Looking for that special book for the digital lifestyler or DIY-er on your holiday list? Well, check out this handy, geeky guide of new books that is sure to bring delighted smiles to the iPhone lovers, digital photogs, backyard astronomers, and Lego maniacs on your gift list. All these publications from O'Reilly Media answer questions, explore new techniques, demystify digital gear, and inspire creativity.
Hey, Mr. Pogue-man, do you have an iPhone tune for me?
iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
Satisfy the cravings of every iPhoner on your list with this highly readable resource by the gadget grand master himself, David Pogue. David, New York Times tech columnist and Missing Manual series creator, shows you everything you need to know to get the most out of your new Apple iPhone. Full of humor, tips, tricks, and surprises.
Tame Apple's Exciting New Cat
Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual by David Pogue
If you're planning to deliver a new Mac or two under the tree be sure to include this book (available online in early December). With Leopard, Apple has unleashed the greatest version of Mac OS X yet, and David returns with another meticulous Missing Manual to cover the operating system with a wealth of detail. Though Leopard is much faster than its predecessors, nothing's too fast for David and this Missing Manual.
Turn Every iToucher and iPodder into a Power User
iPod: The Missing Manual, Sixth Edition by J.D. Biersdorfer
Written with verve, style, and wit, this New York Times weekly computer columnist provides a guided tour of everything new in the iPod family. "The touchscreen interface used by the iPod Touch first appeared on the iPhone, and it has the potential to really change the way we interact with computers of all types. When you see how easy it is to manipulate photos or tap your way across the Web on the Touch, you can't help but think about when this technology is going to start dominating the rest of the computers we work on," says J.D. about the device's stunning multi-touch interface, 3.5-inch widescreen display and Wi-Fi browsing capabilities.
The Ultimate Reference for Scrapbookers
Photoshop Elements 6: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage
"I'm a lowly musician, but if I can learn Elements anyone can," insists Barbara, the author of three previous books about Elements 3, 4, and 5. Her latest book gives the best possible guidance to scrapbookers, photographers at every level, budding graphic artists--essentially anyone who wants to get the most out of the latest Elements upgrade. She clearly explains Photoshop Elements 6's exciting array of new features, including the new Quick Edit function, Windows Vista compatibility, improved RAW conversion, a handy Quick Selection Tool, and more.
Photoshop Lightroom Adventure by Mikkel Aaland
"Field testing in Iceland turned out to be a stroke of brilliance," enthuses George Jardine, pro photo evangelist for Adobe Systems, about Mikkel Aaland's new book. Mikkel turns his experiences from a once-in-a lifetime photography expedition to Iceland into a striking guided tour of Lightroom. He shows readers how they, too, can use Lightroom to create exciting new images. Part Icelandic road trip, part photo essay, Lightroom's photo-rich pages come packed with beautiful, exciting, and emulate-able photographs from a dozen talented working photographers.
For Stargazers and DIY Scientists
Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders From Novice to Master Observer by Robert Bruce Thompson, Barbara Fritchman Thompson
"We wish this book was available years ago, when we started observing the night sky, explains co-author Robert Bruce Thompson. Instead, we were on our own addressing the same two problems that every amateur astronomer faces: which objects to observe and how to find them." Bruce and his wife Barbara Fritchman Thompson carry novice observers to intermediate or advanced status. Unlike other beginner guides, which are quickly outgrown with short object lists, this compilation includes nearly 400 double and multiple stars, star clusters, nebulae, and galaxies.
Fun (really fun!) with Legos
The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventors Guide by David J. Perdue
No Starch Press (Distributed by O'Reilly), $29.95
Author David J. Perdues goal was to write a guide to help owners of the NXT set invent NXT robots while having lots of fun in the process. Perdue, a veteran robot builder, introduces new users to the basics of the NXT set and then launches into a detailed discussion of the building elements and construction techniques. With a NXT set and a copy of "The Unofficial LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Inventors Guide," the creative possibilities are endless!
Yak it Up
Making Things Talk: Practical Methods for Connecting Physical Objects by Tom Igoe
Perfect for diehard "techies," this book also serves as the best primer for people with little technical training, but a lot of interest. "The workbenches of hobbyists, hackers, and makers have become overrun with microcontrollers--computers-on-a-chip that power homebrewed video games, robots, toys and more," explains the author. "This book contains a series of projects that teach readers what they need to know to get their creations talking to each other, connecting to the web and forming networks of smart devices."
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