Tiger Books on the Horizon

by Chuck Toporek

The mystery is over. For nine months, the Mac faithful have waited anxiously for the gestation of Mac OS X Tiger, and this week our wish came true: We finally got an answer to when Tiger would release. And for those of you who've been under a rock this week, that day would be Friday, April 29th.

While the Apple engineers have been toiling away, working feverishly on Tiger, I too have been pent up in my home office, editing Tiger books in preparation for its release. So now that the gloves are off and we know when Tiger hits the street, here's the first wave of O'Reilly books on Tiger, coming soon to a bookstore (brick or online) near you:

  • Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide

  • Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger

  • Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks

Each of these books has something to offer for its readers, so I thought I'd spend a little time here and give you an idea of what to look for (without breaking my NDA).

Mac OS X Tiger Pocket Guide

First, a little shameless self-promotion; this is my book. (Yep, that's right, I'm the author/editor of this book; for now, you can just call me Sybil.) Hard to believe, this is the fourth edition of this book; in previous lives the book has been known as (respectively) the Mac OS X Pocket Reference (based on 10.1), Mac OS X Pocket Guide (based on Jaguar), Mac OS X Panther Pocket Guide (on, um, Panther), and now the Tiger edition. Over the years, I've received a lot of feedback -- good and bad -- from readers, and I've really taken that to heart with this new edition. I've shifted the focus of this book so it focuses on Tiger. Gone are the sections on Mac OS 9, stuff for switchers from Windows and *nix, and detailed sections on vi and Emacs bindings. Instead, I've used that space to focus on what's new in Tiger, calling out things that I think are cool that you've just gotta use. This new edition is a shift in focus, but I think you're going to like it, probably more so than the previous editions.

Learning Unix for Mac OS X Tiger

While there's not much that's changed with Unix, the learning curve to understand Unix can sometimes be steep. And for Mac users who aren't familiar with the command-line -- or worse, afraid of it -- teaching an old dog new tricks takes some work. I knew a little about Unix before coming to work at O'Reilly (although, I'm not sure having used pine and mutt on a VAX system counts for much), and on my first day I was given a copy of Learning the vi Editor and Unix Power Tools, and was told "You'll need these." Man, did I ever! I was a long-time Mac user, and while I had worked on VAX systems at my previous employer, I was a real Unix neophyte. I know what it's like to learn Unix in a trial-by-fire sort of way, but once I saw what you could do with it, I easily succombed to the Unix side.

With this new edition, written by Dave Taylor, Mac users are introduced to the Unix side of Mac OS X. You'll see some of the things you can do in the Terminal that you just can't do in the Finder, and along the way, you'll learn the Unix lingo as well, so if someone says "Just chmod 775 that file and you'll be okay," you'll know what they mean and know that they're not playing tricks on you. Dave's taken a good whack at the revision of this book, and has added Tiger-specific material to make you drool. If you're a Mac user and you've been riding the Unix fence, this book's for you.

Mac OS X Tiger for Unix Geeks

Now in its third edition, the "Geeks book," as its affectionately known, also kicks it up a notch for Tiger. This book is for experienced Unix users and developers who need to know more about the depths of Unix on Mac OS X. If you're new to Unix, you might want to steer away from this one right now and read Dave's book first.

But if you've been using Linux, FreeBSD, or some other form of Unix before coming to Mac OS X, you'll find this book quite useful. The authors, our own Brian Jepson and Unix-whiz Ernest E. Rothman have done a stellar job at updating the book for Tiger, adding new material that includes covering how to run Linux on your Mac, and how to run Mac OS X on x86 systems using PearPC.

So there you have it; O'Reilly's first wave of Tiger books. Now, I could pull a stunt like Steve and say the books will release in the first half of 2005 -- which they will -- but I'll do something better than that; I'll give you the date: June 6, 2005. Yes, that's right, these three books will release at the WWDC. You can pre-order the books now, either from O'Reilly's Catalog Page, or from their respective pages on Amazon.com:

But wait, there's more...

At long last, O'Reilly will release our Mac OS X Server book, written by Michael Bartosh and Ryan Faas (and a cast of contributors) in May. The book is titled, Essential Mac OS X Server Administration, and I can tell you, this is one kick-ass book, and it's not just because I'm the editor. This really is the definitive book on Mac OS X Server, and if you're a Server administrator, this is the book you've been waiting for.

But wait, there's even more...

Look for David Pogue's Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Tiger Edition in July, hopefully in time for Macworld Boston.

So, when it comes to Mac OS X Tiger, we've got you covered, and we'll have even more late Summer/early Fall.

When it comes to Tiger, what are you most interested in learning more about?


2005-10-05 03:08:18
Nice blog.I like this.
Nick (http://www.yahoo.com)