11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Generally excellent with lots and lots of detail on the latest OS X,
This review is from: OS X Mountain Lion For Dummies (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although I'm technically proficient on Windows, I've only owned Apple machines since the mid 2011 iMac, so there is always something else to learn with OSX. This book assumes you know very little and as such is great for new users of Mountain Lion (as found on most new Apple desktop/laptop hardware from 2012 onwards).
The layout of the book is typical Dummies format, with lots of guidance, funnies, and cartoons. This is also in full colour on every page, which does make it surprisingly good to read - almost like a magazine in some ways. As you may expect, this book only covers the Mountain Lion operating system - iLife, Office, Photoshop, iWorks and so on are not touched upon.
The book starts with the basics, such as what the different shortcut keys are, what the different windows and menus do and a little on Finder. There are full chapters on Finder and also the dock as they are the main interfaces to using the OS and they lead you gently into more detail around aliases, quick look, DVD backups & how to customise your Mac.
Towards the end of the book there are sections on the Automater tool and how to set up home networks so it pretty much covers all aspects of the OS, including some of the most technical - the book finishes discussing recovery HD, safe mode and zapping PRAM/NVRAM as well as a full reinstall of the OS.
The section on backups is really good, and the author rightly recommends Apple's Time Machine as the first port of call, but then goes in depth about other methods such as commercial software (SuperDuper!) and web backup (dropbox.com). It's good to see the authors knowledge and experience applied here to provide people with choice and solid, sensible advice.
The Multimedia Mac chapter is likewise very good and very comprehensive covering iTunes, iTunesU, as well as the basics such as getting in photos and video in a simple and easy to follow manner.
However, where the book is generally up to date, at times it does feel a touch dated - for example in a section on how to "make your Mac better by spending money on it", RAM is correctly mentioned as a worthwhile upgrade. Now while the author uses a Mac Pro, which is easy to upgrade, the newer Air & Macbook Pro Retina RAM can't be upgraded except at purchase time. This oversight could cause some issues for new users and a simple pointer here may have been helpful.
Also the author states that "gaming on the Mac has never been better". Agreed, but why no mention of Steam as this is the single biggest source of newer games (as opposed to small game apps on the app store). It just feels a touch narrow in it's focus.
I was also a little confused at the section on internet working - surely most people would already have an internet connection so comments such as $30 a month for unlimited broadband are not really of much use.
Overall, this is certainly a good book for it's target market, which is new users to Mountain Lion. It's well presented, and the full colour pages make for a vibrant read. The author knows his subject matter in depth, and like all Dummies books, it's presented in a standard easy to read format.
The only reason it's not a five star review is that some of the information may not be relevant to all hardware out there and in a Dummies book this really should be crystal clear.
Good value for the price, and recommended for anyone new to the Mountain Lion OS