Take Control helps you beta test OS X Yosemite with confidence

Apple today released the public beta of OS X 10.10 Yosemite!

Simultaneously, we’ve published “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” by Joe Kissell. You can buy it for a suggested price of $5 from Leanpub. Read on for all the details, or just click the link to get your ebook:

http://tid.bl.it/tco-yosemite-beta-leanpub

The Yosemite beta is exciting stuff, at least for those of us who love poking around in new software to see what has changed. But the rewards of beta testing come with risks and responsibilities, so in “Take Control of Beta Testing Yosemite,” Joe Kissell draws on years of experience with testing every version of OS X since 10.3 Panther to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Follow Joe’s advice and you can be confident that you won’t mess up anything as you switch to and from the beta.

In the 51-page book, Joe teaches you what’s involved with beta testing in general, and he discusses the pros and cons of installing the beta on a startup volume, virtual machine, separate volume, SuperDuper sandbox, or (best of all) a separate Mac. Next up, you’ll run the installer (without letting it delete itself). With installation completed, Joe suggests key post-installation tasks and categories of software you may need to reinstall, plus gives tips on how to look for new features and report any bugs you may find. Perhaps most important, Joe explains how to switch between the beta and your main installation of OS X, how to downgrade from Yosemite if necessary, and how to upgrade to release version when that ships.

You may be thinking, “Really? A book about how to beta test Yosemite?” We won’t pretend that it’s essential, even though there are helpful details you won’t find elsewhere (such as which virtualization program can run Yosemite as a guest OS) and advice that could save you significant headaches (such as the best destination for your installation). And, of course, the lifespan of the book is limited — it’s useful only until Yosemite ships.

So we’re doing something unusual with pricing: we’ve set a suggested price of $5, but you can pay whatever you think it’s worth — whether that’s more or less than the suggested price, or even nothing at all. (That’s why there’s no MUG discount this time. And if you get it for free and later decide it was valuable to you, you can come back and buy a copy.) Paying helps Joe and his wife keep their baby in diapers and gives us concrete feedback that books of this sort are worth doing.

In keeping with the fast and fluid nature of beta testing, we’ve decided to publish this ebook exclusively via Leanpub, which was designed for quick releases. Had we used our traditional method, we wouldn’t have been able to publish the book at the same time as the public beta, and we would need more time to react to new versions (nor would we have been able to do the choose-your-own-price approach). Any updates to the book will be free.

Thanks for your support of the Take Control series and our authors!

cheers… -Adam & Tonya Engst, Take Control publishers

How can you Take Control of Apple Mail in Mavericks and iOS 7?

Have you had trouble or confusions with Apple Mail in Mavericks? Lots has changed from previous versions, particularly for Gmail users, and although Apple has restored some functionality in 10.9.1 and the just-released 10.9.2, there’s nothing like a healthy dose of expert advice to put you back in control of your email. To help with that, email expert Joe Kissell has revisited the topic in “Take Control of Apple Mail.” This new ebook, which covers both Mail for Mavericks and iOS 7, provides 175 pages of essential setup, usage, and troubleshooting advice, whether you use Gmail, iCloud, Exchange, or IMAP — or more than one. The book normally costs $15, but the 30% MUG discount drops that to $10.50. Learn more about the book and purchase via the coupon-loaded link below.

http://tid.bl.it/tco-apple-mail-mug-discount

Along the way, Joe explains core concepts like special IMAP mailboxes and email archiving, reveals Mail’s hidden interface elements, and offers tips on customizing Mail to your preferences (including the best power-user plugins for Mail on the Mac). You’ll also learn how to find that message in the haystack, figure out how digital signatures and encryption work in Mail, and uncover solutions to numerous common problems. Perhaps most important, Joe shares his strategy for avoiding email overload; the article where he first introduced it won American Business Media’s Neal Award for Best How-To Article.