Two stars for the author's valiant effort, three demerits to the editor/publisher staff for putting this incomplete beta version of a "How-To" manual on the shelf. I bought this book to ease the transition from creaky Windows to robust OS-X. Other than finding my bearings with the Dock and the Finder, and far too many glowing page fillers about those esoteric OS recreational applets, I found little of practical productivity use - other than a gushy 40-page discourse on iWork (the second coming of MS-Office?) - until I discovered that the MacPro Leopard version offers iWork trialware neither as a Dock icon nor as a file in the 'Applications' folder (even Searchlight couldn't come up with a reference).
The unfamiliar (to PC users) keyboard isn't clarified at all, and the presence of two Control keys - along with the distinct cloverleaf Command keys on the slim Apple keyboard - only adds to the confusion for PC keyboard switchers (Ctrl-C, for instance). Far more serious is failure to mention that the CD/DVD drive is accessed with a keyboard button next to the [F12] key, rather than with a screwdriver pried under the slot's cover. Further on that topic, the top row of function keys does double duty - primarily adjusting screen, sound and playback options - but requiring the additional press of a function [Fn] key to signal when you want the ubiquitous [F1] to [F12] shortcuts for application software ... perhaps Apple's new slim keyboard took the author off guard? Advice for keeping the Finder's columns aligned after tedious adjustments is nowhere to be found -- drove me banana's!
Incredibly, there isn't even the briefest instruction for installing application software - it's as if the Mac needs only the packaged applets to sing, dance and entertain. The reader is just assumed to have a broadband connection, nothing on dialup modems (not to mention the unflattering forum reviews of the Apple modem) for those living in the boonies, or on the road with a notebook. For instance, the 352 MB Leopard upgrade to version 2 would require a nearly 24-hour continuous connection that would give my ISP fits. Sure, I went to the local Kinko's to download the disk image ... but where do I go from there? Not a word of help to be found. Bootcamp is nicely covered; there is a hint that Parallels might be a more flexible solution for co-installing MS-Windows (stick with well-proven, albeit dowdy, Win-XP!), but the author seems unaware of the competing VM-Fusion utility that is optimized for virtualization with Intel multicore processors.
In short: this is an earnestly conceived manual, but with too many vital parts lacking to survive its premature birth. It might serve as a very basic personal entertainment guide, but fizzles out in substance and depth for productivity workers. My suggestion? Stick with the "Dummies" series for the basics.