Book Review:
Upgrading & Troubleshooting Your Mac: Mac OS X Edition

Upgrading and Troubleshooting Your Mac: Mac OS X Edition, by Gene Steinberg. 612 pp. Osborne/McGraw-Hill, 2001. $29.99.

This impressive manual manages to cover a lot of bases, from solving Mac hookup problems and upgrading system software to sorting out network problems and troubleshooting your Mac on the road.

Gene Steinberg is a Mac consultant and author of twenty computer and internet books. He’s also a “helper” for Arizona Macintosh User Group, fielding phone questions and providing technical advice for fellow AMUG members. His extensive real world experience shows in the book’s clear, understandable explanations and no-holds-barred advice.

The book is intended as a hands-on guide that gives specific instructions for upgrading and troubleshooting tasks both in OS X and the OS 9 Classic environment. Starting with instructions for setting up your Mac for the first time, Steinberg covers the separate considerations for adding a new or replacement Mac, connecting to an existing network (Mac or cross-platform), transferring files and settings, and what to do if your new Mac doesn’t work.

Next comes dealing with system software hassles and the right way to upgrade OS X and OS 9. Scanners, printers, working in a mixed Mac/Windows office, dealing with internet problems and figuring out whether your Mac has a virus are among the topics covered with detail and humor. You’ve got to love a book with a chapter entitled “The Weird World of Fonts.”

Especially useful are the chapters on installing upgrade cards and RAM, and what to do when installations go wrong. On-target notes, cautions and case histories are interspersed throughout the book, along with screen shots and a handy thumb index. One of the case histories gave me the confidence to try OS X on a 266 MHz iMac, despite the odd experience Steinberg encountered in the particular case he describes.
For anyone ready to try their hand at upgrading or troubleshooting a newer Mac, this book is an excellent investment.

– Elsa Travisano

Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the April 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.