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The Options

In the Apple menu the last four options are Sleep, Restart, Shut Down, and Log Out. Here is a brief description of when you might use each of these options.

  • Sleep does two things: 1) It turns off the monitor display so your screen goes black, and 2) it stops the hard disk from spinning. Both of these features save energy. You can control when your Mac goes to sleep; for instance, you might want it to automatically sleep whenever you haven’t used it for twenty minutes. You can tell the monitor and the hard disk to go to sleep at two different times, since it takes longer for the hard disk to wake up than the display (some people get annoyed waiting for the hard disk to start spinning again, so you can have the display sleep but not the hard disk, if you like). On some models of Mac, you can push the flat Power button in for one second to put the machine to sleep. For all the details, see page 340.

  • Restart shuts your Mac down and starts it up again without ever turning off the power. This is easier on the computer than turning off the power and rebooting (turning it back on). You often have to restart after installing new software or anytime things just start acting weird. See page 282 for details.

  • On Shut Down, the Mac takes care of internal business, cleans up everything, and turns itself off (it actually turns off the power). Shut Down when you are done for the day or longer. Actually, you rarely have to Shut Down in Mac OS X—you can leave your machine on for weeks at a time, setting it to sleep automatically after a certain number of idle minutes. My partner John leaves his computer on for days on end; I shut mine down most nights. See page 284.

  • Use Log Out to switch between multiple users. If you are the only user, you can use it as a safety precaution. See page 283 for details.


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