Peachpit Press releases new Mac books
Author: Walter Krafton-Minkel, Mouse Tracks
Date: December, 1992
Keywords: Book review
Text: The Little Mac Book, 2nd Edition, By Robin Williams and Kay Nelson, now covers System 7 as well as 6, but remains the title every new Mac user should read. Williams is a delightfully direct and clear writer -- sort of like Guy Kawasaki without the ego -- and she goes, step by step, through everything the Mac user needs to know, about the System, Finder, fonts, printers, control panels, and all the jargon that surrounds the Mac. When evaluating whether a Mac user should switch to System 7, she writes, ''As for whether you want it right now, consider these questions: Do you have a hard disk and at least 4 megs of RAM? Do you understand and enjoy using Multifinder*? Are you part of a work group that shares documents on a network? Do you have several computers in your home or office that you would like to network (share files)? Do you like being able to customize your Mac and tinker with how things look on the screen? Do you have fun with sounds? Are you fanatical about keeping up with the latest, even if it's not really necessary and even if it means you'll have some inconvenience for a while until all your applications, INITs, cdevs, and desk accessories make the upgrade? If you answer yes to all of these, System 7's probably for you. It's not all that much different -- just a few more bells and whistles.'' With that, she dismisses the mountain of hype from Apple and the Mac magazines. The second edition of The Little Mac Book should be your gift to any friend or relative who just got a Macintosh. I recommend it highly. The Little Mac Book, Second Edition. 180 pp., $14.95. ISBN 0-938151-68-1. Deke McClelland's Canvas 3.0: the Book is an outstanding guide to one of the best Macintosh graphics applications. McClelland, a regular reviewer in MacWorld, takes a piece of software with an intimidating interface -- Canvas 3.0 has tools inside its tools, and tools with names like the registration mark tool and the object side tool -- and patiently explains each feature with lots of screen dumps and examples. McClelland explains the ''smart mouse'' feature, which will, for example, notify you that a line is exactly a specified length, that the cursor is exactly touching the outline of an existing object -- useful if you've been driven crazy by lines that just slightly overshoot each other, a flaw often seen in MacDraw -- or that the cursor is exactly at a division point on the ruler. The information and examples dealing with creating and manipulating type and graphics are particularly worthwhile. Even if you don't own Deneba's Canvas 3.0, take a look at this book and you might end up buying both. Canvas 3.0: the Book. 371pp., $21.95. ISBN 0-938151-64-9. All titles published by Peachpit Press, 2414 Sixth St., Berkeley, CA 94710; (800) 283-9444.
Copyright © december, 1992 by Walter Krafton-Minkel, Mouse Tracks