Found Behind the Bookshelf
Book Review

We get books. Lots of books. Some aren’t worth reviewing. The list of books to review seems to get ever-longer. Unfortunately, some titles, well, are just forgotten.

Here’s a quick snapshot of two worthwhile books that got lost behind the bookshelf.

Google Hacks: Tips & Tools for Finding and Using the World’s Information
Rael Dornfest, Paul Bausch, Tara Calishain

510 pages
O’Reilly Media
ISBN: 0596527063

While Google is a household name, even in the George W. Bush family, most people have not even scratched the surface of Google’s real searching power. When confronted by 11,800,00 hits when searching for “Britney Spears”, the average searcher is probably so discouraged they give up hoping to find the right bit of information.

Asking the right question is what Google searching is all about. Casting too broad a net forces you to waste time sorting through the undesired hits. Google Hacks shows you how easy it is to learn the right way to search.

Here’s a sample of some chapter headings:

4. Specialized Vocabularies: Slang and Terminology 5. Getting Around the 10 Word Limit 6. Word Order Matters 7. Repetition Matters 8. Mixing Syntaxes 9. Hacking Google URLs 10. Hacking Google Search Forms 11. Date-Range Searching 12. Understanding and Using Julian Dates 13. Using Full-Word Wildcards 14. inurl: Versus site: 15. Checking Spelling 16. Consulting the Dictionary 17. Consulting the Phonebook 18. Tracking Stocks 19. Google Interface for Translators

As I’ve come to expect from O’Reilly, the book is well-written, and easy to digest. You can skip from one section to another, as your mood changes.

The book has several sections that are more of interest to web site developers and programmers; I just skipped past them, and didn’t miss a beat.

The information is almost all very useful; a minority of the tips are pointlessly arcane. Now, if I can only remember what I’ve learned!

MyMac rating: 4 out of 5

Print Like a Pro: A Digital Photographer’s Guide
Jon Canfield

358 pages
Peachpit Press
ISBN: 0321385543

The Macintosh began life in 1984 as a WSYWIG computer: what you see is what you get. Albeit a black and white 72 DPI computer using a black and white 72 DPI ImageWriter printer, the advertising was fundamentally true; your printed page looked like what you saw on screen.

Flash ahead to 2006. Multi-ink color printers, LCD monitors, CRT monitors, all with varying resolution. Monitor calibration issues, printer profiles, and paper choices all combine to produce big hassles to getting great output. You can produce what used to be professional quality output at home if you can get by the technical hurdles.

I found Print Like a Pro to be a good cross-platform discussion of the concepts involved in printing high-quality documents. Many of the same hurdles are found on both Mac and Windows, and Canfield does not shortchange either one.

The ten chapters go from the basics (Setting up a Print Studio and color management basics) to book printing and working with specialized print service bureaus.

While the author covers basic Photoshop editing, there are plenty of other books that delve deeper, so don’t buy Print Like a Pro to learn about Photoshop.

Buy it to learn about the fundamental concepts of getting good printed output. It’s a worthwhile purchase for anyone who has invested in a quality color printer, and wished to make the most of it.

MyMac rating 5 out of 5


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