I Am Joe’s Blog:

October 17, 2007 • 12:33 PM

Early bird gets the Leopard

Almost exactly four years ago, on October 24, 2003, Apple released Mac OS X 10.3 Panther. On that same day, the very first ebook in the Take Control series appeared—my upgrading guide, Take Control of Upgrading to Panther. Little did I know then that this little publishing experiment, undertaken by most of the TidBITS staff and a handful of other talented authors and editors, would be so successful as to eventually produce the majority of my income. But today, less than 24 hours after Apple finally announced the shipping date of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, I’m pleased to report that my 14th title in the series is now on sale: Take Control of Upgrading to Leopard: Early-Bird Edition.

When I wrote my second Upgrading book, Take Control of Upgrading to Tiger, I naturally started with what I’d written about Panther, added some stuff, removed some stuff, and generally updated everything to be accurate under the new system. But this time I wanted to go way beyond that. Leopard is a big, big release with lots of serious changes; I wanted the Upgrading book to reflect that and prepare users as thoroughly as possible. So in addition to massively reworking the text to cover all the changes to the Leopard installation process, I pulled in some material from my ebooks on backups, maintenance, and troubleshooting. Now I provide detailed instructions on getting your Mac in tip-top shape, complete with an excellent backup, before inserting that Leopard DVD—and I think the extra steps up front will lead to much happier installations later.

Of course, there was a tiny problem: ideally, you’d do all that preparatory stuff days or even weeks before you get your Leopard DVD, but I can’t actually release the full book, with all its top-secret information about the ins and outs of Leopard installation, without violating my NDA. So we decided to create two versions of the book. The Early-Bird Edition, which you can buy (for $10) and download today, has all the background information you need to get your Mac ready for the upgrade, but leaves out all the information I’m not allowed to reveal (which amounts to quite a large portion of the book). The full edition will become available the instant Leopard goes on sale in North America (that’s 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time next Friday, October 26). Anyone who has already purchased the Early-Bird Edition can simply click a link on the cover of the PDF to go to a Web page where they can download the full version for free. And then they can skip (or skim) about 50 pages of text and get on to the actual upgrading process fairly quickly. Of course, if you wait until next Friday or later to make your purchase, you’ll simply get the full version, which is a superset of the Early-Bird Edition.

Now then…what’s crazy to me about all this is that I initially wrote (both versions of) this book back in February, when Apple was still saying Leopard would be released in the spring. It went through our whole editorial and technical review process way back then. In April, when Apple announced a delay until October, we just put the project on ice. This summer I picked it up again, and updated the manuscript with new information from each new beta version of Leopard. Yesterday, as soon as Apple made their announcement, I had to tweak a few things in the Early-Bird Edition to correspond to the latest truth, but even so, we were organized enough that the PDF was available for sale within hours. Between now and next Friday, I very much hope to see an even more recent version of Leopard than what I’ve been working with, and should it contain any significant changes, I’ll work those into the final text as well. The result should be our most thorough and up-to-date upgrading guide ever! If you’re planning to install Leopard, I think you’ll find this ebook to be immensely helpful.

Comments

  1. Lynn
    October 19th, 2007 | 5:00 pm

    I am glad I read your comments on your article about Take Control of Upgrading Tiger. It helps give me a perspective as I create my check list from the ebook on the steps I will take when I Erase and Install Leopard.

    I appreciate you integrating the relevant material from your other ebooks.

    I must say that I was taken back when I purchased the $39 Leopard bundle and thought to myself, “Did I just buy a four chapter book for $39?”

    I do find your writing valuable to my successful computing, am in awe on how much you write in such diverse places while still having time to smell the roses, and enjoy your insights you gain in France.

  2. Lynn
    October 19th, 2007 | 7:00 pm

    I am glad I read your comments on your article about Take Control of Upgrading Tiger. It helps give me a perspective as I create my check list from the ebook on the steps I will take when I Erase and Install Leopard.

    I appreciate you integrating the relevant material from your other ebooks.

    I must say that I was taken back when I purchased the $39 Leopard bundle and thought to myself, “Did I just buy a four chapter book for $39?”

    I do find your writing valuable to my successful computing, am in awe on how much you write in such diverse places while still having time to smell the roses, and enjoy your insights you gain in France.

  3. October 19th, 2007 | 5:20 pm

    Lynn: Thanks for your comments. I certainly hope you find the book helpful.

    The ebooks in the Leopard bundle do, in a sense, constitute one fairly huge book, but more like a book of five major sections, not five chapters. What these ebooks give you that a paper book doesn’t, though, is individual updates – often free. Oh, and authors who will actually write back and answer your questions! We think (and we hope you agree) that it’s well worth the money.

    Must run now…more roses to smell!

  4. October 19th, 2007 | 7:20 pm

    Lynn: Thanks for your comments. I certainly hope you find the book helpful.

    The ebooks in the Leopard bundle do, in a sense, constitute one fairly huge book, but more like a book of five major sections, not five chapters. What these ebooks give you that a paper book doesn’t, though, is individual updates – often free. Oh, and authors who will actually write back and answer your questions! We think (and we hope you agree) that it’s well worth the money.

    Must run now…more roses to smell!

  5. Irwin Hoff
    October 26th, 2007 | 12:37 am

    I have been studying your “Mac Maintenance and Backups” book and was on the verge of purchasing Retrospect Desktop when I read David Pogue’s remarks about Leopard’s “Time Machine” backup system in today’s (10/25/07) New York Times.

    I’m looking forward to learning your opinion about Time Machine.

  6. October 26th, 2007 | 2:37 am

    I have been studying your “Mac Maintenance and Backups” book and was on the verge of purchasing Retrospect Desktop when I read David Pogue’s remarks about Leopard’s “Time Machine” backup system in today’s (10/25/07) New York Times.

    I’m looking forward to learning your opinion about Time Machine.

  7. October 26th, 2007 | 8:38 am

    Irwin: I’m working on a new version of Take Control of Mac OS X Backups that will cover Time Machine in great detail. I’ll also be writing about it in TidBITS soon. Stay tuned!

  8. October 26th, 2007 | 10:38 am

    Irwin: I’m working on a new version of Take Control of Mac OS X Backups that will cover Time Machine in great detail. I’ll also be writing about it in TidBITS soon. Stay tuned!

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