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The Mac OS X Conversion Kit: 9 to 10 Side by Side

by Scott Kelby. 291 pp. Peachpit Press, 2003. $29.99.

If you’re using OS 9 (or even OS 8) and are making the transition to OS X, forget the phone book–sized tomes. You need to buy Scott Kelby’s The Mac OS X Conversion Kit: 9 to 10 Side by Side. This book isn’t designed for folks who are new to computers, or are new to the Mac. It’s also not for people who are eager to delve deeply into the subtleties of OS X. The book is for people who already know how to use OS 9 and want to learn, quickly and simply, how to get things done in OS X.

The concept of the book is brilliantly simple: the left page shows how you did a task in OS 9, and the right page shows how to do the same task in OS X. The bold color screen shots and concise text make it a snap to find just the information you need, whether it’s how to select a printer, add fonts, find a file or shut down the computer (yes, that’s different too!) Topics are divided into chapters by theme. There are also chapters on installing OS X, things you couldn’t do in OS 9, and my favorite , “20 Little Things Apple Changed Just to Mess with Your Head.”

Scott Kelby is famous for his excellent ?cut to the chase? books on Photoshop and, most recently, for his best-selling OS X Killer Tips. The Mac OS X Conversion Kit is clear, approachable, visually satisfying and an all-around pleasure to use. Kelby tells us that he wrote this book for his wife. This is the perfect book for my husband—skilled in OS 9 and just making the to move to OS X—and for many, many others like him.

Most highly recommended.

-Elsa Travisano