Mac Kung Fu (2nd edition)

Keir Thomas

Published by

Pragmatic Bookshelf





Reviewed by

Jim McGhie CEng, MBCS, CITP


8 out of 10

This is the second edition of the hints and tips compendium for Mac OSX. It covers the Mountain Lion operating system. In addition to shortcuts for the core system it expands on the previous edition by providing tips on iCloud, as well as Notifications, Reminders and Calendar apps.

The randomly ordered tips are numbered sequentially and indexed at the front of the book. They are also alphabetically indexed at the back of the book

All tips fall into one of three categories: those accessed through menu options; those accessed through system preferences; and a third category that involves the use of the Terminal Command and type scripting, mainly to activate secret settings.

There are also a number of supertips scattered throughout the book, which are essentially small tips grouped together for the convenience of the reader. Supertips are highlighted in the front index.

The overall aim of the book is to introduce the reader to the key productivity features of the current Mac operating system. The only requirement to use all of the information contained in the book is a Mac running OSX Mountain Lion. No add-ons or external devices are required.

The book is excellent for providing references to quick fixes to problems or everyday niggles being experienced by a Mac user, for example how to view another country’s app store (Tip 310). A number of the tips are backed with screenshots to aid and guide the reader.

The author asserts that there is no one best way of obtaining best value from the book. Tips can be read in any order and from any part of the book.

However, I found it best to start with some fairly straightforward tips such as switching calculator modes (Tip 85) before moving on to summarising any document (Tip 108) and then progressing to those requiring terminal commands such as turning off special effects (Tip 97). This approach allowed me to understand the author’s presentation style whilst making changes to my Mac under progressively more involved guidance.

I consider this book to be good value for money and a useful addition to any Mac user’s reference bookshelf, earning it a score of eight out of ten.

Further information: Pragmatic Bookshelf

June 2013