Chapter 1

Starting at the Beginning

In This Chapter

Getting up to speed on your Mac

Touring System Preferences

Getting help

Congratulate yourself on choosing Mac OS X, which stands for Macintosh Operating System X — that’s the Roman numeral ten, not the letter X (pronounced ten, not ex). You made a smart move because you scored more than just an operating-system upgrade. Mac OS X Snow Leopard includes several new features to make using your Mac easier, and dozens of improvements that help you do more work in less time.

In this chapter, I start at the very beginning and talk about Mac OS X in mostly abstract terms; then I move on to explain what you need to know to use Mac OS X Snow Leopard successfully.

A Safety Net for the Absolute Beginner (Or Any User)

In the following sections, I deal with the stuff that the manual that came with your Mac doesn’t cover — or doesn’t cover in nearly enough detail. If you’re a first-time Macintosh user, please, please read this section of the book carefully — it could save your life. Okay, okay, perhaps I’m being overly dramatic. What I mean to say is that reading this section could save your Mac. Even if you’re an experienced Mac user, you might want to read this section anyway. Chances are good that you’ll see at least a few things you might have forgotten that might come in handy.

Turning the dang thing on

Okay. This is the big moment — turning on your Mac! Gaze at it longingly first and say something cheesy, such as, “You’re the most awesome ...

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