Books are a great way to learn new topics and act as a bible of knowledge to refer from. I regularly buy new books to read and retain. Although we may be going to an all digital age, having a good book to read has no substitute. I was recently asked by a reader what books I recommend to read. This list has all of my favourites, that I have read or plan on reading in the coming months. If you have any recommendations please leave a comment. I have linked to Amazon as they usually have the best price.
Switching To The Mac
One of my favourite book is Switching to the Mac part of the missing manual series. If you are a new user to the Mac operating system it is a great way to understand and learn the differences between Windows and your new Mac. It tells you the differences and the similarities of the systems and allows you to learn how to use your new Mac. I bought a similar version back in 2007 when I received my first Mac and it told me exactly what I needed to know.
There is plenty of content in this book. If you are a new Mac user there is plenty you can learn.
Mac: Missing Manual
If you are a new user to the Mac operating system, but want a more detailed ‘higher level’ book I recommend the Missing Manual series. It has the same basic parts as the switching to series, however it goes into more detail. It features tricks, tips and guides that allow you to do more complicated ‘power user’ features. It has been updated with the latest stuff for the latest Mac system. Incidentally this was the second book I bought after the switching to series.
Mac Pocket Guide
The missing manual series books are encyclopaedia’s worth of knowledge. If you want something small and to the point I recommend the Pocket Guides. I have the MySQL and PHP guides. They are straight to the point and give you the bare facts. They make a great little reference book that gives you facts. It is also a good book for a present, as they are cheap but well worth the money.
Mac Basics Super Guide
If you have a Kindle of the app then a e-book that I have had recommended to myself a couple of times is the Mac Basics SuperGuide. It features similar content to the previous books, but is on your Kindle. One of the advantages of this book is that it is cheap, features all of the basics and has plenty of images. Images are simple to add to an ebook so there is plenty of them.
Moving onto something different and this time it is AppleScript. The powerful in-built coding language for your Mac, which allows you to do pretty much anything straight out of the box. A book I recommend is Apress Learn AppleScript. They publish many books on coding and learning programming languages and are very in depth. I have used a previous book in there series to learn XCode. They start at the basics and build upon this knowledge, along the way allowing you to experiment and learn at your own pace. If you are new to the AppleScript language this book is a must.
AppleScript Developer Reference
Once you have mastered AppleScript, you may want a developers guide. The AppleScript Developers Guide by Wiley Developer Reference, takes the applescript tools you learn a step further. It is more complicated but features more in depth and more difficult to master commands. This means you can build better scripts and access more in depth parts of your operating system. By using a developers guide you can have a rock and roll AppleScript application that is out of this world. I plan on purchasing this book later in the year.
Terminal Pocket Guide
I have previously mentioned about a Mac pocket guide. Another entry on the list is Terminal Pocket Guide. It is a to the point guide which gives you some basic and advance commands. This allows you to learn the basic ways of using Terminal and using it efficiently. It is one of those books where you keep on your shelf and use once in a while when you know about a certain command but cannot remember what it was or how to use it.
Mac Command Line: Under The Hood
An older book that has been round for a while is Mac OS X Command Line: Under The Hood. It goes into plenty of detail about using Terminal and using the various commands. It is a useful reference for using Terminal. Another book that another good read if you want to learn more about Terminal and you Mac is the Unix ToolBox. It has 1000+ commands which you can reference and use.
Master Your Mac
Another Mac book that has been getting a bit of attention is Master Your Mac. It is a bit different from the other types of books in that it teaches ways to use your Mac differently. Instead of telling you what a feature is, it shows you ways of using your Mac faster, finding files quicker and getting your Mac to work for you. It is the type of book that you would use to further your knowledge of your OS and do cool things in the process. It features a chapter on AppleScript and Automator, and speech recognition. A very interesting book.
Mac Portable Genius
All of the books so far talk about what is inside your Mac. What we haven’t talked about is the physical bit of hardware sitting on your desk. The Portable Genius series. It takes a look at the hardware side (but does feature some OS style tips).
The final book to feature on this list is something completely different. The Mac OS X Internals talks about some of the more technical concepts about how your Mac works. For example it discusses how your Mac starts up, the file system architecture, the kernel. All of the technical bits that make your Mac run. If you are technical minded and want to know how you runs on a system level this is a very useful book. If you are in IT or computer development this is a book to read.
There are many books out there on the Mac system. Some feature basic commands and features, some are more complex. If you have any books you recommend reading please leave a comment.