Mac Annoyances: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Mac

by John Rizzo. 156 pp. O’Reilly, 2005. $24.95.

Wrestling with Apple’s help system, trying to eject a CD from a keyboard without an eject key, or listening to AOL’s preternaturally perky voice announce “You’ve Got Mail!” are enough to drive drive even the most serene Mac user up the wall.

Relax. John Rizzo feels your pain. In Mac Annoyances, How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Your Mac, he offers welcome solutions to 150 of the most irritating, well, Mac annoyances. This eminently browsable book has something to offer to Mac users at all levels and all boiling points.

Annoying issues are grouped into chapters on Mac OS X, email, the Internet, Microsoft Office, iLife, iPod and hardware. (Curiously missing from the lineup is my pet bête noire AppleWorks, a program which vexes me on a regular basis and which I can’t ignore because so many of my consulting clients use it. I hope that AppleWorks, and its successor, Pages, will merit a chapter in a future version of the book.)

Each annoyance and solution is presented as a stand-alone nugget of information, making it easy to hone in on single problem you want to solve. But, like eating popcorn, once you start reading it’s hard to stop.

I particularly appreciated suggestions for using Sherlock’s AppleCare channel as a better help system, and for setting Flag and Followup on an Entourage message to keep it from getting lost in a blizzard of email.

The book sports an exceptionally throrough index as well as a detailed topic listing in the table of contents.

No matter what your level of Mac expertise, you’ll be sure to find suggestions and solutions in Mac Annoyances to make your computing life less frustrating. Now that’s a balm for your inner Mac curmudgeon. Very highly recommended.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2005 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the March 2005 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.