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The Geological Record

These are the earliest books that I wrote and worked on.


Take Control of What's New in Entourage 2004

TidBITS Electronic Publishing, June 2004
It's my first ebook, covering the new features of Microsoft Entourage 2004. I think this is the first book-like publication on any aspect of Office 2004 for the Mac. The book is a tightly-focused 60 pages on the new features, with tips and tricks for getting the most out of them. And it's only five bucks!

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition, Student Edition

Peachpit Press, December 2003
This was an experiment because the book was so popular at the college level. We created a Student Edition variant of the Fifth Edition, which included instructor questions for each chapter. Cool idea, but somebody at Peachpit inadvertently posted the Instructor's Guide we also created to the Peachpit web site, which contained all the answers. Needless to say, the students found it. Oops.

Mac OS X Unwired

O'Reilly and Associates, November 2003
This book, written with Dori Smith, introduces you to the basics of wireless computing, from the reasons why you'd want to go wireless in the first place, to setting up your wireless network or accessing your wireless services on the road. The book provides a complete introduction to all the wireless technologies supported by Mac OS X. We maintain a companion site with wireless technology news and information, updated daily.

Macromedia Contribute 2 for Windows & Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, September 2003
This book was a fairly quick revision of the previous edition, mostly adding coverage of Contribute's new Mac OS X version. I also discussed the program's new features since the original release, including enhanced security, the FlashPaper feature (which lets you take any page you can print and turn it into a Web page; Windows-only in this version), a nifty new tool for adding PayPal buttons to your sites, the ability for Mac users to use Contribute to edit their .Mac sites, and more.

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fifth Edition

Peachpit Press, July 2003
After two years, it was time to revise this book again, and this time Dori and I have added several new chapters, rearranged the material a bit, and updated all of the code in the book to be compliant with XHTML 1.0. This edition comes in just shy of 500 pages.

Keynote for Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, June 2003
This book covering Keynote, Apple's new presentation program, came from watching Steve Jobs' January 2003 Macworld Expo keynote address. Before he'd finished talking about the program, I had sent off a pitch to my editors at Peachpit, because I could tell that it would be an important product. Keynote is the rare Apple software that comes with a manual, but this book is three times as long, and delves into much more detail.

Macromedia Contribute for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, January 2003
The product is something new -- a Web editor that allows people who are decidedly not Web-savvy to add and update content for Web sites -- and this book was the first one to market. I'm pretty happy with it, and it has sold well, too. Besides coming from Peachpit, this is also published by Macromedia Press.

Quicken 2003 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, September 2002
We skipped a year with the Quicken VQS, but we were back with bells on for Quicken 2003. It's the biggest revision yet, adding about 60 pages to the previous edition, and upgrading the book to cover Quicken for Mac OS X. There are improvements throughout the book, but I'm especially happy with the expanded treatment of online banking and managing your investments with Quicken.

Microsoft Office v. X Inside Out

Microsoft Press, May 2002
This book was (so far) the most difficult project I've ever done. It's a 1,000 page book with extensive coverage of MS Office v. X for Mac OS X. It took about six months to finish this one, and that's with the excellent help of my three co-authors, Kirk McElhearn, Kate Binder, and Curt Frye. We ended up with a darned good book. Sadly, it was the only Mac book that Microsoft Press had done up to that time, and the sales force had no idea how to sell it. So there was a lot of work for little reward.

Microsoft Office v.X for Macs for Dummies

Dummies Press, January 2002
Covering the first version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS X, this book required a lot of revision of the previous editions. Virtually all of the screenshots in the book needed to be redone, and many of the procedures were updated to reflect the new ways of doing things under Mac OS X. They also gave me some extra pages to work with, so I was finally able to write a section about doing data merging in Word, which didn't make the cut last time around.

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, Fourth Edition

Peachpit Press, May 2001
The Fourth Edition adds about 150 new pages to our bestselling JavaScript book. Thanks to the fine folks at Peachpit, we were also able to add a cool reference section with color-coded guides to which JavaScript objects work with what browsers. Like the previous editions, this book is the standard textbook for many beginning and intermediate JavaScript and DHTML classes at the college and university level. It's been translated into German, French, Japanese, Dutch, Hebrew, Portuguese, Swedish, Bulgarian, Polish, and Chinese, and Urdu. And we've gotten one or two copies in languages we can't identify.

Quicken 2001 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, December 2000
This revision covered the changes in Quicken for Mac since the previous year. One odd thing is that based on sales, we decided not to revise the Windows version of this book this time around. It turns out that the Mac version sells better, even though there are nine times as many Quicken for Windows users as Quicken for Mac users. Weird, huh?

Microsoft Office 2001 for Macs for Dummies

Dummies Press, November 2000
Covering the last version of Microsoft Office for Mac OS 9, this book required extensive revision of the previous edition (see below). I tore out a whole section, and replaced it with a new section covering the new program in Office 2001, Entourage, which is a combination email client and personal information manager.

Quicken 2000 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, November 1999
This was a revision of the Quicken for Windows VQS, updated to cover the program's latest features.

Quicken 2000 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, October 1999
This revision covered the changes in Quicken for Mac, which hadn't had an update in almost two years.

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, Third Edition

Peachpit Press, June 1999
Though the Second Edition of this book was very successful, we knew that we wanted to make it even better. The Third Edition is about 50% new material, with about 100 new pages. Like the previous edition, this book has become the standard textbook for many beginning and intermediate JavaScript and DHTML classes at the college and university level. It's been translated into German, Japanese, Dutch, Hebrew, Portuguese, Swedish, and Chinese. It was our best selling book ever, and allowed us to move out of the Los Angeles area to the Sonoma wine country.

