(Reprinted with permission from Computer Shopper, written by Daniel Rosenbaum)

How Macs Work by John Rizzo and K. Daniel Clark probably won’t help you fix anything, but it’s a fascinating four-color guide into the guts of a Macintosh.

Apple has spent most of the last ten years either actively hiding the internal operation of Macs from the world or making it so obscure that only the most dedicated could follow the discussion. Rizzo, technical editor of MacUser, and Clark help pierce the veil. Through the use of detailed, if conceptual, technical illustrations, the authors show the internal workings of a Mac: what happens when you press a key; how machines on an AppleTalk network communicate; how a hard drive and CD-ROM work; how QuickDraw puts an image on the screen. The illustrations are clear, technically accurate, and conceptually simple. Likewise the accompanying text steers clear of deadening jargon. This is clearly the work of people who have a thorough understanding and abiding affection for their subject.

Nothing here will help you use your Mac better; what Rizzo and Clark have given us is a clear schematic guide for the same sort of people who want to know what happens when they turn their keys in their cars without wanting to know how to rebuild a carburetor.

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