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Tim Robertson "Publisher MyMac" (Battle Creek, Mi United States)

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The Best of The Joy of Tech
The Best of The Joy of Tech
by Nitrozac
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, May 20 2004
I must be crazy; I was flamed so badly after my last review of a cartoon book (published on a much less friendly site) that I had to replace my asbestos review suit. 'The Best of Joy of Tech' may be worth the risk.
Of course it's easy to enjoy a cartoon book by a pair of cartoonists that share your prejudices. It is obvious from the cartoons that Nitrozac and Snaggy are Macintosh loving, Linux leaning, Microsoft loathing geeks. Hmmm, sounds like me.
Not that Nitrozac and Snaggy are totally one-eyed. They still have a dig at Apple and Macintosh owners along the way. Unlike quite a lot of cartoons about tech these two also see the more human side, just as likely to make a joke about your cat's relationship to you and the computer as poke fun at LARTing end-users or pointy-headed bosses. Their cartoons are more about living with technology than working with it.
The book reproduces a couple of hundred of 'The Joy of Tech' cartoons from their website, in improved color and resolution. The website features a new cartoon every couple of days. There are also a small number that are original for the book and some funny marginalia in a couple of spots. It also has the matching JoyPoll and a short comment about the cartoon in a 'JoyWorld' section at the back of the book.
I find a fairly large number of the cartoons repeatedly funny and most of the rest worth a chuckle. These two have a good eye for the whimsical, ironic and downright funny side to a wired in, geek life. They even manage to get in a sly reference to geek site Slashdot with a fake O'Reilly book, "Trolling In a Nutshell" with a troll wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with "FIRST POST" on the cover and an Introduction by 'Anonymous Coward'.
Oh, that reminds me. The book has a very Wozniak foreword by Steve himself and an introduction by David Pogue that is nowhere near as good as the book (I'm sorry David, but any self-respecting geek [male or female] would rather do almost anything than edit the Windows registry, starting with install a decent operating system and working all the way through to changing jobs, heck, I'd rather sleep with Jobs.)
The book is broken up into various sections, each with a theme. It starts with "Boot-Up" and continues with "4nim4l cr4ck3rs" (most about cats), the whimsical "Geek Love", "Hacks and Cracks" (I loved the couple who want to get housing within 50 meters of a war-chalked wall), "Techie-daze", "How about them *nix" (featuring the luscious 'Linux Lass'), "The Joy of Mac", "Who do you want to poke fun at today?" (You'll enjoy the 'Stress Relief Dartboard'), "Sci-Fi The Comic Frontier" and "Do You think I'm Xexy" before finishing with "The World According to Geek" (with 'The Lord of The Root - One Geek To Rule Them All', the two good looking woman who don't shy away from maths and the Barbie 'DotCom Rescue' CD-ROM game)
If you go to Joy Of Tech you can grab a copy from the authors that has been signed (you even get a chance to ask for a custom inscription) and for an extra fee Nitrozac will even bless your book and attach a lucky sticker. You could go to the O'Reilly page, but since they don't have example cartoons and I don't imagine a cartoon book will ever have errata there isn't much point.
It's not easy to review a cartoon book. Suffice to say that I found the 'toons in this book to be a good variety from amusing through to funny with some that are just a little too true to make me do more than groan. If you've never come across this pair then check out the site and if you like the last few examples then the book will not disappoint(...)

Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company
Apple Confidential 2.0: The Definitive History of the World's Most Colorful Company
by Owen Linzmayer
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 28.39
72 used & new from CDN$ 0.79

