MacMost Now 303: The Guide to Switching to the Mac

Learn about the new book from It is a complete guide to learning to use Mac OS X Snow Leopard. Written for both switchers and people who want to learn more about their Mac, the book teaches the fundamentals of using the operating system and the applications that come with every Mac. You can find out more about the book at
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 303: The Guide to Switching to the Mac.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, I want to tell you about my new book: The Guide to Switching to the Mac.
So since the beginning of the year, I've been writing and editing this book which is a complete guide to switching to the Mac, but it could also be used by anybody that wants to get the most out of their Mac. It goes through every part of Mac OS X specifically for Snow Leopard, and it looks at all the different applications that come with Snow Leopard as well as the different applications in iLife which comes with every new Mac.
The book is 25 chapters long and it starts off by helping people who have not yet bought a Mac figure out what Mac is best for them. I then, look at all the Mac hardware and show you what different ports and different peripherals do. Chapters 3 through 6 look at the basics of Mac OS X: things like starting up and shutting down, getting around inside the Finder, working with files and folders, and controlling windows and applications. Now, this is all pretty basic stuff, but even people who have been using Mac for a long time might get some useful tips and tricks out of these chapters.
In Chapter 7, I look at all the applications that come with your Mac and talk about what each one can do. Then in Chapter 8, I go ahead and look at moving from Windows to Mac -- getting your files and your photos and e-mail and everything over from Windows if you're a switcher.
In Part II, I start to look at things like the Mail program and Safari. I look at setting up your internet connection, using Safari (including lots of tips and trick there) the same in Chapter 11 for the mail program. In Chapter 12, I talk about instant messaging starting with iChat, but also mentioning third party applications for instant messaging and voiceover IP. And Chapter 13, I talk about networking your Macs together at home.
In Part III, I look at things that help you get things done. So I talk about iWork and also a lot of third party business applications that you can get. I also look at managing your photos (in other words, using iPhoto), and using iTunes to manage music and video. In Chapter 18, I go on to look at running Windows on your Mac using Bootcamp and third party applications like Parallels and VM-ware.
In Part VI, I look at creative computing. So if you like to create things with your Mac, say images, I look at using the applications that come with your Mac to create images, but also third party apps. And then I look at creating music with Garage Band and using iMovie and iDVD to create video.
Finally in the last part, I look at customizing your Mac, setting preferences, and getting your Mac to look and work the way you want, also keeping your Mac up-to-date. Chapter 24 is one of the most important chapters. It talks about backing up your files, archiving them using Time Machine and Disk Utility to create archives. In Chapter 25, I talk about where to go next, where to get help, whether it's at, at, or at third party sites.
Let's take a look inside the book at some examples. Here's the beginning of Chapter 5, which is Working with Files and Folders. So I start off by explaining how the hard drive is organized. I talk about the main level of the hard drive, and then dig down into your User Home Folder. Then, go and look at each section of the User Home Folder and why it's there and what it's used for. So this all seems like pretty basic stuff, but even in here, there are some notes that dig a little deeper into how to use this. For instance, here's a little note about file extensions. If you go further than that, you get some information about the Info Window, and then you get a little bit of information here about why files that may only be a few bytes long, actually take up more space on the hard drive.
Here's an example about how the book digs deeper. In Chapter 11 about using Mail, I've got a section about Junk Mail filtering. Not only do I talk about the built-in Junk Mail filtering, but I talk about using rules to filter even more junk mail and do different things with the incoming mail. Then, I go deeper than that and talk about not using Mail at all, about using web-based e-mail systems.
Chapter 19 talks about using imaging programs that come with your Mac to make adjustments to images. So for instance, you can use Preview to do various different things: adjusting colors and cropping and resizing without having to buy a third party program. But then, I also go in to talk about using free drawing tools like: Paintbrush and Seashore to go ahead and do even more.
In the chapter on creating music, I look at Garage Band and show an example of how to create a simple musical composition using the loops that come with Garage Band.
In the chapter on using iMovie, I talk about importing video, editing it, and producing your video.
In Chapter 22, I talk about customizing your Mac, including adding third party utilities that you can get to make your Mac even better.
So I tried to make this book a complete guide to using Mac OS X Snow Leopard. If you switch from Windows to Mac, you're going to find a lot here to help you out. And if you've been using Mac OS X for years, you'll find there's a lot of advanced tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Mac. The book sells for $20 and usually a lot less at places like I think you'll find it well worth it, and if you've got a friend that recently switched from Windows to a Mac, or is thinking of doing so, I think this book will be perfect for them. So go ahead and check out more information at You can even view samples of the book at Until next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig from MacMost Now. Thanks for watching.

Comments: 5 Responses to “MacMost Now 303: The Guide to Switching to the Mac”

    Richard Greene
    10 years ago

    Book sounds great, Gary. Although I’m not a switcher, I think you have put lots of stuff in the book that will help me get the most out of my Mac! I’ve place my order with Amazon today.

    Luke Thomas
    9 years ago

    I’m getting the book! Thanks Gary.

    Luke Thomas
    9 years ago

    I just ordered it :-)

    8 years ago

    Hi Gary, is an update coming for this book? Your tutorials are very useful… Keep it coming. Thank You

      8 years ago

      No. Well, yes. But it isn’t a book. You’ll see. Check the site on Monday :)

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