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4.1 out of 5 stars
Mac OS X Lion For Dummies
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 20 October 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Having used Mac computers for years, there are two series of books that myself and my hubby have found wonderful over this time; They are The Missing Manual and books for Dummies. The Dummies OS X Lion is no exception and covers everything one will need to know about this new operating system. It's not really a book to read from cover to cover, but rather one to dip into when needed, or to flick through to pick up any new information. The only complaint we used to have was that many of the Dummies' series were only in black and white. Not the case here, this one is in full colour and makes a great difference to the reading and learning experience.

There are many features in Lion which are completely new and unique eg. mission control, facetime and launchpad. This book takes you through them step by step with ease.

I would recommend this book for complete beginners and intermediate users alike. Advanced people may not get much from it other than details of the new features.

A must for Mac users :)
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 October 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The For Dummies books are great. Having used plenty of other guides, the one thing that stands out is they really do treat you like a dummy or novice somewhat to the detriment of the imtermediate user who has to trawl through a lot of common sense stuff because of the target audience.

Having just purchased my first Mac, I found much of the OS intuitive, but plenty more of it mind boggling, particularly the file system and in my mind, illogical file structure, as well as difficulty learning keyboard shortcuts and other basic tasks that I would be at home with on the Windows computer.

So I decided to give this book a try. First impressions is that when it states basic, it really does start from that point. If you'd never used any sort of electronic device in your life, this would be the book for you. It even guides you to turning the thing on!

So extremely basic, the book doesn't appear to break beyond the intermediate stuff. One thing it does excel at however is revealing shortcuts and the odd piece of advice that will save you time. Keyboard shortcuts are like the context menu on a pc, absolutely essential.

I didn't really get much value from this book, perhaps because I'd taken to the OS very quickly, but if you start sweating when you start a new program such as a mail client, then this book will very patiently and slowly walk you through basic tasks step by step. It however is little use to the advanced Windows user transitioning to OSX.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
I think I must need the "Guide for Dummies for Mac OSX Lion for Dummies". There were a few sections in the book that I could not easily comprehend. Also. although it is a personal preference, I am not one for the book's "folksy" editorial style. Finally, I found a number of the illustrations, which could be very helpful, just too small. On the other hand, I picked up three worthwhile hints and I think the value of a book like this is its usefulness as a reference especially when, as in this case, it is comprehensively indexed. On balance, the book was a worthwhile acquisition for my purposes but I would like to have learned more.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 3 December 2011
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Mac is famed for its ease of use and that it just "gets out of your way" and of course, that other one - "It just works". Sadly, for Windows users who have made the leap over to the mac, there are a few head-scratching quirks that can halt you in your tracks when you first come across them. The first one that comes to mind is writing to a CD or DVD. Who would have thought that dragging the disc icon to the trash would start the burn process?

This is where the OSX Lion for Dummies book comes in really handy. If you've just moved over to the mac, or even if you've managed to avoid computers generally, the book is very helpful. Most if not all of the bundled applications are covered but laid out as tasks rather than applications. Topics such as preferences, music, organisation and file sharing are all covered in a very light-hearted and jargon-free way. It is a "for dummies" book though, so it does cover a lot of the incredibly obvious. Having said that, I've been using a mac for a few years and I've still managed to pick up a few Lion-specific things I didn't know or didn't appreciate.

At over 460 pages, it is perhaps not a book to carry around with you, but within easy reach of your desk. You'll probably find yourself dipping into it more than you know. If you are on the move a lot, there is an ebook edition, whether you are a kindle user Mac OS X Lion For Dummies (For Dummies (Computer/Tech)) or an iBooks user. The benefit of the eBook would be the ability to search for the bit you want rather than trawl through the index.

Useful book, especially for the novices right through to the keen amateur.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
After recently upgrading from Snow Leopard to OS X Lion, I (a long-term mac user) took a little while to come to grips with all the new features added. The book is an excellent guide for beginners and experienced users alike.

Here is a breakdown of what is covered.
Mac OS X Lion
The Desktop and Windows and Menus
System Preferances
The Dock
Email
Finder Window
File/Folders
Safari
iLife

The above list is not exhaustive, but some of the things that stump most. Additionally, the paper is not like other (older) dummy guides, and is quite a bit thicker and of a higher general quality.

Lion is a significant upgrade from Snow leopard. As a result, I can recommend this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm not a very computer literate person, but I love my mac which I use for pleasure and study. I have only browsed through this book, partly motivated by interest in seeing if an upgrade from Snow Leopard was a necessity (I don't think it is .... yet) and simply to see how accessible it really is. It is helpful to the Snow Leopard user not least because of a degree of overlap between the systems, but as a way of deciding the real benefits to be had from an upgrade.

Rather like another reviewer, I'm not a great fan of the US folksy writing style which such books generally contain, but I have to say that it communicates clearly and in a way which this dummy can grasp (OK, after a couple of reboots from time to time). It is, as it should be, relatively jargon free, clearly set out on the page with frame captures to illustrate steps in any process being discussed. I suspect that significant chunks of the text would be of little interest to most mac users, but then I really think I probably underuse the potential the computer has, and this book certainly suggests ways I could get more out of it. For a new Lion user, I think this would be enormously helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm sure you all know the Dummies format. They do the very best they can to conceal that fact that they're textbooks by smothering the facts in big friendly paragraphs of chatty text and colourful screenshots interspersed with some grimly unfunny cartoons.

