Chapter I.1. Getting to Know Your Mac

In This Chapter

  • Identifying your Mac model

  • Understanding Mac processors

  • Familiarizing yourself with the parts of your Mac

Apple's Macintosh computer — Mac for short — enjoys the enviable reputation of being the easiest computer to use in the world. Additionally, Macs are dependable, durable, and so beautifully designed, they incite techno-lust in gadget geeks like me, and ordinary "Joes" alike. For those doubly good reasons, you probably won't buy a new Mac to replace your old one because you have to, but because you want to.

Despite the Mac's legendary reputation for being easy to use, you might find the Mac slightly different from other computers you've used before. Taking a few moments to understand the different types of Macs available can help you understand how your Mac works.

Different Macintosh Models

The Macintosh has been around since 1984, and since that time, Apple has produced a wide variety of Mac models. Although you can still find and use older Macs, chances are good that if you buy a newer Mac, it will fall into one of three categories:

  • Desktop: Mac mini or Mac Pro, which require a separate display.

  • All-in-one desktop: iMac, which sandwiches the display and computer into one.

  • Notebook: MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro, which have built-in keyboards, trackpads that work like a mouse at the touch of your fingertip, and bright displays; a "clamshell" design lets you close and tote them in your backpack or messenger bag.


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