Review: Mac at Work

February 1, 2011

Last Thursday, I pulled a bulky envelope from my mailbox, happy to peel back the flap and find David Spark’s new book, Mac at Work (paperback | Kindle). David graciously offered to send me a copy for review a few months ago and I’ve been anticipating it’s arrival. By the time I crawled in bed, I’d skimmed* or intently read every one of the 368 pages.

Macs have surged in popularity in recent years, especially for home users, students, or independent professionals. But there is still some residual (and flawed) thinking that Macs aren’t meant for “real work” that happens in “real workplaces”. As a trial lawyer in an established firm, David has proven otherwise. Mac at Work was written out of his experience in the “real workplace” to show how useful Macs can be in that environment too. (Or as David would say, to show how his Mac gives him an advantage over others in that environment.)

The book is broken into 24 chapters, each focusing on the unique tasks one might need to use a Mac for in almost any work environment. The topics range from choosing the right Mac, to email, to presentations, all the way to advanced topics like automation. (David has a PDF of a sample chapter and the contents hosted on his website.)

One of the best things about using a Mac is the quality software created by independent developers. Clearly, David agrees, as each chapter highlights some of the best software available for any given task. (Yes…this book might end up costing you much more that the cost of the book itself!)

David’s writing isn’t only comprehensive in the breadth of topics, but also in the user level. I’m a prolific user, but I gleaned some tips along the way. My wife is comfortable on her MacBook, but could gain much from David’s writing. And if my dad gets serious about buying a Mac for my mom, I will loan it to them too.

If you are wanting to use a Mac for ‘real work’, this book is worth your time — it also might make a good gift for your IT department. And if you are a home user, a student, or an indy professional, you don’t need to feel left out. You can benefit from David’s experience and wisdom too.

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*Don’t be fooled by my mention of skimming the book. I had a good headstart from years of reading or listened to most of what David has to say on his blog at MacSparky, listening to each episode of MacPowerUsers, and a number of emails and phone calls along the way.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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