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Mac OS X Panther Hacks: 100 Industrial Strength Tips & Tools [Paperback]

James Duncan Davidson , Rael Dornfest
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

June 24 2004 0596007183 978-0596007188 1

Like the animal it's named for, Mac OS X Panther is beautiful, sleek, superbly efficient, dangerously alluring, and all muscle under the surface. Beneath its appealing interface, it's a hard-working machine. Those coming to Mac OS X from previous incarnations of the operating system recognize much of the friendly face of the Macintosh they're used to, but they're also plunged into a whole new world. Unix converts to Mac OS X find a familiar FreeBSD-like operating system at the core and many of the command-line applications that they're familiar with: it's like an open invitation to roll up their sleeves and hack.Mac OS X Panther Hacks brings together the perfect combination of tips, tricks, and tools to help serious Mac users--regardless of their background--get the most from their machines. This revised collection reflects the real-world know how of those well-steeped in Unix history and expertise, sharing their no-nonsense, sometimes quick-and-dirty solutions to administering and taking full advantage of everything a Unix desktop has to offer: Web, Mail, and FTP serving, security services, SSH, Perl and shell scripting, compiling, configuring, scheduling, networking, and hacking. Add to that the experience of die-hard Macintosh users, customizing and modifying their hardware and software to meet their needs. The end result is cool stuff no power user should be without.The hacks in the book range from the quick and easy to the more complex. Each can be read easily in a few minutes, saving countless hours of searching for the right answer. Mac OS X Panther Hacks provides direct, hands-on solutions in topics such as:

  • User Interface
  • Accessories (iPod, USB devices, mobile phones, PDAs, etc.)
  • Wired and wireless networking (Ethernet, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc.)
  • Email (servers and clients)
  • Web (servers and clients)
  • Messaging (iChat and associated apps)
  • Printing and Faxing (sharing printers, fax server, etc.)
  • Multimedia
If you want more than your average Mac user--you want to explore and experiment, unearth shortcuts, create useful tools, and come up with fun things to try on your own--this book will set you on the right track. Written for users who need to go beyond what's covered in conventional manuals--Mac OS X Panther Hacks will bring your Mac to its full potential.

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About the Author

Rael Dornfest is a Researcher at the O'Reilly & Associates focusing on technologies just beyond the pale. He assesses, experiments, programs, and writes for the O'Reilly network and O'Reilly publications. Dornfest is Program Chair of the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference, Chair of the RSS-DEV Working Group, and developer of Meerkat: An Open Wire Service. In his copious free time, he develops bits and bobs of Open Source software and maintains his raelity bytes Weblog.

James Duncan Davidson is a freelance author, software developer, and consultant focusing on Mac OS X, Java, XML, and open source technologies. He is the author of Learning Cocoa with Objective-C (published by O'Reilly & Associates) and is a frequent contributor to the O'Reilly Network online website as well as publisher of his own website, x180 (http://www.x180.net), where he keeps his popular weblog. Duncan was the creator of Apache Tomcat and Apache Ant and was instrumental in their donation to the Apache Software Foundation by Sun Microsystems . While working at Sun, he authored two versions of the Java Servlet API specification as well as the Java API for XML Processing. Duncan regularly presents at conferences all over the world on topics ranging from open source and collaborative development to programming Java more effectively. He didn't graduate with a Computer Science degree, but sees that as a benefit in helping explain how software works. His educational background is in Architecture (the bricks and mortar kind), the essence of which he applies to every software problem that finds him. He currently resides in San Francisco, California.


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everybody... July 11 2004
Format:Paperback
The hacks in this book seem to end up in one of three categories. Useful to me, useful to somebody else, and just plain weird (but good for a laugh). The last is represented by Hack #60 - iOscillate. Think iChat, iSight, some adhesive, and a stripped down oscillating fan. Mac people have all the fun...
I found the hacks involving bluetooth, cellphones and your Mac worth the price of the book. Prior to this I "wanted" a bluetooth phone. Now I "need" a bluetooth phone. =) I was also happy to find the info on getting the Postfix Mail Server running.
The great thing about the hacks, IMHO, is that despite there only being 10 hacks or so that you might find useful enough to start using right away, you're bound to come up with another few on your own. For example, by combining what I learned from a few of the hacks, I was able to set up Virex to scan my Mail inbox for viruses every 15 minutes. So far, I've only found W32 viruses, but you can never be too cautious. =)
If you want to feed your inner geek, this book is for you.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the Adventurous and Curious Aug. 31 2004
By John A. Suda - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"MacOSX Panther Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips &Tools" is an updating of the earlier "MacOSX Hacks" to address the newest operating system from Apple, OS 10.3, popularly known as "Panther". The Panther OS update continues to provide opportunity for basic users and power users to customize, tweek, and hack their machines. Unlike all previous Apple operating systems, the OSX iterations incorporating Unix underpinnings, legacy OS9 and Classic components, and a continuing evolving Mac GUI, provide unusually rich and complex textures allowing for all kinds of customizations.

