Brett McLaughlin is a senior level technologist and strategist, active especially in web programming and data-driven customer-facing systems. Rarely focused on only one component of a system, he architects, designs, manages, and implements large-scale applications from start to finish with mission-critical implementations and deadlines.
Of course, that’s all fancy-talk for saying that Brett’s a geek, spending most of his day in front of a computer with his hands flying across a keyboard. Currently, he spends most of his current time working on NASA projects, which sounds much cooler than it actually is. But hey, maybe that satellite overhead really is controlled by PHP and MySQL…
Nan Barber (editor) has been working on the Missing Manual series since its inception. She lives in Boston with her husband and various electronic devices. Email: email@example.com.
Jasmine Perez (production editor) spends her free time cooking vegetarian meals, listening to her favorite freeform radio station, WFMU, and going on adventures whenever possible. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nan Reinhardt (proofreader) is a freelancer copy editor and proofreader, who is also a writer of romantic fiction. She has two novels with her agent at Curtis Brown Literary Agency. In between editing gigs, she is busy working on her third book. She blogs thrice weekly at www.nanreinhardt.com. Email: email@example.com.
Ron Strauss (indexer) lives with his wife in northern California at 2,300 feet. When not indexing Missing Manual books, he moonlights as a musician (viola and Native American flute).
Shelley Powers (technical reviewer) is a former HTML5 working group member and author of several O’Reilly books. She is also an animal welfare advocate, working to close down puppy mills in Missouri. Website: www.burningbird.net.
Steve Suehring (technical reviewer) is a technical architect with an extensive background finding simple solutions to complex problems. Steve plays several musical instruments (not at the same time) and can be reached through his website www.braingia.org.
Acknowledgements are always nearly impossible to do well. Before you can think anyone of substance, the music swells and they’re shuffling you off stage. Seriously, before the writing, there’s my wife Leigh and my kids, Dean, Robbie, and Addie. Any energy or joy or relaxation that happens during the long writing process filters through those four, and there’s never enough royalties to cover the time lost with them. I suppose it’s a reflection of their love and support for me that they’re OK with me writing anyway.
And then, there’s certainly the writing. Brian Sawyer was the first guy to call me when I became available to write, and he called when I was really in need of just what he gave me: excitement about me writing and encouragement that I could write into the Missing Manual series. I won’t forget that call anytime soon. And then Nan Barber IM-ed and emailed me through this whole thing. She showed a really unhealthy level of trust that wasn’t earned, and I’m quite thankful, especially in the dark days of early August when I had hundreds of pages left to write in a few short weeks.
Shelley Powers and Steve Suehring were technical reviewers, and they were both picky and gentle. That’s about all you can ask. Shelley helped me remember to keep the learner front and center, and if you like the longer code listings when things get hairy, she’s the one to thank. And Steve…Steve filled out my PHP holes. He caught one particularly nasty issue that I think vastly improved the book. You don’t realize this, but you owe him a real debt of thanks if this book helps you.
And then there’s the vast machinery at O’Reilly. It all works, and I don’t know how, really, and I’m OK with that. I imagine somewhere Sanders is pulling important levers and Courtney is badgering authors and Laura is angry and in heels and Laurie thinks this all costs too much and Tim is…well, Tim is thinking about something important. I’m glad for all of them.
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 and cross-references to specific pages (not just chapters).
Recent and upcoming titles include:
Access 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Buying a Home: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
CSS: The Missing Manual, Second Edition, by David Sawyer McFarland
Creating a Website: The Missing Manual, Third Edition, by Matthew MacDonald
David Pogue’s Digital Photography: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Dreamweaver CS5.5: The Missing Manual by David Sawyer McFarland
Droid 2: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
Droid X2: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Facebook: The Missing Manual, Third Edition by E.A. Vander Veer
FileMaker Pro 11: The Missing Manual by Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman
Flash CS5.5: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
Galaxy Tab: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
Google Apps: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
Google SketchUp: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
iMovie ’11 & iDVD: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Aaron Miller
iPad 2: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer
iPhone: The Missing Manual, Fourth Edition by David Pogue
iPhone App Development: The Missing Manual by Craig Hockenberry
iPhoto ’11: The Missing Manual by David Pogue and Lesa Snider
iPod: The Missing Manual, Ninth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer and David Pogue
Living Green: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Mac OS X Lion: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Microsoft Project 2010: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Motorola Xoom: The Missing Manual by Preston Gralla
Netbooks: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer
Office 2010: The Missing Manual by Nancy Connor, Chris Grover, and Matthew MacDonald
Office 2011 for Macintosh: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
Palm Pre: The Missing Manual by Ed Baig
Personal Investing: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Photoshop CS5: The Missing Manual by Lesa Snider
Photoshop Elements 9: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage
PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual by E.A. Vander Veer
Premiere Elements 8: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
QuickBase: The Missing Manual by Nancy Conner
QuickBooks 2011: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Quicken 2009: The Missing Manual by Bonnie Biafore
Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Snow Leopard Edition by David Pogue
Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton
Windows Vista: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Windows 7: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Word 2007: The Missing Manual by Chris Grover
Your Body: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Your Brain: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
Your Money: The Missing Manual by J.D. Roth