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Apple Mac OS X tips and tweaks

Date: 1st August 2011

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OS X Lion: The new About this Mac

If you have unstalled OS X Lion on your Apple Mac, here is a great new feature that you may not have discovered yet. Click the Apple menu in the top left corner of the screen and select About this Mac. A small window opens to show some basic hardware information about the Mac and the version of OS X installed (click the OS X version number for a secret feature). So far this is like Snow Leopard, but when you click the More Info button you will see something very different in Lion. There's a brand new app and it has some very useful features.

A new window opens that contains a toolbar with six tabs. The Overview tab is selected by default and this gives some basic hardware and software information. It has a bit more than before and you can see the graphics chipset and memory, for example. If you click the System Report button the same information that used to be displayed with previous versions of OS X is displayed and it is useful for checking the hardware and software.

What's new in Lion though, are the Displays, Storage and Memory tabs. There is some very useful information on them. Storage has a very useful display of the state of the hard disk drive and it is very similar to the way iTunes displays the storage on iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch. You can see how much space is used by movies, photos, apps, and so on, and the amount that is free.

OS X Lion

The Memory tab is useful if you intend to upgrade the Mac and it shows the number of memory slots and the size of the memory modules in them. It also tells you the type of RAM used. This information is useful for ordering more.

OS X Lion

It would be even more useful if it told you what the maximum was though. Don't assume that you can replace the memory modules with larger ones to upgrade because there are often limitations on the size. Click the Memory Upgrade Instructions link and a Safari window opens to display a page on the Apple website that contains all the information you need, such as RAM modules, maximum capacity and so on.

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