PowerBook Fan Book - Love at First Boot
by Derrick Story
Five by five - this is your new manual form factor. If you look around, you'll find this new dimension everywhere in manuals. The new manuals shipping with Apple computers, the new iLife and iWorks software manuals and now O'Reilly's Fan Book series all seem to follow the 5-inch by 5-inch dimensions.
The "PowerBook Fan Book - Love at First Boot" one of the books in the "Fan Book" series, is 100 pages of features, tips, help and cool accessories for you Apple PowerBook.
"Darling you look marvelous!" The book's introduction starts out with an overview of the difference between the PowerBook models. This is followed by a quick tour of the hardware such as the keyboard features, (who can't love backlit keys,) and ports.
Once you get your hands on one of those beautiful aluminum PowerBooks and view the gorgeous LCD screen, you will want to protect your investment from scratches, fingerprints, and other mishaps. From cases to screen cleaners, some of the best products for your PowerBook care are reviewed.
Even if you're an old OS X hand, you can pickup some good tips in the chapter that explains the system setup, preference panes, connecting to the Internet and the value of a .Mac account. Once you get connected to the Internet, the author shows you how to configure and use the included Safari Web browser and the Apple mail email application. These are free applications included with every Macintosh, but there are options and the author discusses some of the other applications.
If you want to keep up with one of the latest technology fads, then you'll want to learn about how to setup iChat and start instant messaging with your co-workers in the next cubicle or a friend on the other side of the world. But don't stop there. The author gives you a brief look at the options of voice chat or video chat with an Apple iSight camera.
Part of the attraction of Apple computers and OS X is the collection of incredible applications that are included. From the Address Book application, which seamlessly integrates with the Mail application, iCal calendar, iTunes, for managing your digital music library, to iPhoto which manages your digital photo albums, no other groupof applications help you organize your digital life in such a easy manner. A good portion of this book discuses these applications and how to use them effectively. The author, who is a managing editor at O'Reilly Media, is good at making technology an easy read and when necessary, step-by-step procedures are provided.
The chapter on transforming video to exciting movies will give you an overview of how to use iMove with your PowerBook to share your digital creations with others. The author also presents some additional accessories to help in your production.
The final chapter on the book shows you how to make your life on the go with your PowerBook a bit easier with a shopping basket of accessories that you shouldn't leave home without. A must read for the road warrior.
The reader is directed to web sites with printed web addresses for additional information or products. The Fan Books are not intended to be a manual or a complete source of information, but they do fill a purpose of familiarizing the owner with their equipment and how to enhance your computing experience.
With Christmas coming up or for a gift for a new PowerBook owner, this book is a perfect companion for those new to an Apple PowerBook. Besides, it will fit in most Christmas stockings.
Review by NCMUG member Stephen Henry