Moving to Mac OS X Painlessly
Book Review

On May 20, 2003, in Book Review, by David Weeks

Moving to Mac OS X Painlessly
Gene Steinberg

Wiley Publishing, Inc.
ISBN 0-7645-2627-8
234 pages
US $19.99 CA $29.99

Moving to Mac OS X Painlessly (hereafter referred to as MMOSXP, to save my typed-to-the bone fingers) is another successful book for prolific author Gene Steinberg.

MMOSXP is written specifically for the beginner to intermediate Macintosh user who wants to jump from the warmth and security of OS 9 to the unknown Aqua world of OS X. MMOSXP is NOT about how to use OS X, although it does cover some OS X fundamentals. Rather, MMOSXP is about how to count from 9 to 10; it tells you what to do, and in what order, to make the transition as safe and easy as possible.

Some like to live dangerously, never making backups, or clicking first and reading directions later, if ever. MMOSXP is not the book for this reader. But if you’re not savvy enough to know if your hardware is OS X compatible, if your software is going to run under OS X or Classic (or not at all), or if your peripherals will even work under OS X, then MMOSXP should be dropped into your shopping cart when you next visit your bookseller.

Steinberg walks the reader through the whole process, beginning with evaluating if you are even a candidate for switching. It’s refreshing to see an author make the case for NOT switching to OS X; Steinberg clearly feels that some users should stay with 9.

Plenty of space is devoted to an in-depth discussion of how to best backup your files before making the OS X jump to light speed. Again, the focus is on the newbie or intermediate user, with Steinberg eschewing geek-speak.

Once backed up, your hand is firmly held through the installation process, with good explanations of what happens each step of the way. When the process is done, Steinberg gives a quick tour of the OS X Finder, and how to find your way around your new home.

Since many upgraders will not have loads of OS X-native software, the Classic environment gets thorough coverage. I liked the complete listing of OS 9 extensions, but I loved Steinberg’s statement that the average user need NOT fool with trying to save a few K of memory by trying to disable certain extensions. This is Steinberg writing for his target audience, not the geek brigade.

MMOSXP wraps up with a quick overview of some system enhancements that allow the recent X convert to make the strange new X world appear more 9ish, and to ease X’s annoying font management hassles.

Conclusion. If you’re a beginner to intermediate user wanting a book to walk you step-by-step through the OS X upgrade process, with an emphasis on how to do it safely, this is the book for you.

MacMice Rating: 5 out of 5


David Weeks

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