Take Control of iCloud – Book Review

On March 2, 2015, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Take Control of iCloud
Version 3.0
Author: Joe Kissell
Publisher : TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $15.00
175 pages, ebook format
ISBN: 9781615424467


If you’re in a hurry, here’s the one sentence review of Take Control of iCloud: if you have any confusion or questions about iCloud, buy this book.

For those of you with a few extra minutes, here’s why you should buy Take Control of iCloud.

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Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course – Book Review

On November 6, 2014, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Yosemite: A Take Control Crash Course
Author: Scholle McFarland
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $10.00
77 pages, ebook-PDF format
ISBN: 9781615424443


When I want to learn, really learn, about a single technology topic, I turn to Take Control books. Each book dives deep into its subject; for example Dropbox, online privacy, or 1Password. Many other readers prefer a quick overview of the topic, a “get in, get out” philosophy if you will. For that reason, TidBITS has released a new type of Take Control series called Crash Course. The books are divided into small segments that allow readers to quickly check just the section they need at the moment, then get back to what they were doing.

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iMovie The Missing Manual – Review

On September 26, 2014, in Apps, Audio, Book Review, iMovie, iOS, iWork, Review, Video, by Mark Sealey

iMovie The Missing Manual
Author: David Pogue
O’Reilly Press
ISBN-10: 1491947322
ISBN-13: 978-1491947326
Price: Ebook: $33.99
Print: $39.99
Print and Ebook: $43.99

10- 1491947322
The “Missing Manual” series, of course, aims to fill gaps that many pieces of software (may) leave by having no – or an inadequate – manual. iMovie The Missing Manual (O’Reilly) looks at Apple’s venerable movie editing software.

The status (in and out of the iLife suite), pricing, versioning, naming, scope, purpose and popularity of Apple’s own iMovie have all varied significantly since the software’s introduction in 1999.

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Take Control of Podcasting On The Mac, 3rd Edition
Author: Andy Affleck
Publisher: TidBITS
Ebook Price: $10
ISBN: 9781615424375


Beginning to produce a podcast can be a little intimidating. Which software do I use to record? How do I choose a mic? Should I use GarageBand, Audacity, or another program for editing? Those questions, and many more, are answered in Take Control of Podcasting On The Mac.

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iPad in Education for Dummies—Book Review

On March 20, 2013, in Book Review, Features, by Elisa Pacelli

iPad in Education for Dummies
Author: Sam Gliksman
Publisher: Wiley
Price: $24.99 for softcover book, $16.99 for Ebook
416 pages
ISBN: 978-1-1183-7538-9


Elisa’s note: Today’s guest reviewer is my son, Shane Pacelli. Shane is a certified 1st-6th grade teacher, currently running the computer lab at a local elementary school.

iPad in Education for Dummies by Sam Gliksman is a must read for any teacher that has, or plans on having a classroom full of iPads. Gliksman breaks up the book into seven parts, with several chapters within each part. Within each chapter, he has numerous subtitles, step-by-step directions on how to use a certain app, and many pictures showing you what the app looks like. The book is set up so that you don’t have to read each chapter sequentially. Look at the table of contents, find a subject you are interested in, and read about the numerous apps that the author describes how to use in great detail.

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Take Control of Networking & Security in iOS 6
Author: Glenn Fleishman

Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $10.00
127 pages, Ebook
ISBN: 9781615424122


Did you ever wonder how to set up a mobile hotspot? Maybe you don’t understand the difference between WPA2 and WEP security. What’s the big deal about having a secure password for a home WiFi network? If you ever had any of these question, Glenn Fleishman answers all these questions, and more, in his latest book, Take Control of Networking & Security in iOS 6.

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OS X Support Essentials (Apple Pro Training Series)
by Kevin M White and Gordon Davisson
Peachpit Press
Pearson Education
ISBN-10: 0321887190
ISBN-13: 978-0321887191
Price: $64.99

OS X Support Essentials, Cover

Mountain Lion (Mac OS 10.8) has matured remarkably quickly. As has now become the norm, printed guides, tutorials, reference books and introductions of all sorts have appeared equally speedily in the months following Mountain Lion’s release. Indeed, we have already reviewed Galen Gruman’s “Bible” (Wiley).

