Sebastopol, CA--It can be hard to leave the familiar behind, no matter how enticing the unknown may be, especially when it comes to computers. Why spend the time and energy futzing with a new system--and risk losing valuable information--when you're getting by with the old one? Since Apple released the latest version of its operating system, Mac OS X, many Windows users have been tempted to make the switch, especially since the computer industry is such that new advances make upgrading to new software and hardware inevitable every few years anyway. Mac OS X is not only a hit among traditional Mac fans, the system has attracted longtime PC users. Apple's iApps--iMovie, iPhoto, iTunes, iDVD, iCal, and more--add urgency to the desire to cross platforms to take advantage of the array of useful tools available for Mac users only. However, lack of logistical information has been a serious roadblock, preventing many a potential Mac convert from taking the technical leap. Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly/Pogue Press, US $24.95) takes the questions, dread, and frustration out of moving to the Mac.
Switching to the Mac is a subject near and dear to author David Pogue's heart. Pogue, a bestselling Mac author ("Mac OS X: The Missing Manual"), co-wrote "Crossing Platforms" years ago for O'Reilly in an effort to smooth user transition between Mac and Windows. "Switching to the Mac is not all sunshine and bunnies," admits Pogue. "The Macintosh is a different machine, running a different operating system--and built by a company with a different philosophy. But there's never been a better time to make the switch."
Much of Apple's success in converting Windows users to Mac OS X is owing to Mac's new ability to operate in the Windows-centric business world. Microsoft Office for Mac OS X already creates identical Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. With the latest version of Mac OS X, Macs and Windows PCs can see each other on a network without so much as a single mouse-click of setup or extra software. That means that people away from the office can effortlessly use a Mac to access their Windows-managed network and share files with PCs.
With his trademark humor and jargon-free prose, Pogue thoroughly addresses how Windows users can make a relatively trouble-free switch to Mac OS X. Issues explained include adapting to Mac versions of programs such as Microsoft Office, FileMaker, Photoshop, and Quicken; finding familiar controls in the new system; setting up a network to share files with PCs and Macs; and adapting old printers, scanners, and other peripherals. "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual" groups the steps into five parts:
Welcome to the Mac: how it's different, windows and icons, the Dock and its environs, and programs and documents
Moving In: transferring files and email/contacts, special software issues, and hardware
Making Connections: getting online, the mail and address book, and web and chat programs
Putting Down Roots: accounts, system preferences, and freebie programs
Appendixes: Appendix A covers installation and troubleshooting. An important part of this book is Appendix B, the "Where'd It Go?" Dictionary, which includes an alphabetical listing of every familiar Windows feature, and where readers can find its equivalent in Mac OS X. Appendix C is a list of the Master OS X Keystrokes
One of the only guides available for switching from Windows to Mac OS X, "Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual" is a concise, entertaining book that shows Mac converts who would rather switch than fight how to make the move quickly and easily.
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