5.0 out of 5 stars Book Review, Feb. 29 2004
Back in 2000, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Mr. Linzmayer's first Apple Confidential book, and thought that he had done an outstanding job of presenting the visible and the behind-the-scenes story of Apple Computer. Mr. Linzmayer, a freelance writer and author, had taken his time to delve into the depths of the company that we all love to hate and produced a great book that worked to explain the mysteries of Apple.
Fast forward to 2004 and he has done it again. Taking the original book, Mr. Linzmayer has updated the story to the present day, continuing the journey from where he left off with Mac OS 8.6 and the original iMac to the present day Mac OS 10.3 and the G5, the iPod and iLife.
Apple Confidential 2.0, from start to finish, is a continual source of information on Apple Computer and the people involved, from the beginnings in a bedroom (you have to read the book to find out) to the present day activities of Steve Jobs as head of Apple and Pixar. It delves into how the original Apple was taken to numerous companies, like Hewlett-Packard, Atari and Commodore Business Machines in an attempt to sell the Apple computer concept. It covers all the twists and turns that Apple has experienced along the way. Apple Confidential 2.0 provides the reader with information on how Apple came to be, who thought of what, who never got the credit that they justly deserved, or who took the blame when things went wrong. The book includes time lines for Apple from the start of both Wozniak and Jobs in college to the computers, operating systems, peripherals and software from the very start to the present day.
If you want an easy to read book on the story of Apple and the people involved, get yourself Apple Confidential 2.0. The book is packed with everything you need to know, provides the background on people, and places and things, and it does so without being boring or preachy. A very good read, you'll find yourself totally engrossed. If you didn't buy Mr. Linzmayer's first book, take the time to get the second. Apple Confidential 2.0 will make a great addition to your home library - a must-have for Apple lovers.
Highly Recommended.
My Mac Rating: 5 out of 5

Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
by David Pogue
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 37.94
38 used & new from CDN$ 0.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Product Review, Jan. 19 2004
David Pogue has definitely gotten the Missing Manual format down pat. His latest endeavor, the fourth in his Mac OS series, Mac OS X: The Missing Manual (Panther Edition) has built upon his previous versions and takes the reader through the "joys" of OS X Panther. From install to Terminal use, Mr. Pogue walks you through the process of getting down and dirty with Panther.
Starting with what one sees when they first start up Panther, Mr. Pogue takes the reader through the basics of the Mac desktop; folders and windows, organizing things, the Dock, the Sidebar, and how to arrange and rearrange things to suit your own tastes and needs. Experienced Mac and OS X users may find things slow at the beginning, but Mr. Pogue does provide the whys and wherefores of Panther in a well-written, easy to understand manner that does make it a pleasure to read through every section. Mr. Pogue makes excellent use of hi-lighted boxes bearing titles of Frequently Asked Questions, Up to Speed, Nostalgia Corner, Gem in the Rough, Power Users' Clinic and Troubleshooting Moment to explain and add emphasis to what is being covered in that chapter or section. The screen shots also add to explaining things as you go along.
As you read through the book, you are shown OS X programs, the use of OS 9 in the scheme of things "X", and then the components of OS X that are available with the software. You are also shown the free programs that come with OS X; Font Book, iCal, iTunes, iSync, Safari, Sherlock, QuickTime Player, to name a few, and how to make use of their capabilities. Want to import pictures from your digital camera to your Mac? Page 288 will show you how, and then show you how to share them, print them and finally email them out to friends and family.
Mr. Pogue then takes you into the technology of OS X and its UNIX underpinnings. Administrator and Standard accounts are shown, their setup and usage, signing in, logging out, Fast User switching, Networking... the list just goes on. Every aspect of the OS is shown and explained, from A to Z. Best of all, Pogue does it with humor, wit and a writing style that doesn't bog you down or put you to sleep, particularly when you get into the aspects of UNIX. For new users of the Mac or new converts to OS X, Unix and the use of Terminal is geek-speak to the nth degree. Bash, tcsh, pwd, Is, cd, mv, rm, srm, using man; they're explained and their usage is also shown. While you might not want to use them, it's good to have the knowledge available just in case you have to use it somewhere down the line.
I was a bit surprised at the amount of little gems that I picked up as I read through the book. Access to the Character Palette, keyboard viewer, storing Apple Software Updates... how many of you know that you can save that Software Update by choosing UpdateÆInstall and Keep Package? Want to play a game of chess but have no one to play with right now? Why not try playing against your Mac by going into your Applications folder, double-clicking on Chess and then choosing new game. Have a microphone available? Try using the voice-recognition feature and tell your Mac what moves you want to make where. Are you a new convert from an older Mac OS and you've just switched to OS X and you're not sure what happened to some of your favorite Mac features? Not to worry as Appendix C provides you with a complete guide as to what stayed and to what disappeared. Oh, and for the new Mac users who have switched from Windows, don't worry, Appendix D will provide you with a handy-dandy listing of what does what in OS X.
Oh, by the way, when you first open the book, there on the inside cover is a drawing of the Missing CD-ROM that didn't come with the book and that just saved you $5.00 off the cost. Not to fear, you are directed to go to [...] and click on the Missing CD icon. Once there, you will find links to 22 sites containing additional software that Mr. Pogue covers in the book.
I really enjoyed reading this book. It is well written and covers what a Mac user needs to know to work with OS X Panther. As has been stated in the past with Mr. Pogue's other Missing Manual books- this is what should have come in the box with your Mac. But since it didn't, run, don't walk, to your nearest bookstore or online book seller and get yourself a copy of Mac OS X - The Missing Manual (Panther Edition) This is a definite must-have for Mac OS X users!
Highly Recommended!
My Mac Rating: 5 out of 5

