TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Reviews: Mac OS X training from TackyShirt

Volume Number: 19 (2003)
Issue Number: 9
Column Tag: Reviews

Reviews: Mac OS X training from TackyShirt

Training that doesn't suck, really.

by Michael R. Harvey

Their tag line is, "because training and fun are not mutually exclusive." For most training materials out there, however, that is not the case. Then came Sam Crutsinger, President and "Media Kingpin" of TackyShirt Inc., a company he formed to produce quality technical education that is also entertaining. Says Crutsinger, "This is the 21st century. We should be able to present education in a way that keeps people engaged and gets the point across. I hate to read. [David] Pogues books are great, but I still have to sit down and read the thing to absorb it." Add to that his many years of experience in video editing and production, and a desire to do it different, and better than anyone else, and you have the ingredients for an interesting recipe.

The core idea behind the training was to make it educational and fun. In other words, don't bore the viewer into a coma. So, to start, they chose to keep each of the segments under fifteen minutes (based on educational research published in a study from NYU). Next find some talent. Crutsinger called on some of the most well known, as well as some of the most knowledgeable, folks in the Mac community. Andy Ihnatko, long time columnist for Macworld magazine, Bo LeVitus, author of many Mac related books, Shawn King, host and Executive Producer of Your Mac Life (an internet based radio show), and John Welch, a regular presenter at MacWorld Expos, and columnist for MacTech magazine. He got these four names together, put them in front of sets not seen before in any technical training, and for two weeks committed to tape pretty much everything they uttered about the Mac, and Mac OS X. And, it seems, some things not quite Mac related (there are a few Easter Eggs on the DVD, one of which is outtakes of some behind the scenes shenanigans). Then came the hard part, editing that mess down to usable, and useful, nuggets. A daunting task when you take into account how much detail went into every segment.

The first fruit of this labor is entitled Mac OS X Disc 1: The Basics. Yeah, pretty dull title. Fortunately, the dullness ends there. On the disc is nearly four hours of fun education. In rotating pairs, Shawn, John, Andy, and Bob take turns presenting some aspect of Mac OS X to the new user. They are accompanied by picture in picture computer screen shots, animations, and active desktop screens that show exactly the what, where, and how of the topic they are discussing. And it is a discussion. They are not lecturing to an invisible audience, but rather seem to be carrying on a conversation with each other, and the viewer. Of course, there are other characters that constantly attempt to steal the spot light including chatting set pieces, and icons run amok, to name a few. They do not, however, distract from the learning. They actually seem to enhance it.

This is a basics learning tool, though. What can advanced users get out of it? Well, we watched it. We thought it would bore us to death. This is, after all, the basics. We, and you, are almost certainly well beyond that. Surprisingly, there are a few tidbits of knowledge to be had. There is always that one little thing you never noticed before that will help make you more productive, and this training may just show it to you. Putting that aside for the moment, this product is aimed at those who are starting from square one. So, we showed it to a couple of new Mac OS X users. One who was completely new to Macs, and a switcher from OS 9. Our newbie enjoyed it immensely, and got a lot out of the DVD. He felt though, that some knowledge was presumed in the material, and said if he had some experience with OS 9, he would have gotten more from the training. Our OS 9 upgrade liked it quite a bit, too. Her main complaint was that Andy Ihnatko talked too fast, and lost her at some points.


Our next question was how can this material be useful to MacTech readers? By in large, we figure the folks reading this review would not get their investment out of it. However, every one of us knows at least one person that really, really, needs this DVD. Maybe that friend, colleague, family member will stop calling every other day if they watch it. For some of us, this training could help at the job. Consultants, and administrators with clients and users in need of updated training will all find Tackyshirts material invaluable.

