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The Mac User's Guide

Be advised, this is for 10.4 only.. http://apple.com/macosx

First I'll start off with


The nifty little thing that Apple came up with, allows you to store little mini-applications that can perhaps tell you the weather, a countdown timer or even a mini game, such as Tetris. A screenshot of dashboard, which is mine can be found here. Over 1600 widgets can be found at the Apple Widgets download site which can be found here.

NOTE: Widgets can be found at sites other than the Apple one.

RAM Usage
Just quick note; internet browsers use about 50-60 megs of ram, dashboard takes up about 3-5 megabytes (depending on the number of widgets you have installed on you're computer), and the same thing with the desktop. You can see the how much RAM is being used by consulting the Activity Monitor.


Heh... Apple decided to move to intel last year, and well, they've done it. Currently they have two intel models available for preo-rder. They are the MacBook-Pro and iMac. What's the difference in these intel processors, and why do I have to spend $2000 to buy an intel notebook right now, you ask? This question is answered below.

The cost and other things (namely features and such) [MacBook-Pro]

So. Even though the powerbook G4 15" model cost the same, there are some notable differences in the new "Macbook-Pro". They are:

-Built in iSight camera
-Includes Frontrow, Photobooth, and the apple remote
-4-5x faster than the previous models of the Powerbook G4
-Now 1" thin
-New Intel Core Duo processors (Dual core processors)
-You can run Windows Native on it, sortakindamaybe. Windows uses BIOS and Mac uses something else, though if emulation software makers upgrade their software, they can make it so that Windows runs at a significantly faster speed, though not completely native.
-Magtec Technology Power adapter
Ever tripped over your portables' AC adapter and send it flying off the table? Well, Apple wants to prevent this, with the new Magsafe technology. If you trip over it, it'll just come out - the portable won't even move.
-Brighter screen, for those who want their screens to be super-bright. 67% brighter to be exact.

The new iMac

No new differences, but the iMac will now run 2-3x more faster than it's predecessor.

About the intel processor, and applications

As you all know, every single existing application for the Macintosh platform up until Mr. Jobs keynote this month has been designed for the PowerPC... And with the intel processor, things won't really work right. That's why Apple has installed something called Rosetta in all intel machines. This will allow PowerPC applications to run native on the new intel machines. On another note, all new applications will be Universal. This means that the application will work on both the intel and PowerPC architecture.

Airport and other wireless.

The airport is pretty much a wireless device that allows you to connect to the internet, play music wirelessly throughout your house (Airtunes). There are many types of Airports, including the Airport Base station, the big thing that's like a wireless hub, the Airport extreme, the upgraded version, and the super-handy one that I use, the mobile Airport express. To keep track of your wireless connection, note the little Airport icon on the status bar. If most bars are filled, you have a strong connection and vice-versa. Setup of the airport is easy (for first time use). Click the airport icon in the status bar, then click 'Create new Network'. Name it, fill out some other details, then plugin you're airport. Wait for a minute or so, then click the airport icon again, and see if there's a network to connect to (your own, most likely), and connect. And now you have internet connection.

Requirements to run Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger

Much like Latios's guide to run Windows XP, here's the one for Mac;

-PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor
-Built-in FireWire
-At least 256MB of physical RAM
-A built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card supported by your computer
-At least 3.0 GB of available space on your hard drive; 4GB of disk space if -you install XCode 2 developer tools
-DVD drive for installation

With a nice and clean graphical interface, it is easy to upgrade to Tiger. Simply fill out all of the info it requires, re-boot you're computer and you're done.

Theming and Icons:

Two ways to customize you're Mac OS X machine... Icons if you don't want to take the risks of theming (not the safest thing to do) but want to customize it a little. A great program to do this with is CandyBar. Iconfactory is also a great place to download icons. As for themes, the thing that would be probably best if you want to theme would be ShapeShifter. A good place to download themes would be at here. Remember, if you're going to customize your computer with low risk of screwing it up (fix by re-installing OS), use icons.

Security and other worries

You know, I don't really think I need to go into this much. I've never had my computer crash before. You can technically run you're computer on forever if you customize a PowerMac to be a monster. However, if you really want to be secure, open of system preferences, go to sharing and select firewall. Click 'Advanced' and select the 'Stealth Mode' option box. Virtually nothing can get a response that you're computer even exists, not even if spyware even somehow magically infects you're computer.

Recomended Video Players


Simply a wonderful application than can play almost every video codec - very, very useful. Can make and edit videos in combination with iMovie and iDVD. Plays midi's, and all of your other video and movie needs.


