Saturday, May 15, 2010

Review - My MacBook

No, I'm not reviewing a new MacBook Pro (today), I'm taking a look at "My MacBook", a book by John Ray published by Que. It's an excellent visual guide to the latest Snow Leopard based MacBook computers from Apple. It's got step-by-step instructions on a great variety of tasks that anyone might want to do on the Mac, covered in 12 chapters. Every page has clear annotated screenshots explaining things very well. It's not an intro to computers - they assume you've worked with computers before but are new to the Mac or new to the Snow Leopard operating system.

As some who used and loved Macs back-in-the-day (i.e. the MacPlus and the LC II) but who has lived in a world of Windows and UNIX for the past decade, I found it to be an extremely helpful guide to the way of doing things with a modern Mac laptop. It never gets haughty, never talks smack about Windows, it just gets on the business of how to get cool things done. While the book covers things in detail and really doesn't assume a lot of background knowledge, I was surprised by the number of advanced topics it managed to cover. Examples: VPN on demand, RSS feeds in Safari, VNC screen-sharing, and other fun three-letter acronyms. It also covers how to backup with Time Machine, configuring the AirPort for wireless access, how to use the Finder, MobileMe, and adding hardware devices. From all indications, this is the manual that "should have been in the box." Well done, John Ray and Que!

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