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Prepare for Lion with New Take Control Books

In 2003, we launched the Take Control series with Joe Kissell’s “Take Control of Upgrading to Panther” and Matt Neuburg’s “Take Control of Customizing Panther.” Now, nearly 8 years and 4 editions later, we’re hard at work on the fifth editions of these ebooks, called “Take Control of Upgrading to Lion” and “Take Control of Using Lion.”

Of course, Lion isn’t out yet — Apple is poised to release it at some point in July — but Joe and Matt (and Tonya, who is editing both ebooks) have been burning the midnight oil to help you get started with Apple’s latest big cat. Still, there’s no reason to wait for Lion to ship to start preparing for your upgrade, and to provide you with Joe’s latest expert advice, we now have the first release of “Take Control of Upgrading to Lion” ready for you to read, with a free 1.1 update ready to release as soon as Lion ships and Apple lifts our non-disclosure agreement. For similar reasons, we can’t release Matt’s “Take Control of Using Lion” until then, but you can pre-order it now and download it as soon as we can make it available.

Both books are available independently, but they’re intended to work together to help you upgrade successfully and then get started using Lion’s new features, so you can buy them together at a 30-percent discount (you pay $17.50 instead of the $25 list price; this offer will expire when Apple releases Lion!). Read on for details.

Take Control of Upgrading to Lion — You can begin upgrading to Lion now by joining Joe Kissell for the necessary pre-upgrade check on software and hardware compatibility. You’ll also benefit from Joe’s expert advice on making the best type of backup in case of an upgrade disaster and on clearing the decks of useless cruft so you can start using Lion with plenty of room. In particular, you’ll learn how to:

  • Part with Rosetta: Understand and work around the fact that PowerPC-based software will not run under Lion, given the absence of Rosetta.

  • Handle your hardware: Thoroughly check your hardware for Lion compatibility. Also, get ideas for new hardware — it might be time for more RAM, disk space, or other peripherals, particularly a Magic Trackpad.

  • Deal with duplication: Learn what a disk duplicate is, why having one is essential before installing Lion, and how to make one easily and affordably. Also, get help with backing up a Windows volume, should you be running Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp.

  • Verify that all systems are go: Test your Mac to be sure all the hardware and disks are running properly — better to discover and correct a problem now than on upgrade day — and find advice on clearing extra files and software off your disk so that you get a fresh start with Lion.

  • Consider a few geeky details: If you secure your data and documents with disk encryption now, or would like to under Lion, get advice on what to do before you upgrade and learn how Lion’s much-improved FileVault will operate. Also, read about what Joe thinks of partitioning and what you might want to do about it before installing.

The 1.0 version of “Take Control of Upgrading to Lion” costs $10 and is currently 66 pages long. As soon as our non-disclosure agreement with Apple lifts after Lion ships, we plan to release a free 1.1 update that will cover full installation details, required post-upgrade tweaks, and troubleshooting tips in case your upgrade doesn’t go smoothly. It will also tell you how to migrate to a new Mac running Lion, install Lion Server, and use the new Recovery mode.

Take Control of Using Lion — In “Take Control of Using Lion,” Matt Neuburg has revised his essential “Take Control of Exploring & Customizing Snow Leopard” to look deeply at important new features in Lion while also discussing older features and third-party options that may work better for you, all with the goal of helping you understand Lion’s benefits, learn new habits, and get back to work quickly after your upgrade. Major topics help you to:

  • Understand Auto Save, so you can let Lion save for you with confidence.

  • Learn how Resume works, and how to disable it when you want a clean start.

  • Figure out how to navigate Lion with the new Mission Control feature.

  • Enter and leave full-screen mode, and switch among full-screen apps with Mission Control.

  • Set up and use Launchpad, and get ideas for additional ways to launch apps.

  • Memorize useful new trackpad and Magic Mouse gestures for controlling your Mac.

Take Control of Using Lion” also answers many key questions about Lion, such as:

  • Where did my scrollbars go, and how do I get them back?!?
  • How do I make the text in my Finder window sidebar larger?
  • Where did my user Library folder go, and how can I access it easily?
  • How do I sort items in a Finder window?
  • What is this All My Files entry in my sidebar?
  • Where have the Appearance and Accounts preference panes gone?
  • What is the fun new way of entering accented characters?
  • How do I change the size of my mouse pointer icon?
  • Is there a way of zooming just a portion of the screen? (Yes!)

This $15 pre-order “ebook” is only one page long; it’s a placeholder that you can use to get the full “Take Control of Using Lion” once it’s available. We plan to publish it as soon as possible after Apple releases Lion and lifts our non-disclosure agreement. Ideally, this will be the same day Lion becomes available.

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