Adobe Photoshop CS Upgrade
Adobe Photoshop CS Upgrade

5.0 out of 5 stars (mini) Review, Dec 29 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Adobe Photoshop CS Upgrade (CD-ROM)
One problem with reviewing a program like Adobe Photoshop CS (8.0) is that one never knows just how much to write about. Adobe Photoshop is such a complex and massive program; it is almost an operating system in itself. So rather than going into each and every feature of the program, a task few would undertake in a product review, I will look at some of the new features of the program.
16-bit color support is probably the biggest improvement in Photoshop with the new CS version. Most graphic programs work with only 8-bit images, but Photoshop CS can now work with 16-bit in layers, brushes, text, shapes, and more. The support is worthwhile for those who need to work with the highest resolution images for color correction.
RAW Data. When you take pictures with a digital camera, the picture is compressed in .JPG format. This is not an ideal solution if you want to get the best picture you can, and with Photoshop CS, you can now work directly with the RAW picture data rather than the .JPG compressed file. Unfortunately, not all digital cameras are supported. Neither Kodak nor HP digital cameras will work with the RAW support in CS. Canon, Fujifilm, Minolta, Nikon, and Olympus does have some supported cameras. If you need to take professional quality images, but are using a digital camera, as well as having a supported product, you will be very pleased with this feature.
The new and improved File Browser in CS works exceptionally well. While I had been using the Browser feature in Photoshop 7.0 for a year, it was somewhat cumbersome and not as intuitive as I would like. Photoshop CS has taken the Browse feature to new heights, making it much more intuitive, and much faster on both my G4 and G5 machine than previous versions.
Histograms are now, finally and "about-time" in color. This will help you when you're working with RGB channels. This may not sound like much of an issue, but when you are color correcting photos, working with a color histogram will allow you much more precise control over your workflow.
Better PDF integration. A neat feature is the ability for Photoshop CS to create a "PDF Presentation" even if you do not own the full Acrobat version. While I have no need for this feature, a Photoshop friend and avid PDF supporter told me this is a big deal. So there you go.
The new Shadows/Highlights filter, found in the Adjustments menu, is simply amazing. This one feature is now a must-have for me. I take a lot of photos with my digital camera, as well as having scanned all my old photos a few years ago. Even after cleaning my old photos up in previous versions of Photoshop, I was amazed at how much help the new Shadows/Highlights help them. It is a great filter, one I am VERY pleased with.
This is a major upgrade if you are a die-hard Photoshop user, and need the new features found here. If you take a look at Adobe's website, read through the list of new features, and decide that the ..upgrade fee is not too steep, you will be pleased. If, however, you don't need the benefit, you would do well to wait for the next major Photoshop rollout.

