TIPS. If you can get past rolling your eyes every now and then, you'll be grateful at what it reveals in a way Apple mystifyingly doesn't.

      On an economic note, it should also relieve some guilt for being milked a 30% premium for a Mac over an equivalent Windows-only machine. The least you could do is become 30% better as a user, and milk your investment. As you do, David Pogue's enthusiasm appears more justified as you too enter a more frictionless union with the tool of your choice.

      (2 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Something is missing!

      By Desmond

      from Munich, Germany

      About Me Technical TrainerCoach

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Concept is good

      Cons

      • Doesn't always coincide

      Best Uses

      • Newbies to mac

      Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

      Up to now I have been an ardent user of the windows platform. Being new to Mac I found this book interesting albeit something is missing!
      In the list of "free programmes" iWeb has for some reason been left out.
      Personally I don't think much of iWeb as it is very limited in what it can do. It may be ok for a beginner, other than that it can do little else. Perhaps I am expecting too much from this programme?
      This is not a book to read from cover to cover, I view it more as a reference work.
      However the English version is not suitable for the German speaking market. Fortunately I am in a position to think in 2 languages but it doesn't make life easy. The reason being is the choice of words used in the translation of the original software. This very often leaves questions open. It often happens that one translator will use a certain word while another a completely different one for the same thing. Thus questions arise.

      I am using a German version of Snow Leopard. Yes I know one can switch languages but the English keyboard (QWERTY) is then for the German (QWERTZ) market incorrect.
      Or can this be remedied? Remember I am still new to Mac!

      To sum up:

      An interesting book for the english speaking market but not really suitable for markets using foreign languages even if the reader has command of the English language. There needs to be better coordination between the authors of books for software and the authors of the software itself.

      Have a great day

      Desmond

      (2 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Needs work

      By MacGospel

      from Reality

      About Me Mac user

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Helpful sleep aid
      • Pretty pictures

      Cons

      • Lame humor
      • Too many errors
      • Too much clutter

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

        Normally, I'd give this book 2 1/2 or 3 stars. I am a dyed in the wool Mac user. With this book, I always wondered where the more balanced reviews were but never cared enough to write a review. Reading this guy's Windows 7 Missing Manual changed my mind on that (it's horrendous) and so I wanted to get my honest opinion out there. As far as Mac books go, this one's lacking. It doesn't have that something special, and Pogue's notsoclever anecdotes make the reading more a chore than it needs to be. The words clear and concise aren't in Pogue's vocabulary. With so many other better Mac books out there, this one's not a good choice.

        (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Keep This Book At Your Side

        By gregorywest

        from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

        About Me Educator, Tech Columnist

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • It Goes The Extra Mile

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Good Book - All Mac Users
          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

          [...]

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Mac OS X Snow Leopard - Missing Manual

          By gregorywest

          from Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

          About Me Educator, Keynote Speaker, Tech Columnist

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • A good sense of humour
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

            [@] Anyone who owns a Mac knows there is a lot inside such a small computer. Such is the case for Leopard's upgrade: Snow Leopard. If you are simply satisfied in checking emails and surfing a few websites this book is not for you.However, if you want to get the most from your Mac computer and want to learn all the "little" inside tricks and tips, as well as explore Snow Leopard's functionality, this book is definitely for you.The book is divided into six parts. Pogue covers the most essential needs on your Mac: Folders and Windows, Organization, Spotlight features, to using using a third party software: Parallels, to run other operating systems such as Windows. In fact all of Snow Leopard's features are detailed in easy to follow text, sidebars, tip boxes and more. The manual ends with a new beginning. Part six is where you find the Appendixes that detail the installation, troubleshooting and a special part for "Where to Go From Here". Simple things such as a notice pop-up to "Submit to Apple" are explained as they come up in the various sections of the book. The "Color Picker" is detailed and leaves nothing to the imagination inside special boxes marked: "Up To Speed". Each explanation offers screen shots that are not only easy to follow, but are easy to see.To help make us feel like a pro, Pogue has set out boxes marked: "Workaround Workshop" where the information goes the extra mile in plain ordinary words so that we can understand and use the tricks the pros use. Another box is called: "Gem In The Rough" wherein information for us wannabe geeks can boast about. These separate boxes add a tad of entertainment, given Pogue's good sense of humor and provide valuable tips that would otherwise be passed by.This book is not a sit and read book, but you can - I did. It is meant to pickup and look for a troubling item, a new program to learn, or simply increase your Mac knowledge base so that your Mac computing will be much more enhanced. I highly recommend this book to sit right next to your computer while you keep on learning and finding new and exciting ways to use your Mac.

            (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Details need attention

            By Aroks

            from Western Massachusetts

            About Me Educator, Typographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

            • Too many errors

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice
            • Student

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

            "Missing Manuals" is a great idea, but there are references in the printed book (now 4 months after publication) to sections that don't exist, or are just taken over from earlier versions of OS X. The number of reported errata that have been waiting for confirmation for some time is too large - they should be dealt with promptly; many need only for someone knowledgeable to look at the book.

            That said, the book on the whole is indispensable - which makes these repeated minor irritations all the more irritating.

            (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Must Have!

            By TrueMacUser

            from arizona, southwest

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

              This is a tremendous manual and eminently readable. I thee not exaggerate! It is useful on several levels. As a 'go to' troubleshooter and as a comprehensive overview of the operating system and how it works. I have the Leopard edition and hence hesitated to buy snow leopard edition because I thought it would be redundant. But, you simply cannot skip an edition or you will miss valuable tidbits as well as larger features of this update. I decided to reread and found myself reinforcing what I already know and learning a lot of new stuff. You will love this if you are new or old to the missing manual series. There simply isn't a better book on the subject.

