OS X Mountain Lion Bible review

Sections: Mac OS X, Mountain Lion, Operating Systems, Reviews

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Author: Galen Gruman
Publisher: Wiley
Publication Date: September 2012
ISBN 13: 978-1-1184-0143-9
Pages: 864
Price: $39.99 USD, $47.99 CAD

OS X Mountain Lion Bible

If you’re looking for a hard copy manual that covers OS X v10.8 Mountain Lion in depth, Galen Gruman’s latest edition 826-page OS X Mountain Lion Bible is for you.

But Mountain Lion Bible isn’t dull reading. A veteran tech journalist and magazine editor, Galen Gruman is a skilled writer who knows how to keep narrative flowing in a way that engages readers. Nor does he ignore the needs and interests of non-veteran, non-expert users. The first several chapters (of 36) will be of particualr interest to OS X beginners, addressing OS X basics before moving along to more complex topics. This book really is, as it claims on the cover, “a comprehensive tutorial resource.”

The Mac OS X Mountain Lion Bible is structured in nine parts divided into 36 chapters, plus two appendices, a glossary, and an index. The parts somewhat discretely cover different aspects of using Apple’s latest desktop operating system, so most likely you’ll read them in the order of interest to you rather than consecutively front to back. The author suggests that everyone read Part One first, however, to get the basic lay of the land with how Mac OS X Mountain Lion operates, even if you’re a Mac OS veteran as there have been some fairly radical changes in the way OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion (and 10.7 Lion) address certain features, functions, and user interface matters.

OS X Mountain Lion Bible’s parts are:

OS X Mountain Lion Bible

Part One is logically entitled “Getting Started With Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion,” walks you through basic Finder interface interaction.

Part Two is entitled “Using Applications,” and of course working with applications and the documents you create with them is the central function of any computer operating system.

Part Three is called “Working With Mac OS’s Applications,” might seem a little redundant after the previous chapter, but it takes a different tack, addressing in particular the bundle of applications that come with OS X.

Part Four is about “Using the Internet And Collaboration Services.”

Part Five segues into “Securing Your Mac And Your Users,” identifying key security vulnerabilities, using password protection, locking or wiping a Mac remotely, managing user accounts, and deploying parental controls.

Part Six is on “Configuring OS X.” Topics covered include setting OS X Preferences And Services.

Part Seven is about “Using Common Hardware,” with chapters on connecting to printers, fax modems, scanners, and such. Chapter 31 is about working with disks, using disk Utility, and configuring RAIDs. Chapter 32 covers the all-important topic of file backups.

Part Eight, “Working With Networks,” is for Mac users connecting to each other via networks, and not just via the Internet, but even at home, where it’s very common to have multiple computers and other devices such as printers, TiVos, an Apple TVs connected via a wired (e.g. Ethernet) and/or wireless (Wi-Fi) networks.

Part Nine covers “Working with Other Operating Systems,” notably integrating your Mac with Windows, or even running Windows on Your Mac. There’s also a chapter on commanding UNIX, the industrial grade operating system core that lives under and powers the user-friendly OS X user interface’s surface and is rarely seen by the vast majority of users.

There are also two appendices, which in this case offer much more than afterthoughts. Appendix A is on installing OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, which is a substantially different process than it has been for versions on Mac OS X prior to Version 10.7.

Appendix B is about What’s New in OS X Mountain Lion, and there’s quite a lot, so this one will also very likely come in handy even if you’re a Mac OS X veteran.

OS X Mountain Lion Bible

OS X Mountain Lion Bible is, as noted, a big book, and a relatively expensive one, with a cover price of $39.99 US or $47.99 Canadian. It is printed on decent quality, but not glossy paper, and the many illustrations, mostly screenshots, appear in grayscale rather than full color.

There are many sidebars with more in-depth treatments on certain matters than appears the main text, as well as Notes interpolated in the main text to also call attention to particularly important points, or new features in version 10.8 of the operating system, Tips on how to do things more efficiently and quickly than might be obvious.

Cross-References direct to more information on topics that can be found in other places in the book, and Cautions address issues the author judges merit particular warnings. As I noted in the preamble, if you’re looking for a book that really is a complete guide to OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, this is one you should definitely check out. The advertised reader level is “Beginning To Advanced,” and that’s not an extravagant claim.

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The OS X Mountain Lion Bible review

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