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther

5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Robertson First Look, Nov. 29 2003
Ce commentaire est de: Mac OS X 10.3 Panther (CD-ROM)
A First Look - Mac OS X 10.3 "Panther"
Tim Robertson
Publisher/Owner, Columnist, MacRelevant
Friday, 10/24/03
As the masses await the Fed-Ex truck to deliver to their eager hands a copy of the latest Mac OS X release from Apple, Panther, presents our early, first-look at the eagerly awaiting OS.
First impressions: Wow, this thing is fast! Running 10.3 on an Apple Macintosh G5 1.8GHz, we noticed a huge speed boost to almost every finder-level task. Opening windows, scrolling large directories, accessing other machines over the network, you name it, it seemed faster. But lets take a look at some of the unique features in Panther.
Exposé. This is a very, very cool new feature that I am simply in love with. What does it do? Well, for the uninitiated, it gives you instant access to any open window from any program, including the finder. What Exposé does is makes every open window shrink on your screen, and you simply click the window you want to spring to the front. So what's the big deal, you ask? Unlike the old Application window in Mac OS 9, which will only show you the applications running, this shows you all your open windows. So if you have three Safari windows open (I never do, I am in love with Tabs now) this will let you see every window. What's more, when you put your cursor over the mini-windows, the name of the window is displayed. You really have to experience Exposé live to appreciate just how much it is going to change the way you use the Mac OS. The only drawback for me is that it does not show any windows you may have minimized to the dock.
To access Exposé, you first set it up in your system preferences pane. For myself, I have Exposé activate for all windows if I put my cursor in the upper-right hand of my screen. If I put my cursor in the lower right, only the front application (including the Finder) will show. By default, three F-Keys are also set to do the same. Even cooler, when you click F11, all open windows move out of the way to reveal the desktop, and stay out of the way until you call them back.
If you have a multi-button mouse, you can also assign mouse buttons to do the same. I personally use my extra mouse buttons to launch applications, but I could set it up so that the scroll wheel button moves everything out of the way for quick access to the desktop.
Exposé is one of those application that, like I said, better experienced than explained. I cannot get over how useful this is to how I would with my Mac. If it were not part of the OS, I would call this the next Killer App for the Mac.
Heads-up Application Switcher. This is yet another way to switch between applications without using Exposé or the Dock. Mac OS 9 also had it. All you do is hold down the command-tab keys to bring up a heads-up display of the open applications. You continue to hold down the command (Apple) key while you "Tab" to the application you want. I used the same method in Mac OS 9 for years, and fell in love with it. It is one of the most missed features for me in Mac OS X.
Welcome Back Labels! Yes, you can, finally, use labels in Mac OS X. But this, my friends, is labels on steroids! Labels work in all three views, Icons, List, or Columns. In Icon view, the label is a rich full color, rounded around the text. The icon itself is not colored, as it was is Mac OS 9. In List view, the color again does not apply to the icon, but to the entire line of the item labeled, so that the rounded colored bar extends across the entire windows. The same is true for Column view, but when you have clicked the labeled folder, the triangle keeps the label color. These may seem like not such a big deal, but they really are. Many, many people used labels to help find items, or to mark items that are of special importance, and it is a much-welcomed re-introduction to the Mac OS. Like Exposé, you really have to see the new labels in action to appreciate them.
Many people are all up in arms about the brushed metal look, which is used in all the iLife applications, now being carried throughout the finder as well. These worries are unfounded, in my opinion. While I actually like the look, you can toggle it off if you wish. You do, however, loose some of the new functionality of finder windows if you do. Rather than having application folders, favorite folders, document folder etcÉ at the top of each window, they are all now on the far left of your open windows. And they are all customizable. Personally, I think the new windows in Panther are a welcome improvement over the previous OS X windows.
One neat, though small, new feature is Apple put the often-used "Software Update" in the Apple menu. Clicking this simply opens the Software Update pane, but it does save one step in the process. A small update, sure, but one I have already gotten used to. And as the Apple menu is unchanged system-wide, you are always one click away from it.
Fast Switching. What is this? Well, if you share your computer with others, you will probably want to have multiple users accounts set up. A staple since the first release of Mac OS X, it was easy to switch to a different user. Now, however, it is even faster. When you activate "Enable Fast User Switching" in the "Accounts" pane in System Preferences, it puts the current users name in the upper right hand corner of your screen. It also puts in all the other names of any other user of your Mac. In my case, I have a "Basic" in which the system is basically as it would be fresh from the store. I also have one for my wife (even though she uses her own iMac, not my G5) and one named "Kids" which is for, obviously, my kids. (All they can do is create pictures in Illustrator or Photoshop, type up letters, and use Safari with bookmarks my wife and I approve, all others all deleted.)
So what happens when you click one of those names? You entire screen rotates; bring that user to the front. If the name is password protected, in brings up the log-on screen. And best of all, you can leave your account just as it is, with all the applications running, and switch users. When you switch back, everything is just as you left it. This is amazing technology I don't think enough people utilize.
All in all, Panther is a great OS. Of course, there will be some applications that will not run correctly and need updating, but that is true for any major OS upgrade. I am very, very pleased with Mac OS X 10.3, and think that for those with a newer machine, you will appreciate the added speed benefits and stability. The new features all work really well, and I look forward to delving deeper into Panther in the coming months.
Tim Robertson

