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Part I: Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Part I: Let's Start at the Very Beginning

Some of you may have been working on a Macintosh for a while now, or perhaps on another sort of computer, and you feel quite comfortable using a mouse, menus, and windows. If that's so, skip this section. (Or maybe skim through it—you might be surprised at the little tricks you didn't know.)

But if this is your first experience with a computer of any sort, then please just sit down and work along with me. We're going to start from scratch. I'm going to assume you don't know anything about this machine at all. Remember, there are some things I'm not going to tell you yet because you can live a long time without knowing them. But I will tell you exactly what you need to know to start being productive and having fun on your great, new iMac, and I'll tell you where to go for more information when you're ready.

The iMac has been the best-selling computer for over a year and a half.

Its own winning streak was broken in January '99 when Apple introduced the new five different colors of the iMac and the market research firms counted each color of the iMac as a separate model. However, for many months after, the newly separated iMac models remained close to the top spot. During that time, the iMac sold more computers than heavyweights such as Dell, IBM, Gateway, and Compaq.

As of January 2000, the iBook has been the best-selling laptop since its introduction six months prior.

Apple stock has been one of the most profitable stocks of the past three years.

It has risen over 925 percent of where it started in December of 1997 at 12.75 to a high of 118 in December 1999. During the market drops, Apple's stock stayed stable and even went up. Dell, on the other hand, fell some 20 points in the August '98 downturn.

Since the return of Steve Jobs 2.5 years ago, Apple's market cap has risen from $2 billion to over $16 billion.

Apple posted nine straight quarters of profit as of January '00

$37 million, $56 million, and $100 million respectively in 1998, on up to $183 million in January 2000. Compaq, however, had a loss of $3.6 billion in one quarter alone.

Apple has over $2 billion in the bank,

according to the Securities and Exchange Commission documents. Apple has plenty for a rainy day. The opinion of renowned stock market analyst Robert Morgan, author of the "Recon for Investors" newsletter, is that Apple is here to stay. Any Mac user could have told him that.



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