The original idea of How to Do Everything with Your iMac was a simple one. The iMac is a complete computer with a wonderful bundle of applications that enable you to do just about anything you need a computer to do. So, I wanted my book on the iMac to be as comprehensive as possible, teaching the reader how to be productive while enjoying this exciting little tool.
It was a risk, though, because the prevailing winds suggested that iMac owners might want thin books with only the basics to get up and running with their easy-to-use iMac. A 500-page book on the iMac? To some, it didn’t make sense. Would readers buy this book?
The results speak for themselves, with the first three editions of the book selling over 100,000 copies—a runaway best-seller in the computer-book business. The folks at McGraw-Hill/Osborne were tickled enough to create an entire series of How to Do Everything books.
Now, we’ve put together this fourth edition, largely to tackle all of the new software and capabilities that Apple continues to pile onto the iMac. Not the least of these is Mac OS X—arguably the first all-new Mac OS since the advent of the Macintosh. In its current “Panther” iteration, Mac OS X is a modern, elegant, but complex operating system that can be fun to learn and, at times, a bit frustrating to manage or troubleshoot. (That makes for at least one good reason to get a book about it!)
In the third edition of this book we covered both Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. For the fourth edition, we’re focusing exclusively on Mac OS X because, well, that’s what Apple has done. All of Apple’s consumer Macs have shipped with Mac OS X for well over a year, and the transition to Mac OS X as the mainstay operating system for most Mac users is essentially complete. You’ll find that Mac OS X is full featured, offers great advantages, and, frankly, requires every page that I have available to give to it. (For those of you still working with Mac OS 9 or with “Classic” applications, the appendix discusses some of the differences and how to get them to work together.)
In How to Do Everything with Your iMac, Fourth Edition, perhaps the most dramatic change we’ve made is to extend the book’s focus to cover the iBook and eMac as well as the iMac. All of Apple’s consumer Macs include almost identical bundles of software applications, so you’ll find that much of the coverage is identical. But there are certain quirks and features that make each of these Mac models unique, too, so I’ll touch on them throughout the book.
Coverage of the Internet is arranged to get you up and running more quickly, starting with Chapter 5’s quick guide to the Internet. That’s in addition to Chapters 18, 19, and 20, where you’ll find extensive coverage of e-mail, the World Wide Web, and Apple’s .Mac features, which make it easy to transfer files online, create web pages, and display images and movies on the Web.