MacDirectory Magazine

Ron English

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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MD57 MASTER.qxp:Layout 1 2013-04-05 6:37 PM Page 21 BOOK REVIEWS DESIGN FORWARD— TIVE STRA TEGIES FOR SUST AINABLE CHANGE CREA WORDS BY RIC GETTER We confess. What first drew our attention Hartmut Esslinger's latest book, Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change, were the pictures. Among its many images, it includes a collection of previously unpublished photos of prototype products dreamed up by Apple and Esslinger's studio, Frog Design, in the 80's. Most of the products never appeared (or were even hinted of). But the genesis of Apple's cutting-edge design was clearly there. The Apple equivalent of Detroit's concept cars, these "concept computers" heralded a new era of simplicity and functionality that would become Apple's unique leitmotif in coming years. They broke the molds of personal computing and began probing the idea of personal electronics. Design Forward is far more than a picture book, however. Its main goal is to create a case for how design can have a profound cultural impact and be a catalyst for change. The same forces, he argues, that have made his designs so commercially popular can be harnessed to solve some of twenty-first century's most pressing problems. He believes they can transform a culture of consumption into a culture of sustainability. To achieve this, Esslinger stresses his concept of "strategic design," where design is central rather than peripheral to the process of developing ideas and solutions. The most desirable future lays not so much with products and entrepreneurs as with the development of what he calls "creative science" as a component of education, a course of study that develops the skills and awareness to bring together disparate specialties to achieve a common goal. To illustrate and animate these sometimes abstract ideas, Esslinger includes stories from his early days with Steve Jobs at Apple and NeXT, how he helped to meld the design genius of Germany's WEGA with the Japanese electronics giant, Sony, and how his studio helped carve new futures for companies like Sharp, Disney and SAP. To leave us with an idea of what the future holds, he concludes with a portfolio of some of his students' best ideas. Design Forward is something of a landmark in the realm of design theory. Esslinger's ideas, like his designs, are revolutionary and his latest book offers invaluable insight to anyone immersed in the field. And the pictures are simply incredible. Design Forward: Creative Strategies for Sustainable Change by Hartmut Esslinger; $40.00, Arnoldsche Art Publishers ( 2012; 308 pages, ISBN: 978-3-89790-381-4 MAC KUNG FU—OVER 400 TIPS, TRICKS, HINTS, AND HACKS FOR APPLE OS X WORDS BY RIC GETTER It's no secret that one of the biggest reasons Macs have become so popular with so many people is that the OS is one of the most straightforward ever created. But scratch beneath the surface just a bit; there are a huge number of hidden tricks that prove just how flexible and robust the MacOS really is. In the Mac's early days, David Pogue and Joseph Schorr spent weeks clicking and keying around unearthing these for their book, Mac Secrets. Now, Kier Thomas revived this dark art in the Mac Kung Fu, just released in its second edition covering Mountain Lion. The book is a compendium of four-hundred-plus "tips, tricks, hints and hacks" ranging from easily accessible but less-than-obvious features embedded in the OS, to step-by-step directions for building useful Automator actions and AppleScript apps. Some may simply appeal to your aesthetic sense (a nice way of saying "eye candy") but a surprising number reveal heretofore hidden features that can boost your productivity. In order to keep things simple, Apple excluded dozens if not hundreds of interface tweaks and options from the System Preferences panel, even though they can be changed with a Terminal command line (the "defaults write" commands you may have heard about). Mac Kung Fu includes one of the most comprehensive collections of these many undocumented features we've seen. Because each of the tips is completely self-contained and is in absolutely random order; there's no real need to read the book from front to back. As you can imagine, this can become a bit of a drawback if you're trying to go back and find something you read but can't quite remember. Fortunately, the index spans over twenty pages and is a great help in tracking down specific items and topics. This also makes a good case for the easily searchable ebook version. Even if you're a long-time power user, you'll find so many of Thomas's tips fresh and useful you'll find yourself driven to keep on reading to find out the next cool trick you've missed out on all these years. Mac Kung Fu, Second Edition by Kier Thomas; $39.00, Pragmatic Bookshelf ( 2012; 438 pages, ISBN: 978-1-93778-507-9 MacDirectory 21

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