My New Mac
Book Review

Although Wang’s approach mightn’t suit those looking for a feature-by-feature review of the Mac OS, where this book really scores is in having a logical series of task-based chapters that puts practical skills ahead of theory.

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Acrobat Pro X
Review

Acrobat Pro is a massive application in more ways than one: it’s big, it’s expensive, and it does a whole bunch of things casual users might never realise need doing. It isn’t an application for everyone. But for those who use PDFs routinely will find the $199 upgrade well worth the money. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s surprisingly good and easy to use.

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Data Rescue 3.0 – Review


Unless overwritten with new data, files don’t vanish simply because they’re deleted, and just because a hard drive has been corrupted somehow, it doesn’t mean the data on that disk can’t be recovered. Data Rescue 3 is an application from Prosoft Engineering that performs both these functions via a relatively intuitive, if quirky, interface.

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RailModeller – Review


On a whim, I decided to spend some of the long winter evenings building a small model railroad for the N-scale engines I’d had kicking about in the attic for a while. While looking around the various model railroading websites I came across a program called RailModeller, a Macintosh application that helps the user design model railroads and slot car racetracks.

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Drive Genius 2.1 – Review


Hard drive utilities are used to maintain, repair and configure hard drives. Since OS X already comes with a basic hard drive utility called Disk Utility, you might wonder what’s the point of buying a third-party program like Drive Genius. Read Neale Monks review and find out why Drive Genius 2 is worth the asking price!

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Take Control of Buying a Mac – Review


Engst will be well known to Mac users as one of the authors of the popular TidBits mailing list. But he’s also an author of electronic books sold under the ‘Take Control’ banner. One of his most recent efforts is a book on buying a new Macintosh. As someone who’d written a similar book a few years back on buying a used Mac, this was a topic that immediately caught my attention.

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Data Backup 3 vs. Time Machine 1



The value of good backup software cannot be overstated. In its latest iteration, the Mac OS comes with a built-in backup program called Time Machine that creates incremental backups on external drives. It is designed to operate in the background with little interaction from the user, and should the need arise to recover lost or damaged files, the Time Machine interface is intuitive and simple to navigate.

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First Book Shoot-out
Missing Manual vs. My New Mac


Recommending a good book for newcomers to the Mac platform is always tricky. You want to recommend something that doesn’t just cover all the basics but also has some depth as well. A book that only covers the simplest aspects of the Mac interface like how to copy files or connect to the Internet will quickly become obsolete as the user’s skills increase. So the best sort of beginner’s book is one that doesn’t just cover the interface and the operating system but also explains how to use the supplied programs to complete a variety of different projects.

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Klix
Review


Klix is a utility that recovers photos from digital cameras and memory cards. Klix can’t recover digital image files that have been partially or completely overwritten, but that caveat aside, Klix provides a quick and easy way to bring lost files back.

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The Artist’s Guide to GIMP Effects
Book Review


GIMP, or the GNU Image Manipulation Program to give it its proper name, is a graphics-editing program broadly similar to Adobe Photoshop in terms of functionality. The GIMP is an open source program that can be freely downloaded and installed on most computers, including maps. But on the downside it doesn’t come with a manual, so figuring out how to use GIMP can be tricky. Read the full review here.

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Maquarium
Review

Maquarium is an integrated set of tools that allows aquarists to log water chemistry and quality tests, schedule maintenance events, download and record information, and perform a variety of useful calculations. Of course, almost all of the features that Maquarium totes could be done with other applications, and arguably in some cases better and with more flexibility, but what Maquarium does provide is a neat interface and true ease of use.

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