Take Control of Upgrading to Lion, version 1.1
Author: Joe Kissell
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $15.00
150 pages, ebook-PDF format
ISBN: 978-1-61542-138-1

On July 20, 2011, Apple released the much-anticipated OS X 10.7 Lion. As with all previous OS upgrades, it’s important to get your Mac ready for a new operating system. And also, as with previous upgrades, TidBITS Publishing is there to help, with Joe Kissell’s new ebook, Take Control of Upgrading to Lion (TCUL).

This book is NOT about how to use Lion; Kissell refers the reader to another Take Control book on that subject. Rather, TCUL is a primer on preparing for Lion’s installation.

As an almost 20 year Mac user, I thought this book was a little obvious in its approach: back up the hard drive, delete unnecessary and rarely used programs, make sure your Mac can run Lion, say goodbye to Rosetta. All steps we’ve heard endlessly these last few months on podcasts and read about online and in magazines. However, I was surprised at how much good information was included in this book, and how much I didn’t know.

TCUL is a very easy read; Kissell clearly and concisely explains each step of the process without talking down to the reader. Topics that are mentioned but discussed further in other parts of the book are linked for easy access.

Kissell doesn’t just explain why you should make multiple back-ups of your hard drive before upgrading, or discuss how to clean up your Mac; that’s only the beginning. Once your Mac is ready for installing Lion, he describes the difference between an in-place upgrade and a clean install, then guides readers through those steps. Next, Kissell talks about post-installation tasks and troubleshooting. As a bonus there’s a chapter on installing Lion Server. Finally, Kissell ends TCUL with chapters on migrating to a new Mac and a discussion on using the new Recovery Mode feature.

As with all Take Control books, there’s a button on the cover that lets users check for updates. TCUL was originally released as version 1.0 and only 66 pages; there was information Kissell couldn’t share because of a NDA (non-disclosure agreement) with Apple. Once Apple released Lion, Kissell and TidBITS had the book updated by 3PM EST that same day.

Joe Kissell has knocked another one out of the park. Since Lion is such a major change from previous operating systems, it’s important to get the upgrade process right the first time. Personally, I won’t be upgrading for a little while, but I will soon be following Kissell’s advice about cleaning up and backing up my MacBook. When I’m ready to upgrade, Take Control of Upgrading to Lion will be opened on my iPad, holding my hand every step of the way.

MyMac.com review rating: 9 out of 10

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