Articles December 21, 2005 at 12:13 pm

Essential Mac OS X Server Administration: Tiger edition canceled

The gist of it is this: there will be no Tiger edition of my book.

The Panther version took me a year and a half to write. I’ve been working on the tiger version less than a year, and it was projected to be 30% longer. For some reason timelines this time around were shorter, and the choice came down to sacrificing depth or canceling the project. I chose the latter. I proposed a third option, but it didn’t fly:

Apple has a team of tech writers and their docs still lack depth and in many cases understanding of how this technology is deployed in IT-centric markets. (ie command usage statements that don’t add much understanding and don’t highlight the command’s most typical usage). Therefor I think that any sort of in-depth documentation of Mac OS X or Mac OS X Server should really be a team effort. What I wanted to see was a Mac OS X IT Bookshelf from O’Reilly, with contributions from some of the more cognizant thinkers in various aspects of Mac OS X and Mac OS X Server System Administration. This bookshelf would cover Mac OS X Server, Mac OS X, XSan, etc all at the same level my book was written that.

As a less aggressive goal I also offered to break up the book into several titles (each section into its own book). In either case, O’Reilly didn’t perceive demand. I don’t understand that decision, but they’re within their rights to make it.

No Comments

  • I for one am disappointed. I share you assessment of the Apple documentation
    and I was looking forward to your book. Please let us know if you find any other
    way to get this valuable info our to MacOS X Server admins

    • I too was anxiously awaiting this release…consider selling this via an ebook or
      the "take control series" at Tidbits even by chapter!!!!

      I am in K12 education and have no time nor $$’s for Apples courses. I attended
      one on server 10.1 and really only learned enough to confuse myself.

      Contact peachpit press too…..!!

      Good luck…. I can’t beleive there is not a demand….

  • I’d encourage you to sell them as PDFs through AFP548 or a comparable
    website, either by chapter and/or by topic. The information is needed Michael!

    Thanks for all of your hard work.

    Brandon Edling
    [email protected]

  • I was looking forward to the book. I hope you find a way to release it.

  • That is a bummer. I am currently reading the Panther edition of your book
    (which is, for lack of a better superlative, awesome!) and was awaiting the Tiger
    version as well. The documentation of any Apple product, specifically the server
    software, leaves so much to be desired. They are abysmal.

    Hope you can find a way to publish your book, whether it be digitally or in print.
    I’ll be one of the first in line, just as I had your previous book preordered at

  • When I have try to promote the Mac OS X platform internally it is no longer
    the OS that is the stumbling block. It’s a UNIX as far as the department is
    concerned and expected to work and be reliable. What builds the resistence is
    the support element. Things like getting an answer to a technical question
    (IT-related, not developer-related). Things like getting support from a third-
    party vendor. I am very sad that this has been canceled. I also hope that you
    will find some way to disseminate some of this information (whilst recognising
    your need to make a living).

    • i wish you could carry on the great work you have done. please self publish this.
      i would gladly pay double for a copy knowing it is the authoritative source of all
      things os x server.

  • Hello Michael,
    Well, that’s not a good news you gave us for Christmas 😉
    But as many have said already why don’t you think to transform your book in
    ebook and make it avalaible chapter by chapter… I mean every chapter of your
    Panther edition was almost a book by itself. Like that you could charge for a
    chapter when it is finished and you’d have time to work on your next chapter
    with no pressure. I am sure this will get large echo in the Apple Sysadmins
    because everybody knows the big work you’ve done until now.

  • I too like the idea of chapter-by-chapter PDFs. I believe that Apple has a long
    way to go to bring their documentation up to the level their software deserves.
    It seems like a low-risk way to get some return on your time investment that
    you already have into this.

    Thanks for what you have contributed so far Mike, it’s been a great help.

    Ye who asks a question remains a fool for five minutes, ye who never asks a question remains a fool forever…
    -Japanese Proverb

  • I was really looking forward to buying this book. Perhaps if O’Reilly doesn’t want
    it then some other publisher will. If not PDFs would be okay.


