Take Control Electronic Books:
Take Control of Upgrading to Panther
Take Control of Customizing Panther

Take Control of Upgrading to Panther 1.1, by Joe Kissell. 65 pp. PDF format. $5
Take Control of Customizing Panther 1.1, by Matt Neuburg 55 pp. PDF format. $5
Want to take control of upgrading to OS 10.3 Panther? Check out the innovative and affordable new Take Control electronic book series from Adam and Tonya Engst of TidBITs. Take Control ebooks are professionally produced mini-books by Mac experts on timely Mac topics. The titles are published directly to PDF format, which speeds them to your Mac without the delays of print publishing. Because they’re published electronically, titles can swiftly updated. The Take Control series leverages the capabilities of the Internet in ways that could well change the face of tech publishing.

The first two titles in the series are Take Control of Upgrading to Panther by Joe Kissell (65 pages) and Take Control of Customizing Panther by Matt Neuburg (55 pages). Kissell’s book gives invaluable step-by-step instructions for upgrading to Panther as well as troubleshooting help and tips for avoiding trouble in the first place. Neuburg’s book offers undocumented Panther details and helps you create shortcuts and customize your installation, Finder windows, Exposé, Font menus and more. Each is well worth the modest $5 cost.

Take Control titles are purchased through the TidBITs website via eSellerate online ordering service. Both books I purchased were ready for downloading within a few minutes of placing my order. Books arrive in the form of trim PDF files that can be read on your Mac using the free Acrobat Reader software—no specialized software required. The books print out nicely if you prefer a hard copy. However, reading on an internet-connected Mac allows you to take full advantage the books’ internal and web hyperlinks: selections of internet-style clickable text that jump you to related topics within the book and on the internet. Bill Atkinson, the creator of HyperCard, would be proud.

Just three weeks after the first two Take Control titles were published, updated versions of both books were issued ( free to current owners), covering late-breaking developments. That’s impressive customer service under any circumstance, and for a $5 investment, it’s simply amazing.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2003 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the November 2003 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.