MacOS Catalina is the 16th major version of Apple’s operating system. It’s got very little in common with the original Mac OS, the one that saw Apple through the 80s & 90s. Apple dumped that in 2001, when CEO Steve Jobs decided it was time for a change. Apple had spent too many years piling new features onto a software foundation originally poured in 1984. Programmers and customers complained of the “spaghetti code” the Mac OS had become.
So today, underneath macOS’s classy, shining desktop is Unix, the industrial-strength, rock-solid OS that drives many a website and university. It’s not new by any means; in fact, it’s decades old & has been polished by generations of programmers.
To find your way around macOS Catalina, you’re expected to use Apple’s online help system. As you’ll quickly discover, these help pages are tersely written, offer very little technical depth, lack useful examples, and provide no tutorials whatsoever.
The purpose of this book, then, is to serve as the manual that should have accompanied macOS—version 10.15 in particular. Whether you have an antique, hand-cranked 2012 iMac or a shiny new model, this is your guide.
If you’re a Mac veteran, on the other hand, keep your eye out for similar shaded boxes called “Power Users’ Clinic.” They offer more-technical tips, tricks, and shortcuts.
When you write a book like this, you do a lot of soul-searching about how much to cover. Of course, a thinner book, or at least a thinner-looking one, is always preferable; plenty of readers are intimidated by a book that dwarfs the Tokyo White Pages. On the other hand, Apple keeps adding features and rarely takes them away.
That’s why some chapters come with free downloadable appendixes—PDF documents, available on this book’s “Missing CD” page —that go into further detail on some of the tweakiest features. (You’ll see references to them sprinkled throughout the book.)
Maybe this idea will save a few trees—and a few back muscles when you try to pick this book up.
Apple gives macOS new features and improvements right on your desktop and under the hood with Catalina—aka OS X 10.15. With this updated guide, you’ll learn how to use your iPad as a second screen, work with iPad apps on your Mac, and use Screen Time on your Mac. This new edition of the #1 bestselling Mac book shows you how to use the revamped apps for Music, Podcasts, and TV.
Loaded with illustrations, step-by-step instructions, tips, and tricks, this book from David Pogue—Missing Manual series creator, New York Times columnist, and Emmy-winning tech correspondent for CNBC, CBS, and NPR—covers everything Catalina has to offer with lots of humor and technical insight.
From 2000 to 2013, David Pogue was the New York Times weekly tech columnist. After a five-year detour to Yahoo Finance, he’s now he’s back at the Times, writing the “Crowdwise” feature for the “Smarter Living” section. He’s a four-time Emmy winner for his stories on “CBS Sunday Morning,” and a host of 17 science specials on “NOVA” on PBS. David is one of the world’s best-selling “how-to” authors, with more than 100 titles and 3 million copies in print. They include seven books in the “For Dummies” series, his own Pogue’s Basics series of essential tips and shortcuts, and the Missing Manual series of computer books.