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Preface > Audience for This Book

Audience for This Book

No book can be everything to everyone, especially at the first edition stage. But Mac OS X in a Nutshell does have an audience: one that first needs some clarification.

A question that came up a while back is "Why do I need a Nutshell book if I already have the Missing Manual?" We explain some of the reasoning and the audiences for both books here.

The Missing Manuals (co-published by Pogue Press and O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.) are a series of books aimed at the beginner- to intermediate-level user. The books are written in friendly prose and cover everything that a user would want to know and more.

O'Reilly's Nutshell series is the opposite of that. These books take a more terse approach to the topic. They give you what you need to know in as few words as possible, while at the same time covering things that are useful not only to beginners, but also advanced users.

The resulting package—the combination of the Missing Manual and the Nutshell book—provides you with the depth and coverage not attainable in a single book (unless, of course, you don't mind lifting weights).

So, to get back to the original question, the answer is: to truly master Mac OS X, you probably do need both the Missing Manual and the Nutshell book. Each book takes a different approach to covering Mac OS X, and each offers you something the other cannot.

Who This Book Is for

Due to the unusual pedigree of Mac OS X, readers might meet it in a number of ways. This book is aimed at folks with a more technical bent than the average user—the poweruser. This book will come in handy as a quick reference guide for those who are curious about what happens under Mac OS X's hood (and how one might tinker with it), and will be useful to those who are using Mac OS X as a server or development platform.

It's important to note that this book doesn't cover Mac OS X Server; it covers only the client version, Mac OS X Jaguar. For more information on Mac OS X Server, see Apple's online documentation at http://www.apple.com/macosxserver.

Who This Book Isn't for

This book focuses mainly on topics that are not likely to strike the interest of people who use Mac OS X primarily to run applications, such as word processing, graphic design, browsing the Web, and so on. These users might be better served by more user-friendly volumes, such as Mac OS X: The Missing Manual (Pogue Press/O'Reilly & Associates, Inc., 2002), or the Mac OS X Pocket Guide (O'Reilly, 2002), both of which were recently revised for Jaguar.

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