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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Mountain Lion Edition

Publisher: O'Reilly

The ease of use and simple language of the "Missing Manual" books is back in Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Mountain Lion Edition. As always, sections like the Basic essentials: Appendix with the "Whereíd it go?" helps you find the things you loved in the last OS, but have apparently disappeared. The individual chapters cover each aspect of the OS in depth, showing you how to do things you never would have even thought to do, and illuminating security and organization features that you really should know about.

One particularly useful section is the Trackpad, since there seem to be new gestures and gesture changes in each new OS. I really feel like this section could use a lot more fanfare and pictures, but it does do a great job of explaining how to access all those cool features with finger pinches, taps, and swipes. Itís one of those essential sections that will make you feel like a real power user with just a bit of practice.

Recovery and Utilities is always a good section in these books, and itís especially important with Lion, since the whole recovery DVD idea was ditched in the last OS, Lion. Hereís one of the places you can find in the book that show some copy-paste action from the last book, not that itís the worst thing in the world. The introduction is identical as well. Hey, when nothing has changed, thatís fine, but it is something youíll notice if you own the last book.

Since some parts of the book havenít changed since the last book (Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Lion Edition), some of my criticisms havenít changed either. This is a "switch from Windows" book, or at least that is implied, so there is some talk of the advantages of Macs over PCs. Some of this talk is a little overblown, though. Macs might have some slick hardware, but Iíd say you have to do some interesting math to come out ahead financially when you switch to a Mac laptop. And as the builds on the newer Mac laptops change, they become more difficult to fix on if thereís an out of warranty problem. And though the problems are far fewer on Mac OS X than on Windows, Macs are hardly "virus-free" as the book describes. But anyway, this isnít a "Switch to Windows" review, so I digress a bit. And if youíre switching to the Mac and buying this book, chances are youíve made up your mind about the choice one way or another, so this section of the book doesnít really matter too much.

Really, you donít have to think of this book as a "Switching" book. It covers all the essentials of getting the most out of Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8), so you could simply pick this up as a Mountain Lion manual, even if you're used to Macs already. Itís not really possible to compare each feature of Mountain Lion to Windows anyway, so not every section of the book has a note about "and hereís how you do this in Windows." Overall, the "Missing Manual" books keep delivering on their plain speak instructions and in-depth coverage of each topic. There might not be a huge difference in between the Lion book and this one, but there's still enough here to warrant getting this book if you just got Mountain Lion.

-Fights with Fire, GameVortex Communications
AKA Christin Deville

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