Review: Mac OS X Tiger Simplified from Wiley

Simple, easy to read introduction to Mac OS 10.4 (Tiger) (December 28th, 2005)

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Product Manufacturer: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Price: MSRP $24.999 US

The Good

  • Excellent beginner's book. Well laid out. Whimsical graphics.

The Bad

  • Once in while a term escapes explanation.

Usually operating system books come to market shortly after the release. In addition, most books assume some basic computer knowledge. Mac OS X Tiger Simplified breaks both those assumptions. Released in November (nine months after Tiger's release), Erick Tejkowski's book is the best one I've seen yet for absolute beginners. It is a shame the book wasn't on the market months ago.

Many Macintosh newbies are adults in their third age and switchers. The present books on the market are just not simple enough for many of these people. As an adult education instructor, I've found that older adult learners prefer to be told how to do things, as opposed to younger folks who prefer hands-on courses with guidance. Switchers are often familiar with computer technology as it applies to their Windows systems, but some of those terms are applied differently in the Mac OS. Sometimes even Robin Williams' great beginner books aren't basic enough for these two groups of new Mac owners.

Inside the Book

Mac OS X Tiger Simplified uses clearly numbered text, one operation, or concept per 2-page spread, and lots of graphics to illustrate the topic. It really is perfect for an absolute beginning Mac user; I can't stress this enough. It was surprising to see how much detail can be crammed into a topic within the page limitation. Each topic walks you through how to complete a task, such as Organizing Windows, Using the Dock, setting different preferences, and even networking and troubleshooting. The twelve chapters contain over 90 topics, which is enough tasks for anyone to learn how to do the most common activities.

This three-color 219-page book is written in a friendly style with a whimsical introductory graphic for each task. The text is a good size and there's a lot of white space which increases its readability. Mac OS X Tiger Simplified is a perfect accessory for anyone reticent about learning how to use their new Macintosh. You can see an excerpt of the Table of Contents at the link above.

by Ilene Hoffman


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