Mac Kung Fu – Book Review

Mac Kung Fu, Second Edition – Over 400 Tips, Tricks, Hints, and Hacks for Apple OS X

Author: Keir Thomas
Publisher: The Pragmatic Bookshelf
Price: US $39 (print) | US $26 (ebook)
424 pages
ISBN: 978-1-93778-507-9

Mac Kung Fu is a collection of hundreds of little things that can make a big difference in the way your Mac works. I’m always surprised when someone stumbles across features that I’ve known for years but are new to them. Mac Kung Fu is full of that kind of stuff. While you may be aware of some of these tips, I doubt many besides the author will know all of these.

Mac Kung Fu book cover

The tips in this book include topics such as Getting Rid of Files Securely, Print from Finder, Generating Font Samples, See a Big Long List of Your Contacts, and Speed Up Making SSH/SFTP/FTP Connections. The tips are all OS X and software based; I didn’t see any on hardware. Even Upgrade Ram was about a utility to help you find information and instructions.

Since my Mac’s hard drive has been filling up lately and I’ve been looking for ways to make room, the first tip I checked out was Tip 84: Calculate All File Sizes. This shows how to display the size of all the files in a folder when the Finder is in List view. For me, this made it easy to spot the best places to look for files to delete.

The topics aren’t grouped or organized in any way that I could discern, which actually makes it kind of interesting because you stumble across things you might not have come across otherwise. It encourages browsing too. However, there’s a good table of contents and index to help you find a tip if you’re looking for something specific.

Many of these are the kind of tips you’ll wonder how you lived without. Once you know them or have them installed, they’ll become part of your everyday workflow and environment. With Mac Kung Fu, you can amaze your friends and colleagues with your expertise. Review Rating: 8 out of 10

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