VLC. If something can't play in Quicktime or anything, this is the player for you.

Real Media Player

Not really worth much beside the fact that in can play .ram, .rmvb, and .rm files.


Wonderful. Can encode a lot of video formats, including mpeg4, h.264, avi, psp, and ipod.

Recomended Audio Players


Yeah. Pretty much Mac's equivalent to winamp, which was released for the Mac 4 years ago but discontinued. iTunes play's videos, music, audiobooks, and podcasts.

More to come soon!

Software/App Development

Xcode, is your answer. Bundled within the second installation DVD of Mac OS X, this really is a treat. I can't really go in-depth to this right now as I have not tried making anything yet, but you can be sure that when I do (which should be soon) I'll have more information. I can say though, that interface creation goes very smooth.

What about my Windows Applications?!

Have no fear, Microsoft's Virtual PC 7 holds all of your answers. Some say it runs slow, but that's because they don't have a decent amount of RAM. If you have about 1.5 gigs installed, it'll run like lightning. Basically, Windows running on your computer via the virtual OS system... Can go on the internet, play very low RAM consuming games etc.

And another reason to buy it is this; the undoable drives feature... Hehe, if something goes wrong with it, you can select the option to undo a hardware installation or something that might infect the OS... A nice feature if you screw up your PC.

Help with hardware or Apple Products

Nah, you don't have to go to a companies website or whatever you Windows people do *feels ashamed of the many time's he taken in his PC in for repairs*, all's ya have to do is go to Apple's wonderful support website.

Mac OS 9 Applications

To run a Mac OS 9 application, simply install the package via the second Mac OS X install disc that came with your computer. Note that this isn't a dual boot, simply an emulator to run the applications (well, you see the boot up screen but that's different). I'm not sure if Mac OS 8 and lower applications will work with it, but it shouldn't really matter seeing as almost all of those applications are ancient. Classic Environment takes about a gig of your disk space IIRC. An example of running an application in the Classic Environment can be found here.

Portables and batteries

For the portable user, you have pretty much the same amount of worries as the desktop user. Except the battery... At around 300 charges of the Lithium ion battery, the amount of life you'll get out of your laptop drops by 20%. So if you have an iBook, you'll have around 3-5 hours off battery life, whereas if you're a Powerbook user, you'll have around 2 and a half hours - 4 hours of life. If you feel this is insuffcient(sp?), go ahead to the Online Apple Store and search the name of your portable along with 'Batteries'.

Part 2 - How to replace a battery

How would you replace you're battery? First, you'd wanna turn your portable off. Flip it on it's back, and look for something that looks like a slot. Use a penny to turn it to lock or unlock the battery, and it'll come off. Simple as that. For more information about batteries, visit Apple's Battery Page.

What's it called on my Mac?

Taken straight from the Help docs, this is a complete 'translation guide' of mac and windows terms.

Dashboard widgets, Utilities

Dashboard includes a calculator, notepad, address book, and clock widget. You'll find similar applications in the Applications folder and the Utilities folder (which is in the Applications folder).

Alt key >> Option key

Used to modify keys and enter special characters such as é.

Close box >> Close button

Closes a window when you click it. It's the left most button of the three buttons located in the upper-left corner of the window.

Control key >> Command (?) key

Used with keyboard combinations to perform actions or shortcuts. For example, pressing Command-S usually saves a document or file.

Control panels >> System Preferences

Used to select system settings such as your desktop background. To open System Preferences, choose Apple menu > System Preferences.

Device Manager >> System Profiler

Get detailed information about your computer hardware and software. Choose Apple menu > About This Mac and click More Info.

Disk drive eject button >> Media Eject key

To open and close the optical drive, press the Media Eject key on your keyboard. To eject disks in other types of drives, (or if your keyboard doesn't have the Media Eject key,) select the disk in the Finder and choose File > Eject.

Exit >> Quit

Choose Quit from the application menu to exit an application. (The application menu is labeled with your application’s name.)

Microsoft Photo Editor >> iPhoto

Use iPhoto to download photos from your digital camera and create your own photo albums.

Mouse (Two-Button) >> Mouse (One-Button)

Click your Mac one-button mouse to select items, such as folders and windows, and to open menus. Hold the mouse button down to drag items or select several objects. To open a "shortcuts menu," hold the Control key down as you click.

My Computer >> Desktop

Sometimes refers to the Mac OS X work environment. Also used to refer to background behind all the windows. You can keep documents and other icons on your desktop.