Mac OS X 10.3 Panther Family Pack
Mac OS X 10.3 Panther Family Pack

5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Robertson -, Nov. 17 2003
Mr. Carpenter is obviously ignorant about how OS X works. I have the family pack, installed on four different computers. All work perfectly over my high-speed network, sharing the same hub. Panther does NOT assign IP numbers, your IP or router does.
Me. Carpenter should become more knowledgeable before posting and rating software he knows nothing about. He wrote misleading and incorrect information.
Tim Robertson
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Rising Stars Volume 1: Born in Fire
Rising Stars Volume 1: Born in Fire
by J. Michael Straczynski
Edition: Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 25.71

5.0 out of 5 stars A good read, June 20 2003
I have both collected editions, as well as the latest issue, and I am very impressed. I wish he would finish the series, or at least get back to working on it.
A fun read. I enjoyed it very much, and think you will as well.

eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method
eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method

4.0 out of 5 stars John Nemerovski Software Review, May 1 2003
I have been playing and teaching beginner and intermediate level guitar for over 40 years. Learning this instrument is easy for most people who practice regularly.
Music students pay $-$$ per guitar lesson, and a lot of that money covers instruction and repetition that self-starters and motivated self-learners don't need to spend. At under $$ US for comprehensive instructional and reference material, eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method provides exceptional value for these students.
I remember being lukewarm to positive in my appraisal of Volume One, the beginner CD in this series. It has been revised since then. If it's as good as this Intermediate CD (Volume Two), beginners now have a much better chance of learning from scratch.
From my first encounter with eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method (abbreviated as "IGM"), the experience has consistently been positive. Installation of the cross-platform CD's software takes only a minute or two. Initial 23 pages of sensible, thorough Introduction and Tips cover all necessary instructions, commands, and options, including well-written and illustrated:
Animated Fretboard diagram
explanation of the Chord Dictionary and Metronome
description of Guitars and Their Parts, including holding, stringing, and tuning
details on Reading Chord Charts, plus Tablature and Music Notation.
Once students are "Ready to Take It to the Next Level" the lessons begin with straightforward left-hand melody techniques. Subsequent topics include barre chords, right hand strumming styles, "Using Scales and Building Chords," plus solo and fingerstyle methodology.
One set of icons on the page of each song or exercise takes you directly to spoken short descriptions of a song's history, or pithy comments such as "Use a pick so your fingers don't fall off." A different icon launches the Animated Fretboard's display, playing the song or exercise while fret numbers display simultaneously with a running presentation of the notation or tablature for the piece. Very impressive, all of it, and not nearly as complicated as it appears from reading the above paragraph.
Navigational arrows lower right easily take you forward or back one page, and the Tools and Goto menus at top offers complete navigation throughout the entire application, including:
Scale Directory and audio enhanced Chord Dictionary (REALLY GOOD!)
Tuner and Metronome
Self-recording feature.
Additional observations:
1. Set your screen resolution to one higher than 800x600 for best viewing.
2. The IGM's CD responds quickly and quietly when playing its instructional QuickTime sound and picture files.
3. A special icon launches short QuickTime movies in which a very competent guitarist demonstrates the techniques0 with close-up camera on the active hand.
4. Colored live embedded links take you directly to related chapters, if desired. (Is there a way to jump right back? I can't figure that out.)
5. Special mentions of differences between electric guitars and acoustic instruments are given, when appropriate.
Instruction is segmented logically, with high-quality attention to detail. I plan to begin using the IGM software, movies, and sound files immediately with my students. Its cost is a bargain for the reference features alone.
If you know your way around the guitar and want to "Take It to the Next Level," IGM is easy to recommend. When all your prior instruction has come from a human teacher, the comprehension curve for this multimedia application will seem steep at first. Remember that repetition is your friend, music students. Take your time, practice a lot, and you'll be glad you purchased eMedia Intermediate Guitar Method.
