Updated Feb 2, 2016
If you've ever thought you should learn to use the Unix command line that underlies Mac OS X, or felt at sea when typing commands into Terminal, Joe Kissell is here to help! With this 167-page ebook, you'll become comfortable working on the Mac's command line, starting with the fundamentals and adding more advanced topics as your knowledge increases.
Joe includes 50 real-life "recipes" for tasks that are best done from the command line, as well as directions for working with permissions, carrying out grep-based searches, creating shell scripts, and installing Unix software.
"I found answers to many questions in your book, and I enjoyed reading it. I am definitely more confident now in facing the Mac command line. Thank you for the time and art that you spent to create such a clarifying text."
--Mona Hosseini, grad student in Genomic Medicine and Statistics at the University of Oxford
The book begins by teaching you these core concepts:The differences between Unix, a command line, a shell, and TerminalExactly how commands, arguments, and flags workThe basics of Terminal's interface and how to customize it
Next, it's on to the command line, where you'll learn:How to navigate your Mac's file systemBasic file management: creating, copying, moving, renaming, opening, viewing, and deleting filesCreating symbolic linksThe types of command-line programsHow to start and stop a command-line programHow to edit a text file in nanoWhat a profile is, why it's cool, and how to customize yoursThe importance of your PATH and how to change it, if you need toHow to get help (Joe goes way beyond telling you to read the man pages)
You'll extend your skills as you discover how to:Create basic shell scripts to automate repetitive tasks. Make shell scripts that have variables, user input, conditional statements, loops, and math.See which programs are running and what system resources they're consuming.Quit programs that refuse to quit normally.Enable the command line to interact with the Finder.Control another Mac via its command line with ssh.Understand and change an item's permissions, owner, and group.Run commands as the root user using sudo.Handle output with pipe (|) or redirect (>).Use grep to search for text patterns in files and filter output.Install new command-line software from scratch or with a package manager.
Questions answered include:Which shell am I using, and how can I change my default shell?How do I quickly figure out the path to an item on my Mac?How can I customize my Terminal window so I can see man pages behind it?How can I make a shortcut to avoid retyping the same long command?Is there a trick for entering a long path quickly?What should I say when someone asks if I know how to use vi?How do I change my prompt to suit my mood or needs?What is Command Line Tools for Xcode?When it comes to package managers, which one should I use?
"Very good! A pleasure to read, the right balance of coverage and clarity."
Finally, to help you put it all together, the book showcases over 50 real-world "recipes" that combine commands to perform useful tasks, such as listing users who've logged in recently, using a separate FileVault password, figuring out why a disk won't eject, copying the source code of a Web page, determining which apps have open connections to the Internet, flushing the DNS cache, finding out why a Mac won't sleep, sending an SMS message, and deleting stubborn items from the Trash.
But the most important aspect of maintenance is a rock-solid backup strategy that protects all your important data in the event of catastrophe. To that end, Joe provides an at-a-glance comparison of different strategies, explains the pros and cons of each type of media, and helps you pick the best backup program for your needs. You'll find time-tested recommendations that help you set up, test, and maintain your backups, complete with instructions on how to restore after a crash. Important lessons you'll learn along the way include the utility of having both a duplicate and an archive, the necessity of testing backups, and the importance of offsite backups.
In this book you'll find the answers to questions like these:
When is my Mac likely to have trouble? How can I find out which unnecessary files are taking up space on my disk? Should I defragment my hard disk and repair permissions regularly? What is the best backup software and hardware? How can I make sure I can restore from my backups?
Because Dropbox is so simple to use for basic file syncing, it's easy to forget that you can do far more with it than just sync files between two computers. If that's all you're doing, you're missing out!
Author Joe Kissell explains why Dropbox is cool, shares best practices for using Dropbox on your own or with a group, helps you avoid common mistakes, clues you in to newer and advanced collaboration features, teaches you how to secure your Dropbox account, and describes unusual uses of Dropbox.
Readers can quickly benefit from the book: new users can start in the "Dropbox Quick Start," which directs you to beginner basics or to special information for people who just want to access a shared Dropbox document.
But, for those who already know Dropbox basics, "Check Your Dropbox Skills" routes you immediately to help with exciting new features that you may not yet have mastered -- or even been aware of(!) -- such as Dropbox Team, Dropbox Paper collaboration, file requests, and Office integration/collaboration.
