Geoff Coffey has experience with all kinds of technical-sounding acronyms, but FileMaker Pro was his first true love—a fact his wife of ten years disputes. He’s IT Director at Allegro Enterprises, an Internet retailer in Phoenix, where his team builds and manages FileMaker systems. He’s been helping others use FileMaker for nine years, and occasionally gets a little philosophical about how it lets ordinary people use computers to solve their problems without a degree in Computer Science. (He’s a little miffed he figured that out after finishing his own CS degree.) Away from the office, Geoff’s a full-time dad to young daughters Isabel and Sophia. When he’s not hanging out with the girls, he’s always happy to get email from another FileMaker fans at email@example.com.
Late one night, Susan Prosser dropped a stack of punch cards containing homework for a math course that inexplicably contained a computer science module. Instead of reordering the cards, she dropped the class and argued with the registrar: “Woodward and Bernstein don’t use computers. I don’t need this stuff for a journalism degree.” Now a reformed journalist, Susan has stopped trying to bring new information to the people and helps them manage the data they already have using FileMaker. She scratches the journalism itch by writing curriculum and training other developers. To engage in Lance Armstrong vs Eddie Merckx polemic, discuss quilting as the perfect combination of left-brain/right-brain activity, or defend the use of globals to hold variable data in a script, please send a polite, well-reasoned email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Former guidance counselors or irate registrars should put “I told you so” in the subject line.
Nan Barber (editor) is O’Reilly’s associate editor for the Missing Manual series and has worn every hat from copy editor to co-author. She lives in the Boston area and never doubted for a moment that both Macworld Expo and the Commissioner’s Trophy would someday come back to town. Email: email@example.com.
Michele Filshie (editor) is O’Reilly’s assistant editor for the Missing Manual series and editor of four Personal Trainers (another O’Reilly series). Before turning to the world of computer-related books, Michele was all literature, all the time, and spent many happy years at Black Sparrow Press. She lives in Sebastopol and loves to get involved in local politics. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sohaila Abdulali (copy editor) is a freelance writer and editor. She has published a novel, several children’s books, and numerous short stories and articles. She is currently finishing an ethnography of an aboriginal Indian woman. She lives in New York City with her husband Tom and their small but larger-than-life daughter, Samara. Web: www.sohailaink.com.
Nonie Bernard (technical reviewer) is an independent information management consultant, director of curriculum development for FMPtraining, an instructor with the Maricopa Community Colleges, and co-author of Learn FileMaker Pro from Wordware Publishing. She has a degree in human resources and more than 20 years experience in training design and delivery. A lifelong artist and musician, Nonie has sung in an opera with Igor Stravinsky. Email: email@example.com.
Jay Welshofer (technical reviewer) has been using one version or another of FileMaker Pro for almost 20 years, has had the pleasure of working for the company for 11 years, and is taught something new by customers every day. Jay is currently a member of a dedicated team of professionals creating future versions of FileMaker Pro. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rose Cassano (cover illustration) has worked as an independent designer and illustrator for twenty years. Assignments have ranged from the nonprofit sector to corporate clientele. She lives in beautiful Southern Oregon, grateful for the miracles of modern technology that make working there a reality. Email: email@example.com. Web: www.rosecassano.com.
Picture this: My wife and I have two small children. I work full-time as a FileMaker consultant, and I’m in the thick of a two-year evening MBA program. One day over dinner, I casually mention that I’m considering writing a book about FileMaker for Pogue Press. I offer my sincerest gratitude to my sweet wife for not laughing, and even more for being so supportive despite her outlandish schedule. This book would have been impossible without her support.
I am also grateful to the outstanding engineers at FileMaker Inc. who have worked for years with no glory to develop the skills necessary to make FileMaker Pro easy so the rest of us don’t have to work so hard. And I will always be indebted to Susan Prosser, who joined this team late in the game and pulled off a miracle to see this project to completion.
Thanks, Geoff, for the accolades and for asking me to work with on you on the book. As always, it’s been great fun and hard work. I second your props to the good folks at FMI. Many of us have made good careers on the fruits of their labor; I’m very grateful that I can write a professional database using my airy liberal arts degree. And thanks to all the folks at O’Reilly, who’ve been so flexible on this unusual project. Nan, you’ve been a dream editor. Thank you for all your help and encouragement.
When my husband and I were talking about whether I should do the book, he got this rueful look and said, “It won’t be like last time, will it?” Unless it was all those weeks when we didn’t even start cooking dinner until after bedtime, I can’t imagine what he meant. To be fair, it might have been the piles of languishing projects that didn’t get cleared away: two(!) late baby quilts, plants needing repotting, pictures needing hanging, boxes needing unpacking, animals needing tending. Well, the piles were all waiting when the book was done, just like I suspected they would be. Thanks, Paul.
Missing Manuals are witty, superbly written guides to computer products that don’t come with printed manuals (which is just about all of them). Each book features a handcrafted index; cross-references to specific page numbers (not just “see Chapter 14“); and RepKover, a detached-spine binding that lets the book lie perfectly flat without the assistance of weights or cinder blocks.
Recent and upcoming titles include:
Mac OS X: The Missing Manual (Panther and Tiger editions) by David Pogue
Excel: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
iPhoto 5: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
iLife ’05: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
GarageBand: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
iMovie 5 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Google: The Missing Manual by Sarah Milstein and Rael Dornfest
Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Mac OS X Power Hound, Panther Edition by Rob Griffiths
Dreamweaver MX 2004: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland
Office X for Macintosh: The Missing Manual by Nan Barber, Tonya Engst, and David Reynolds
Office 2004 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual by Mark H. Walker and Franklin Tessler
AppleWorks 6: The Missing Manual by Jim Elferdink and David Reynolds
Windows XP Home Edition: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Windows XP Pro: The Missing Manual by David Pogue, Craig Zacker, and Linda Zacker
Applescript: The Missing Manual by Adam Goldstein
Photoshop Elements 3: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage
QuickBooks 2005: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
eBay: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
FrontPage 2003: The Missing Manual by Jessica Mantaro