Book Review: Mac OS X – The Missing Manual

David Pogue is a well known author of a whole series of computer and other technical books. His latest book “Mac OS X: The Missing Manual” was published about 2 months ago in assosiation with O’Reilly.The book is written with the mindset of a “manual” for MacOSX, as these days less and less software in general, are shipping with printed manuals. However, the tone of the writting is light and Pogue has some good taste humour and at the right doses. All in all, reading the book was very relaxing, interesting and not boring at all.

The book starts with explaining how to use the GUI in general, but you still end up learning some special characteristics or key combinations on MacOSX that are not well known to the most of the Mac users. I liked his lengthy explanation on what is the difference between Carbon and Cocoa and how you can distinguish if an application is built with either APIs. It is important to know about it, as some different GUI controls and features are existing into these applications created with either the toolkits.

The book continues explaining how to use the included applications and utilities, and even goes as far as introducing AppleScript. On Part 4 things are getting a bit more advanced where networking and more advanced graphics and multimedia-related topics are discussed. There is even an introduction to the Terminal and Bash.

The book is a good overview of MacOSX. At places it is shallow, but at other places it is more in-depth. This book will appeal a lot for the people who just want to learn basic use of MacOSX, no matter if they come from MacOS 9 or Windows. However, if you are coming over from UNIX, this book will only help you on learning the GUI, as no real administration of Apache, mySQL, XFree or other advanced Unix-oriented software is discussed.

In general, if you are not the Ultimate Power User or a “hacker”, this book is for you. If you are, probably you will have already figure out everything included in the book by yourself…

Overall: 8 / 10

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