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April 1, 2000

Mac OS 9: The Missing Manual-- The Book That Should Have Been in the Box

Sebastopol, CA--The latest system software for the resurgent Macintosh platform is Mac OS 9, which includes over 50 new features. Despite the long list of enhancements however, Apple ships Mac OS 9 without one of the most important features of all: a manual.

O'Reilly/Pogue Press comes to the rescue with the first book in the eagerly anticipated Missing Manual series-- Mac OS 9: the Missing Manual. Award-winning author David Pogue brings his humor and expertise to Mac OS 9 in this lucid, impeccably written guide.

Readers will appreciate the step-by-step guides to setting up small networks, the tutorials on Mac OS 9's new Multiple Users control panel, and the coverage of Mac OS 9's speech-recognition, color printing, digital video, and self-updating software features. Along the way, Pogue communicates the joy of using the little shortcuts, drag-and-drop surprises, and elegant design touches that make the Mac the most passionately championed computer in the world.

"The Missing Manual idea wasn't actually mine," says Pogue. "It came from a guy on a trade-show bus. Something about me must have screamed 'Free therapy,' because the guy started to vent. He was furious that most software companies have stopped producing printed manuals. (Or, as he put it: "Like they can't afford another 50 cents a box?") Instead they--Netscape, Intuit, Adobe, Microsoft, Apple, everyone--expect you to learn complex software using online help screens. You can't underline it, bookmark it, or read it in the bathroom. You couldn't follow the steps even if you wanted to, because its own window covers up the software you're trying to use. And worst of all, online help is usually terribly written."

"By this time, my mind was racing. Everyone complains about the disappearance of software manuals, but nobody does anything about it! By gum, I wasn't going to waste my life hunting through online help. I would create--the Missing Manual series. If the Missing Manuals scratch a global itch, I'll be thrilled. But as I write or edit the book, in the back of my mind, I'm thinking of that guy on the bus. If only I could get back to him now... 'You were right all along' I'd say, 'this one's for you."

"But above all, a Missing Manual is about the writing," explains Pogue. "It's clear, crisp, jargon-free, and often witty, with enough patience for the novice and enough depth for the power user."

About the Missing Manual series:
Microsoft does it. Apple does it. Adobe, Netscape, and FileMaker do it. Almost every major software company, in fact, sells increasingly sophisticated software without a printed manual. To cut costs and save production time, today's software companies don't offer physical instruction manuals at all. Instead, you're expected to learn these complex programs by reading electronic help screens. One technical writer finally became inspired enough to do something about the problem. David Pogue, author of the bestselling PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide, has teamed with O'Reilly to launch a new imprint, Pogue Press, dedicated to producing beautifully written manuals for popular consumer software and hardware products. O'Reilly/Pogue Press is pleased to introduce its new line: the Missing Manual series.

Online Resources

Mac OS 9: The Missing Manual
By David Pogue
1st Edition March 2000
1-56592-857-1, 472 pages, $19.95
order@oreilly.com
1-800-998-9938

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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