Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide
The Ultimate Quick Guide to Mac OS X
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: September 2009
Pages: 234

Whether you're new to the Mac or a longtime user, this handy book is the quickest way to get up to speed on Snow Leopard. Packed with concise information in an easy-to-read format, Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide covers what you need to know and is an ideal resource for problem-solving on the fly.

This book goes right to the heart of Snow Leopard, with details on system preferences, built-in applications, and utilities. You'll also find configuration tips, keyboard shortcuts, guides for troubleshooting, lots of step-by-step instructions, and more.

  • Learn about new features and changes since the original Leopard release
  • Get quick tips for setting up and customizing your Mac's configuration
  • Solve problems with the handy reference to the fundamentals of the Finder, Dock, and more
  • Understand how to manage user accounts
  • Work more efficiently using keyboard shortcuts
  • Take advantage of MobileMe, Apple's online suite of services and tools
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

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by PowerReviews
O'Reilly MediaMac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide
 
3.2

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

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    (1)

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67%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (4)
  • Accurate (3)
  • Concise (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (3)
    • Novice (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Sys admin (3)

    Reviewed by 6 customers

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    (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    The Index that couldn't

    By Iconoclast

    from Scottsville, New York

    About Me Sys Admin

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Very poor index

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

        Preview now drives scanners, a very useful feature, and the section on this utility covers it, albeit very briefly. What if you forget that Preview is the tool that you need for scanning? Is there anything in the index under "scanning" that points you to Preview? Not a hint. This is what happens when books are written by know-it-alls and edited by know-nothings. Is there no one in the publishing trade who actually reads what they peddle?

        (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        It Never Changes

        By TestPilot

        from Rochester, New York

        About Me Sys Admin

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Misses the obvious

          Best Uses

            Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

            One basic and important OS function is finding files. What does the index of this book say about finding specific files? Precisely nothing. The editor and author should be deeply ashamed of an omission this obvious. Did they hide this valuable information in, oh, say, "Finder - Common tasks"? No. They hid it so well that it remains lost to this day. Well done, gentlemen; well done. From O'Reilly, one expects better than this. Much better. Need a useful OS X reference? Give this book a pass.

             
            4.0

            Great Tips

            By Ang

            from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

              I've been Using macs for about 20 yrs & found each version has it's own personality. So I find these books very helpful telling me the tricks of each OS. This line of books explains things in a very straight forward simple English kinda way.

              (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              Handy Introduction & Reference Guide

              By Tommy Lee

              from Orange County, CA

              About Me Developer, Educator, Sys Admin

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples

              Cons

              • Too many errors

              Best Uses

              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

              I just finished reading this from cover to cover. I would have to say, it is probably the best introduction book I have read to any version of Mac OS X.

              Pro's:
              It's size - packed full of information, yet not overwhelming.
              Great reference for those new to the Mac.
              Great keyboard shortcut reference for anyone who uses a Mac.

              Con's:
              Typo's, and I mean I stopped counting after 50!
              Grammatical error's! Enough of them to annoy you!
              Technical error's, however nothing not easily figured out on your own.

              All in all, it's a great introduction read for anyone new to the Mac!
              I would have given it 5-Stars, had it not been for the laziness exhibited by the editors!

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Something for everyone

              By RogerB

              from Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

                The latest book to come my way from O'Reilly is very timely. It's the Pocket Guide to Mac OS X Snow Leopard, which was released by Apple in September. It was written by Chris Seibold, who indicates in his Preface that it is his first book.

                I usually read a manual before commencing a review, but I thought this time it might be interesting (for me at least) to write the review while first reading it and in that way give an indication of how one person approaches a new manual. In my case I am yet to purchase the software update, I have read early reports about it, I am interested to know what its like and I am interested to see how Chris Siebold approaches describing an operating system in a concise way, suitable for a 'pocket guide'. The flipside of the latter is to see what of necessity gets left out of a pocket guide.

                Well first off, the book measures 10.2 x 17.7 x 0.9 mm and has 231 pages. Thus as a 'pocket guide' it would suit a jacket pocket rather than a shirt pocket. But still, its light and portable and would suit reading in crowded public transport or taking with you to read during any of the day's little pauses. It also doesn't take up much desk space near the desktop computer.

                The book has 13 pages of index and two of Table of Contents. On flicking through the pages there are lots of headings to break up the text – on average two per page – and quite a few explanatory screen shots.

