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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual - Lion Edition

Publisher: O'Reilly

As the title implies, this is a book that will help you transition from a Windows environment to a Mac. There are also details that are Lion-specific, of course. If you just want to use Windows on your Mac, that is covered. In general, everything relating to successfully using Lion is covered. The Windows equivalent to the Mac OS X function is mentioned, if it applies. For example, the Start Menu is related to System Preferences on the Mac, and the Finder is related to the Explorer window in Windows. Not everything is one-to-one, of course, and Switching to the Mac: Lion Edition spends most of its time just introducing the user to basic concepts in OS X. A lot of it is housekeeping stuff like arranging icons, but it does get into heavier stuff like becoming a power user of the Spotlight tool.

Some "heavy" stuff that I did want to see covered wasn't really touched on. For example, the WiFi section is good, and covers a number of different options like tethering and Internet sharing, it doesn't tend to cover the problems that come along with it. I would have liked to know how the Keychain interacts with the Networking part of Mac OS X. There are some changes from Snow Leopard to Lion, so it would be nice to have a bit more diving into the problems associated with it.

Pogue does hit all the key areas, and highlights the parts of Lion that are just dang aggravating. Another author might have surrounded issues like this in a bubble of technobabble, but Pogue describes these things just as the average user would. He's definitely walked in your shoes. For example, the inverse scrolling that everyone stumbled over when Lion came out baffled everyone. He introduces the concept just as he eases the user into gestures and other unique interface options with, "If you've just tried this, you're no doubt frowning right now. You just scrolled down the page by moving your fingers up. That's backward, isn't it?" The reasoning for this gesture change is explained later, but to point out things like this keeps the audience close, and the author doesn't seem to be reciting from a podium, or judging the audience for their lack of knowledge.

Ok, I have to nitpick with one aspect of the book. Pogue does put Mac OS X on a bit of a pedestal, especially at the beginning of the book. Sorry, with the recent flash virus fiasco, it's clear that Mac users still need to worry about viruses. And Macs do crash. Macs do have problems, period. Implying otherwise is simply untrue, and pretty irresponsible. Sure, there are reasons to switch to a Mac, or use one alongside your PC. These are not those reasons.

Regardless, David Pogue creates an easy to read, friendly version of technology for the audience. His writing style is approachable and fun. This book does exactly what it claims to do, and helps the Windows user transition to a Mac OS X environment.



-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

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