Macintosh Efficiency

What they say: Specifically illustrated for “Tiger”, Mac OS X 10.4, most of the techniques presented within this book apply to all versions of Mac® OS X — some can even be applied to Mac OS 9.

The information inside this book is designed to help you become more efficient in more of your Macintosh interactions. You’ll not only gain some “speed” in working with the Mac, but you’ll be more productive, make fewer mistakes, lose some of that “What just happened?” frustration and diminish a little more of that “technological stress” we can sometimes have.

Why does this book call itself an “efficiency” book? Isn’t it just another book on “tips” and “shortcuts”? No. It really does approach Macintosh usage from a “how the user can be more efficient” standpoint.

The information within this book has been designed to be clear and concise with illustrations at every opportunity and a complete index at the back. Each new “Efficiency” starts on a left page. Because of this two-page- spread approach, you get the maximum amount of information with fewer page turns.

The text is relatively large in order to be easier on your eyes, secondary titles help to separate themselves from other areas and each “Efficiency” appears in two ways: a short, quickstart section at the top followed by a detailed, step-by-step explanation, including illustrations. For those of you who just need an overview, you only have to read a few sentences. If you’d like a more in-depth understanding of a particular “Efficiency”, you can dig into the added content. The layout of this book will also come in handy after you’ve gone through all the information. Later, any time you simply need a memory jogger, just jump to an “Efficiency” and read the quickstart section at the top!

What I say: I didn’t really like this book. Having sad that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it, it just strikes me as a book for lazy people. By that I mean that pretty much everything that it covers you can either find out for yourself just by trying things out on your Mac, or by spending time in and around the Mac ‘cast and blog world.

But, if you are a lazy person you will probably find this very useful, wont mind paying the $26, and will no doubt love the fact that it is in really big print so you don’t have to strain your eyes. Ah, but just think – if it was in normal size print you wouldn’t have to expend so much energy turning the 157 pages. What dilemmas you must face – not least I guess whether you can be bothered to read the rest of this review?

I like the idea of the book, and I fully support Café Press (after all they run my own merchandise store) but I just couldn’t really see the point of this book. It wasn’t creative or new enough for me. The skeptic in me thinks the large print was really just to pad the book out to 157 pages so they could even start to justify the $26 price. It has the look and feel of a $10 “Take Control” type eBook and if they had pitched into that market I think it would have been a much better value, and would have attracted a more relevant audience.

What it does it does well and with admirable “efficiency” – all nine chapters are called “Something Efficiency”, but I just found myself skimming through to many pages to see if there was something that caught my eye. Maybe I am not a “Beginner to Expert” level, but as I have only had a Mac for less than a year and I a no expert I tend to think I am in their target market. My wife certainly is, and she got bored part way through the first chapter.

In summary: The book is OK. If you are desperately in need of some advice then it will be fine, but if you have the time (and energy) to shop around a bit or exercise those chubby little fingers on the keyboard and mouse then I would check out the alternatives first.

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