Archive for the 'Books' Category

July 13th, 2007

Windows-on-Mac Book Updated Yet Again

A couple of days ago, Take Control Books released version 2.5 of my ebook Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac. Even though the version number didn’t jump all the way to 3.0 (meaning this is a free update for people with version 2.0 and 25% off for people with version 1.x), version 2.5 was a massive revision. I added new sections on VMware Fusion and VirtualBox, took out the section on Q (which is now pretty much irrelevant), and provided up-to-date info on the latest versions of Parallels Desktop and Boot Camp. And that’s just the biggest changes—tons of smaller stuff was tweaked too. If you have any interest in running Windows on your Intel-based Mac, this ebook should tell you everything you need to know.

Because things are moving so fast in this area, I predict that at least one, and more likely two, additional updates to this ebook will occur later this year. And I suspect I’ll start getting into more detail about actual usage scenarios. For example, even though I’ve now got two Intel-based Macs, I still haven’t gotten used to the notion that I can now run practically any software whenever I want. When I read about something that’s PC-only, I still have that old habit of disregarding it with a grumble, and I really have to train myself to stop. The world (of software) is my oyster now—almost any Mac, Windows, or Unix program out there will run happily on my Mac—and it will take me some time to fully come to grips with this new sense of freedom.

And, I’d just like to say that my new 17″, 2.4 GHz MacBook Pro—fully loaded with the high-res screen and 4 GB of RAM, of course—is an awfully nice way to run any and every operating system. It’s my first new laptop since my 1 GHz TiBook (ca. 2002), and I’m really digging it.

June 8th, 2007

Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac

Among the things I’ve been busy doing over the past month (besides, you know, getting ready to move to Paris and not updating any of my Web sites) has been finishing my latest ebook: Take Control of Troubleshooting Your Mac. As usual, it’s $10, comes with free minor updates, and has a free excerpt available for your perusal. I’ve already, of course, written about maintaining and backing up your Mac (in fact, the three titles together make a nice bundle at only $24—cheap!), but actually solving problems, rather than merely preventing them, was the big missing piece.

I get a lot of requests for Mac help. Some of it comes from friends and family; even more comes from people who have read my various books and articles. And I don’t mind offering a bit of assistance when I can, but as I’m perpetually tied up with a zillion things, I can’t always devote as much time as I’d like to solving other people’s Mac problems. But now, you can get a virtual Joe-in-a-box (book?), because this book more or less describes the algorithm I’d use to solve your problem. Well, yes, I took some liberties, because I was under strict instructions to make this a reasonably short book, and because my own troubleshooting technique is probably more of an art than a science. But still: for a great many problems, this’ll get you as close to a solution as I could in person.

Needless to say, it’ll also expand over time. We’ll add more problems, solutions, and techniques. But even as the book stands now, it should apply equally to past, present, and future versions of Mac OS X. It’s a handy thing to have around before problems occur, so if you’ve ever wished you had a little help available when your Mac goes kerflooey, now’s a great time to add this to your library.

January 2nd, 2007

New Year’s Update

Hello all. Over the past couple of months, this blog hasn’t seen much action, and the other alt concepts sites have also been pretty quiet in recent weeks. Apart from the holidays and related travel, Morgen and I have been frantically preparing for our upcoming trip to Indonesia and Hong Kong—we leave in a matter of minutes! There’s been so much to do that a few things, such as actual work, have gotten put on the back burner. However, I did want to provide a few updates before I head off on my big 40th Birthday Trip.

Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac: A couple of weeks ago, we released version 2.0 of this book, which reflects the huge number of changes in the Windows-on-Mac world in the last several months—major updates to both Boot Camp and Parallels Desktop, the release of CrossOver Mac, and the sort-of release of Windows Vista. Of course, no sooner did we get the new edition out than VMware went and released a beta of Fusion, yet another interesting way to run Windows on your Intel Mac. So I’ll update the book to discuss that at some point after I return from my trip. In the meantime, I think all the information there is still solid and reliable, and it’s a great improvement over the first edition.

Take Control of Mac OS X Backups: Version 2.0 of this book—a significant expansion—is also pretty much ready to go, and has been for weeks. But because of the holidays and preparations for Macworld Expo next week, it may not be released until mid-January or so. This new version discusses Time Machine to some extent, but after Leopard is released, I’ll do another update that covers it in detail.

Interesting Thing of the Day, SenseList, and The Geeky Gourmet: All these sites will be running on a greatly reduced schedule during January. We plan to collect lots of interesting things, lists, and food stories on our trip, and will be back with fresh content in February.

Macworld Expo: This’ll be the first time I’ve missed the show in I can’t remember how many years. But it’s for a good cause: you only turn 40 once. I’m sure I’ll have 32,768 email messages awaiting me on my return, informing me of all the cool things that were announced and that I must immediately buy. And, of course, there will inevitably be all sorts of books requiring updates .

So that’s the update. If there’s anything I forgot, I’m sure it’s on my list somewhere, and I’ll attend to it in February. See you then!

October 30th, 2006

Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS X

Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS XMy 12th Take Control ebook, Take Control of Passwords in Mac OS X, went on sale today. (Gee, it feels like just a month ago that my last ebook came out.) I’m unusually excited about this title, because, as with Take Control of Mac OS X Backups, I think it addresses a number of vexing problems that virtually all Mac users face.

First, the ebook helps to make sense of password security: how do you choose passwords that offers the right compromise among security and memorability? And once you’ve chosen your passwords, how do you keep them safe? The ebook also discusses all the different places within Mac OS X where passwords are used, and spends considerable time dealing with Web site passwords. It talks about keychains in detail and covers not only the Keychain Access utility but also numerous third-party password tools. The goal of the ebook is to make sense of passwords, to make them no longer seem scary or confusing. If you follow my advice, you should be able to generate, remember, and enter appropriately strong passwords for almost any purpose with an absolute minimum of brainpower and grief.

The ebook is 96 pages long and sells for $10. We offer a free sample (22 pages long), and as usual, minor updates will also be free.