1. Meet Snow Leopard

Apple is known for its outstanding industrial design, from the first eye-catching and colorful iMacs to the svelte MacBook Air. But here’s the hiding-in-plain-sight secret about the Mac: no matter what computer you’re on, you interact with its operating system, Mac OS X. A Mac Pro could just as easily be a large gray box under your desk and you’d still get the full Mac experience thanks to the software that runs the machine.

Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard is what I like to think of as a major incremental update. It doesn’t seem very different than Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but it introduces significant under-the-hood changes that contribute to improved performance and a better experience for you. If you’re already familiar ...

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