Nemo's "Q/D/S/V Standard" for all product reviews:
Q = QUALITY, including ease of installation, performance, stability, and general happy relationship with everything on my system;
D = DOCUMENTATION, both printed and electronic, plus appropriate website material;
S = SUPPORT, in the form of email, phone, and web updates;
V = VALUE, which includes both original cost and subsequent expenses.
Depending upon previous instruction and self-teaching skills of guitar student, our rating is:
4 out of 5
A very decent product. Worth the time and investment, but look for competing products.
- TO -
BR> Fantastic products! Well worth your money and investment. The best of its kind.
John Nemerovski

Mac OS X Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks
Mac OS X Hacks: 100 Industrial-Strength Tips & Tricks
by Rael Dornfest
Edition: Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars David Weeks Book Review, May 1 2003
The tide of Mac OS X "hacks" books is rising with the O'Reilly's publication of Mac OS X Hacks 100 Industrial Strength Tips and Tricks. This trade paperback-sized volume is stuffed full of very useful suggestions to improve your OS X skills. While hard-core Unix converts to OS X may scoff at the some of the beginner-level "hacks," there are plenty of fun tricks for novices to intermediates, and challenging techniques for intermediates to experts. The varying range of hack sophistication and difficulty is one of the best aspects of this book: you can start with the easy tips, move on to the moderate tricks, and hope someday you'll be geeky enough to work the magic of the most exotic Unix-based feats of skill and daring.
The tips and tricks are sorted by subject; Files, Startup, Multimedia, User Interface, Unix and the Terminal, Networking, Email, the Web, and Databases. To help the reader decide which hacks to try, each one is rated Beginner, Moderate, or Expert, and is illustrated by a small thermometer. The higher the mercury, the more expertise (usually Unix) is called for. Be sure to check the temperature, as you may find an expert hack right next to a beginner hack.
Now, don't get scared off by the "U-word." Dornfest and Hemenway do a creditable job walking readers through the exact Unix steps needed (if any) to do a hack or trick. But, caveat lector; if you jump into deep water, you might be in over your head. Mistype some Unix commands in an ?ber-geek hack, you'll sorely regret the fact you don't have enough Unix knowledge to truly understand the cookbook-style instructions. While ten pages of Hacks are devoted to an overview of commonly used Unix commands, after reading it I felt I knew just enough to get into serious trouble. So, exercise caution when typing. You'll soon find out that Unix has no "undo." But, good backups provide the courage to try new things!
Still too scared to try Unix? Morally/spiritually/philosophically opposed to command lines? Be at ease! Dornfest and Hemenway give plenty of fun mouse-based suggestions to learn how to do great slideshows, run an Internet radio station, modify the standard Desktop look and feel, and more. Just experimenting with the beginner-level hacks and the recommended shareware/free applications will be fun for many readers, so don't pass by Mac OS X Hacks just because you are allergic to Unix!
Warnings aside, the power of Unix combined with the Mac OS is a thing to behold. Executing just a few simple Unix commands can add tremendous capabilities to your computer; email servers, sophisticated Web server functionality, neat user interface tricks, and many more.
Über-geek wannabes like myself will be tantalized by all the neat things that require only a modicum of Unix; SSH remote logins to another OS X Mac, running AppleScripts from the command line, running FTP servers, even setting up a Web DAV server (like an iDisk).
Later, when I get my nerve up, I'll dive into the hacks to run the built-in Apache web server, as well as the Sendmail mail server, and experiment with setting up cron jobs to run tasks on a regular basis.
Mac OS X Hacks is a book you can live with for a long time, as few readers will be jumping into the expert hacks right away. You can come back to Mac OS X Hacks time after time, and find some new tip or trick to play with.
Production values are typically O'Reilly: outstanding. The trade paperback size makes this book quite easy to hold, unlike many of the boat anchors I've recently had to manhandle. Screenshots and type are both crisp and clear.
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
David Weeks