              (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              All users would benefit from this book

              By RogerB

              from Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Concise
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

                The first thing I noticed when the book arrived was that it certainly passed the weight test. A good 1.4 kgs (3 lbs in the old, or American, languages)! It clearly represents a lot of material!But now to a more scientific review. Mac OSX Snow Leopard Edition is part of the O'Reilly Missing Manual series – 'The book that should have been in the box.' It is written by David Pogue, the Mac master. The book is a square spine soft cover containing 901 pages.The book's layout follows the well-established format of previous OSX versions of having six parts as follows:Table of Contents - 8 pages of good detail down to main paragraph level titles.Part Introduction - introduces the book and outlines changes in the OSX.One – Desktop - folders, windows, organising, spotlight, dock, desktop and toolbars.Part Two - Programs - programs, documents, Spaces, Time Machine, entering and moving data, Services, Automator, AppleScript and MS Windows.Part Three - Components - system preferences, free programs (including the "i" series, Mail and Safari), CDs and DVDs.Part Four - Technologies - accounts, parental controls, security, networking, file and screen sharing, printing, faxing, fonts, graphics, sound, movies, speech, handwriting, Unix Terminal and hacking OSX.Part Five - Online - Internet setup, MobileMe, firewall, Mail and Address Book, Safari, iChat, web sharing and technical connections.Part Six - Appendices - installing OSX, troubleshooting, Windows-to-Mac, web resources and secret keystroke list.Index - 24 pages.I have had the pleasure of dipping into the book for a week now and have found it to be up to the usual high O'Reilly and Pogue standards. Dipping really is fun. My version of this consists of scanning the Table of Contents or index, or even opening a page at random, and seeing what catches my eye. Something usually does within seconds and then I have to read all about that bit. It's hard to pull away to do the next dip but then I force myself and then dip again – etc, etc. I do it this way to get the book review to the readers quickly. Later on, I will read most of it from cover to cover – I'll skip a few bits like Terminal on the grounds that some things are beyond me or at least not relevant to my use of the Mac.As we are talking about a new version of OSX, I did purposely dip into a few of the features reported as new in the Introduction. One was the new Services section. This was great – and some of the services mentioned are amazing. For example, there are services that can convert highlighted text (eg on the Web) to an iTunes spoken track to listen to later, that can provide a written summary of selected text or that can send a photo to everyone in a picture in iPhoto.There is good level of detail in the main text of the book aimed at users of advanced beginner to intermediate level and two types of sidebars are used to give extra information to real beginners and advanced users. The interesting thing, of course, is that a user might start out reading the book as a beginner but could easily progress to a higher standard as more of the book is read. Overall the subjects are logically ordered and well explained. The diagrams and screen shots are informative and are handy in following the book in front of your Mac.In conjunction with the book O'Reilly offers on-line resources in the form of the "Missing CD" (the CD that you would have had to pay for if it came with the book) at its [@] website. This also is where book updates will be available and where readers can leave their own comments.I haven't purchased my copy of the new software yet but I am confident that this book will fully support me in its installation and use – and my explanation of it to others. As I have argued previously, it is possible to muddle happily along knowing 20% of OSX, but a good manual will give access to the other 80% which may include ways to make work easier, more secure, more recoverable and, particularly, more enjoyable. My recommendation is that all users would benefit from having a copy of this book beside their Mac.

                (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The Best Mac Manual Ever

                By HartleyJ

                from Northeast Kingdom, VT

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Comprehensive
                • Easy to understand
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual:

                  This is the best Mac OS X Missing Manual ever because it has Snow Leopard Spots that describe new Snow Leopard features where they are appropriate throughout the book. They add new information and interest, increasing the appeal of the book.

                  How quickly you can find the information you need, assuming you can find it, is an important criteria for a good manual. Mac OS X Snow Leopard The Missing Manual is well organized with an excellent index and appendix. It took almost no time at all to find the answer for one of our user group members who wants to record radio music in iTunes. A highlighted Gem In The Rough about the Internet Radio and Podcasts said, "There is no easy way without add-on software."

                  The Mac OS Missing Manuals have been best selling Mac books in part because the the illustrations and text work together to help you do things.

                  For example, in the chapter about the new QuickTime a small paragraph tells you how to record sound through a microphone. Right next to it an illustration shows you the drop down menu used. I had no problem following the instructions to record my voice. However, I could not record the sound of the radio playing in iTunes by placing the speaker in front of the microphone. The horrible sound verified that, "There is no easy way without add-on software."

                  Mac OS X Snow Leopard has all the Notes, Tips, and humor that we expect in David Pogue's Missing Manuals. It is comprehensive and eminently useful as a reference to find what you need when you need it, and for learning how to do things in Snow Leopard. It is so well written that, unlike most manuals, you will look forward to reading more.

                  Some of you may also want tutorials with step by step instructions to create specific products. Others may want books on special topics with more illustrations.

                  For example, this book provides all the information I needed to make a movie of my MacBook screen complete with my vocal narrative. It even advised me to use my earphones to adjust my voice level. However, a special lesson could reduce the amount of experimentation and practice it will take to really do it right.

                  However, tutorials and collections of special lessons cannot provide all the information we need and that can be found here. We need a manual.

                  Thankfully, the manual was not in the box because we have Mac OS X Snow Leopard The Missing Manual by David Pogue instead.

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