Unpack and Connect Your iMac - dummies

By Mark L. Chambers

This article is short and sweet because the installation of an aluminum iMac on your desktop is a piece of cake. (This really is easy.)

Unpacking your iMac

Follow these guidelines when unpacking your system:

  • Check for damage. Most people never have a box arrive from Apple with shipping damage, but still, ask around and you’ll hear horror stories from others (who claim that King Kong must have been working for That Shipping Company). Check all sides of your box before you open it.

    Take a photograph of any significant damage (just in case).

  • Search for all the parts. When you’re removing those chunks o’ foam, make certain that you check all sides of each foam block for parts that are snuggled therein or taped for shipment.

  • Keep all those packing materials. Do not head for the trash can with that box and those packing materials. Keep your box intact, complete with all the packing materials, for at least a year until your standard Apple warranty runs out. If you have to ship it to an Apple Service Center, the box with the original packing is the only way for your iMac to fly.

    And now, a few words about cardboard containers:

    • Smart computer owners keep their boxes far longer than a year.

      For example, if you sell your iMac or move across the country, you’ll want that box. Theres no doubt about this one.

    • Store the invoice for safekeeping. Your invoice is a valuable piece of paper.

      Save your original invoice in a plastic bag, along with your computer’s manuals and original software, manuals, and other assorted hoo-hah. Keep the bag on your shelf or stored safely in your desk, and enjoy a little peace of mind.

  • Read the iMac manual. Why do you have to read the manual from Apple along with this article? Good question, and here’s the answer: There might be new and updated instructions in the documentation from Apple that override what this article says. (For example, Never cut the red wire. Cut the blue wire instead.” Or something to that effect.)

    Besides, Apple manuals are rarely thicker than a restaurant menu.

Connecting your iMac’s cables

The iMac makes all its connections really simple, but your computer depends on you to place the outside wires and thingamabobs where they go.

Absolutely essential connections

After your new iMac is resting comfortably in its assigned spot, you need to make a minimum of one connection: the power cable. Plug the cable into the corresponding socket on the iMac first; then plug ‘er into that handy AC outlet.

Apple has already installed your batteries in your wireless keyboard and mouse (or trackpad). How thoughtful! If you ordered your iMac with a wired Apple keyboard, of course, you have no batteries to worry about at all.

Adding the Internet to the mix

If you have Internet access or a local computer network, you need to make at least one of the following connections.

If you don’t already have any Internet service, you may want to start with local dialup Internet access (assuming that you have an external USB modem for your iMac; see the next section). If you decide to investigate your high-speed options immediately, your local cable and telephone companies can provide you more information on cable or DSL Internet service.

Dialup Internet access

If you get on the Internet by dialing a standard phone number, you’ll need an external USB modem that’s compatible with OS X 10.9 to connect your iMac. Follow these steps:

  1. Plug your external USB modem into one of the USB ports on the back of your iMac.

  2. Plug one of the telephone cable’s connectors into your modem’s line port.

  3. Plug the other telephone cable connector into your telephone line’s wall jack.

Networks and high-speed Internet access

If you have high-speed Internet service, or if you’re in an office or school with a local computer network, you can probably connect through the iMac’s built-in Ethernet port. You make two connections:

  1. Plug one end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port on the iMac.

  2. Plug the other end of the Ethernet cable into the Ethernet port from your network.

    It’s probably one of the following:

    • An Ethernet wall jack

    • An Ethernet switch

    • A cable or DSL Internet router (or sharing device)