  • Can anyone recommend to me a web site that discusses the OS X
    server material in a similar fashion

    Hmm… Yes… If only there were a website dedicated to Mac OS X Server…
    You know, one with In Depth articles, whitepapers, quick tips, a script
    archive, general server news, Best Practices guides, and some really good

    That would rock.

    Breaking my server to save yours.

    Josh Wisenbaker

  • very sad. I was really looking forward to the TE. I’ll pay for pdf’s.

  • Wouldn’t it be possible to have the book published by another publisher?

    Maybe the Big Nerd Ranch guys or maybe even Apple itself. Surely they must
    see it is in their best interest to get it out there?

  • Nooooooooooooo!!!!!!!

    Say it ain’t so, Michael.

  • Hmmmm…any chance of negotiating with another publisher? Peachpit?
    You need a business manager, Michael…!
    Cheers, Mary

  • That’s really too bad. I was waiting impatiently for this book !

    Hope you publish it anyway, in some form….

  • Mike!

    Sorry about the cancellation of your book. Especially after putting so much
    time into it.

    If you think it’s a viable option, I can partner with you on the booksetting for
    a paper edition and the PDF version.


  • Sorry to hear the book was cancelled. I’ve been waiting for that to go
    ahead with the Tiger upgrade (still running Panther Server).

    Apple’s docs don’t imbue a great sense of confidence.


  • Michael,
    Add me to the list of folks saddened by this news, but also happy to buy the 
    book from another publisher or electronically.
    Keep up the great work.
    Dave Walcott
    Walcott Consulting
  • I had high hopes for the Tiger server when I purchased it last summer, but
    I’m still struggling to get many of the features working the way I want. The
    documentation leaves a lot to be desired (to put it politely), and even my 90
    days of free phone support from Apple didn’t solve all of my problems. Even
    when I tried to follow directions supplied in the Apple documentation, and got
    undocumented error messages, Apple phone support told me “that’s an
    configuration not covered by the free phone support, but they’ll be happy to
    help if I purchase coverage for the incident.”

    Your book, in any format — PDF, printed, or loose loose leaf bound — would
    clearly be worth more to me than the cost of Apple’s phone support (which,
    incidentally, I have refused to pay for).

    By the way, although I have limited experience with OS X Server, I’m not an
    Apple or a Unix newbie. I’ve been told that I have the last remaining
    A/UX box (Work Group Server 95) still running in production and connected
    to the Internet.

  • Add me to the list of people who are
    * bummed out by the decision
    * willing to pay for PDFs

    But in the interim, what I would find -really helpful- is a list of things in the
    "Panther Server" book that have changed in Tiger. This way, as I read the
    "Panther" book, I’ll know if the stuff I read still applies intact, or has changed
    and I need to read the Apple documentation for new wrinkles or options, or
    the "Panther" material is completely obsolete and I’ll need to spend a lot more
    time with the Apple docs.

    dave (new OS X Server small business user.)

    p.s. anyone out there in the D.C. area interested in helping a Newbie?

  • I agree with the others here: publish the new chapters as pdfs. I’ll gladly pay
    for them.

    • OK, I think everyone is missing something here. Michael does not own the rights
      to the chapters that were written, ORA does. Even if he wanted to relase them
      he can’t.

      Breaking my server to save yours.

      Josh Wisenbaker

  • This is beyond disappointing. First of all if you’re reading this story and you
    didn’t buy his book I hope horrible things happen to you because you’re a bad
    human being. This was by far the best OS X book in any subject area and put
    every other attempt at books on OS X server to shame. Bartosh’s book is the
    kind of book that Apple needs to have on the market. If they cared about having
    their server operating system supported the way it needs to be supported then
    they would buy the rights to the book and make sure that Mr. Bartosh got a new
    edition out the door ASAP. I realize the situation looks grim but I hope with all
    my heart that he is able to find some way to bring this book to the masses in
    some form. The Mac community needs it plain and simple.

  • ORA did release a subset of the book as a PDF.

    With Michael being gone though the rest of the material is probably not going to be released.

    Breaking my server to save yours.

    Josh Wisenbaker

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