Teach This Book! Because a powerful aspect of Dropbox is sharing files with others, you may want to help your colleagues and friends use it. To that end, Take Control of Dropbox includes links to a downloadable 1-page PDF handout and to a 21-slide PDF-based presentation.
Joe focuses on using Dropbox from a Macintosh or Windows PC, or Linux, but part of why this book has crept up to 151 pages in its second edition is that he has included helpful details for integrating a mobile device (primarily iOS and Android) into your Dropbox workflow.
You'll find out how to:Recover accidentally deleted or revised files.Put new photos and videos into Dropbox with Camera Upload and share them easily.Sync data from Dropbox-savvy apps on all your devices (apps like 1Password, DEVONthink, and GoodReader). Make sure you're set up optimally by checking a few account-related details. These include security settings and methods of getting more storage space.Edit shared Office documents on the Dropbox Web site -- you don't need to have Office installed locally on your computer or subscribe to Office 365.Work with the Dropbox badge if you are editing a Dropbox-shared Office file on your local computer.Open PDFs from Dropbox from within Adobe Acrobat DC or Acrobat Reader DC -- and save any changes back to Dropbox.Set up a Dropbox team: learn how it works, and how to control who can do what and when.Create a Dropbox folder that other people can drop files into, but not see inside of.Unlink and remote-wipe Dropbox from a stolen device.
Joe also shares examples of interesting Internet services that can interact with files that you put in your Dropbox folder to publish a blog, automate Web activities, automate your Mac, sync with other cloud services, and even publish a book like this one!
Protect your Mac's data in the event of theft with Apple's FileVault!
If your Mac were stolen, would you worry about the thief seeing your email, photos, financial data, and other sensitive information? OS X’s built-in FileVault encryption technology ensures that your Mac’s contents are safe from prying eyes, but if you’re hesitant to entrust your data to an algorithm before you understand how FileVault works, this book will dispel any misconceptions, answer your questions, and get you running FileVault with confidence.
Security expert Joe Kissell begins by demystifying FileVault in a quick FAQ that explains, among other things, how it is that you can work with your startup drive normally even though all the data on it is encrypted. After the FAQ, Joe provides detailed steps for activating and using FileVault on both your startup volume and external drives. He also explains how FileVault interacts with your backups and how to use Find My Mac (because, remember, the point of FileVault is to protect your data in the event of theft) once you’ve turned on FileVault.
Additional topics include making and using encrypted disk images, third-party software that can encrypt just a single file or folder, and accessing special FileVault features from the command line.
FileVault facts and features that you'll master include:
Essential tips for protecting external drives with FileVaultPros and cons of encrypting the backup of a FileVault-encrypted driveImportant steps for safeguarding encrypted drives from motivated thievesWhether your data is safe when your Mac is sleepingWhether your data is safe from other logged-in users on the same MacPros and cons of letting Apple store your recovery keyHow to avoid panicking if you forget your FileVault passwordFileVault and Disk Utility features found only on the command line
This book covers FileVault 2, which was introduced in 10.7 Lion and is far better than, and completely different from, the original version of FileVault (now called Legacy FileVault). Everything in this book works with 10.10 Yosemite and 10.9 Mavericks. A few minor things have changed over the years, but anyone with 10.7 Lion or 10.8 Mountain Lion should also find the book useful.
Need to give a presentation, but worried about how you'll do? Steve Jobs relied on Keynote for his famous keynote presentations, and while using Keynote won't guarantee Jobs-level success, Joe Kissell's advice in Take Control of Keynote will get you closer.
Drawing on years of speaking experience, Joe suggests you start by figuring out what you want to say -- and he explains exactly how to accomplish this task, even though you won't do it in Keynote. He then helps you work in Keynote with the right theme, and explains how to create slides by filling in placeholders, adding objects (images, movies, sounds, tables, and charts), and inserting and styling text. You'll also learn how to add build effects to slides and transitions between slides, as well as how to make self-playing presentations designed for kiosks, and presentations with recorded narration or a soundtrack.
Finally, Joe offers real-world advice about delivering presentations, including tips on what to bring, making presenter notes and customizing the presenter display, setting up your display, and controlling your presentation.
