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iBook Book Review :

"The iBook for Dummies "

Written by David Pogue

 

Review by Ted Bade

 

David Pogue - "From the author of the #1-selling "The iMac for Dummies"--that would be me, David Pogue--comes the inevitable sister book--one that lovingly and hilariously covers Apple's blockbuster, translucent laptop, the iBook. I'll guide you from turning the thing on, you all the way onto the Internet and beyond. Special chapters cover getting the most out of the iBook's battery, connecting to the Internet from the road, using USB add-ons, using the built-in programs like Quicken, Palm Desktop, and AppleWorks, and more.

This is the only iBook book, by the way, that was written AFTER Apple shipped the AirPort wireless-Internet card. So it's the only iBook book with a step-by-step tutorial in setting up the AirPort base station--and then surfing the Internet from your TV couch! "

The iBook For Dummies suggested retail price is $19.99 and is published by IDG. The 408 page Paperback Edition of "The iBook For Dummies" is now shipping. You can order it now and Amazon will ship it to you .

You can Order it Now From Amazon.com !

It's always a treat to read Macintosh related material written by David Pogue.

And "The iBook for Dummies" book is no exception. Mr. Pogue laces the potentially dry materials of a computer manual with his own special brand of humor, while still providing detailed and accurate information. For beginning iBook owners, this book is a "must have"! You'll learn to use your iBook to its fullest potential.

 

Wielding his own brand of humor, David Pogue points out that one might not want to carry a book with the phrase "for dummies" on the cover. Open the outside cover to reveal the new improved cover. The geeky yellow exterior with the triangular headed kid is replaced with the title: "iBook Methodologies in Theory and Practice". You'll smile as you read the hi-lites describing simple concepts with sophisticated phrases! And so begins the fun.

 

This book covers the gamut from the very basics to some moderately complicated troubleshooting, including chapter 1-1/2, "High-Tech made easy." (As if this could be done!)

 Virgin territory...

The first part of this book, appropriately named: "For the Absolute Computer Virgin", will be of use to people new to computers or to the MacOS. It describes starting the iBook, putting it to sleep, dealing with MacOS windows, desktop, icons, control panels and more. Even if you have a good handle on these topics, it makes good reading and a great review.

The later part of this section includes some very useful information about working with printers and backing up files (and the hardware you will need to consider purchasing to do this). The section on printers describes connecting USB printers, older non-USB printers, and laser printers. He deflates the value of this information by explaining how to get a printedimage without using a printer....

 

The next section is called "The Internet defanged". If you want to connect your tasty little iBook to the Internet, you'll learn what you need to know here. Mr. Pogue does an excellent job describing the difference between America Online (AOL) and a regular Internet Service Provider (ISP) using the analogy of a grocery store compared to a farmer's market.

 

How-tos include step by step directions on configuring your iBook to access either AOL, a regular ISP, or both. This is followed by details on the popular parts of both AOL and the Internet in general. Getting even more practical he explains how to open files downloaded from the Internet and how to handle all those weird compressed, encrypted, and Wintel generated files. (including a description of several very common "PC" three-letter suffixes and what to do with them). All very useful information.

 WWWelcome to the wwweb...

The chapter on the WWW explains how to get there and what to do once you have arrived. Too bad our site (iBook User) wasn't hi-lighted in the book like "iBook World". In this chapter he shows you how to navigate the web, basic search strategies, using Sherlock, discusses the Netscape/Microsoft browser debate, how to speed up web browsing, locking the "bad" stuff away from the kids, and provides a list of useful and entertaining web sites to visit (including his own home page, with the unique name of "davidpogue.com".)

 

The email section demystifies email programs using Outlook Express as an example ( hey, its free and came on your iBook ! ). It also has a useful section on dealing with email attachments, a real problem area with email.

 

Section three is called "Software Competence". Since your iBook didn't come with any written manuals for the titles that were included, this sectionfills the gap. Titles covered include Appleworks, Palm Desktop, Bugdom,WorldBook Encyclopedia, and the Internet safety kit. The depth ofinformation varies, but the information on Appleworks and Palm Desktop is quite comprehensive.

 

"Living on DC" details everyday use of your battery, including charging, conserving power, using the sleep feature, and preserving memory. All useful information to an iBook owner.

 Take out theTrash...

