ACTApple members are all ages and knowledge levels. As a member, you’ll be able to use and contribute to our knowledge base at whatever level you choose for yourself. To get more of an idea, go to the “About Us” page for an overview of our members services.
You’re welcome to attend one of our meetings to meet the members and helpful technical experts. You will be made welcome and will have all of your questions (and any problems) addressed during the sessions. Thinking of buying an Apple Mac? You can ask those questions too..
When you’re ready to get the benefits, you can join in a number of ways described under the “Membership” menu.
Well congratulations, you’ve started your foray into computers with arguably the friendliest and most stable small computer system available.
There are concepts and terms you’ll need to learn to get the most from your new toy, and to give you a leg-up ACTApple has put together a brief overview of the things you’ll meet in the Mac’s user interface and it’s terminology. You can get a copy by clicking here. Computer companies have a love affair with buzzwords and acronyms like no other, and getting to know the common ones will make your life a lot easier.
When getting any sort of help from a fellow member, one of the things you’ll need to know is what version of the operating system you are running (they behave differently). Around 1999 Apple radically changed it’s system from what is known as “OS-9” or “Classic” to “OS-X”. To determine your version, click on the small apple icon in the top left of your screen. If you have a menu item that says “About this Mac”, then click on it. You are running OS-X, and this will tell you what version. If the menu item says “About” then you are running a “Classic” system, and again this will tell you which one.
For those with the OS-X system, you have the most modern system available and you will see the system updated regularly by Apple to keep it current. Major updates will need to be purchased, but minor updates are free. You may occasionally see the “Software Update” program running to inform you of these minor updates, and offering to install them. This is a simple and one-click method to keep your computer current. Many OS-X programs are available from the internet, and ACTApple has available for purchase a CD of programs we’ve found most useful.
If you are using a “Classic” system, you may not be aware that it is a discontinued system. That means no further system updates from Apple, and no new software being created. However you can still find a lot of software over the internet, and ACTApple has CD’s of useful programs for purchase. Computers which run “Classic” systems are quite inexpensive, for spare parts etc. In short, the “Classic” system is a very usable and inexpensive introduction”.
A basic introduction to OS X suitable for anybody is at Mac 101.
Taking things a step further, Apple Discussions is a very useful site. Another similar resource is Mac Owners Support Group. These two sites complement each other, and – most of the time – don’t get too technical for most people, though you may need to plough through a fair bit of waffle to find what you want. Probably easier to ring the ACTApple Help Desk.
When you get confident enough to start finding and installing software and hardware onto your Mac, try the Apple Products Guide for that piece of software or hardware you never knew you couldn’t do without.
I know computers, but not the Mac
It’s common for a lot of our members to also use Windows or Linux computers, usually at work. Whilst there are a lot of differences between the platforms, there are also a lot of similarities. But the acronyms are different. Apple has called people who switch from using Windows to using Macs…”switchers”. Creative, no? They’ve also put together a good overview of what you get on the Mac platform, and for small business. You may also find ACTApple’s own Mac overview useful to cover the basics, but moreso the terminology of the Mac world.
Just like those new to computers, when getting any sort of help from a fellow member you’ll need to know your operating system version. Around 1999 Apple radically changed it’s system from what is known as “OS-9” or “Classic” to “OS-X”. OS-X is built on BSD-Unix (unix and Linux types may find some common ground), giving it great stability. To determine your OS-X version, click on the small apple icon in the top left of your screen. If you have a menu item that says “About this Mac”, then click on it. You are running OS-X, and this will tell you what version. If the menu item says “About” then you are running a pre-OS-X system, and again this will tell you which one.
Apple provides a useful page of hints and tips for people migrating from a Microsoft Windows system to the Mac here.
I know the Mac, but not ACTApple
Well, glad to see you found us. Whatever level of expertise you have with Macs, ACTApple has something to offer you. The pace of change with OS-X and associated programs makes it next to impossible to find the time to keep up. Even surfing the web to find what you need can take more time than it should. Through regular reviews of new books, notes from others via our popular general help mailing group, and notes on available software in our newsletters you’ll be able to get the most from your time spent.
At a less tangible level, the Mac is a great place for constantly finding new ways to enjoy it’s use. Sharing what you find with others with similar interest can be just as enjoyable, and it’s one of the main reasons a lot of our members stay for many years.
Eventually, OS-X will outgrow your hardware and you’ll start thinking of a new system. It’s likely that other members have purchased or checked out newer systems, making it a great place to get more information before you spend up.
If you’ve been around Macs for a while, and don’t mind that some of the material gets reasonably complex technically, try the links at LearnStuff .
And if you want the real low-down, there are communities and knowledgebases at http://www.apple.com/support/