Running Mac OS X Panther
||Author: James Duncan Davidson|
List Price: $39.95
Our Price: Click to see the latest and low price
Publisher: O'Reilly & Associates (01 December, 2003)
Sales Rank: 2,718
Average Customer Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 4 out of 5
Fine Volume for Mac OS X Geeks
Most Mac users are perfectly happy that the Mac user interface shields them from the intricacies and complexities of the Unix-based "plumbing" beneath the surface of their machines. Others, however, like motorheads who compulsively tune, torque, and tinker with their souped-up cars, love to open up their Mac, so to speak, to get at the innards. This book is for them.
"Running MacOSX Panther" is a systematic guide to the core of OSX written, not just for power users, but for those with a compulsive need to know how the Mac works inside-out. It is for those who want master-level knowledge of how the Mac operates inside.
After a short history of the developmentof the Mac operating system, the book describes all the essentials: what happens during the startup and login process; how files organized and permissions set up; how preferences are maintained and edited; how users and groups are set up and administered, and more. The emphasis is on the Unix underpinnings and use of the command line to view, customize, and control the Mac. There is discussion on how to see and edit hidden files and directories, how to use the Unix "shell" and text editors, and how to edit Open Firmware - the Mac version of the PC's "BIOS". You can learn to create a user account for non-human users (not including your kitty!)
The advanced sections discuss the Open Directory, a type of database which stores information about the system and its components, and advanced networking information and options. Journaling is explained and an argument is made why disk defragmentation is not necessary on OSX. It convinced me.
An appendix providing guidance on installing Panther has sections for ordinary users as well as for Mac "motorheads". The motorheads will enjoy reviewing the list of Boot Command key combinations.
Rating: 5 out of 5
A dangerous book :)
I first opened my Powerbook just over a year ago. That special gas they store under the keyboard sprayed out, I breathed in, and I was hooked. I've gone from being a ten-year Linux user to being a Mac newbie, and I'm loving it. My Powerbook is my primary machine: I even typeset our two latest books on it. For me it's an ideal combination of convenience and power. I can use the nice GUIs when I want, but underneath it all there's a Unix heart and the command line. Except...
It isn't just Unix. There's a whole new world of stuff waiting for users like me who only recently drank the Apple kool-aid. I'm not used to the various configuration schemes, the various databases for user-level information are obscure, and so on.
And that's where JDD's book comes in. I was lucky enough to be a reviewer, and I just lapped it up. It is packed with information on all aspects of Panther, ranging from the high-level down to the lowest level nitty-gritty detail. The chapters are just the right length: tight enough to keep you reading, but not so small that they miss out on the details you need.
The only bad thing? If you're like me, you'll spend hours experimenting with all the new stuff you learn while reading this book.
A must have for power Panther users.
Rating: 4 out of 5
Apple Still Has the Best GUI/OS combination
A little cognitive dissonance or impedance mismatch, perhaps, on the cover. It says "Panther" but shows some kind of dog. Luckily, the rest of the book does not exhibit similar inconsistencies. :)
For starters, the first chapter is an excellent independent summary of Apple's operating system history since 1984's Macintosh release. It makes clear that Panther is the third major iteration of OS X. Nice new improved usability features like XCode for developers and an improved Finder.
If you are acquainted with unix/linux or Microsoft Windows, you should get the message from this book that Apple still leads in the cleanest combination of operating system and user interface. Unix fans will see much friendly territory. Indeed, who would have thought 10 years ago that Apple would converge its operating system atop unix? A brilliant move that lets it leverage off ideas and innovations in unix and linux. In fact, a virtual necessity. Apple's market share is so small that it cannot maintain a brute force matching of competitors' features, let alone surpass these.
Apple fans can read this book and come away encouraged that Apple can still innovate and punch above its weight. It has a future, despite the repeated pronouncements of people like Michael Dell.
Please note that Davidson is explicitly writing for experienced Mac users, though you do not have to be currently running OS X?
(Why aren't you?)
· Mac OS X Panther Unleashed, Third Edition
· Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition
· Mac OS X Panther Pocket Guide, 3rd Edition
· Learning Unix for Mac OS X Panther
· AppleScript : The Definitive Guide