Adding Identifying Info to Your New Mac

Powering up a new Mac for the first time may make you feel like you're entering the United Nations. After the Apple logo disappears, a lengthy interrogation process commences.

You are kindly instructed to pledge allegiance to a particular language. Deutsch als Standardsprache verwenden and Gebruik Nederlands als hoofdtaal are among the 15 choices in a drop-down menu. If you don't know what either of these means, you probably ought to make another choice. In any case, make your selection by clicking with the mouse or pressing Enter or Return.

If you select Use English as the main language, you're treated to a short movie that welcomes you in several different languages to OS X Tiger, the Mac's operating system software. Next, you get to tell your computer your country or region (United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and so on). You don't need to whip out a passport.

At this stage, you have the option to hear instructions for setting up your Mac. To do so, press Escape.

If you happen to own another Mac, you can then transfer network settings, user accounts, documents, applications, files, emails, and various preferences from that other computer to this one. The process involves connecting a FireWirecable.

You are also presented with the option to transfer information from another partition on this Mac. The Mac's Disk Utility program allows you to partition, or break up, your drive into separate volumes that Tiger treats as discrete disks.

Disk Utility can also create disk images, which are electronic files that store other files and folders and can be used for multiple purposes, such as backing up files, hauling files from one Mac to another, and emailing files.

And here's a techie mouthful if ever there was one: Disk Utility can also create a RAID scheme, geek-talk for Redundant Array of Independent Disks. It's a method of using several separate hard drives as a single volume.

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