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
$108.00
Apple Inc.
+1.02
MSFT
$46.95
Microsoft Corpora
+0.90
GOOG
$559.08
Google Inc.
+8.77

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Vitamin-R 2.20b1 - Personal productivity...
Vitamin-R creates the optimal conditions for your brain to work at its best by structuring your work into short bursts of distraction-free, highly focused activity alternating with opportunities for... Read more
Dropbox 2.10.44 - Cloud synchronization...
Dropbox is an application that creates a special Finder folder that automatically syncs online and between your computers. It allows you to both backup files and keep them up-to-date between systems... Read more
Sandvox 2.9.2 - Easily build eye-catchin...
Sandvox is for Mac users who want to create a professional looking website quickly and easily. With Sandvox, you don't need to be a Web genius to build a stylish, feature-rich, standards-compliant... Read more
Cocktail 8.0.1 - General maintenance and...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.3.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
VMware Fusion 7.0.1 - Run Windows apps a...
VMware Fusion allows you to create a Virtual Machine on your Mac and run Windows (including Windows 8.1) and Windows software on your Mac. Run your favorite Windows applications alongside Mac... Read more
OneNote 15.3.2 - Free digital notebook f...
OneNote is your very own digital notebook. With OneNote, you can capture that flash of genius, that moment of inspiration, or that list of errands that's too important to forget. Whether you're at... Read more
Audio Hijack Pro 2.11.4 - 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
Iridient Developer 3.0.0 beta 3 - Powerf...
Iridient Developer (was RAW Developer) is a powerful image conversion application designed specifically for OS X. Iridient Developer gives advanced photographers total control over every aspect of... Read more
TextWrangler 4.5.11 - Free general purpo...
TextWrangler is the powerful general purpose text editor, and Unix and server administrator's tool. Oh, and also, like the best things in life, it's free. TextWrangler is the "little brother" to... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Monster Flash Review
Monster Flash Review By Jordan Minor on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: ALONE IN THE DARKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Solid shooting and a surprising amount of spooky tension make Monster Flash a great portable... | Read more »
Retry Review
Retry Review By Rob Thomas on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: SOARING HIGHUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Flappy who? Let Retry wash all those bad bird-related memories away on a cool retro-flavored flight… right... | Read more »
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review
Dementia: Book of the Dead Review By Lee Hamlet on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: A TOUGH READUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad A witch hunter is sent after a demonic book in the spooky but short-lived Dementia: Book... | Read more »
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguel...
Card Dungeon, the Semi-Board Game Roguelike, Has Been Renovated Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Logitech Protection + Power iPhone5/5S C...
Made by: Logitech Price: $99.99 Hardware/iOS Integration Rating: 3 out of 5 stars Usability Rating: 0.5 out of 5 stars Reuse Value Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Build Quality Rating: 0.75 out of 5 stars Overall Rating: 1.25 out of 5 stars | Read more »
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanentl...
This Is Not a Test Goes Free, Permanently Posted by Jessica Fisher on October 31st, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Swap Heroes Review
Swap Heroes Review By Campbell Bird on October 31st, 2014 Our Rating: :: STRATEGIC SWAPPINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Rotate a cast of heroes to fend of waves of monsters in this difficult, puzzle rpg.   | Read more »
Night Sky Pro™ (Reference)
Night Sky Pro™ 3.0.1 Device: iOS Universal Category: Reference Price: $2.99, Version: 3.0.1 (iTunes) Description: Night Sky Pro™Wonder No More™ Night Sky Pro™ is the ultimate stargazing experience. From the creators of the original... | Read more »
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena (Games)
Audio Defence : Zombie Arena 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $4.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: A zombie shooter audio game. Made from gut-wrenching 3D binaural sound, for a new kind of weird immersion. You... | Read more »
RPG Asdivine Hearts (Games)
RPG Asdivine Hearts 1.1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Games Price: $3.99, Version: 1.1.0 (iTunes) Description: SPECIAL PRICE50% OFF (USD 7.99 -> USD 3.99)!!! Travel alongside four companions and a cat in the adventure of a... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple now offering refurbished 2014 13-inch R...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 13″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $270 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple Regains Momentum As Windows Stutters An...
The latest smartphone sales data from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech, for the three months to March 2014, shows Apple performing strongly in the first quarter of the year, with sales bouncing back in... Read more
Worldwide Smartphone Shipments Increase 25.2%...
New smartphone releases and an increased emphasis on emerging markets drove global smartphone shipments above 300 million units for the second consecutive quarter, according to preliminary data from... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 2014 15-inch M...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 2014 15″ Retina MacBook Pros for up to $400 off the cost of new models. An Apple one-year warranty is included with each model, and... Read more
Apple drops prices on refurbished 2013 Retina...
The Apple Store has dropped prices on 2013 Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ Retina MacBook Pros, with Retina models now available starting at $999. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and... Read more
New 2.8GHz Mac mini on sale for $949, save $5...
Abt Electronics has the new 2.8GHz Mac mini in stock and on sale for $949.05 including free shipping. Their price is $50 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this model from any reseller... Read more
Sale! 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro available for...
 B&H Photo has the 3.7GHz Quad Core Mac Pro on sale for $2649 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $350 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price for this model from any... Read more
Mujjo Steps Up The Game With Refined Touchscr...
Netherlands based Mujjo have just launched their Refined Touchscreen Gloves, stepping up their game. The gloves feature a updated elegant design that takes these knitted gloves to the next level. A... Read more
Sale! Preorder the new 27-inch 5K iMac for $2...
 Abt Electronics has the new 27″ 3.5GHz 5K iMac on sale and available for preorder for $2374.05 including free shipping. Their price is $125 off MSRP, and it’s the lowest price available for this... Read more
Simplex Solutions Inc. Brings Secure Web Surf...
New York based Simplex Solutions Inc. has announced the release and immediate availability of Private Browser 1.0, its revolutionary new secure web browser developed for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch... Read more

Jobs Board

Position Opening at *Apple* - Apple (United...
**Job Summary** Every day, business customers come to the Apple Store to discover what powerful, easy-to-use Apple products can do for them. As a Business Leader, Read more
Sr. Manager, *Apple* Deployment Programs fo...
**Job Summary** Apple is seeking candidates for a new position on the Education Content and Technology team. iPad and Mac is in the hands of millions of teachers and Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple I...
…important role that the ASC serves is that of providing an excellent Apple Customer Experience. Responsibilities include: * Promoting Apple products and solutions Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.