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Introduction

Mac OS X Panther is an operating system (OS), a computer program that controls the basic operation of your Macintosh computer and the programs you run. A program, also known as an application, is task-oriented software you use to accomplish a specific task, such as word processing, managing files on your computer, or performing calculations.

The Finder is part of the Mac OS and starts when you turn on your computer. The Finder displays a menu bar and desktop on your screen that you can use to work with windows, icons, and files. A window can contain the contents of a file and the application in which it was created, icons (picture representations of an application or a file), or other usable data. This use of windows and icons is called a graphical user interface (GUI, pronounced “gooey”), meaning that you (“user”) interact (“interface”) with the computer through the use of graphics: icons and other meaningful words, symbols, and windows. A file is a collection of information (such as a letter or list of addresses) that has a unique name, distinguishing it from other files. You can use the Finder to open, copy, delete, list, and organize your computer files.


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