Quicken for Windows 99: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, February 1999
This is basically a rewrite of my Mac Quicken book below, but it ended up having quite a bit more material than the Mac version. The Windows version includes more features, and Intuit bundles the product in several different ways, requiring an expanded approach. I also cover a version of Quicken not available on the Mac, called Quicken Home & Business. This gives the small business owner easy-to-use invoicing, payables, and receivables. I liked it so much I started using it for my personal and business finances.

Quicken 98 for Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide

Peachpit Press, September 1998
I tried to get this project going for about eight months. When Quicken 98 was released, I was working on the JavaScript VQS (see below). I pitched the idea of a Quicken Visual QuickStart then, but the Peachpit folks preferred that I actually finish up the book I was then working on before thinking about other books (the nerve!). I jumped right into my Office 98 book after JavaScript was done, but I still wanted to do a Quicken book. Then Apple announced the iMac, bundled with a copy of Quicken Deluxe 98. Finally, the book's time had come. I got the go-ahead in late June, but with one small condition; they wanted the book to be published before the end of August. That gave me about a month to write the book (it takes at least a month for layout and printing). Many sleepless nights ensued.

Microsoft Office 98 for Macs for Dummies

IDG Books, May 1998
This book covers the latest version of Microsoft Office 98, the first revision of the Office suite for the Mac in three years. I talk about how to use Word 98, Excel 98, PowerPoint 98, Internet Explorer 4.0, and Outlook Express 4.0. The book has been translated into French, and is doing well.

JavaScript for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide, Second Edition

Peachpit Press, December 1997
I wrote this one with Dori Smith, a terrific JavaScript programmer (and the gal of my dreams). This book is quite different from most other JavaScript books, which tend to be these huge tomes designed to be read by people who already understand programming. Our approach is that we wrote a JavaScript book for the person who knows HTML, and is looking to take the next step, but who doesn't think of themselves as a programmer. Our working name for this one was "Just Enough JavaScript."

I'm happy to say that the JavaScript VQS is a bestseller, and it's been selected as a textbook for many college classes. It's also been translated into Japanese, Hebrew, and Dutch. Be sure to check out our companion Web site for this book. It's got all of the scripts in the book, as well as addenda and updates.

Macs for Kids and Parents

IDG Books, May 1997
I wrote this book with Wendy Sharp, the former reviews coordinator at Macworld magazine. It was one of the books in Dummies Press' Family series. I wrote most of the hardware stuff, and all of the parts about the Internet and ClarisWorks, as well as a chapter on how kids with disabilities can use the Mac. Wendy did a great job writing about kid's software, multimedia, drawing, and photo editing.

It was a pretty darn good book, if I do say so myself. Sadly, it did poorly in the marketplace, partly because the publisher decided to pull the plug on the entire series not too long after the book was released.

Macworld Web Essentials

IDG Books, February 1996
Charles Seiter, another of Macworld's contributing editors, brought me in on this project for Macworld Press. We cranked out a pretty decent basic Internet book in a couple of months, just in time to be released in the teeth of the first round of the Apple/Sun takeover rumors, and the downfall of Apple CEO Michael Spindler amid a huge quarterly loss. Oy. As you might guess, book sales suffered.

Yahoo! Unplugged

IDG Books, November 1995
This was an interesting project. A bunch of people, including me, Charles Seiter, Karen Heyman, Paul Hoffman, and others, were hired to browse through all of the sites listed in the Yahoo! index as of the summer of 1995, and write up short blurbs on the coolest things we found. Yes, we were actually being paid to surf the Web. But it ain't as much fun as it sounds. First, it takes a long time to check out hundreds of sites, with zillions of mouse clicks, so it was a big contributor towards my first bout with repetitive strain injury in my right arm. Ouch. Secondly, you have no idea how many horrible Web sites there are out there in the world. By the time we finished this book, we figured that we were making the equivalent of about $6/hour, not exactly a princely sum. Doing this book led me to install an ISDN line in my office, which was a serious high-speed solution at the time. I also had a heart attack during this project, which still rates as my most creative way to miss a deadline. Yahoo! Unplugged won a 1996 Computer Book Publishing award. Since the book was obsolete before it ever saw the light of day, it's no surprise that it is now out of print.

Upgrading Your Mac Illustrated

Que, September 1994
This was the first book that I wrote by myself. It was mainly a book of pictures, with step-by-step instructions on how to do various upgrades on your Mac. It's a bit dated, but still works for things like adding RAM. If you have an older Mac, it's great, because we used four models of Macintoshes in the photographs describing the upgrade procedures. We illustrated upgrading the Mac Classic II, a Mac LC II, a Centris 650, and a Quadra 800AV. Since there were several Macs that used each of these case types (even including some Power Macintoshes), you can still get some use from this book. Now out of print, but Amazon still thinks that they can get it for you, after a bit of a wait.

Almost a year after this book was published, I got an unexpected FedEx package from Que, containing four copies of Aggiornare il Macintosh, the Italian translation of the book. My family is Italian, so I showed the translation to my 92 year old grandmother. She got tears in her eyes and told me that my grandfather, who passed away years ago, would be very proud of me. It was pretty cool.



I contributed a chapter or two to each of these books:

  • Mac OS 8 Bible, IDG Books, 1997
  • Using Microsoft Office 4.2 for Macintosh, Special Edition, Que, 1995
  • Using the Internet with your Mac, Special Edition, Que, 1995
  • Upgrading and Repairing Macs, Que, 1994
  • Macworld Read Me First, IDG Books, 1991

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