Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: February 2008
Pages: 608

Is Windows giving you pause? Ready to make the leap to the Mac instead? There has never been a better time to switch from Windows to Mac, and this incomparable guide will help you make a smooth transition. New York Times columnist and Missing Manuals creator David Pogue gets you past three challenges: transferring your stuff, assembling Mac programs so you can do what you did with Windows, and learning your way around Mac OS X.

Why is this such a good time to switch? Upgrading from one version of Windows to another used to be simple. But now there's Windows Vista, a veritable resource hog that forces you to relearn everything. Learning a Mac is not a piece of cake, but once you do, the rewards are oh-so-much better. No viruses, worms or spyware. No questionable firewalls, inefficient permissions, or other strange features. Just a beautiful machine with a thoroughly reliable system. And if you're still using Windows XP, we've got you covered, too.

If you're ready to take on Mac OS X Leopard, the latest edition of this bestselling guide tells you everything you need to know:

  • Transferring your stuff -- Moving photos, MP3s, and Microsoft Office documents is the easy part. This book gets you through the tricky things: extracting your email, address book, calendar, Web bookmarks, buddy list, desktop pictures, and MP3 files.


  • Re-creating your software suite -- Big-name programs (Word, Photoshop, Firefox, Dreamweaver, and so on) are available in both Mac and Windows versions, but hundreds of other programs are available only for Windows. This guide identifies the Mac equivalents and explains how to move your data to them.


  • Learning Leopard -- Once you've moved into the Mac, a final task awaits: Learning your way around. Fortunately, you're in good hands with the author of Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, the #1 bestselling guide to the Macintosh.
Moving from Windows to a Mac successfully and painlessly is the one thing Apple does not deliver. Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition is your ticket to a new computing experience.
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oreillySwitching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition
 
4.9

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

      Reviewed by 8 customers

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      Displaying reviews 1-8

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      5.0

      Very good, thorough book

      By Steve Talley

      from Portland, OR

      About Me Educator

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

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

      Cons

      • Index needs improvement

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

      I've used several Missing Manual books, and this one is up to the high standard of this series. Starts out easy with what the scared user needs to know to become not scared, but eventually covers it all.
      I would like to see improvement in the indexes of this and all Missing Manuals. For instance, I was trying to find out how to use the keyboard to get to the dock and menus, so I looked up "keyboard shortcuts." Nothing there. It's under "Menus, complete keyboard control."
      An index should have entries for just about every word that a neophyte might use to get to a bit of information. If I want to know what the symbol ^ means, I would look it up under "symbol" (no entry for this word, or "icon" (not there). In System Preferences > Keyboard, I find a symbol that looks like a ski jump, but I don't know what it means, and I find no reference in the MM. The index in this MM is 13 pages; it should be at least 50.
      Still, this is a terrific book on the subject.

       
      4.0

      It will be a help to anyone who buys it!

      By Jane Burkey

      from Sequim, WA

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Easy to understand
      • Well-written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

        A review of "The Mac OS X Leopard manual – The Missing Manual (The book that should have been in the box.)"

        Overall, I've really enjoyed delving into the manual and learning SO MANY things that I had no idea about. There are (almost) innumerable things to help the Mac User out.

        The book is written for advanced-beginner, or intermediate users, but can also be quite helpful to "Mac Veterans". Don't let it fool you though, its great for Mac beginners too! It offers dialog & hint boxes that give suggestions and helpful tips to achieve the desired results.

        The manual lists various new items at different points. For example, it gives a brief introductory description of: Time Machine (auto backup); Quick Look (looking at full screen of the document with just a space bar hit, without opening the program); Spaces (look at multiple screens); and others. As the book "gets into it" it talks of old programs, and new ones – all with appropriately detailed descriptions.

        It speaks in a straightforward way to help understand the complicated actions, offering "screen shots" of the actual exercise and/or actions to take.

        There are many "behind the scenes" processes that are now done without extra steps and removes a lot of actions older systems required the user to do (de-fragging, backing up, allotting memory space, etc). All this, while you work on the programs or documents you would normally be working on.

        Part One deals with the Desktop, describing how to handle Folders & Windows; Organizing; Spotlight (Searches); Dock, desktop & toolbars. Part Two tells about Documents, programs, & spaces; Time Machine, Syncing; moving data, Automator (Teaching your Mac to do automated tasks YOU want done); and, Window & Macintosh. Part Three tells of the System Preferences, Free Programs, CDs, DVDs, & iTunes. And it goes on from there…

        The one snag I found was when I was trying to find out about merging the Address Book and creating mailing labels. It took quite a bit of effort – being directed here, there, and other places, before finally finding a description of how to print labels from the address book. It was very frustrating trying to search the "referred areas" to find the needed information.

