We live in an information age. So much is available, yet there’s so little time. Sometimes we spend more time looking for a “how to” than the actual “how to” takes in the first place. Mac360 welcomes TidBits’ Take Control series of Ebooks.
If you’re an old hand on the internet, you may have heard of TidBits, Adam Engst’s online Mac tips and tricks site. Adam’s books on the internet were among the first I read back in the early days of public internet access in 1994.
The TidBits site is a repository of Mac news, helpful hints, and years of back issues. Last year Adam and Tonya started a new series of online books called “Take Control Ebooks: The Answers You Need Now, From Leading Experts.”
What you get is exactly what you need. Control. Advice. Highly practical, and focused electronic books to help you, well, take control of your Mac.
The Ebooks are written by expert authors who also produce printed books. Ebooks are PDF format which include an easy-to-view style, bookmarks, clickable links, and something you won’t get from Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or Borders—a “Check for Updates” button which lets you check and download free updates.
I like Ebooks already. But, wait. There’s more. Ebooks have sample pages so you can see what you’re getting, and there’s a money-back guarantee.
The whole Ebooks process is just what the web promised but we got Amazon instead.
These books are focused on the Mac, on specific topics which are difficult for some Mac users to handle (backups, anyone?), and modestly priced at $5 to $10 (discounts for multiple purchases).
Select the book that fits with your needs. Begin the purchase and download process, which takes all of about two minutes, then download and begin reading.
For example, “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups” may be the most useful Ebook for Mac users and switchers. Backing up photos, movies, music, and files has never been more critical, and solutions abound.
Outside of browsing, most of us use Mail as much as another other Mac OS X application. Mail is valuable and “Take Control of Mail in Tiger” is priceless.
These Ebooks span a broad range of needs, from basics for new Mac users or moderate users, to subjects which are more for mature and experience Mac users.
Even if you’re a power user and have known Macs since Bambi was slender, and Tera had hair, you’ll learn a thing or two. Why? Because technology changes. Quickly. Maintaining control is the challenge, and Ebooks is one of the solutions.
The list of Ebooks titles in the catalog (they’re pretty much self explanatory) is extensive.
Ebooks are available in three main sections; Mac OS X, Mac applications, and Hardware & Technologies.
Mac OS X
This category get’s you “Take Control of Permissions in Mac OS X”, something beneficial for those of us wanting to learn more. Same with “Take Control of Users & Accounts In Tiger.”
My favorite and most valuable is “Take Control of Mac OS X Backups.” For those of you still using Mac OS X Panther, many of the Ebooks have focus on Panther instead of Tiger.
Apple gives us plenty of software with each new Mac. Take control of your fancy for each with “Take Control of Apple Mail in Tiger” (and Panther), with other topics including Microsoft Office, Entourage, Microsoft Word, and Garageband.
Coming soon is a “Take Control of iWeb” which is on pre-order now.
Hardware & Technologies
Your Mac isn’t just software, so Ebooks has options for Apple hardware and some technology which may appear daunting at times.
For example, there’s “Take Control of .Mac.” And, “Take Control of Your WiFi Security.” Some may find that to be a non-issue, but you’d be surprised how many Mac users don’t have their Macs secure.
There’s also Ebooks on “Take Control of Buying a Digital Camera” and “Digital TV.”
The point of all these Ebooks is focus. Instead of wading through a huge “Missing Manual” that cost $25 and is out of date in a year, Ebooks cover just what you need and don’t go out of date (Free Update link).
If you need a little more information than you’re getting from the web, check out the titles in the Take Control series.