The Macintosh iLife: An interactive guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD
The Macintosh iLife: An interactive guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD
by Jim Heid
Edition: Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.61

5.0 out of 5 stars David Weeks Book Review, May 1 2003
When you wander the shelves of your favorite bricks-and-mortar bookstore, or click through your favorite on-line book vendor, the choice of iTunes/iPhoto/iMovie/iDVD "How-To" books can be overwhelming. Some people prefer graphically-oriented books that use little text, like the Visual QuickStart series. Others prefer text-heavy books with few graphics. Jim Heid has successfully split the difference with The Macintosh iLife, an interactive guide to iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie, and iDVD. While Heid uses the most recent versions of these applications (iTunes 3, iPhoto 2, iMovie 3, and iDVD 2), owners of older versions will still be able to enjoy the book.
The Macintosh iLife (hereafter referred to as TMiL) consists of both the book AND a 90-minute DVD disk. With iDVD being one of the focal points of Apple's suite of iApplications, it only makes sense to include a DVD with the book. While you can read and profit from TMiL without owning a SuperDrive-equipped or DVD-reading Macintosh, you won't be able to enjoy and profit from the lessons on the DVD. To my knowledge, TMiL is the first book to include an instructional DVD, and author Heid, Peachpit Press, and DVD producer Avondale Media have gotten it right.
Heid's target audience is the person new to the iApplications who likes to read more than a few lines of instructional text, but also likes to have screen shots for to clarify the text. TMiL is not targeted at the aspiring expert; it does not delve into the subtleties of QuickTime Pro, or how to share iTunes libraries across a network. TMiL does an outstanding job of setting out the fundamentals of using each of the iApplications, along with pointers to better use each application. TMiL easily passes what author Bob LeVitus (Adam please link to my review of LeVitus' Little iTunes book) calls "the Dad test" (would you give this book to your newbie father...?), as it is written in clear, jargon-free English.
What truly sets TMiL apart from its numerous competitors are the production values of both the book and the DVD. Measuring about 9" x 9", the book is big and pretty, and the extra space is full of large and gorgeous color photos; no tiny washed-out black and white screenshots here. TMiL has the best illustrations I've seen in a computer instructional book! The DVD is no cheesy home movie; it's a professionally done effort produced by Heid and Avondale Media. The video lessons complement the book, although Heid omits some of the more detailed steps and hints from the video, referring the viewer back to the book. You could get most of the benefits of TMiL by either reading the book, or watching the video, but doing both will work best. Reading and watching will give the iLife newbie a firm knowledge foundation to draw upon.
The ... list price is a screaming deal, as many smaller computer books list for more, and don't even include additional material. The TMiL DVD alone could be worth the price of admission for some buyers.
MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5
David Weeks ...

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