The book is a compilation of 100 ideas, hacks, tips, and tweeks contributed by a large handful of developers and power users covering mostly productivity-enhancing items, but also security and maintenance items, and some fun and geeky items. It is designed for the adventurous spirits who may need some guidance in customizing their machine and applications.

There are nine chapters of such hacks. Chapter 1 covers the user interface including how to customize the Apple-provided animations like the "genie-effect". Available third-party applications for customizing the user interface, like Konfabulator, are noted and evaluated (Hacks #2).Others include launchers, desktop applications, keyboard shortcuts and the like. (Hacks 3-9).

Other sections include an introduction to Applescript, Safari tips and tricks, multi-media tricks, file and device synchronization, and Unix tips and tricks, including how to use the Terminal application. Hack #27 is a guide to the hidden debug menu, which provides access to otherwise unknown Safari and browser features. Hack #30 informs how to use RSS with the Mac. You can learn to build your own MPS server from Hack #41 and build an emergency boot volume with iPod in Hack #52.

Many of the hacks are quick and easy. Some require geek-level knowledge. The most interesting and perhaps most valuable sections deal with Panther maintenance and security. Hack #93 is a 19-page security primer useful for both basic and power users.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't know I could... Aug. 22 2004
By Mary Dixon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
....do that??!!

Once cracking this book open, it didn't take me long to have a "eureka!" experience. "I didn't know I could do that!" I heard myself say to myself. I learned something new that I bet no one else knows....or do they?

My favorite hack so far is using the services menu under the application menu. It's an amazing thing and has been used more often than anything else I read in the book. The next thing I'm going to do is use more scripting and attach those scripts to my file folders. Fortunately, the authors provide lots of great examples. Whew...I don't "do" Apple scripting.....yet. I will after reading this book.

The authors don't exclude the use of other applications in "hacking" the OS but they sure do provide a lot of helpful ways to use them. My very favorite hack in that way was their suggestion to "Clutter Your Desktop with Music." In that hack, #42, they suggest using a little iTunes add on called Clutter. Ohh...I don't want to give all of it away. I want everyone to have a copy of this book. You just have to use this little app. It's a great helper if you love your iTunes.

Some of these chapters will require return visits for me as I managed to find out that I knew very little about some aspects of "hacking" Panther. The book now resides on my desktop and will for the foreseeable future.

No one will lose by getting Mac OS X Panther Hacks and will surely be surprised at what they don't know when they get through this wonderful volume. Be sure to check one out for yourself very soon. You won't regret it.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little bit of everything July 28 2004
By Jack D. Herrington - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book has a little bit of everything for everyone. O'Reilly publishes a lot of OS X titles, but this one is the most unique of those that I have read (and I have read most of them). The reason is the insane breadth of the book. It covers everything from how to use Quicksilver (the best application for OS X, bar none) to how to share desktops, to script iPhoto with perl. If you want to see in just how many ways you can hack your Mac you have to check this book out. It's one of a kind, and for those with the need to really see how they can tweak their Mac, this is a must have.
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something for everybody... July 11 2004
By Eric Wuehler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The hacks in this book seem to end up in one of three categories. Useful to me, useful to somebody else, and just plain weird (but good for a laugh). The last is represented by Hack #60 - iOscillate. Think iChat, iSight, some adhesive, and a stripped down oscillating fan. Mac people have all the fun...
I found the hacks involving bluetooth, cellphones and your Mac worth the price of the book. Prior to this I "wanted" a bluetooth phone. Now I "need" a bluetooth phone. =) I was also happy to find the info on getting the Postfix Mail Server running.
The great thing about the hacks, IMHO, is that despite there only being 10 hacks or so that you might find useful enough to start using right away, you're bound to come up with another few on your own. For example, by combining what I learned from a few of the hacks, I was able to set up Virex to scan my Mail inbox for viruses every 15 minutes. So far, I've only found W32 viruses, but you can never be too cautious. =)
If you want to feed your inner geek, this book is for you.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very nice and useful reading! Sept. 25 2005
By Alex Vox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
OS X UNIX is amazingly friendly and accessible. Some people who had never used it before type commands and work with the operating system directly as a "cool guys" in movies! This book is very helpful and well written and it is serves as a very nice reference.
Try Linux and UNIX for a beginner complete training suite, 4DVDs + 2CDs ed.2008
It is complete UNIX course recorded and this book and a video they contribute one another greatly.
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