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Chapter 1. Setting Up Your Mac > Installing Mac OS X

Installing Mac OS X

In case you've had your Mac for a while and it didn't come with Mac OS X installed, this section will guide you through the basics of installing it. (If you need a reason to make the change, a lot of the best software for using digital media on the Mac is available only for OS X—including iPhoto and the most recent version of iMovie.)

From the time OS X was released until 2002, Apple shipped computers with software for both OS X and the previous operating system, OS 9. The reason for this is simple. During development of OS X, Apple had the foresight to know that its long-time users couldn't switch to the new operating system, no matter how well it worked, until the applications and hardware they had come to depend on were available for it. By designing OS X and updates to OS 9 in such a way that the two systems could co-exist, users were getting the best of both worlds—their old familiar applications and hardware and a new state-of-the-art operating system that could pave the way for even better hardware and applications later on.

Because a broad range of software and hardware is now available for the new operating system, Apple has stopped offering OS 9 as a separate product, and has even stopped making computers that can boot directly into OS 9. The good news is that OS 9 lives on as the “Classic” environment in OS X, and most older Mac programs can still be used in this mode. We'll talk about using Classic applications in more detail in Chapter 3, “Working with Windows, Folders, Files, and Applications.



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