IT Help Desk Jobs: Online Resources for Mac OS X

By Tyler Regas

You will need to be familiar with Mac OS X to work an IT help desk job. Windows may still have far more installed users than Mac OS X, but Apple’s OS has been growing at an astounding rate and is popular with many young companies and start-ups. Considering how common Mac OS X-based systems have become, it’s all the more important that help desk personnel be familiar with both Windows and Mac OS X.

The reality, however, is that very few Mac OS X servers are in use, and, as such, very few resources are available. On the other hand, Mac OS X Server isn’t nearly as deep or complex as Microsoft server solutions, so there’s less need for additional resources.

  • Apple Support: The first place you’ll want to look is on Apple’s own support site. You can find a great deal of information about all of Apple’s systems and hardware, including guides for troubleshooting problems. Many individual users and companies invest in an AppleCare extended warranty for their hardware.

  • Mac OS X Server: When you need help with Mac OS X Server, check out Apple’s support subsite. It contains a lot of helpful setup, configuration, and troubleshooting information, and it’s all neatly organized for easy navigation. You can also find downloads and access to online manuals. If you aren’t using the latest version of Mac OS X Server for Mavericks, there are links to the Lion and Snow Leopard version pages as well.

  • Experts-Exchange.com: Experts Exchange is a commercial community assistance website that has a wide range of information and helpful articles about most systems in common use. It used to be a for-pay only site, but in recent years, it has adjusted its subscriber model to offer free accounts. Free access allows you access to its library of articles and select access to how-to’s and video training.

    For access to all features and to eliminate advertising, you can upgrade to a Premium member account for $20 a month or $150 a year. A free 30-day trial is also ­available.

  • MacWindows.com: MacWindows.com is one of the oldest and best maintained third-party sites for the unique relationship between Mac OS X systems and Windows server environments. The site has been running continuously since 1997, and most articles are written by just one person. Aside from the news and Windows integration-specific pieces regularly posted, you can find community forums and a large collection of tips and solutions. There is no cost to use the site.

  • The Unofficial Apple Weblog: Yes, it’s mostly a news site, but it has a large collection of how-to articles that cover a wide range of subjects that users care about.

  • OSXDaily.com: A website dedicated to Mac OS X, the Tips & Tricks section contains a number of helpful blog entries.