        Other that the one thing I had trouble with, I found the book to be pretty easy to follow, and seemed to guide me through the information nicely.

        Thank you for writing this book – I think it will be a help to anyone who buys it!

         
        5.0

        Great step-by-step instructions

        By Jean the in-house computer expert

        from Champaign, IL

        About Me Retired Programmer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

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

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Anyone switching from PC

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          I'm switching from a PC to an iMac (on which I'm also running Windows 7). So I'm working with two new operating systems from Windows XP to 7 and Snow Leopard. My husband has an iMac running Leopard so I've had an opportunity to work on the iMac. David Pogue's book has been a life saver in making this transition.

           
          5.0

          Excellent

          By Thans

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          It saved ma a lot of time and agony.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Another Pogue Success!

          By JFreilich

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          "Switching to the Mac" represented as "The book that should have been in the box" is a truly excellent introduction for any Mac user and is particularly helpful for those switching from Windoze computers. David Pogue has been an outstanding writer on Mac topics going way back to the Mac's earliest days. Pogue's writing has always been lucid, engaging, and with a touch of humor and this book continues that long and great tradition.

          Any topic as complicated as a computer operating system is going to overwhelm the printed page. There are simply so many things to cover. Pogue deals with basic Macintosh operations from using the Finder and the Dock to manipulating windows, searching for files, setting up user accounts and so on. After covering the basics, he goes on and on _ through all aspects of the computer: System Preferences, networking, installing software, etc. etc. The range of topics is staggering and might be self-defeating, a limitation I will return to later. The author is most attentive to users familiar with Windoze, explaining where the differences lie. The many System adjunct utilities are each discussed (Expos_, Spaces, Time Machine, etc.) And as if the operating system itself (OS X 10.5 a.k.a. "Leopard") were not enough, the book also covers all the software bundled with current Macs. So we are taken on tours of Safari, iTunes, Mail, iChat, Garage Band, and more: a seemingly endless array.

          Windoze users will be very interested in sections explaining the Mac's new world. I may be biased in thinking that the Mac interface is infinitely superior to Windoze. But I think that Pogue takes a fairly balanced view of the two systems _ with the end result that no reader should feel too heavily propagandized. Eight different ways of transferring files from your PC to the Mac are presented in Chapter 5. Chapter 7 deals with finding Mac software equivalents for things that are either different or unavailable on the Mac. But then, for those problematic cases where no Mac equivalent exists, there is also a whole chapter (Chapter 8) devoted to running Windoze on the Mac (using Boot Camp).

          I found the book's organization very successful. You can either read from page one and be transported along in a meaningful way, or you can use it as a reference to look up topics. There is a very cursory troubleshooting section in an Appendix. Other Appendices explain where basic Windoze functions are found on the Mac and another lists standard Mac keystroke combinations. But the bottom line is that much of the book is taken up with page after page explaining different software programs.

          Overall, the book is written on an elementary level. There is plenty of detail, but the detail is basic detail. By this, I mean that there are instructions for doing simple tasks you need to run a Macintosh. But there is only that much detail _ and no explanation at all on what to do if things go wrong. It takes you through the steps you need to use a Shared Account, for example. This is a way that multiple users on a single computer can share files across user accounts. But a book like this simply cannot (simply could not, in the available space) explain the infuriating frustrations of "Permissions" and how they work. When you put a file in the "Shared" log-in, who does it "belong" to? And how to do "fix" that problem when you find that the file cannot be opened because "You Do Not Have Sufficient Privileges?" There are hundreds of such examples like this, where "How to do it" is only the beginning, and where "How to explain it" or "How to fix it" really are required.

          In all, I think that Pogue's book will help most people. And I learned a lot from it. It's a great and handy reference volume. And it provides enough detail to get you started on any Macintosh. My chief criticism is that by trying to cover a world (a universe!) of software, it tries to do too much. I would much prefer to see the operating system and core Mac functions covered in more detail while referring the reader to other books for related software (iChat, iDVD, iTunes, iPhoto, etc.) This book cannot be all things although it tries. With this limitation, many people will find the book invaluable. I don't know of a better one.

          Note: Reviewer is president of the Straitmac User's Group, a Macintosh users group located on the Olympic Peninsula, Washingrton. Join us at: http://www.straitmac.com.

           
          5.0

          Update to my review of the Tiger edition of this book

          By Chuck Thomas, Bowling Green Area Microcomputer Users Group

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          After using the Tiger version of Mac OS X (10.4) for a couple of months, I updated to the Leopard version (10.5) and obtained the Leopard edition of David Pogue's book from O'Reilly. Because of the new features in Leopard, this edition has expanded from 515 pages to 590 pages.

