Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: November 2007
Pages: 224

No matter how much Mac experience you have, Mac OS X Leopard requires that you get reacquainted. This little guide is packed with more than 300 tips and techniques to help you do just that. You get all details you need to learn Leopard's new features, configure your system, and get the most out of your Mac. Pronto.

Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide offers an easy-to-read format for users of all levels. If you're a Mac newcomer, there's a Survival Guide that explains how to adapt, and a chapter on Mac OS X's key features. Experienced Mac users can go right to the heart of Leopard with chapters on system preferences, applications and utilities, and configuring. In all, plenty of tables, concise descriptions, and step-by-step instructions explain:

  • What's new in Leopard, including the Time Machine
  • How to use Leopard's totally revamped Finder
  • All about Spaces and how to quickly flip between them
  • How to search for and find things with Spotlight
  • How to use Leopard's enhanced Parental Controls
  • Handy keyboard shortcuts to help you be more efficient
  • Quick tips for setting up and configuring your Mac to make it your own
If you're ready to tame Apple's new cat, this is the guide you want.

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oreillyMac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide
 
4.0

(based on 3 reviews)

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4.0

Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide

By Timothy Keirnan

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide:

Chuck Toporek has written a fine pocket guide to MacOS 10.5 "Leopard". I'm normally not an early adopter, but I did buy Leopard recently because I wanted the non-beta version of the Boot Camp utility. I knew there were some other new items in Leopard, but didn't care too much what they were. Now I am ready to discover all the other new stuff in Leopard and this book really helped me do that.

The beauty of a pocket guide is that this little book, which measures about 4x7x1 inches, is small enough to flip through quickly, store in your laptop bag, or keep on your computer desk without taking much space. Toporek has done a masterful job of packing a LOT of knowledge into a little space. The professionally tasteful formatting of the pages alternates between narrative text chock full of goodness, and well-spaced lists or tables that contain tips and reference information. Greyscale screenshots also appear frequently to enhance the text, and I didn't miss the colors in those, and I'm sure that not having color keeps the cost of the book reasonable ($14.99US).

Here's on overview of the chapter contents, but I advise you check out O'Reilly's website for more detail.

Chapter 1: What's New in Leopard?

Chapter 2: Mac OS X Survival Guide

Chapter 3: Mac OS X Basics

Chapter 4: System Preferences

Chapter 5: Applications and Utilities

Chapter 6: Configuring Your Mac

Chapter 7: Special Characters

Index



Why did I include the Index in my chapter listing? Because a competent index helps me use the book easily and quickly. The index pages have black edges so you can flip to them instantly. Many of the terms I tried to find in the Index were indeed there, and O'Reilly prints an email address on the footers to encourage readers to suggest more indexing terms for future printings.

OK, back to the "typical" chapters. Chapter 1 explains very well the many new features in Leopard in only 19 short pages (many of them with screenshots). Chapter 2 introduces OS X to new users, including some very good knowledge on security practices for safe computing, but also has interesting content if you're a long-time OS X user. Chapters 3 though 7 cover the entire OS in greater detail and I'll let their titles speak for themselves.

While reading, I was constantly aware of new knowledge I thought I'd know by now, but for whatever reason hadn't learned yet. For example: I learned where an account's keychain is stored, and that I can look up various user IDs and passwords that are stored in it. I learned I can exclude folders from Spotlight's indexing and why this can be a great idea (why would anyone want Spotlight to index the spam folder in Mail?). And I learned yet more keyboard shortcuts that can come in handy.

Finally, O'Reilly offers what they call Safari Books Online. When you buy an O'Reilly book, there's a Web address and coupon code that gets you 45 days access to your book in an online, searchable format. I was able to search on terms like "Bonjour" that weren't covered well in the paper book's index and find more results. It appears that, if you by a subscription to this Safari online book service, you can even download PDF files of the book's chapters. I think Safari Books Online is a good complement to having the paper book on hand.

No book is perfect, and thus I should mention that the book doesn't cover Bonjour as I would like, the index could still use some improvement, and there are sections where Toporek recommends courses of action to new Mac users that I would argue against. For example, writing that one can save 50MB of space by deleting some utilities if you don't think you'll ever need them seems fraught with peril, in my opinion. One Mac user's trash could be another Mac user's treasure, and I think this good book could be even better if the author didn't try to help some readers so specifically. Once a user has deleted standard installation items from their Mac, it would require using the OS installation discs to bring the items back. Sometimes leaving well enough alone is the better advice for newbies, because as they use their Macs they may discover new things to do they never thought they'd want to do. Deleting some apps in the first week of ownership won't help that potential.

My best complement for Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide is that I'm giving it to my friend who just bought his first Mac laptop and is going to be living overseas for a year. This book is small enough and helpful enough to be the perfect reference for him. So there you have it: I enjoyed the book because it reminded me of things I'd forgotten, taught me things I had yet to learn, and yet it is also invaluable for a new switcher to the Mac who might be daunted by a compendium such as the Missing Manual series.

 
4.0

Mac OSX Leopard Pocket Guide

By Arguello

from Undisclosed

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide:

What I love most about this book is its size. It's a pocket guide so I can take it with me everywhere without the bulk and weight of a standard-size book. The author does an excellent job of addressing all the learning levels, from beginners to advanced, in 211 pages. There is no CD; no big surprise. The illustrations are in black and white, which does not detract from their usefulness, but you cannot open and lay this book flat without assistance.

I was able to find everything I needed from the Index. Besides the informational material he gives numerous and valuable tips and tricks. I particularly love Chapter 7, "Special Characters." This alone makes me keep this book close by when I'm working on my computer. The fact that it's a Pocket Guide means it is brief, therefore necessitating having another reference book handy. For example, this book did not have enough information on how to do Screen Sharing. It only defines what it is and what it's good for.

Apple's new cat, Leopard, is a big and powerful one. This guide will help you tame it.

 
4.0

Pocket Guide to Leopard OSX

By ApplesBC Computer Society, Vancouver BC

from Vancouver

Comments about oreilly Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide:

Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide

The Ultimate Mac OS X Quick Reference

Chuck Toporek

Migrating from Mac OS 10.3.9 Panther to 10.5.1 Leopard, I found the Mac OS X Leopard Pocket Guide a very useful resource. The Guide describes the new features of Leopard, as well as additional features and how they may differ from those in the earlier Mac OS X. The Guide is formatted into seven Chapters which cover: What's New in Leopard; Mac OS Survival Guide; Mac OS X Basics; System Preferences; Applications and Utilities; Configuring your Mac, and lastly Special Characters. Each chapter provides a wealth of information on the different features of this OS and provides cross-referencing to other sections of the book where applicable. As well, Mr. Toporek also provides the reader with Warnings, Tips and Notes within the various sections as part of getting acquainted with the latest "Cat".

As a long time Mac user, I found the inclusion of "navigation to the applications" descriptions as well as the "Tips" most helpful. On a negative note, I had some difficulty reading many of the Figures illustrating the points being discussed. While the Figures were supposed to provide a synopsis for the item being discussed, I felt that many of these images were too small at 3" x 2". The difficulty in understanding the Figures distracted from the discussion. More than once I had to reach for my photo loop to see what was being illustrated.

While most of the information is presented in a logical manner, there were some items that I would have liked more information. First, I would like to have seen more than two lines on the use of the Migration Assistant, which allows you to transfer data from one machine to another. Second, the Guide could have discussed how to import a different "Mail" program into the Leopard's Mail Program and what to expect. Finally, I found many minor changes to the Leopard OS difficult to remember, but the Guide did cover them.

In all, the Guide is an excellent companion to an excellent operating system.

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