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Mac Innards (DM)

Before launching into an examination of the various species of Macintosh, we would do well to briefly describe its genus: the personal computer. In other words: What are the common elements found in any computer, whether it's housed in a desktop, notebook, or even personal digital assistant?

All computers require a central processing unit, or CPU, that runs the machine's instructions and data; an amount of random-access memory (RAM) to hold the data during manipulation; a startup program to start up the device; a means of displaying the data to the user; one or more storage devices; and perhaps one or more input-output, or I/O, interfaces that can send and receive instructions. (Of course, we can't forget software: the operating system and applications that transform the hardware from an expensive doorstop to a productivity tool. We cover the essential system software component in the first and third chapters of The Macintosh Bible.)


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