Mac OS X Help Line Tiger Edition
Book Review

Mac OS X Help Line Tiger Edition
Ted Landau and Dan Frakes

Peachpit Press
ISBN 0321334299
US $49.99

I’ve been reading Ted Landau’s Mac OS X Help Line book since it first came out, and each edition gets better and better. I raved about the Panther version, and this edition is equally good, if not better.

The Tiger edition has numerous changes, as the Classic chapter has fallen by the wayside. Networking gets more space, both for setup and troubleshooting.

The page count has crept up (is he paid by the word?), with the new edition weighing in at 1177 pages including index. That’s 34 more pages than in the Panther edition, even with the deletion of the Classic chapter. The only fly in this ointment is that Help Line now retails for $49.99; a staggering 25% increase from the Panther title. I suppose that inflation, like time and tide, is unstoppable, but I was taken aback at the price hike. If you can hold off the need for instant gratification, Amazon sells the book for $31.49, which takes all the sting out of the purchase.

Dollars aside, Mac OS X Help Line Tiger Edition is still one of the premiere OS X help books around. Here’s a short list of the kind of useful information that you might spend days trying to find elsewhere:

* How to modify a .plist file * Lots of hard-to-find information on fonts, including font data forks, and .dfonts. * Learning about the Boot ROM and the startup sequence in detail. * Using Terminal to diagnose and repair .kext problems. * Aliases vs. symbolic links. * Working with the CUPS printer interface. * IPV4 and IPV6 networking

I could go on and on and on, but I won’t.

Landau and co-author Dan Frakes have refined the art of writing OS X help books down to a science. Over several editions, they’ve found the perfect balance between being too geeky and not being advanced enough. This book will benefit any OS X user who wants a thorough reference book at the ready when trouble strikes (or before)!

MyMac rating 5 out of 5


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