          Although I expected to find a short section listing all of the new features introduced by Leopard, its absence is not a serious problem. These lists can be found on the Internet and then printed for reference.

          This edition of the book follows the same chapter layout as the Tiger edition and includes all the very helpful features for anyone switching from a Windows-based PC to an iMac or MacBook. In addition to continually taking the PC-user's viewpoint in every section, there are chapters and sections especially designed to ease the transition. The most helpful for PC users are:

          Chapter 1 - How the Mac is different

          Chapters 5-7 - Transferring files, emails, contacts, etc. from your PC and also, Mac capabilities for replacing specific Windows programs

          Appendix B - Where Did It Go? You'll find yourself referring to this very useful appendix often to quickly find out how to do all the things that were second-nature on the PC, e.g., Ctl-Alt-Delete to 'kill' stuck programs, shutdown, zipping/unzipping files, taskbar & system tray, favorites, and much more.

          It you are switching from a PC to a Mac running Leopard, you'll love this book. But if you already have the Tiger edition and just want the Leopard content, then you will benefit more from purchasing the more comprehensive (almost 900 pages) Mac Leopard OS X: The Missing Manual, 2007, which is also by David Pogue.

           
          5.0

          I wish I could memorize more quickly

          By albo

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          A 10-year Windows veteran, I finally cut the cord and moved to MacOSX. I'm only a quarter through the book and my mind is already blown away. I find myself reading and re-reading, trying to memorize simple keyboard shortcuts.

          I've delved into later chapters, only to discover I need to return to the basics.

          Pogue's sense of humor helps a lot. In fact, it's a need for such a thick book, and a thick book is a need for the topic covered in such detail.

          The book isn't exactly organized as an encyclopedia or dictionary.

          But newbies to MacOSX, and I suspect, veterans as well, will do well to have a copy nearby.

           
          5.0

          Leap Ahead with Leopard

          By RobinKH

          from Undisclosed

          Comments about oreilly Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Leopard Edition:

          First up I have to declare a bias towards this author. I first purchased one of his books a few years ago when I wanted to learn more about my iMac 350 slot loader which was causing me a lot of grief at the time. While David Pogue didn't provide the answer to my woes, I certainly found out everything the old iMac could do, and was entertained along the way. So when I purchased a second hand eMac running OS X, my first move was to purchase the Tiger edition of the Missing Manual series. This book greatly helped my transition from OS 9 to OS X and meticulously explained the most comprehensive contents of OS X Tiger.

          David Pogue's newest work, the Leopard Edition of the Missing Manual series is even bigger than the Tiger Edition, sporting 56 more pages, at 893 pages, and is 45 mm thick. Fortunately, for a book this big, it opens flat at any page, and stays at that page without having weigh it down, a very useful attribute for a book of this kind. David Pogue continues with his breezy, light-hearted style, which makes reading the book a pleasure, rather than a chore. While David is obviously a Mac fan, this doesn't prevent him from pointing out Apple's omissions, inconsistencies, or oversights. The book is arranged in six parts, The Mac OS X Desktop, Programs in OS X, The components of OS X, the technologies of OS X, Mac OS Online, and Appendixes. Each part provides a wealth of information about every aspect of OS X.

          As I have recently purchased a new iMac, running OS X Leopard, I welcomed the opportunity to review the Leopard edition of this series. To review a book this big would require a lot time, so I decided to put the book to the test to learn about something that was completely new to me; Time Machine. Having read the section on Time Machine from start to finish I reckoned I had a pretty good idea what it all about. (I wish the user guide for my back up hard disc had been as easy to read and understand). Just as David had described, Time Machine responded to the connection of the external hard disc by offering to use it as the back up. One click later I was under way, at last all my computer's contents will be backed up without me having to remember to do it. Using the manual as a guide I poked around Time Machine, looking at its preferences and options. Even checked on the back up hard disc's files to make sure it was working. I found no surprises, everything was as described in the manual.

          Now for the acid test. I deliberately deleted a file, then followed the manual's guide on how to restore it. Again, no surprises, following the manual, the file was restored to its rightful home without any problems. (Time Machine is a wonderful innovation.) Now I have to admit, Time Machine quite straight forward to use, but all the same, Pogue's description and instructions were without fault. They are easy to read and understand, don't leave one wondering about any aspect of the task, and give one confidence to proceed with the task.

          Flipping the book open at any page will often reveal a tip or hint that will speed your work or disclose a feature you weren't aware of. A book like this is an indispensible tool for any Mac owner. Without it one is just skimming the surface of OS X.

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