Right out of the box, Mac OS X comes with a healthy assortment of nearly 50 freebies: programs for sending email, writing documents, doing math, even playing games. Some are dressed-up versions of Mac programs that have been around for years. Others, though, are new programs that not only show off some of Mac OS X's most dramatic new technologies, but also let you get real work done without having to invest in additional software.
These programs reside in two important folders on your hard drive: Applications (in the main hard drive window) and Utilities (within the Applications folder). The Applications folder houses the productivity programs; Utilities holds a couple of dozen maintenance programs for setting up printers and network connections, fixing problems on your hard disk, and so on.
You can jump straight to the Applications folder in the Finder by pressing Shift--A, or by clicking the Applications button in the Finder Sidebar (it's the icon that looks like an A). Similarly, Shift--U takes you to the Utilities folder.
You might consider adding the Application and Utilities folders' icons to the right side of your Dock, too, so that you can access them no matter what program you're in.
This chapter guides you through the most important items in your ...