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Reviewed by Richard J. Uriarte

The MacintoshT' is the kind of computer that generates strong reactions. Depending on your attitudes, it's either a liberating marvel because it requires so little actual thought to operate, or a case of techno-pablurn, again because it requires so little thought to operate. Most of the books about the Macintosh have been written by people clearly in the prior camp; they seem to read like extended travel brochures. Perhaps this is because they were written after brief exposure to the Macintosh (and its mass of promotional hype), rather than after in-depth experience. The Apple Macintosh Book, by Cary Lu of Microsoft Press, suffers from much less problem of focus, even though it carne out near the release date for the Macintosh probably because the folks at Microsoft had Macintosh to work with for over two years before the rest of us.
This graphically stunning book seems to be several books in one. The first part of the book details how to set up a Macintoshr"' out of the box --useless to anyone who doesn't have a Macintosh , and equally useless to anyone who already does. It does have nice pictures, though. Other chapters in the first part of the book also seem to suffer from this "not enough if you already know -- too much if you don't" problem, as Lu runs through simple operations and use of Apple-provided software. Short chapters dealing with two Microsoft products, Multi- plan and Chart, are sound, though very cursory. The chapter on word processing is interesting in that it compares the free MacWrite"m.. with Microsoft WordTll\. It is interesting that almost a full year after the publication of The Apple Macintosh Book Microsoft Word is finally avail?ble on the Macintosh""' • A section on business applications was a bit premature, since only recently have accounting programs begun to appear. 
The chapter on programming languages gives some indication of the frustration that Macintosh owners have felt. Of. five different packages discussed by Lu, only one is current - MacPascal. As of March, 1985, Apple had not released MacBASIC™, MacLOGO™, or the Assembler/ Debugger, and Microsoft had already made extensive improvement of its BASIC, resulting in a 2.0 version much more elegant than that discussed by Lu. The second part of the book gives a great deal of insight into how the Macintosh actually works; more insight, in fact, than is available from Apple. There are separate chapters on the hardware design, the video screen, the keyboard, the mouse, disk drives, I/O ports, printers, and moderns. Much of this information will be of interest to both experienced and inexperienced users, but detail is not quite on a level sufficient to engage the serious hardware hacker. For example: "The best way to connect a non-Macintosh7 "" printer is to find someone who has done it already and copy the technique exactly (page 207)." The section concludes with general comments on software design, advice on maintenance "getting help", and
gives a fairly detailed comparison between the Macintosh and IBM PC (though IBM fans won't have gotten this far, I fear).
06/20/85 to 06/23/85