Finally, there are enough of you Macintosh owners and would-be owners that book publishers think you're worth zeroing in on. Until now, they felt they couldn't make a profit on you according to one editor at the Howard B. Sams computer-book factory.
If you're still shopping for a Mac, bite into the third edition of Cary Lu's classic "The Apple Macintosh Book" ($22 from Microsoft Press). Revised with the help of Ellen W. Chu, it contains information that's not easy to find in Mac manuals. The secret here is good organization.The book's first meaty section explains how all the hardware works together. One long chapter even helps with printer buying.
The next section covers all the things you can do with a Mac and the software you need to do it. The final section is a hodge-podge of information on everything from Macintosh telecommunication and networking to how the computer can help the handicapped.
"Macintosh Hard Disk Management" ($20 from Hayden Books) is a boon for Mac-owning pack rats who are trying to deal with over-loaded hard disks. It's a malady IBM PC users suffered for years. IBMers can tell you from long experience that no matter how big the hard disk, there's never enough room on it.
Here, Charles Rubin and Bencion Calica share tips that can help you manage all your data. They have chapters on setting up system folders and files. They take the mystery out of the Macintosh Finder's disk-handling commands. They, too, have a chapter on networking.
In short, they explain that complicated but vital group of programs that Macintosh ads keep implying only MS DOS owners need worry about-the computer's operating system.
Three more new books in the Mac ballpark are about HyperCard. It's a relatively new database program for the Macintosh. We have a hunch that so far it's caught the fancy of more book authors than Mac users.
HyperCard did catch on in some large corporations. Once you learn its simple programming language and understand its logic, you can design stacks of software applications for it. For instance, you can set up a program that sorts computerized clip art to a musical accompaniment. Then less fanatic Mac users can do the sort just by going clickety click.
HyperCard's main appeal as a data base is the fact that it uses the old three-by-five-inch card metaphor. HyperCard fanatics are chasing the dream that's eluded them since childhood: an infinitely large, infinitely sortable stack of cards. Maybe by 1990, this computerized dream will reach solid reality. In the meantime, it takes books like these to help along the left-brained among us.
"HyperCard Made Easy" is not the easiest of these three. But San Diego State U. professor William B. Sanders designed it like a computer cookbook. So if that's the format you enjoy most, then this will be your easiest study guide.
"Hands-On Hypercard" calls itself a designer's book. We wonder at the smarts of the book jacket copywriters who point out that co-author Mimi Jones developed the Official HyperCard training course for Apple. If it's so good, why the second book?
Anyway, Jones and Dave Myers lead you by the HyperFinger to keyboarding various HyperJobs. Unfortunately, they don't stick with one job long enough to satisfy our thirst for examples of real, completed, useful applications done in HyperHype ($23 from John Wiley & Sons).
For serious HyperCarders, the best is "Apple HyperCard Script Language Guide: The HyperCard Language." It's aimed at people who can decipher programming languages, which is after all, what HyperCard is all about. This $23 volume is part of the official Apple technical library published by Addison-Wesley.
"AutoCAD Applications" will help you figure out if you want to find out a lot more about the exciting field of computerized drafting and design. AutoCAD is one of the best-selling drafting and design programs. The book is easy to read, yet provides a thorough once over, going so far as to include descriptions of some user-customized forms of AutoCAD for use in narrow specialties. The Gerald E. Jones book costs $25 (Scott, Foresman and Co.).
For people who have discovered that there is life beyond personal computers, consider Corey Sandler's "User's Guide to the VAX/VMS Operating System." There are probably more people working on computers that use VAX and VMS operating systems than use MS DOS or PC DOS.
That alone recommends the Sandler book to managers and planners who ought to know more about that side of computing. It's also valuable for non-technical types who find themselves working on a DEC VAX system and would like to know more about its inner workings than the few truisms shared by whomever broke you in. It's $19 from Scott, Foresman.
Finally, here's one for IBM PC followers. You've all been HyperHyped the new operating system known as PS/2. For those who don't want to risk a bundle buying the new system, but are dying to know more about it, here are two titles that together cost a lot less than the actual operating system.
"The IBM PC & PS/2" by Peter Norton and Richard Wilton is destined to become a classic among PC technies. Norton, even before he appeared in a Dewar's ad, had found two-bit words to explain ten-bit pieces of computer junk, and fifty buck programs that saved hundreds of hours of boredom, aggrevation, nervousness and tears by early PC users. It's $23 from Microsoft Press.
Comparative facts about features are included in a 5,000-word special report plus chart, "Word Processor Buyer's and User's Guide." For your copy send a $4.50 check and stamped self-addressed envelope for Report FP09 to, TBC, 4343 W Beltline Hwy, Madison, WI 53711. Copyright 1988 P/K Associates, Inc.