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GraphicMac OS Leopard Pocket GuideMac OS Leopard Pocket Guide

Mac OS Leopard Pocket Guide
Author: Chuck Toporek
Publisher: O'Reilly Press
Retail Price: $14.99

To the point: This portable guide is great to throw into your laptop bag. Of course it is much more succinct than the huge Missing Manual. It is written without the witty turns of phrase that appear in David Pogue's books, because this author, Chuck Toporek, has no extra space for stylistic asides. It's all business.

The author has mastered logical explanations in condensed form. The format is easy to navigate, and there is a Survival Guide if you are new to the Mac. There are black and white screen shots, used judiciously due to space limitations. There are even concise step-by-step instructions for key routines.

For comparison, I looked up Back to My Mac. While not as much a hand-holding walkthrough of the aspects and setup of this feature as were evident in the Missing Manual, I actually could understand how to make it work using just the Pocket Guide.

Pros: It's lean and mean. It can be readily available when you are out and about. It's pretty darn all encompassing - handy and compact - unless you are a new user who needs more explanation, or a geek who wants to know absolutely everything about a feature and what's under the hood.

Cons: Obviously, some things are not covered. You might want to take a look at the table of contents on the O'Reilly site to see if it covers all the topics you might need.

So, ponder how much information you need and where you need to have it at your finger tips in order to decide between these two excellent references.

Review by NCMUG member John Hershey