Total Leopard Superguide ebook
$12.95 downloadable ebook PDF
$15.00 PDF on CD-ROM via mail
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard has been out long enough for various help books to hit the stores. My current favorite tome is David Pogue’s Mac OS X Leopard: The Missing Manual.
Various web sites have been filling cyberspace with Leopard hints, tips and tricks.
But there may still be some cat lovers (Tiger, Puma, Cheetah, or Panther) among us who still don’t know what Leopard has to offer. If you are one of them, or are just looking for a short, readable collection of whys, wherefores, hints, tips, and tricks about Leopard, Macworld’s Total Leopard Superguide could be the publication you need.
I availed myself of a review copy, and quickly came to like it. In one sitting, I read its 90 pages from electronic cover to cover. I thought I was up to speed on most of the better Leopard hints, but the ebook had plenty more for me.
I should not have been surprised at the quality of Total Leopard’s writing, as the list of contributors includes Adam Engst of TidBITS, Dan Frakes of MacOSXhints.com and Macworld, Glenn Fleishman of TidBITS, as well as Ted Landau, Joe Kissell, and other worthies. Clearly, if these writers don’t know it, it’s not to be known.
Total Leopard includes good material on almost all aspects of OS 10.5. A short list of topics includes Installing Leopard, Upgrade Fixes, Getting Started, Spotlight 101, Creating Good Queries, Advanced Searches, Managing Bookmarks and RSS Feeds, Automate Repetitive Tasks, Sharing Files and Folders, and Backing up with Time Machine. There’s more good stuff than listed here.
My particular favorite was the section on Spotlight and smart Finder searches. This section cleared up from long-standing confusion on how to best use Spotlight for Boolean searches. The Automator chapter was especially helpful to me. Given my congenital inability to learn AppleScript, this chapter may very well set me straight on putting Automator to good use.
Total Leopard is not all Apple fluff and PR happy talk. One whole section is devoted to Recovering from OS X Maladies. In addition, the Time Machine section is quite clear that Time Machine is not appropriate for everyone, and the various faults and shortcomings are discussed in enough detail for the reader to make an informed decision about whether or not to use Time Machine.
In case my endorsement doesn’t make you whip out your wallet straightaway, Macworld has a sample chapter on-line: http://files.macworld.com/files/downloads/total-leopard-sample.pdf
Total Leopard is a fine read for anyone who wants to see why they should upgrade to Leopard, or for those who want a great collection of tips and hints.
Macworld’s pricing may be an issue for some potential buyers. While the book is well-produced, I can’t imagine that many people would fork over $24.95 for a 90 page (including Table of Contents and Index) publication. I’d think most would rather spend another $10 and buy the 890+ page Pogue book. Why buy the CD version, for that matter? You get a CD with the PDF on it, and it sure won’t cost you $3.00 to burn a CD copy for a backup.
Clearly, the downloadable ebook is the best value. You can read it from your Mac, print the whole thing, or just the pages you want close at hand for reference. That’s just what I did with some of the Spotlight and Query pages.
Mymac.com rating 4 out of 5 Total Leopard is well-written and produced, but slightly expensive. CD and printed versions are expensive.