Most of these titles reflect the fact that, good and stable though it is, Mountain Lion has few startling or groundbreaking aspects. It hardly contains enough new features to fill a substantial book of its own. So it is with this Mountain Lion volume in the Apple Pro Training Series, OS X Support Essentials, by Kevin M White and Gordon Davisson.

Actually, it’s only in the subheading, “Supporting and Troubleshooting OS X Mountain Lion”, that you know that this is indeed a book for users of the latest Apple OS. But it is; and it does its job extremely well. So well, in fact, that it should be considered a leader in the couple of dozen or so books available now.

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I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words
Book Review

On December 4, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Mark Greentree

I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words
Collator And Editor: George Beahm
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
US$6.95 (Paperback) US$5.59 (Kindle)
192 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1742703589

Immediately following the death of Steve Jobs in October 2011, book publishers world wide started releasing a plethora of books about the much revered CEO we simply knew as Steve.

I, Steve: Steve Jobs In His Own Words is one of these books. Whilst I personally don’t agree with publishers cashing in on the death of someone famous, this book was given to me as a gift and it turns out to be an interesting read, that is, if you like reading quotations and excepts from speeches.

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Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual
Author: Barbara Brundage

Publisher: O’Reilly
$44.99 US, $47.99 CAN, $35.99 Ebook
630 pages
ISBN 978-1-449-31613-6

Adobe recently released Photoshop Elements 11, a consumer level version of their industry-standard photo editing software, Photoshop. PSE11 can still be a little intimidating to the new user, which is why a reference like Photoshop Elements 11: The Missing Manual is so valuable.

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FileMaker Pro 12 – The Missing Manual
Book Review

On September 26, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

FileMaker Pro 12—The Missing Manual
Authors: Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman
Publisher: O’Reilly
Price: $39.99 US, $41.99 CAN
924 pages
ISBN: 978-1-449-31628-0

FileMaker Pro 12 is a very powerful application. As such, it also commands a steep learning curve. I’m a huge proponent of using built-in Help files within an application, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. If you use FileMaker Pro 12 (FMP12), I highly suggest you pick up a copy of FileMaker Pro 12—The Missing Manual.

Authors Susan Prosser and Stuart Gripman, both FileMaker Certified Developers, have given readers a true manual to help with learning and mastering FMP12.

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OS X Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual

On September 18, 2012, in Apple, Book Review, Mac OS X, Macintosh, Review, by Curt Blanchard

OS X Mountain Lion: the Missing Manual
Publisher: O’Reilly Media

Author: David Pogue
MSRP: $36.99 (Street price: $19.00)
ISBN: 978-1449-33027-9
Mountain Lion: the Missing Manual

Many years ago, David Pogue was present at Macworld Expo in Boston when an attendee opened a new software box. The guy was seriously disappointed that all he got for his money was a CD. This turned out to be Pogue’s Eureka! moment. It was also the birth of the Missing Manual series that now numbers over 150 books by a diverse group of knowledgable authors. As he says in his latest book, “It’s a good thing you’ve got a book about OS X in your hands, because the only user manual you get with it is the Help menu.”

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OS X Mountain Lion Bible

On September 7, 2012, in Book Review, Mac OS X, by Mark Sealey

Mountain Lion Bible, cover

OS X Mountain Lion Bible
Author: Galen Gruman
Price: $39.99
ISBN: 978-1-1184-0143-9
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


It’s encouraging for the Apple community that new books on new Mac operating systems appear regularly, and in quantity, each time a new OS release appears. During Apple’s less successful periods you struggled to find more than a handful of decent explorations in print of arguably the most elegant and robust OS for any desktop computer. Now there are several dozen. Galen Gruman’s “OS X Mountain Lion Bible” is one of the best for 10.8…

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Fitness for Geeks
Book Review

On June 4, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Fitness for Geeks
Author: Bruce W. Perry
Publisher: O’Reilly
Price: $34.99 US print edition, $27.00 Ebook, $36.99 CAN print edition
ISBN: 978-1-449-39989-4
311 pages

Exercise and fitness are currently all the rage. People are learning to eat the right foods, find an exercise routine they can follow, live a healthy lifestyle. Some of us need a little guidance, and this is where Bruce W. Perry’s book, Fitness for Geeks comes in.