"As someone whose life (and income) is doing training presentations, this ebook is the most useful I have ever bought. I know Keynote well and have used it since its first release; however, Joe's ebook has both challenged me to think about the way I structure my presentations and has taught me stuff about Keynote I didn't know." -Michael Durrant, Psychologist ... mental health & corporate trainer (Sydney, Australia)
You'll learn how to use the features that go into making a great slide deck:Making master slides with carefully positioned placeholdersAdjusting the slide orderViewing more than one slide at onceUsing all the fancy layout features to position objects on a slideApplying cool visual effects to photos, such as masking and Instant AlphaSorting out builds gone wild with the Build Order paletteHiding particular slides from an audience without deleting themTaking control of text boxes and Keynote's many text styling optionsCreating a presentation that requires clicks in specific places to advanceCommenting on slides while collaborating on your presentation
Additional advice helps you prep for a successful delivery and avoid technical glitches:What to consider in advance, with respect to the screen(s) you'll be usingPracticing the mechanics of delivering from KeynoteViewing presenter notes while you speakPlaying a sound or movie from a slide during your presentationEvaluating the many options for remote control instead of a mouse or trackpadPacking your bag with the right set of cables and gadgetsSetting up once you're at the speaking venue
You'll find even more assistance with answers to questions like:Should I store my presentation on iCloud Drive?What are my options if I want to print my presentation?What's the best way to turn my slide deck into a PDF?
The bulk of the book documents Keynote for the Mac, but an appendix explains what's similar and different about Keynote for iOS and Keynote for iCloud.
"Thanks for a great guide! I used it to successfully cook my first complete Thanksgiving, almost single-handed. While I can follow recipes, I am nowhere close to 'a cook'—your guide gave me the confidence to take on this meal!" —Ed Ruder
Appendixes cover special cases from allergies to vegans, drawings guide you as you work with the turkey, and a special included "Print Me" file provides shopping lists and schedules, as well as versions of the recipes that you can tape up in the kitchen. Although these recipes scale easily for a few more people, they are meant for 8-12 people. The recipes use U.S. and metric units.
Read this ebook to learn the answers to questions such as:What type of turkey should I buy?Is there a fast way to make cranberry relish? What's the secret behind making perfect gravy?How do you deal with a raw turkey, and which end is the neck?
"I've been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for longer than I care to admit, and I never would have thought I'd pick up so many good tips! Great book!" —Trish Huffman
Updated December 17, 2015
Beyond keeping track of what's new in the latest operating system is the larger problem facing most of us—how to work effectively in today's ecosystem of devices, servers, and collaborators. Frankly, sharing with other people and devices is messy, because everyone wants something different. That's why this may be our most important book, and why we are so grateful to Joe Kissell for taking on the challenge of describing how to share nearly everything you can think of in nearly every imaginable situation.
Here are just a few of the gems in this book:How iCloud Photo Sharing and My Photo Stream are entirely differentHow to share photos fleetingly, privately, permanently, or with your fridgeThe best ways to sync a project's worth of files with othersServices to provide ubiquitous access to your own files across devicesQuick ways to make a file available for download by anyoneHow to share calendars with others, whether or not they use iCloudA tutorial on enabling Family SharingTweaky workarounds for contact sharing, which is surprisingly difficultHow to rip a DVD to your MacBook Air using an older Mac's SuperDriveHow to turn your iPhone or Mac into a Wi-Fi hotspotWays of watching your uncle work remotely, as you help him with iTunesApproaches to syncing Web browser bookmarks and tabs with multiple devicesHow to securely share a collection of passwords with someone else
The list of essential but often frustrating tasks goes on and on, and the solutions go way beyond what Apple offers, so the book does too.
Non-Apple products mentioned include 1Password, AirFoil, Air Login, BitTorrent Sync, CargoLifter, CloudyTabs, Dropbox, Exchange, Facebook, Firefox, Flickr, Google+, Google Calendar, Google Chrome, Google Docs, handyPrint, Instagram, LastPass, Outlook, Pandora, PhotoCard, PowerPhotos, Printopia, Reflector, ScreenFlow, Spotify, SyncMate, Transporter, Twitter, Xmarks, and more.
And, thanks to the Take Control Crash Course format, you can jump right to the chapter that answers your question, without having to read through lots of other information -- as part of our Crash Course series, this book provides the first-rate content you expect from us in short chunks so you can dip in and read quickly. Because so many Take Control readers give tech support to others, each concise chapter has sharing buttons and practical tweet-tips, making it easy to share a few pages with Facebook friends, Twitter followers, and others who need the info. Crash Courses have a modern, magazine-like layout in PDF while retaining a reflowable design in the EPUB and Mobipocket versions.