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What's New in This Edition?

What's New in This Edition?

"Since the publication of the previous edition of this book, the Macintosh landscape has changed substantially." Those were the opening words of this section of the two previous editions of this book. If anything, these words vastly underestimate the extent of change that has occurred in the last few years. For starters, there have been three major upgrades to the Mac OS (OS 8, OS 9 and now OS X) and a complete overhaul of the Mac hardware (starting with the iMac). And of course, the importance of the Internet has grown exponentially.

With all of this change, it has become impossible to retain all of the relevant information in previous editions and still add the new information. The book would be too large to publish as a single volume. As such, in cases where information is different across different hardware and software, I have limited coverage to PowerPC Macs only and to Mac OS 8.0 or later. For troubleshooting help that predates this, you'll have to rely on older editions of Sad Macs.

Second, due to the accelerated rate of change, it has reached the point where material becomes obsolete almost as soon as I am done writing it. Still, I tried to make this book as current as possible, making changes up to the last hours before the book went to press. To find out about something that is newer than what made the deadline for this edition, my best advice is to check my MacFixIt http://www.macfixit.com Web site. For example, it will certainly have the latest information about the forthcoming Mac OS X.

Those caveats aside, the fourth edition of Sad Macs represents, once again, an almost complete rewrite of previous editions. However, the basic structure of previous editions remains the same. This means that a cursory glance at the table of contents hardly hints at all of the changes that lie just beneath the surface. To give you a better idea of what's new, here's a list of some of the more noteworthy additions:

  • Every chapter has been updated to include information about Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 9

  • Where relevant, all chapters have been updated to include new information about the iMac, the iBook, USB, FireWire and all of the other recent hardware innovations.

  • Chapter 2 has new information on creating emergency startup disks.

  • Chapter 5 has new information on DVD drives.

  • Chapter 6 has new information on Navigation Services dialog boxes.

  • Chapter 7 has new information on troubleshooting inkjet and USB printers.

  • Chapters 9 and 10 have been substantially revised to eliminate out-of-date material and replace it with more recent information.

  • Chapter 11 has been rewritten almost from scratch to include new information about Mac portables, including the iBook, and an expanded section on file sharing (with new material on Ethernet and on AirPort connections).

  • Chapters 12 and 13 are expanded versions of what was previously one chapter on Internet-related troubleshooting. I am particularly pleased with how these chapters turned out. For those of you with Internet-related problems (which is just about everyone!), these two chapters alone are likely to be worth the price of this book.

  • Chapter 14 covers issues specific to the iMac, iBook, new PowerBooks, and Power Mac G3/G4.

  • Chapter 15 covers issues specific to Mac OS 8.x, Mac OS 9.x and Mac OS X.

  • The 18 original Fix-Its have been reorganized into 16 Fix-Its.

  • Fix-It #4 has been revised to cover recent changes in installing the Mac OS.

  • Fix-It #6 has been revised to cover the new viruses (such as the AutoStart virus) that emerged in the last few years. It also describes the new versions of anti-virus software.

  • Fix-It #10 is a completely revised Fix-It on dealing with Directory damage.

  • Fix-It #13 has new information on HFS Plus formatting.

  • Fix-It #14 is an almost entirely new Fix-It that covers troubleshooting SCSI, IDE, USB, FireWire, serial and ADB connections.

  • Fix-It #15 has new information on G3 and G4 processor upgrades.

  • Fix-It #16: has a completely revised section on getting troubleshooting help from the Web.

This list is far from complete. Every chapter and Fix-It has at least some changes. Summarizing all of this, I once again find that what I said here in previous editions still applies: "I believe you hold in your hands the most comprehensive book on Macintosh troubleshooting that is available anywhere."

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