All is not lost for the advanced user, however. This is Disc 1 of what will ultimately be a four disc set. No date has been set for subsequent releases, but follow on discs will cover topics such as troubleshooting, and backup strategies (Disc 2), intermediate level training, and popular applications (Disc 3). Disc 4 is where most advanced users will get the real goods. This disc is scheduled to cover under-the-hood kinds of topics, teaching the Unix underpinnings, and advanced capabilities of Mac OS X.

TackyShirt Presents Mac OS X Disc 1: The Basics is currently available only from the company at their web site. Disc 1 is $39.99, plus $4.95 shipping per item (international shipping is $9.90 per item). Future installments are slated to be the same price. You can even get yourself one of their t-shirts sporting the cool TackyShirt logo for $10.85 (one buck more for us XXL types).

One final warning. When you do sit down to watch this, don't have any other plans. You may think you're just going to watch one segment real quick, but you are just lying to yourself. This stuff is digital crack, and before you realize it, you'll have lost two hours to it. Don't have a wedding or a funeral to go to, because you will be late, and end up cheesing off the others, especially if you are the guest of honor at either of those events.

www.tackyshirt.com


Michael R. Harvey

 
AAPL
$98.14
Apple Inc.
+0.47
MSFT
$44.19
Microsoft Corpora
-0.31
GOOG
$589.10
Google Inc.
+0.08

