How to Find Help for Mac OS X Snow Leopard - dummies

How to Find Help for Mac OS X Snow Leopard

By Mark L. Chambers

Although the Help Viewer can take care of just about any question that you might have about the basic controls and features of Mac OS X Snow Leopard, you might also want to turn to other forms of help when the going gets a little tougher.

As of this writing, Apple provides voice technical support for Mac OS X. You can find the number to call in your Mac’s printed manuals or online in the Support section of the Apple Web site. However, exactly when you qualify for voice support and exactly how long it lasts depends on a number of different factors, such as whether you received Mac OS X when you bought a new machine or whether you purchased a support plan from Apple.

You can also try the general online support site. It’s a great starting point for obtaining Mac OS X help.

You can refer to a number of great Mac-savvy publications and resources, both printed and online, for help:

  • Macworld and MacLife magazines are both in hard copy and oh-so-slick online versions.

  • MacGamer is the online gaming resource for the Macintosh.

  • VersionTracker is an online resource for the latest updates on all sorts of Macintosh third-party applications.

  • MacFixIt is a well-respected troubleshooting site devoted to the Mac that offers downloads, news, and discussion areas. (A subscription is required for some of the more useful sections of the site.)

Virtually all the Mac-specific newsgroups are devoted to illegally swapping pirated games and applications, so they aren’t of much help when you’re having a problem. Also, the help that you receive from individuals in newsgroups is sometimes misguided — and sometimes downright wrong — so take any claims with a grain of salt.

As a general rule, never identify yourself or provide your snail-mail or e-mail address in a newsgroup post! These messages are public, and they hang around in cyberspace on newsgroup servers for years; you’ll be a prime target for spam (or even worse).

Finally, you can find local resources in any medium-size to large town or city: A shop that’s authorized by Apple to sell and repair Macintosh computers can usually be counted upon to answer a quick question over the phone or provide more substantial support for a fee.

You might also be lucky enough to have a local Macintosh user group that you can join; members can be counted on for free answers to your support questions at meetings and demonstrations. To find a group near you, visit the Apple User Group Support site and use the locator.