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Book:   Mac OS X Panther Hacks
Subject:   From a newbie
Date:   2004-08-22 09:29:22
From:   Mary Dixon
Rating:  StarStarStarStarStar

Being a relative newbie to the Mac compared to so many folks, I felt in the dark about all the little things that make a Macintosh what it is…the best personal computer bar none. Knowing so little about it compared to so many other long time users, I was quite anxious to learn all I could as fast as I could. Part of my difficulty includes about twelve years using another platform which so many others blindly use. This gave me enough knowhow to provide support to many other people. Since I’m not one to leave well enough alone, I am always pushing my computer to the max and getting more out of it than many other people might expect.


Mac OS X Panther Hacks, by Rael Dornfest and James Duncan Davidson and published by O’Reilly, provided me with more of an inside look and helped to give me what I had on the other platform…the ability to do things more efficiently and to do things that other users might not know about. I wanted to get into the “guts” of the Mac and Mac OS X Panther Hacks is helping me to achieve that goal.


Whether you are a newcomer to the Macintosh or a long time user, after getting into this Hacks book, you are bound to find something of use. There are one hundred hacks nicely numbered and arranged so you can read one at a time and know which one it was or read it by sections. The sections are arranged nicely into chapters according to the types and uses.
Once cracking this book open, it didn’t take me long to have a “eureka!” experience. “I didn’t know I could do that!” I heard myself say to myself. I learned something new that I bet no one else knows….or do they?


My favorite hack so far is using the services menu under the application menu. It’s an amazing thing and has been used more often than anything else I read in the book. The next thing I’m going to do is use more scripting and attach those scripts to my file folders. Fortunately, the authors provide lots of great examples. Whew…I don’t “do” Apple scripting…..yet. I will after reading this book.


The authors don’t exclude the use of other applications in “hacking” the OS but they sure do provide a lot of helpful ways to use them. My very favorite hack in that way was their suggestion to “Clutter Your Desktop with Music.” In that hack, #42, they suggest using a little iTunes add on called Clutter. Ohh…I don’t want to give all of it away. I want everyone to have a copy of this book. You just have to use this little app. It’s a great helper if you love your iTunes.


Some of these chapters will require return visits for me as I managed to find out that I knew very little about some aspects of “hacking” Panther. The book now resides on my desktop and will for the foreseeable future.


No one will lose by getting Mac OS X Panther Hacks and will surely be surprised at what they don’t know when they get through this wonderful volume. Be sure to check one out for yourself very soon. You won’t regret it.