The chapter on the System folder offers a basic description of the extensions, control panels, and other things included in the stock system folder of an iBook. Along with each description you get his opinion as to whether you should trash, turn off, or keep each of them. I didn't agree with every one of his recommendations, but following his advice is a good way to trim the contents of a hard drive and can speed the start up process.

The next chapter offers a diverse set of useful tricks and techniques that make using your computer easier. These are primarily tricks and short cuts used by intermediate to power users. For instance silencing the trash warning, hiding and returning background applications, working with alias', changing the background image, and viewing your windows in a variety of fashions.

 Get connected...

"High Powered Connections" offers essential information on connecting things to your iBook. Not only does it discuss the basics of adding a new USB device, but also the methods of connecting older Non-USB equipment to your iBook. He also offers detailed descriptions on how to connect your iBook to another Macintosh as well as creating a full office network. Granted the description doesn't deal with every problem which can occur, but is detailed enough that a beginner could give it a try.

 

Wireless Networking gives you the skinny on wireless networks. You'll learn to set up and use a AirPort as a networking base station. The information is detailed enough so that most inexperienced people can follow the process. He also descries how to us another Mac with a wireless networking card as a base station (in place of the AirPort) and connecting two iBooks together using their wireless cards.

 You Lookin' fer Trouble ?...

The Troubleshooting section of this book addresses a number of common Macintosh as well as some specific iBook related troubles and includes suggestions on how to deal with them. Included are dealing with low RAM problems, crashes, freezes, start up problems, and a variety of hardware related problems.

 To resolve these bad things he shows the reader how to rebuild the desktop, zap the PRAM, "force Quit" an application, deal with Extension conflicts, how to give an application more RAM, and performing a "Clean Install" of the system. The suggestions he makes and the applications he recommends are all excellent choices.

 The final section of the book considers a variety of hardware items you can add to you iBook, things you can do with your iBook you might not realize such as watch movies,( Like Phantom Menace ! ) listen to CDs and let it speak to you etc.

 Ease of Use....

Like the Macintosh a book about the iBook should be well laid out and easy to use. How easy is it to find information you need in this book? Real easy ! There is a cheat sheet, two tables of contents, a short version and a long version that lists every sub topic, which makes it easy to locate a specific section. The index can be used to find sections of the book pertaining to a specific phrase. Overall, a novice user should be able to find information easily in this book.

 Conclusion...

All in all this book in filled with practical, information, useful to both new and intermediate iBook users. iBook-User gives "The iBook For Dummies" five iBooks out of five.

 

If you are interested in buying this book on-line, click on the link below to go directly to Amazon.com or on the Book cover at the top page.

The iBook For Dummies

Happy Reading!

 Ted Bade

 



The ever popular David Pogue has written many best selling Macintosh based books, including
Macworld Mac SECRETS, The iMac for Dummies, MORE Macs for Dummies and has his own web site David Pogue.com.


About the Reviewer:

Ted Bade has been using Apple computers since 1982 and Macs since 1985. Dedicated to the Macintosh, he has been a member and leader of a Computer user group since 1983. He has a degree in electrical engineering and loves to write. To date he has published a number of articles in MacHome Journal magazine, writes for iBook-User and writes regularly for H.U.G.E. a computer user group newsletter, and freelances whenever he can find the time and need. While he's not playing Quake Arena or Unreal Tournament with his Macintosh G4 or PowerBook G3.


Books By David Pogue

Macworld Mac SECRETS, 5th Edition

Macs for Dummies, 6th Edition (new for Mac OS 8.5)

MORE Macs for Dummies, 3rd Ed.

The iMac for Dummies (NEW SECOND EDITION!)

 PalmPilot: The Ultimate Guide (2d Edition)

Crossing Platforms

The Great Macintosh Easter-Egg Hunt


The First web site Dedicated to Apple's iBook !

 iBook-User © is a Publication of P1 Publishing LLC 2001

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For beginning iBook owners, this book is a "Must Have" !

 

 

 

 

 

"Wielding his own brand of humor...You'll smile... and so begins the
Fun !!!"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If you want to connect your tasty little iBook to the Internet, you'll learn what you need to know here !"

 

 

"How easy is it to find information you need
in this book?
Real easy !..."

 

"...Overall, a novice user should be able to find information easily in this book !"

"iBook-User gives
'The iBook For Dummies'
five iBooks out
of five..."