GraphicMac OS X Leopard: Beyond The ManualMac OS X Leopard: Beyond The Manual

Mac OS X Leopard: Beyond The Manual
Author: Scott Meyers
Publisher: Apress
Retail Price: $34.99

Over the years, the Missing Manual books have found a fond place in my heart. Their kitchen sink approach seems comforting. If I need to learn how to do something, I know the missing manual will show me how. The problem is that, because the Missing Manuals hold so much information, it's hard to quickly find that one tip I needed. Sometimes I've spent more time hunting for a tip than I would have if I had just fumbled through using trial and error.

Enter Mac OS X Leopard: Beyond The Manual by Scott Myers and Mike Lee. It's a logically written book that manages to hit most the points that I'm interested in without using the kitchen sink approach.

The authors accomplish this by eliminating some of the most basic information and throwing in more advanced approaches, such as shell scripting, Darwin and application development in their place.

Despite these advance topics, it still offers something for the regular user including a discussion of the applications that come with Leopard. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of iCal which included sharing your calendar with others and subscribing to calendars. For advanced users there's a section about housing your calendar on a CalDAV server.

At the same time, some of the sections felt rushed. The section n RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds and using stationary in Mail seemed short, and I could see new users getting lost trying to understand it. I also would have liked to see a few more screenshots, though since the book is already 599 pages, I may be a bit unreasonable there.

Mac OS X Leopard: Beyond The Manual goes beyond Leopard and includes a very short conversation about .Mac, iLife and iWork (none of these are a part of Leopard, although iLife comes bundled with new Macs).

It's divided into eight parts with the easier portions at the beginning and more difficult tasks later in the book, allowing readers to begin with the more accessible information a steadily graduate into the more difficult.

I found Mac OS X Leopard: Beyond The Box to be useful. Although I've read two other books about Leopard, this is the one that I find myself most often referring to.

Review by NCMUG member James Bleifus