This one's not bad. I have use a Mac occasionally a very long time ago, and I'm seriously thinking of getting myself a Mac Mini, but I had this terrible sneaking thought that I might not be able to master the switch from Windows 7. There are all sorts of funny things like the menu for a window appearing at the top of the screen, not attached to the window, and little traffic lights at the top left to make your window maximise or minimise, when everyone knows that an underscore, a square and an "x" at the top right corner is where that function should live. And then there are Time Machines and Air Ports and all sorts of weird proprietary things made only by Apple.

This book - concentrating on the latest "Lion" incarnation of the Apple OS X - is just right for me. It lets me dip in and find out handy stuff (such as that Macs preinstalled with Lion will automatically reinstall their operating system over the internet if you've had to replace your hard disk - how cool is that?

I was kind of hoping that the chapter entitled "The Musical Mac" would be an overview of Garage Band. It's not; it tells you how to use iTunes. But there are good troubleshooting and setting up and "caring for your Mac" sections that tell you all the sensible things you should do, like backing up your important stuff, and how to do those twiddly little things that for some reason you just can't find the control to twiddle.

And yes, there is a certain amount of Windows-bashing, although the author unaccountably seems to prefer Microsoft Natural keyboards to the stylish-but-not-hugely-ergonimic Apple equivalents. best news of all - most of my existing printers and external disk drives and ergonomic mouse and whatnot will work with a Mac.

Having read through this book (skipping the bits about using Safari and Text Edit), I feel a lot more confident about buying my new Mac. I don't think this Lion bites (sorry).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been using Macs running OSX for the last couple of years, having not used one for ten years or so prior to that. One of the strengths of MacOS, of course, is that you don't really need a manual - the whole philosophy of the Mac is that it is intuitive and easy to use, and as a result Apple don't include much in the way of documentation when you buy a computer off them. This book is a good product to fill in that gap for people who want to know a bit more, or who want a quick reference aside from the online help.

The style is excellent, as you'd expect from the ...For Dummies series - clear descriptions, plenty of colour pictures, and lots of short, snappy paragraphs rather than great reams of text to wade through. The author clearly both knows his stuff, and is good at explaining it to the lay person. The book covers pretty much all the in-built features and apps that come with Lion - although there is practically no coverage of the iLife suite, which is a disappointment. While I am sure there must be an 'iLife For Dummies", a couple of chapters on the basic features of the apps would not have gone amiss here, given that anyone who buys a Mac with Lion will get iLife as part of the package. There's good coverage of the new features in Lion - Versions, Launchpad, Mission Control etc, and they get a special icon next to them on the page - but the book doesn't assume you've used previous versions of MacOS, so serves as a good introduction to Macs in general.

The only real failing of the book is the very sketchy coverage devoted to the utilities that come with MacOS - such useful as things Disk Utility and Terminal are relegated to single paragraph descriptions at the back of the book. I suppose that many non-"power users" will never need to use these - in fact, arguably, they shouldn't even touch them - but it does limit the usefulness of the book to Mac beginners, rather than serving as a useful reference for the more experienced.

So if you're a newcomer to Mac and want to find out more, this book is a good choice, but if you already know your way around, there's not much here for you - which seems entirely fair given the title!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I like Dummies books. They are easy to read, have funny far side cartoons or similar, and its a pleasure to read. Absolutely the opposite of anything written by Apple, though, of course there is no Apple manual with this software.

Lion is the new software from Apple and you buy it from the App store. End of. No detailed instruction, no manual and you need to play with the software to get to know it. That is the way Apple does it and it works somehow. What I prefer to do is buy the software and then by the Dummies book relevant to that software. I don't just do that for Apple products, I do it for other software and have quite a collection.

This book is a great addition to the software and though I have heard of some of the new features from podcasts, this book goes further and even reminds you of the power of all apple operation software. Lion works differently to Snow LLeopard - try scrolling, but this book helps you master the use of the software and better than that, it helps you get the best from the software.

The chapters are about the right length and you can read it from cover to cover. However, its easy to just dip in and out of. However, I bet you that the first you do, is the same thing I do, read the jokes which are relevant to the book.

I have had Lion for a few weeks and though I could get around, this book has really given me a much better understanding of the software and quickly I feel that I am really getting the best from the software.

I think everyone should have a reference book on this software and I am going out on a limb but would say that this is probably the easiest book to follow and the most fun to have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 15 October 2011
I used Macs years ago and left the camp for probably ten years, and almost 3 years ago I went Mac again (mainly because Vista was so terrible - good work MS!). I work with computers so I'm pretty well up to speed but like many, I'm more of a casual Mac user than a 'power user'.

This book really does start at the beginning, so for a new Windows to Mac convert I'd say it's an ideal introduction, though it's fair to say the book would work well if you got a Mac as your first computer for late starters. I say that because if you're a kid then all things technical 'just work' for you anyway!

While the language of the book is simple, don't confuse this with being incomplete, as the book does a great job of covering all the bases with regard to navigation and all the common tasks you generally want to get done with your Mac. This includes managing disks, networking, printing, iTunes and more.

What it doesn't really do (and why it dropped a star for me) is give some info on basic apps included with all Macs like iPhoto, iMovie etc. Maybe it would have made the book too big but for anyone looking for a book that covers all aspects of a 'just out of the box Mac', this isn't quite it.

So if you're already Mac savvy - avoid; you knew that anyway! Would you learn anything? Probably, I did a few bits. If you just got your first Mac however, getting this next isn't a bad place to start.
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