The Little Mac OS X Book
Published by Peachpit Press
By Robin Williams
ISBN 0-201-74866-5 © 2001
List price: $29.99 U.S.
Don't let the title fool you, this is no small book, not just in page count but the size of the book as well. The pages are quite large and this facilitates the use of large images. The art work in the book is exceptionally good. Screen shots abound, they are nicely referenced and many carry full captions detailing what is going on. This is important because we are seeing some of these OS X windows for the first time.
Robin William has written a 'how-to' guide in the Peachpit Press tradition, which covers OS X completely as well as all the new features in Mac OS X. Proper attention is also given to the new iApplications that ship with OS X and has very thorough chapters on Word Processing using the new TextEdit software and Document printing. Many things have radically changed in OS X, Fonts being one of them. In this book, 27 pages are devoted to Fonts in OS X, Font management and includes large printouts of all the actual fonts that ship with OS X.
This is a well rounded book that covers OS X in a complete manner. This book works equally well for both the beginner and experienced Mac user. The last chapter in the book, 'Where Did It Go' for experienced Mac OS 9 users is very helpful for those of us moving from a solid knowledge of OS 9 to the uncharted waters of OS X.
Mac OS X: The Missing Manual
Published by O'Reilly
By David Pogue
ISBN 0-596-00082-0 © 2001
List price: $ 24.95 U.S.
I have been reading David Progue's writings for many years now, I like the way he writes. His complete understanding and knowledge of the Mac shows. This book depends less on screen shots and art work although there is an adequate amount to illustrate the points of the text.
As you read and work your way through this book you will notice that as new features are discussed there are constant references to the old way of doing things in OS 9. This is very helpful for anyone coming from OS 9 as we learn what old features are gone, changed or replaced by new Mac OS. There is also an appendix 'Where Did It Go' that looks at each item that has changed in OS X.
This book has more technical depth and goes to some of the under pinning of the new Mac OS. There are two chapters that cover the Unix base of OS X and a rather extensive look at 'Terminal Mode' which allows the user to alter the way OS X works at the core Unix level. There is also a full chapter on 'AppleScript' with many samples of Scripts to work from.
The book is well laid out with a logical and straight forward approach to familiarizing the reader with OS X. Interspersed throughout the book are sidebar comments (tips) that provide additional information helpful in learning OS X.