Author: Brad Miser
Publication Date: October 30, 2012
ISBN 10: 1118383273
ISBN 13: 978-1118383278
Price: $29.99 USD
There is plenty of choice and variety in of Mac iOS computer books, but Brad Miser’s new “Teach Yourself Visually MacBook Pro” (heretofore TYVMBP) is something a bit different from the mainstream, and in a good way.
Instead of following the usual formula of mainly descriptive text supported by screenshots, photos, and graphics, TYVMBP’s central theme is its pictorial and graphic material, with just a short, descriptive paragraph or two introducing each topic, then letting the pictures tell the story supported by bulleted point captioning—a presentation mode that’s both attractive and informative.
Most of the illustrations in TYVMVP are still screenshots, but they’re rendered in full color on nice quality paper stock. The classic “A picture is worth words” proverb gets an excellent workout in TYVMVP, and if you’re primarily a visual learner, this book should be especially appealing.
My only major criticism of TYVMVP is that for a volume with “MacBook Pro” front-and-center prominent in its title, there’s precious little content pertaining specifically to Apple’s high-end laptop hardware. A few pages with information about the Pro’s controls and ports and configuring the trackpad are pretty much all there is in that vein.
A more appropriate title might have been “Teach Yourself Visually OS X Mountain Lion,” because the book is almost exclusively focused how to get the best out of Apple’s latest operating system software, and it will be equally useful to users of any sort of Mac capable of supporting Mountain Lion. However, someone buying the book on spec. and anticipating a lot of MacBook Pro-specific hardware content will be disappointed in that aspect, although it’s still a great OS X user manual and reference.
TYVMVP is pitched primarily to beginner and novice OS X users, but a lot of Mac veterans are finding themselves obliged to relearn a lot of stuff with all the changes Apple has made in OS X 10.8 Lion and 10.9 Mountain Lion, so in that sense we are all pretty much novices these days.
The 360 page book is structured in four parts, conveniently color-coded, and titled “Part I: Discovering MacBook Pro,” “Part II: Getting Connected,” “Part III: Using The Internet,” and “Part IV: Going Further With MacBook Pro.”
There are six chapters in Part I, three in Part II, four in Part III, concluding with the six chapters of Part IV. The part and chapter titles are pretty much self-explanatory (see the table of contents).
It’s unlikely many will read this book cover to cover, but it makes interesting and informative browsing, and pretty much anyone from the greenest newbie to greybeard Mac veterans will learn things they didn’t know from among the more than 175 tutorial topics covered, presented in mostly concise two-page lessons.
Aside from the aforementioned caveat about there being very little MacBook Pro specific content, I quite like Teach Yourself Visually MacBook Pro, and happy to give it a four out of five rating. It’s not an inexpensive book at US$29.95/Can$35.99 (memo to publisher: the Canadian dollar has been worth more than the greenback throughout most of 2012, and is starting 2013 strongly as well)/and £21.99 UK. But it’s an excellent reference for the visual learner demographic that is its target audience. TYVMBP is also available as an e-book