Last month at the virtual party to celebrate my 50th Take Control book, I offered attendees a little “party favor”—a 14-page PDF called “50 Things Joe Kissell Would Like You to Know.” I had been trying to come up with 50 something-or-other to commemorate the 50th book, like 50 tips or the 50 most interesting things I learned while writing all those books, but that turned out to be more complicated than I had time for. Instead, I made five lists of 10 items each (and threw in a few bonus tips and goodies in between).

I’m now making this little document [available to everyone for free]((, just as a way of saying thanks for stopping by. I hope you find it interesting and useful! Here’s what’s in it:

  • Joe’s 10 Commandments: Over 12 years of writing Take Control books, I’ve found that a lot of principles keep coming up over and over again—things everyone should do to make computing simpler and safer. Here are my top 10 of those things.

  • 10 Things to Do While OS X Is Installing: OK, this one is a bit goofy, but it’s a list (compiled mainly from my many “Take Control of Upgrading to ___” books) of activities you can do in lieu of twiddling your thumbs while waiting for the OS X installer to finish copying files.

  • Joe’s 10 Favorite Take Control Tips: Writing how-to books requires a lot of research. During that process I’ve learned some pretty cool things that have made my own life better, and perhaps they’ll help you too.

  • Joe’s 10 Favorite Take Control Books: I’ve written 50 books in the Take Control series, but they weren’t all winners. These are the ones I found either the most fun to write or the most useful to readers.

  • Joe’s 10 Favorite Tools for Mac Users: There are certain apps, utilities, and services I’d have trouble living without—they make everything I do on my Mac faster and easier, and are always the first things I set up when using a new Mac. I think you’ll like them too!

That’s it—50 things I’d like you to know, especially if you’re a Mac user. Enjoy!