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iMac it easier
by Thanos Kalamidas
Issue 7
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Book
How to Do Everything with Your iMac, 4th Edition
Todd Stauffer
McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2004
When you buy a program for your Mac or your PC computer, or even the computer itself, you always get the manuals as well. Now I know very few men who like ironing, I know even fewer who read a manual of any kind. Computer programs are the worst. Until now, I have never met anybody who has actually read the manual of the computer or the program they bought.

To make it worse, it seems that the people who write these manuals have made a bet that nobody will understand them. In the beginning, you feel cool. You know how to move around and you know what most of the things are doing - here are the magic words: most of the things.

Naturally, you buy all the right magazines, which are full of examples on what your fantastic new program does and you have no idea how it does it, so in the beginning you start thinking that you bought an older version of the program. After you check that you didn’t, life goes on, work is being done and one day you see another thing your Mac was suppose to be doing and yours isn’t.

The whole thing has happened many times to me and I bet it has happen many times to everybody who’s working with computers. My new fancy, cool brilliant iMac is the perfect example. After one year, I found out that I had an expensive Mac that I used as a typewriter and that was not so often. A magazine informed me that my iMac does nearly everything, except putting cream in my coffee and giving me a haircut once a month.

So what did I do? I got the manual and started to try to read it. No way! I mean it. It was like I was reading a book in Finnish. The only word I could understand was the word, iMac. My fancy iMac has an application that is called Apple-works that I never used. Why? I didn’t know how and since I was feeling more comfortable with a PC word processor, I got it for my iMac.

After two weeks spending every free moment I had in front of my Mac with the book, I understood one thing: I had no idea what it meant. My next step was natural, I went to one of those bookshops that specialize in software and hardware books and I asked for a book about my iMac.

You will never believe it, but there were 38 books about it. And that’s in Helsinki. I bet if I lived in New York, London or Paris I would have found a few more hundred ranging from the ‘iMac for dummies’ to ‘iMac for masters’, or even a book called ‘iMac, the next level part II’. Prices were another thing, anything from eight to hundred and eighty euros. Why? What did the hundred and eighty euros’ book have that the eight euro one lacked? No idea, so I decided to rely upon destiny and luck, and picked two: ‘iMac for total idiot’ and ‘How to do everything with your iMac’ – the word ‘everything’ was even underlined.

‘How to do everything with your iMac’ is the one that really helped me. Not that I read it all, I have it next to me and every time I see something I don’t know how, I just go through the book, reading the examples and practicing till I learn it. The book is written by Ted Stauffer and is published by Osborne publishing company. I got the book in its fourth edition, which says that the book is popular.

But why are these books here in the first place? This is not the first time I have bought a book that can help me, while next to me are the original manuals ready to be recycled. Why didn’t Apple invite this Mr. Stauffer to write the manual and save me enduring this adventure?

This is not only for Apple; it seems that they are all making the same mistake. Has anybody understood the manual that comes with Macromedia’s Dreamweaver? What about Adobe’s Illustrator. This is total chaos. Why do we need to buy a manual to understand the manual?

   
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