David Pogue has written yet another brilliant Missing Manual book that fulfills a need left by the dearth of documentation one receives with much of today’s application and systems software. In the case of OS X Mountain Lion on the Apple Macintosh, an operating system that provides a veritable plethora of features not included in previous versions, this book is particularly helpful to both the new Mac user and experienced users familiar with earlier versions of OS X.
O’Reilly subtitles the Missing Manual series “The book that should have been in the box,” a notion with which this reviewer agrees. Although Apple makes much of its software intuitive and natural for users, I inevitably want to know more. For that reason I’ve always valued the Missing Manual series, particularly those written by David Pogue, the genius who created the series. He incorporates wit with techie prose to make the reading breezy and enjoyable.
Mountain Lion (OS X version 10.8) is a significant departure from prior versions of OS X, as it integrates features used in the iPad and iPhone into a desktop/laptop operating system. These features require that an old dog learn some new tricks, and having the Missing Manual at one’s side is a great way to do that. This book showed me how much I was missing by trying to stick with the old tried and true means of interacting with my iMac. After reading Chapter Zero, I ordered a trackpad so I could dig into all the new stuff.
Chapter Zero in itself is worth the price of the book, especially if you’ve never accessed the full-screen features of either iOS or Mountain Lion. However, succeeding chapters are all excellent and polished, as I’ve come to expect from Mr. Pogue. The level of detail is such that anyone, ranging from a so-called power user such as I, with 28 years Mac experience, to the rawest neophyte, can benefit.
For those who want a companion CD, the book comes without one. Where the CD would normally be, there is an image of a CD imprinted with “There’s no CD with this book; you just saved $5.00.” However, what would normally be included in the CD is available on-line from missingmanuals.com.
I recommend OS X Mountain Lion: The Missing Manual to anyone who desires to get the most out of a Mac running OS X 10.8.