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Well, now that we've demystified the Mac a little bit and covered some of the terminology you can expect in moving from a Windows environment to a Mac, it's time to dig in. So in this chapter we are going to explore the user interface in detail, the different parts and components of the user interface and how we can adjust them. And we are going to begin by exploring the desktop in this lesson. The desktop is what you see when you turn on your Mac. A number of things can happen before you arrive at your desktop. For example, if multiple accounts have been set up, you may need to choose your name from a list, even enter a password to get to the desktop.
We talked about accounts in the chapter called Moving Day if you want to check that one out. Another option might be to select from a Mac or a Windows environment, for example, if you are using Boot Camp, when we do talk about Boot Camp later on in this title as well. Once you select the Mac, well again, you were right here at your desktop and that's we are going to talk about right now. The desktop for me may look different from yours, I'm using Leopard and this is the default wallpaper, you see in the background this starry sky. You may have blue swirls or just a plain flat color, really that doesn't matter, it's what's on the desktop that's important.
For example down at the bottom we have got the Dock, and the Dock we talked about briefly will contain shortcuts to some of the applications you might use on a regular basis. So instead of digging around in the Applications folder for them, you can place them down here on the Dock and then you've got easy access. Watch what happens when I move my Mouse pointer down to the Dock, see how it expands as I hover over the various icons and I get to see the name. For example there is iTunes; there is iPhoto and iDVD, some of the free apps that come with the Mac.
Here's my Address Book, Garage Band, here is iMovie, QuickTime is down there for me as well. When I move away it just kind of collapses down there and sits quietly waiting for me to select from one of those icons. So to watch any of those applications, I just have to click down there; we'll talk about the Dock though in great detail later on in this chapter. Now over here on the top right corner I have only got two icons sitting on my desktop right now, it's nice and clean. That's going to change overtime, I'm going to see all kinds of aliases also known as shortcuts in the Windows environment scattered about and are ways to say organize that we will be talking about as we move through the lessons in this title.
But right now I have just got these two, my Macintosh hard drive and another hard drive it would appear because it's the same icon and this one is Untitled. Now I do have Boot Camp running, so I can choose between Windows and a Mac environment depending on what I need to do and I've got them looking like they are on separate hard drives here. So that's kind of cool, I can access my Windows files right by here and we are going to be talking about opening up different Windows and folders as we move through the various lessons again. So right now we'll leave these icons here but you can see that's one way to access the contents of your computer.
Now up at the top here, we've got a bar that stretches from all the way on the left-hand side where we see an Apple icon to the very far right where we see some of those menu lense I was talking about in the previous lesson. Here you can see I have got an icon for my system volume, that's where I go to adjust it, give it a little click, I want to bump it up or down a little bit, just move this Slider. It's currently showing the time, not the date, but I can make adjustments there just by clicking in View as Analog, View as Digital, open up the date and time if I wanted to make adjustments to those preferences.
We will do that later on as well. The American flag tells me I'm using the American keyboard layout of characters, and then this little guy here in the far right looks like a magnifying glass, that's spotlight. We talked about spotlight and the things we can do with spotlight and we are going to look at spotlight in very great detail later on as well, but there is the icon, little menu right here in the top right corner of this Menu bar. Now, let's move to the left because this is very important, the very first two things you see over here on the left, the Apple icon representing the Apple menu, it's omnipresent, meaning, no matter what application you are running, you will see this little Apple icon up here in the top left corner.
You will always have access to things like, let's give it a click, Software Updates, the Mac OS X software, System Preferences right there. If you want to make adjustments to your Dock, look at that, here's where we go to turn it on and off, adjust magnification, the position and the Dock preferences, you can access recent items from here, you can force applications to quit. Hardly ever happens, but if an application is not responding, here's where you go to force it to quit. We can turn our computer off by shutting it down, we can restart it or we can put it to sleep.
I like sleep mode because, all it does is it conserves energy, everything appears to shut down, but all you have to do is come back, hit any old key on your keyboard and it pops back right where you left off. So if you have applications running, no problem, they don't shut down. Everything just goes to sleep temporarily, saves you a little bit of energy as well. Down at the bottom is where I can go to log out. Now, if you are logged in and there are several accounts, this is great, here's where you go to log out. It's a great way to leave your computer running, if you don't want people accessing it while you are away, log out and if you've got passwords attached to your account, they won't be able to get into your files.
If there are multiple people sharing a computer, they may have their own accounts, so you would have to log out before they could log-in for example. So this is all from the Apple menu, and the Apple menu as I mentioned very important appears here in the top left corner, no matter what application you are running. The application that's running right now by default and is running in the background all of the time is Finder. Now as I move over to Finder, you can see the Finder menu has About finder, there is my Finder Preferences. I use Finder to empty the trash, there are a number of services I can access through Finder.
If I've got multiple applications, I can hide them; show them off from this menu here as well. If I go up to the File menu, you can see that I can go here to create a new window, a new folder, a burn folder, down below I can open things if they are available, right now they are not, nothing to close. I can duplicate, here's where I can go to make those aliases also known as Shortcuts in a Windows environment. We will be looking at Quick Look later on as well. We're going to do a lot of this stuff as we move through the lessons in this chapter and the chapters coming up.
We've also got an Edit menu, View, Go. I like this one here. From Finder, when you go to the Go menu, you can go to different locations like your computer, your home folder right to the desktop, networks. If you've got virtual disks out there, something called iDisk, you can go to your Applications folder, this is where all of the applications or programs are and you can access them from here as well as Utilities. You can go to specific folders and servers, all kinds of cool things from Finder.
Now, Finder, if you are used to working in a Windows environment is the equivalent of Windows Explorer. That's where you go to access content and folders and move things and copy things, remove things and so on. Finder is always running, it's always running in the background, so if you've got multiple applications open, you can always get back to Finder by closing those applications or hiding them or you will also notice down here the very first icon on the Dock by default is the Finder icon. So, let's say I had Word and iTunes and iPhoto running among other things.
Coming down to my Dock, clicking right here on Finder takes me right to my Finder window. Here you can see I have actually opened up a Finder window and it's my window, my Home folder, and I can close that by going to the top left corner, I've got the little x, here's the Minimize, here's the Expand, I'm going to close this up and I'm still left with Finder running just no folders or windows open at this time. So that's your desktop. Now as we move through the various lessons in this chapter, we are going to look at the different parts of your desktop or your user interface, we are going to look at the Dock in great detail, we are going to look at some of the Finder options and system preferences and so on as we move through these lessons.
So follow along with me, there is lots more to cover.
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