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Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac, Second Edition
Keep your Mac running smoothly with our easy maintenance program!
Regular maintenance is necessary for peak performance and to prevent problems, but it's hard to know what to do and when to do it. Never fear, because you can now turn to best-selling author Joe Kissell, who walks you through his commonsense approach. Read this ebook to learn how to start on the right foot; what you should do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly; and how to prepare for OS X updates. Joe even explains how to monitor your Mac's health and debunks common panaceas.
Whether you're using 10.5 Leopard, 10.6 Snow Leopard, 10.7 Lion, or 10.8 Mountain Lion, you can find answers to questions such as:
iPad & Kindle
About the Author
Joe Kissell has written many books about the Mac, including many popular Take Control ebooks. He's also a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld, and previously spent 10 years in the Mac software industry.
Table of Contents
Read Me First
Macs, like all machines, are prone to break down eventually—in either a physical sense (a component going bad) or a logical sense (files becoming corrupted, applications misbehaving). You can reduce the risk of such problems, and minimize the damage when they do occur, with a regular maintenance regimen. This ebook contains simple steps you can take to keep your Mac humming. This ebook was written by Joe Kissell, edited by Caroline Rose, and published by TidBITS Publishing Inc.
Several years ago, I went to the dentist for the first time in more than half a decade. The main reason I’d failed to make dental appointments all those years was embarrassment at having waited so long. I could just hear the dentist chiding me, “Ah, I can see you haven’t had your teeth cleaned properly in 5 years. For shame!” The more time passed, the worse the embarrassment grew, and finally it took actual pain and a visible hole in a tooth to overcome it. So I was disappointed, but not surprised, to learn that I had several cavities and needed a root canal. The dentist was kind and understanding but nevertheless pointed out repeatedly that this visit might have been much less painful (and less expensive) had I flossed every day and gone for my semiannual checkups as I knew I should have.
I tell you this story not merely to urge proper dental hygiene but because maintaining your Mac—like maintaining your teeth, your car, your health, or your home—is a good habit whose rewards are having fewer problems later on and being able to recover more easily from problems that do arise. You can sometimes get away without doing any maintenance for a few months or perhaps much longer, but you risk losing data, wasting time, and having to spend a great deal of money repairing or replacing your computer.
This book teaches you the most important and useful maintenance tasks you should perform to increase your chances of keeping your Mac in tip-top operating condition throughout its lifetime. I’ve organized the tasks according to their frequency: what you should do daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly, as well as some important initial steps, some things you should do when a Mac OS X upgrade appears, and some tasks you might want to avoid, contrary to conventional wisdom. If you follow these recommendations diligently, you’ll dramatically decrease the likelihood of serious problems.
I want to make a few disclaimers up front:
Note: To reflect the diversity of opinion about certain maintenance tasks, I’ve included several sidebars containing brief conversations among Mac experts, some of whom are Take Control authors or editors.
This version of Take Control of Maintaining Your Mac is geared toward people using Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard or later. The majority of the information in this book also applies to earlier versions of Mac OS X. Even so, note that one of my first suggestions is to upgrade your Mac to run the latest version of Mac OS X, which is likely to contain fewer bugs than earlier versions.
The tasks in this book are easy, and they get easier the more you do them. So start developing those good maintenance habits right now. And don’t forget to floss every day!
This book describes a step-by-step process for maintaining your Mac. The maintenance intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, yearly) reflect the relative urgency of the tasks in each chapter; you may choose to do the tasks within a chapter in any order, but I strongly suggest first following the steps in Start on the Right Foot.
Version 2.3 is a minor update intended primarily to bring the book up to date with 10.8 Mountain Lion. Most of the changes are quite small, but a few are worth noting:
Version 2.2 contained numerous small changes throughout to bring this book up to date with information about Mac OS X 10.7 Lion, other recent software and hardware releases, and my two other Mac Fitness books. I also did the following:
In version 2.1, I scrubbed the book to purge outdated bits and brought the information in line with current versions of Mac OS X and third-party software and services. I also:
The second edition was a major revision, extensively updated with the latest information on Mac maintenance. Among the most significant changes are these:
There are lots of great ways to read our ebooks on these devices. For more details, please read our latest Device Advice.
Feel free to ask us if you have a question about this title!
How could we not publish such kind words? If you'd like to send us your comments (good or bad, though we hope they're all good), just click the Feedback link on the cover of your copy of the ebook. Be sure to let us know if we can publish your comment. Thanks!
August 24, 2012 -- Now that we've updated this ebook to include 10.8 Mountain Lion, we have no immediate plans to create another update.
—Tonya J Engst
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