Two new how-to’s are just now reaching store shelves everywhere: Chuck Toporek’s “Inside .Mac” and Joli Ballew’s “Degunking Your Mac,”. The former is an O’Reilly publication and the latter was published by Paraglyph Press, with U.S. and Canadian distribution being handled by O’Reilly. “Inside .Mac” (384 pages, US$19.95) is a reference guide for Apple’s suite of services that encompass building and managing a Web site, accessing e-mail through a .Mac account, backing up files to an online iDisk and more. Toporek guides readers through an overview of .Mac and offers a variety of tips and tricks, such as how to synchronize your Mac with your .Mac account. A sample chapter is available as a download in PDF format from the O’Reilly Web site.
“Degunking Your Mac” (304 pages, $24.99) is the latest in Paraglyph’s “Degunking” series. It covers all Macintosh operating systems from OS 9 through Mac OS X v10.3, discussing why OS slowdowns occur and how users can “degunk” their Macs to optimize performance. It discusses searching for slowdown causes, such as unnecessary fonts, applications and other files, and eliminating them, complete with a “12-Step Degunking Program” that quickly addresses the issue.