Fitness for Geeks is a well-researched book that takes a “geek” approach to fitness and health. This is not the type of book you zip right through; you need time to think about and digest (no pun intended) the extensive information Perry dishes out.

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Google+ The Missing Manual
Book Review

On April 5, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Google+ The Missing Manual
Author: Kevin Purdy
Publisher: O’Reilly
Price: $14.99 US print, $11.99 Ebook, $16.49 print and Ebook, $15.99 print CAN
ISBN 978-1-449-31187-2
211 pages

I’m one of those people who signed up for a Google+ account and then had no idea how to use it. Everyone who’s anyone uses social media these days, and I jumped on the bandwagon. It turns out I’m not the only one who’s confused when it comes to Google+.

Enter Google+ The Missing Manual by Kevin Purdy.

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Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual
Book Review

On April 4, 2012, in Book Review, Review, by Elisa Pacelli

Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual
Author: Peter Meyers
Publisher: O’Reilly
Price: $19.99 US print, $15.99 Ebook, $21.99 print and Ebook, $20.99 print CAN
ISBN: 978-1-449-31627-3
263 pages

The days of receiving a manual with a product are over. Some companies supply help by way of a PDF downloaded with an application. Others include a short Get Started guide that gives just the basics of the hardware. Amazon is no different with their Kindle devices, which is why Peter Meyers wrote Kindle Fire: The Missing Manual.

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Three Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 books reviewed

On February 24, 2012, in Book Review, Photography, by Elisa Pacelli

If you’ve been reading my reviews over the last several months, you may have noticed I’ve been on an Adobe Photoshop Elements 10 (PSE10) kick. Today I present the finale of these reviews: three books that can help you learn and enjoy using PSE10. It’s truly amazing what you can do with PSE10 and a little knowledge!

Photoshop Elements 10 All-In-One for Dummies
Authors: Barbara Obermeier and Ted Padova
Publisher: Wiley
Price: $39.99 US, $47.99 CN, £27.99 UK
652 pages
ISBN: 978-1-118-10739-3

Photoshop Elements 10 All-In-One for Dummies can be considered the bible and “go-to” book for all things PSE10. Calling this book comprehensive is an understatement! Authors Barbara Obermeier and Ted Padova mention in the introduction that they asked the publisher for more space in the book so they could add even more information to an already jam-packed tome. I can’t imagine what more could be added!

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Visual QuickStart Guide: iCloud
Author: Tom Negrino
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Price: US $24.99
195 pages
ISBN-10: 0-321-81410-X
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-81410-4


When Lion and iOS 5 were released, I timidly stepped into the Apple iCloud experience and began using some of its offerings. Although I still do not use all of the iCloud features, what I have chosen to enable has been through my own trial and error approach. For those of you that have not yet ventured into the iCloud, the iCloud: Visual QuickStart Guide will definitely allow this to happen with ease.

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Take Control of Your iPad
Book Review

On January 11, 2012, in Book Review, iOS, iPad, iPad 2, by Elisa Pacelli

Take Control of Your iPad
Author: Tonya Engst
Publisher: TidBITS Publishing, Inc.
Price: $15.00
170 pages, ebook-PDF format
ISBN: 9781615423989


Did you get a new iPad for the holidays? Congratulations! Still learning how to use this wonderful device? Make it easy on yourself and pick up a copy of Take Control of Your iPad (TCYi) by Tonya Engst.

I have a number of Take Control ebooks, and they all have one thing in common: the writers focus on one topic and they do it very well. In TCYi, Engst concisely, yet thoroughly (as well as humorously), explains the ins and outs of using an iPad running iOS5.

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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.

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Web Design with HTML and CSS Digital Classroom
Authors: Jeremy Osborn, Jennifer Smith, and the AGI Creative Team
Company: Wiley Publishing
Price: $39.99 US, $47.99 CAN
284 pages
ISBN: 978-0-470-58360-9

If you’re in a hurry, and don’t have time to read this entire review, let me summarize it for you in four words:

I love this book!

However, if you have the time, continue reading to find out why this book is a must-have for anyone with even a passing interest in web design.

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