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Switching to the Mac: The Missing Manual, Yosemite Edition by David Pogue

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Monitors

Your Mac can use standard monitors of the type found in the Windows world. Every Macintosh can drive multiple screens at the same time, too, meaning that you can generally use your old PC screen either as your Mac’s main monitor or as a second, external screen.

If one of those arrangements appeals to you, the only complication might be the connector. Most PC screens, of course, have a standard VGA connector (or a more modern DVI connector) at the tip of their tails. Over the years, however, Apple has “standardized” on enough different screen-plug types to fill a catalog. There’s been DVI, Mini-DVI, Micro-DVI, Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt—you get the idea.

For the proper fee, Apple will be happy to sell you whatever adapter cable you need to accommodate the monitor you’ve got.

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It’s even possible to connect both your Mac and your PC to the same monitor, and to switch from one to the other at will. If this arrangement appeals to you, you’ll need a so-called KVM switch (which also lets you switch your keyboard and mouse between the two computers). You can find KVM switches for sale at electronics stores and online from manufacturers like Belkin (www.belkin.com).

In any case, the center of operations for all your monitor settings is the System Preferences→Displays pane. Here you set your monitor’s resolution, calibrate color balance and brightness, and turn AirPlay on and off—a cool feature that duplicates whatever is on your Mac screen on a TV set. Wirelessly.

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