Chapter 1. Mac OS X Survival Guide

This first part is intended to show those who are new to Mac OS X how to acclimate quickly to their new environment. For Windows and Unix users who are Switching to Mac OS X, most everything will be new, while users of older versions of Mac OS, such as Mac OS 8 or 9, will have to adjust the most to relearn the Mac.

This part of the book covers:

  • Changes to Mac OS X from Mac OS 9

  • Tips for “Switchers” coming to Mac OS X from Windows and Unix systems such as Linux or one of the BSDs (FreeBSD, NetBSD, or OpenBSD)

Changes to Mac OS Xfrom Mac OS 9

There are many noticeable changes in the user interface from earlier versions of the Mac OS to Mac OS X, while others may not be so apparent. Two of the biggest changes from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X can be found in the Apple menu and the Control Panels.

The Apple Menu

The Apple menu, displayed as an apple symbol (

The Apple Menu

) in the menu bar, is completely different; you can no longer store aliases for files, folders, or applications there. Here’s what you’ll find in Mac OS X’s Apple menu:

About This Mac

This option pops open a window that supplies you with information about your Mac. Aside from telling you that you’re running Mac OS X on your computer, the window shows you which version of Mac OS X is installed, how much memory you have, and the speed and type of processor in your computer. Clicking on the More Info button launches the Apple System Profiler (/Applications/Utilities), which gives you a greater level of detail about your computer.


Clicking on the version number in the About This Mac window will reveal the build number of Mac OS X; clicking it again will show the hardware serial number for your computer. These small details are important to have when contacting Apple Customer Service and when reporting a probable bug.

In earlier versions of the Mac OS, the About box would change depending on which application was active. For information about the application, you now have to use the Application menu (located to the right of the Apple menu) and select the About option.

Get Mac OS X Software

Selecting this option will take you to Apple’s Mac OS X software page ( in your default web browser.

System Preferences

Launches the System Preferences application, which replaces most of the Control Panels from earlier versions of the Mac OS. See Section 3.1 later in this book for more details.


This menu offers a quick way to change settings for the Dock (described later).


This is similar to the Location Manager Control Panel from earlier versions of the Mac OS; it allows you to change locations quickly for connecting to a network and/or the Internet.

Recent Items

This menu option combines the Recent Applications and Recent Documents options from Mac OS 9’s Apple menu into one convenient menu. A Clear Menu option allows you to reset the recent items from the menu.

Force Quit

Thanks to Mac OS X’s protected memory, you don’t have to restart the entire system if an application crashes or freezes. Instead, you can come here (or use Option-

The Apple Menu

-Esc) to open a window that lists the applications running on your system. To Force Quit an application, simply click on the application name, then click on Force Quit.

Unlike applications, you cannot force quit the Finder by Control-clicking on its icon in the Dock. Instead, you need to restart it from here. When you select the Finder, the Force Quit button changes to Relaunch; click that button to restart the Finder.


Selecting this option immediately puts your Mac into sleep mode. This is different from the settings you dictate in System Preferences Energy Saver for auto-sleep functionality. To “wake” your computer from sleep mode, simply press any key.

If you close the lid (or display) on your iBook or PowerBook while it is running, the computer goes into sleep mode. Opening your laptop wakes up your system automatically.


This restarts your Mac. If any applications are running, they will be automatically shut down, and you will be prompted to save changes for any files that were open.


This shuts down your Mac. You can also shut down your Mac by pressing the Power-On button, which will open a dialog box with the options for restarting, shutting down, or putting your Mac to sleep.

Log Out

This option logs you out of your system, taking you back to a login screen. The keyboard shortcut to log out is Shift-

The Apple Menu



Sleep, Restart, Shutdown, and Log Out have moved from Mac OS 9’s Special menu into Mac OS X’s Apple menu. If you’re looking for a menu option for Empty Trash, you will need to be in the Finder (Finder Empty Trash, or Shift-

The Apple Menu


Think System Preferences, Not Control Panels

One of the most notable changes in Mac OS X is that the Control Panels (

Think System Preferences, Not Control Panels

Control Panels) aren’t in the Apple menu. The Control Panels of old are now replaced by System Preferences. Table 1-1 lists the Control Panels from Mac OS 9 and shows you their equivalents in Mac OS X.

Table 1-1. Mac OS 9’s Control Panels and their disposition in Mac OS X

Mac OS 9 Control Panel

Equivalent in Mac OS X


System Preferences Desktop

System Preferences General

Apple Menu Options

System Preferences General


System Preferences Network AppleTalk


System Preferences ColorSync

Control Strip

Gone; replaced by Dock

Date & Time

System Preferences Date & Time


System Preferences Network Show Internal Modem

Energy Saver

System Preferences Energy Saver

Extensions Manager

Gone. With Mac OS X, you no longer need to manage your extensions. To view the extensions on your system, launch the Apple System Profiler (/Applications/Utilities), and click on the Extensions tab.

File Exchange


File Sharing

System Preferences Sharing

File Synchronization


General Controls

System Preferences General


System Preferences Network Show infrared-port


System Preferences Internet


System Preferences Keyboard

System Preferences International Input Menu

Keychain Access

Applications Utilities Keychain Access


Gone; replaced by Dock

Location Manager

System Preferences Network Location (This only applies to network settings, unlike Location Manager.)

Mac OS 9’s Control Panels and their disposition in Mac OS X





System Preferences Network Show Internal Modem


System Preferences Displays


System Preferences Mouse

Multiple Users

System Preferences Accounts


System Preferences International Numbers

Password Security

Available on new machines via open firmware

QuickTime Settings

System Preferences QuickTime

Remote Access

Applications Internet Connect

Software Update

System Preferences Software Update


System Preferences Sound


System Preferences Speech

Startup Disk

System Preferences Startup Disk


System Preferences Network


System Preferences International Language


System Preferences Mouse

[a] Not available under Classic.

See Section 3.1, later in this book, for additional information about each control.

Other Missing Items

Some other things you’ll find missing from Mac OS X include:

Apple CD Audio Player

This has been replaced by iTunes.

The Chooser

To configure a printer in Mac OS X, you need to use the Print Center (/Applications/Utilities). To connect to a server or another computer on your network, you need to use Go Connect to Server (

Other Missing Items

-K). The Chooser still exists for printing and networking from the Classic environment (described later).

Put Away (Other Missing Items -Y)

This command had two functions: to eject a disk (floppy or CD), or to move an item out of the Trash back to its place of origin. Instead,

Other Missing Items

-E can be used to eject a CD or unmount a networked drive.


On newer iBooks and PowerBooks, pressing the F12 key will eject a CD or DVD.

Graphing Calculator

Gone; no replacement.

Note Pad and SimpleText

These have been replaced by the much more versatile TextEdit application.


If you installed the Developer Tools, SimpleText can be found in /Developer/Applications/Extras, but it isn’t available otherwise.


The Scrapbook has gone to the scrap heap.


This has been replaced by the Sound panel, which can be accessed from System Preferences Sound Alerts.

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