                The Preface introduces the manual, the author and O'Reilly, and lays out the conventions used in the manual. Nine chapters then follow:
                1. What's New in Snow Leopard?
                2. Installing Snow Leopard and Migrating Data
                3. The Quick Guide to Snow Leopard
                4. Quick Guide to Troubleshooting Mac OS X
                5. System Preferences
                6. Built-in Applications and Utilities
                7. MobileMe
                8. Security
                9. Keyboard Commands and Special Characters

                Chapter 1 covers a number of changes to OS X and I guess these would be the ones of most interest to an average user and the ones we have heard most about in the product release material . The author notes that there are lots more and that "you'll find new niceties every time you use Snow Leopard".

                Chapter 2 gives a good coverage of installing Snow Leopard and of migrating your data from an older to a new(er) computer. It seems to meet the needs of an average user, plus a bit more.

                I found Chapter 3 to be pretty amazing. It compresses a very good initial coverage of the operating system into 67 pages. Every topic you can imagine is mentioned – definitions, accounts, home folder, starting up, menus, Finder, Dock, disks, files etc and instructions are clear. There is some trade-off of course. Coverage is to a certain depth. In many cases it would be enough for a casual user but otherwise it would give a user the basis to ask further intelligent questions or remind a user of a previous explanation.

                Chapter 4 goes through the basics of troubleshooting and is wisely peppered with 'warnings' and 'notes'. It gives some good hints. If all this first aid doesn't work the user will again have a good basis for researching the problem/solution further.

                Chapters 5 and 6 give a good summary, respectively, of each of the Apple Preferences and a short description of the various applications that are included with OS X.– generally a paragraph each except for Mail and Safari which rate several paragraphs each. A good start in all cases but it is left to the user to explore in depth.

                Chapters 7 and 8 touch on using MobileMe online and on password security.

                Chapter 9 includes a good listing of keyboard commands and special characters (and how to generate them.

                Finally, the Index seems to provide a good coverage of the contents at least to heading level.

                So, how did I find the book? The writing is clear and simple and the information flow is logical. I think that the author has written a good summary coverage of Snow Leopard for the purposes of an average user.

                It actually has something for everyone. It would certainly suit a new Mac user and be seen as a wealth of useful and sometimes essential information. It would be good for anyone upgrading from an earlier operating system as it gives a view of the features. It is also a good starting point for anyone who ultimately wants to cover a particular subject in depth, as it provides a basis for further research – be it via the Web, the Mac Help or a more in depth manual. Of course, a higher level user would be comfortable in going direct to the in depth material – but even so the book does provide a quick lookup of features to be explored.

                The bottom line is that this book offers very accessible information about Snow Leopard for all sorts of users and beats trying to start from scratch via the Help system.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Great Information In a Small Book

                By HartleyJ

                from Northeast Kingdom, VT

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Most useful information
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide:

                  Mac OS X Snow Leopard Pocket Guide is a great, conveniently small, guide to Snow Leopard and its new features. It opens with a quick guide to what is new in Snow Leopard, including a new feature in Preview to import images through a scanner. Using this information that with the new improved sharing and we now are using our scanner with both our iMac and our MacBook.

                  Chapter 2 is provides more information than unsophisticated users need about installing Snow Leopard and migrating data to it.

                  Chapter 3 is a quick guide to Snow Leopard itself beginning with the Menu bar. Services under the Apple Menu has been redone in Snow Leopard. When you have a new application to drag to the Applications file, just drag it to Applications in the Side Bar. Click and hold on any open application in the Dock to display all the open windows for that application. There is a lot of information that is new in this little book as well as reminders of features I forget to use such as command-tab.

                  Chapter 4 is a quick guide to troubleshooting the more common problems. Chapter 5 covers what is new and what you want to know about the System Preferences including Sharing. Chapter 6 includes some information about each of the many applications and utilities that come with Snow Leopard. Chapter 7 is about MobileMe which is useful only if you have MobileMe. Chapter 8 is primarily about passwords which I believe is all most people really need to know about Security on a Mac except for using some common sense. The final chapter 9 includes the keyboard commands and how to access the special characters - very useful information in a easy to use format.

                  This book provides a look at what is new in Leopard and a concise reference for information when you need it. A lot of book in a compact package for a small price.

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