Chapter 1: Getting Your Mac Up and Running

In This Chapter

Starting up and logging in

Unlocking a Mac

Logging in as a guest

Logging off and turning off your Mac

Putting your Mac to sleep

Resuming where you left off

There's something about the Mac's startup chime. Most computers today play a sound as they start up, but the Mac started the whole idea decades ago. And even today, its sound has the right length and warmth—not too long, not too loud, and comfortably familiar.

That chime tells you that the Mac has in fact started and that basic hardware elements inside your Mac (hard disk, processor, memory, and so on) are all operational. After this chime sounds, OS X tests the Mac's hardware (that's when you see the gray screen with the Apple logo and the spinning-wheel indicator), and then actually loads OS X itself (that's when the screen turns blue). When you see the menu bar at the top of the screen and your desktop background has loaded, you know OS X is ready to go.

The entire startup—also called boot—process takes about 30 to 45 seconds, depending on the speed of your Mac. Note that on faster Macs, some of the events may pass too quickly for you to notice.

Starting up your Mac

You start a Mac running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion in the following ways:

Press the power button on the Mac.

Press the power button on some Apple Cinema Display LCD monitors. Note that on some older models, the power button may simply switch the display off; the Apple LED Cinema Display and the Thunderbolt ...

Get OS X Mountain Lion Bible now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.