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Bartender 1.2.20 - Organize your menu ba...
Bartender lets you organize your menu bar apps. Features: Lets you tidy your menu bar apps how you want. See your menu bar apps when you want. Hide the apps you need to run, but do not need to... Read more
TotalFinder 1.6.2 - Adds tabs, hotkeys,...
TotalFinder is a universally acclaimed navigational companion for your Mac. Enhance your Mac's Finder with features so smart and convenient, you won't believe you ever lived without them. Tab-based... Read more
Vienna 3.0.0 RC 2 :be5265e: - RSS and At...
Vienna is a freeware and Open-Source RSS/Atom newsreader with article storage and management via a SQLite database, written in Objective-C and Cocoa, for the OS X operating system. It provides... Read more
VLC Media Player 2.1.5 - Popular multime...
VLC Media Player is a highly portable multimedia player for various audio and video formats (MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, OGG, ...) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols. It... Read more
Default Folder X 4.6.7 - Enhances Open a...
Default Folder X attaches a toolbar to the right side of the Open and Save dialogs in any OS X-native application. The toolbar gives you fast access to various folders and commands. You just click... Read more
TinkerTool 5.3 - Expanded preference set...
TinkerTool is an application that gives you access to additional preference settings Apple has built into Mac OS X. This allows to activate hidden features in the operating system and in some of the... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.0 - Record and enh...
Audio Hijack Pro drastically changes the way you use audio on your computer, giving you the freedom to listen to audio when you want and how you want. Record and enhance any audio with Audio Hijack... Read more
Intermission 1.1.1 - Pause and rewind li...
Intermission allows you to pause and rewind live audio from any application on your Mac. Intermission will buffer up to 3 hours of audio, allowing users to skip through any assortment of audio... Read more
Autopano Giga 3.6 - Stitch multiple imag...
Autopano Giga allows you to stitch 2, 20, or 2,000 images. Version 3.0 integrates impressive new features that will definitely make you adopt Autopano Pro or Autopano Giga: Choose between 9... Read more
Airfoil 4.8.7 - Send audio from any app...
Airfoil allows you to send any audio to AirPort Express units, Apple TVs, and even other Macs and PCs, all in sync! It's your audio - everywhere. With Airfoil you can take audio from any... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Marvel Contest of Champions Announced at...
Marvel Contest of Champions Announced at Comic-Con Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] Announced over the weekend at San Diego Comic-Con was the fairly exciting looking Marvel Contest of Champions. | Read more »
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Review By Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DULL SWIPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The pizza power is weak when it comes to this Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game.   | Read more »
Exploration Focused Puzzle Game Beatbudd...
Exploration Focused Puzzle Game Beatbuddy Set to Make Transition from PC to iOS this September Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
PlanetHD
PlanetHD By Nadia Oxford on July 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPACE MADNESSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad PlanetHD will keep players busy for a while, though its unpredictable physics are a handful to deal with.   | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: July 21-25, 2014
Another Week of Expert App Reviews   At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you’ll like and the ones you’ll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little... | Read more »
Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client (...
Reddme for iPhone - The Reddit Client 1.0 Device: iOS iPhone Category: News Price: $.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Reddme for iPhone is an iOS 7-optimized Reddit client that offers a refreshing new way to experience Reddit... | Read more »
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Ep...
Jacob Jones and the Bigfoot Mystery : Episode 2 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Jacob Jones is back in Episode 2 of one of Apples 'Best of 2013' games and an App Store... | Read more »
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New K...
New Trailer For Outcast Odyssey, A New Kind of Card Battler Posted by Jennifer Allen on July 25th, 2014 [ permalink ] Out this Fall is a new kind of card battle game: Outcast Odyssey. | Read more »
Hay Day – Tip, Tricks, Strategies, and C...
Recently got into Supercell’s other huge hit, Hay Day and could do with some advice on what to do? We’ve got you covered with some helpful trips and tricks to bear in mind! Ticking Along One of the key things to keep in mind while building up that... | Read more »
Monster Head Review
Monster Head Review By Nadia Oxford on July 25th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FEEDING TIMEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Racking up a high score with Monster Head is trickier than it first appears. The appeal wears out fairly... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $1099,...
Best Buy has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro available for $1099.99 on their online store. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Their price is $100 off MSRP. Price is... Read more
Roundup of Apple refurbished MacBook Pros, th...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available for up to $400 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. Their prices... Read more
Record Mac Shipments In Q2/14 Confound Analys...
A Seeking Alpha Trefis commentary notes that Apple’s fiscal Q3 2014 results released July 22, beat market predictions on earnings, although revenues were slightly lower than anticipated. Apple’s Mac’... Read more
Intel To Launch Core M Silicon For Use In Not...
Digitimes’ Monica Chen and Joseph Tsai, report that Intel will launch 14nm-based Core M series processors specifically for use in fanless notebook/tablet 2-in-1 models in Q4 2014, with many models to... Read more
Apple’s 2014 Back to School promotion: $100 g...
 Apple’s 2014 Back to School promotion includes a free $100 App Store Gift Card with the purchase of any new Mac (Mac mini excluded), or a $50 Gift Card with the purchase of an iPad or iPhone,... Read more
iMacs on sale for $150 off MSRP, $250 off for...
Best Buy has iMacs on sale for up to $160 off MSRP for a limited time. Choose free home shipping or free instant local store pickup (if available). Prices are valid for online orders only, in-store... Read more
Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP, starting...
Best Buy has Mac minis on sale for $100 off MSRP. Choose free shipping or free instant local store pickup. Prices are for online orders only, in-store prices may vary: 2.5GHz Mac mini: $499.99 2.3GHz... Read more
Global Tablet Market Grows 11% in Q2/14 Notwi...
Worldwide tablet sales grew 11.0 percent year over year in the second quarter of 2014, with shipments reaching 49.3 million units according to preliminary data from the International Data Corporation... Read more
New iPhone 6 Models to Have Staggered Release...
Digitimes’ Cage Chao and Steve Shen report that according to unnamed sources in Apple’s upstream iPhone supply chain, the new 5.5-inch iPhone will be released several months later than the new 4.7-... Read more
New iOS App Helps People Feel Good About thei...
Mobile shoppers looking for big savings at their favorite stores can turn to the Goodshop app, a new iOS app with the latest coupons and deals at more than 5,000 online stores. In addition to being a... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Sr. Product Leader, *Apple* Store Apps - Ap...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
WW Sales Program Manager, *Apple* Online St...
**Job Summary** Imagine what you could do here. At Apple , great ideas have a way of becoming great products, services, and customer experiences very quickly. Bring Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.