Mac OS X is a marvelous confluence of the user-friendly and highly customizable Macintosh of yesteryear and the power and flexibility of Unix under the hood. Those coming to Mac OS X from previous incarnations of the operating system, while recognizing much of the friendly face of the Macintosh, are plunged into a whole new world where things are almost like they were, but not quite — not to mention all that Unix command-line stuff lurking in the Terminal application. Unix converts to Mac OS X find a familiar FreeBSD-like operating system at the core and many of the command-line applications they’re familiar with either already installed or a package or compile away. On the front end, however, much that is second nature to an old Mac hand is strange and new, at once fascinating and confounding to those used to the likes of X Windows and GNOME.
This presents a unique opportunity for combining traditional Unix hacking and Mac OS know-how. Mac OS X Hacks goes beyond the peculiar mix of manpages and not-particularly-helpful Help Center, pulling the best tips, tricks, and scripts from Mac power users and Unix hackers themselves.
The collection reflects the real-world experience of those well steeped in Unix history and expertise, sharing their no-nonsense, sometimes quick-and-dirty solutions to administering and taking full advantage of everything a Unix desktop has to offer: web, mail, and FTP serving; security services; SSH, Perl, and shell scripting, as well as compiling, configuring, scheduling, networking, and hacking. Add to that the experience of die-hard Macintosh users, customizing and modifying their hardware and software to meet their needs: System Preferences, GUI mods and tweaks, hardware tips, vital shareware and freeware, AppleScript, AppleTalk and equivalents, keyboard modifiers, and general Macintosh-style tomfoolery.
Each hack can be read easily in a few minutes, saving countless hours of searching for the right answer. Mac OS X Hacks provides direct, hands-on solutions that can be applied to the challenges facing both those meeting the Mac for the first time and longtime users delving into Mac OS X and its Unix underpinnings. The collection should appeal to home users and corporate IT personnel alike.
You can read this book cover-to-cover if you like; but, for the most part, each hack stands on its own. If there’s a prerequisite you ought to know about, there’ll be a cross-reference to guide you on the right path. So feel free to browse, flipping around whatever section interests you most.