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Introduction to Mac OS 9.1

Introduction to Mac OS 9.1


Mac OS 9.1 is the latest version of the computer operating system that put the phrase graphic user interface in everyone's vocabulary. With Mac OS, you can point, click, and drag to work with files, applications, and utilities. Because the same intuitive interface is utilized throughout the system, you'll find that a procedure that works in one program works in virtually all the others.

This Visual QuickStart Guide will help you learn Mac OS 9.1 by providing step-by-step instructions, plenty of illustrations, and a generous helping of tips. On these pages, you'll find everything you need to know to get up and running quickly with Mac OS 9.1—and more!

This book was designed for page flipping. Use the thumb tabs, index, or table of contents to find the topics for which you need help. If you're brand new to Mac OS, however, I recommend that you begin by reading at least the first two chapters. In them, you'll find basic information about techniques you'll use every day with your computer.

If you're interested in information about new Mac OS 9.1 features and the components of Mac OS 9.1, be sure to browse through this Introduction. It'll give you a good idea of what you can expect to see on your computer.

New Features in Mac OS 9.1

Mac OS 9.1 is a minor revision to Mac OS 9 that adds new features and updates others. This section provides a summary of what's new.


All of these features are covered in this book.

Installation Changes

  • An Easy installation now includes English Speech Recognition.

  • All Mac OS 9-compatible applications and utilities (including Internet software) is now installed in an Applications (Mac OS 9) folder.

Finder Menu Features

  • There are now shortcut keys for the following commands:

    • Add to Favorites (File menu).

    • View Options (View menu).

    • Empty Trash (Special menu).

  • A new Window menu (Figure 1) makes it easy to activate the Desktop or any open window.

    Figure 1. The new Window menu makes it easy to activate any open Finder window.

Printing Features

  • The new USB Printer Sharing control panel (Figure 2) enables you to share USB printers across a network.

    Figure 2. With USB Printer Sharing, you can share a USB printer across a TCP/IP network.

  • The new Desktop Printer Utility (Figure 3) offers a powerful way to create custom desktop printer icons for your PostScript printers and printer drivers.

    Figure 3. The Desktop Printer Utility offers many options for creating desktop printers.

Interface Changes

  • A number of control panels have been updated, primarily for appearance:

    • Energy Saver (Figure 4).

      Figure 4. The Energy Saver control panel now has tabs to access options.

    • General Controls (Figure 5).

      Figure 5. The General Control panel now has a vertical organization and a few less options.

    • Startup Disk (Figure 6).

      Figure 6. The Startup Disk control panel has a new look and includes networked disks.

Mac OS 9.1 Components

Mac OS 9.1 includes the following software components:

  • Mac OS 9.1 is the basic collection of system software files, including the System file, Finder file, control panels, and extensions. This is the foundation of Mac OS; its various parts are covered throughout this book.

  • Internet Access enables you to connect to the Internet. I tell you about accessing the Internet in Chapter 11.

  • Apple Remote Access enables you to use your modem to connect to another computer or establish a PPP connection to the Internet. I discuss Apple Remote Access in Chapters 10 and 11.

  • Personal Web Sharing enables you to build your own Web server for sharing information on an intranet or the Internet. I tell you about Personal Web Sharing in Chapter 11.

  • Text-to-Speech enables your computer to read text and alerts with a synthesized voice. I cover speaking text in Chapter 7 and setting Speech options in Chapter 15.

  • Mac OS Runtime for Java enables you to run Java applets from the Finder.

  • ColorSync helps ensure color accuracy when working with color images.

  • English Speech Recognition enables your computer to recognize and respond to human speech.

  • Language Kits allows you to display and edit additional languages.

  • Network Assistant Client enables your network administrator to manage your computer.


The Mac OS 9.1 installer, which I discuss in Chapter 1, enables you to install any combination of these components.

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