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Chapter 3. Problem Solving: General Stra... > Five Steps to Solving Macintosh Prob...

Five Steps to Solving Macintosh Problems

1. Read Alert Box Messages

Often, after something unexpected has occurred with your Macintosh, an alert box error message appears. These messages often contain valuable information.


An alert box pops up on your screen to warn you or inform you about the consequences of what you have just done (Your file has been successfully transferred) or what you are about to do (Erasing the disk will permanently erase all data on it. Do you still want to erase it?). It is usually accompanied by either the "! in a triangle" icon (which means "caution") or the "hand in a stop sign" icon (which is more serious and means "stop and read this before proceeding").

Usually, you cannot do much in response to an alert box message other than click an OK or Cancel button.

Alert boxes are a normal and expected part of the Macintosh's operation. Their appearance doesn't necessarily mean that you have a problem. When you do have a problem, however, they are particularly likely to appear. In such cases, they are often referred to as error messages.

A terminology note: a cousin to the alert box is the dialog box. A dialog box usually appears after you've chosen a command from a menu. The box that appears after you choose Print from the File menu, for example, is a dialog box. Dialog boxes are distinguished from alert boxes both by the different functions and by the fact that dialog boxes usually have many more options than the one or two choices typical of an alert box.



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