My Documents folder >> Documents folder

Use the Documents folder in your home folder to store your documents. To see your Documents folder, open a Finder window and click your home folder in the sidebarsidebar on the left side of the window.

My Pictures >> Pictures folder

The Pictures folder is located in your home folder.

My Recent Documents >> Recent Items (in the Apple menu)

As you open applications and files, their names are kept in the Recent Items submenu of the Apple menu. You can use this submenu to quickly reopen applications and documents.

Many applications include an Open Recent command in the File menu that lists documents you have worked on recently.

Network Connections >> Network preferences

Use the Network pane of System Preferences to configure your network settings. For help setting up or solving network problems, click "Assist me."

Performance control panel >> Activity Monitor

See how your computer is performing and which processes it's running.

Printers & Faxes >> Print & Fax preferences pane

Use the Print & Fax pane of System Preferences to select and set up printers.

Program Files >> Applications folder

The Applications folder holds Mac OS X applications and utilities.

Properties >> Get Info

In the Finder, select a file, folder, disk, server, or other item, then choose File > Get Info to see information about it. You set ownership and permissions for the item. For files, you can select the application you want to open the file.

Recycle Bin >> Trash (in the Dock)

Drag files and folders to the Trash icon in the Dock to delete them. To permanently delete the files, choose File > Empty Trash.

ScreenTaker >> Grab

Use Grab to take a picture of the screen. You can also take pictures of the screen by using Preview.

Search Command >> Spotlight and more

Click the Spotlight (magnifying glass) icon at the right of the menu bar and enter search text to find files, documents, applications, email, and other items on your Mac.

Many applications, such as the Finder, Mail, and Address Book provide a search field in the toolbar where you can quickly search for items.

In Safari, use Google search to find Internet websites.

Use Sherlock to search the Internet for information.

Shortcuts >> Alias

To make an alias, select the file or application and choose File > Make Alias.

Standby >> Sleep (in the Apple menu)

Sleep is a low-power mode. To put your computer to sleep, choose Apple menu > Sleep.

Start menu and Task bar >> Dock

Use the Dock to open your favorite applications, files, folders, and Internet websites. By default, the Dock appears at the bottom of the screen. Drag items here to add them to the Dock.

Status icons >> Status menus

Status menus appear as icons at the right of the menu bar. Use status menus to start connections, check the status of portable's battery, and change your iChat status.

Windows Explorer >> Finder

Use the Finder organize your files, applications, and other software. To open a Finder window, click the desktop and choose File > New Finder Window.

Windows Media Player >>QuickTime Player and iTunes

Use QuickTime Player to enjoy many types of movies and audio. QuickTime is also available to Safari and other web browsers so you can enjoy media on the Internet.

Use iTunes to listen to music CDs, purchase music from the iTunes Music Store, and create your own personal digital music library.

Windows MovieMaker >> iMovie

Use iMovie to download video from your digital video camera and create your own movies.

Some differences are very similar, while some aren't. And for today, this will conclude my guide, sorta. I'm going to edit it, eventually so it looks better and more information, as most of this (except for the help docs stuff) was from the top of my head. Also, expect more on other stuff like music/audio players, etc.
Last edited:


Former Staff Member
Hehe, next year, Intel Macs come out. Can't wait; might just get one!

I don't have a Mac yet, but I've been considering one.

- Trip
If you get an intel Mac, you can (therotically(sp?)) dual boot Windows, which means you can run Mac and Windows native on your system. They will own.


Former Staff Member
Alchemist said:
If you get an intel Mac, you can (therotically(sp?)) dual boot Windows, which means you can run Mac and Windows native on your system. They will own.

I'm not as worried about Windows as I am about Fedora Core. I just don't want to be recompiling everything I download for PowerPC.

- Trip
I think the fact that you'd have to recompile everything is inevitable, probably because there isn't any way I know of to convert programs from one OS to another.


Former Staff Member
Alchemist said:
I think the fact that you'd have to recompile everything is inevitable, probably because there isn't any way I know of to convert programs from one OS to another.


I do agree that the ability to dual-boot Windows will make the Intel Macs much more attractive to the common user. Apple has a very good track record. Heck, I'm considering an Apple for my next purchase (I currently have a Toshiba laptop that will need replacing when I go to college in about a year and a half).

- Trip

RaZoR LeAf

Night Terror
Just though I should post here to say that Microsoft have quietly stopped updating Windows Media Player for Mac. The site is now offering downloads of a 3rd party upgrade that lets you play WMV and WMA files through Quicktime.

You need Mac OS 10.3.9 or above, and QT 6.5 or above. Download here. Story here