It’s no secret that I am a fan of O’Reilly’s books. Having switched to a Mac for my personal computing needs three years ago, I had upgraded my machine to OS X Snow Leopard when that release became available a couple of months later.
One month ago, I became an early adopter of the latest release of Mac OS X: the much-awaited OS X Mountain Lion, which promises to bridge the gap between your Mac and iOS5, the operating system that powers the iPad and iPhone. The new OS X release adds features that are found in iOS5 such as Reminders, Launch Control, Notes and iCloud integration, for instance. But how do you find out about all those new features, as well as the numerous improvements? Is there a reference that you can use, without having to haul a 800-page tome around?
This is where the OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide comes to the rescue. It is small enough to carry around, and is destined to two sets of readers:
- The veteran Mac user who wants to learn all about the new OS, after having upgraded from OS X Snow Leopard (keep in mind that you cannot upgrade from earlier versions);
- The long-time Windows user who has recently switched to the Mac and wants to find out all about the Mac operating system – all in one place.
Starting with the new features, and after a quick overview, Chris takes you on a comprehensive tour of everything inside OS X Mountain Lion, from Applications to system Preferences and Utilities. You will find chapters dedicated to password security, troubleshooting, installation (and data migration) as well as a glossary of special keyboard shortcuts. I found this last chapter of particular interest, since Mac users have long prided themselves about having much more shortcuts available to them than their Windows peers – and after reading the supplied shortcut tables, I tend to agree!
Technically minded users who want to dig deeper will have to get a bigger reference. Network configuration, for example, is beyond the scope of a Pocket Guide – Chris clearly states so. The explanations are sprinkled with witty humor all through the book. This is a guide that you will enjoy reading, and it can be finished in a couple of days.
This rich but concise reference is one that you will want to keep on your desk. It is a quick read, and if you need a rapid overview of OS X Mountain Lion – even if this is your first Mac – along with a healthy dose of witty humor, it’s really all you need.
OS X Mountain Lion Pocket Guide by Chris Seibold is available on the O’Reilly website here.