Introduction


You made the right choice twice: System 7.5 and this book.

Take a deep breath and get ready to have some fun. That’s right. This is a computer book and it’s going to be fun. Whether you’re new to the Mac or a grizzled old veteran, I guarantee that learning System 7.5 my way will be easy and fun. It says so right on the cover.

Why a Book for Dummies?

Because there wasn’t already a Dummies book about the Mac operating system (though DOS For Dummies and Windows For Dummies are huge hits), the nice folks at IDG Books asked me if I wanted to write one.

The thought of joining the ranks of Dummies authors, famous guys like Dan Gookin and Andy Rathbone, was more than I could bear. The deal was struck, and you’re holding the result in your hands.

System 7.5 is a big, complicated, personal computer operating system. Macintosh System 7.5 For Dummies is a not-so-big (about 9" x 7" and not all that thick), not-very-complicated book that teaches you about System 7.5 without boring you, confusing you, or otherwise making you uncomfortable.

In fact, you’ll be so comfortable that I wanted to call the book Macintosh System 7.5 without the Discomfort. But, as you’ll find out when you get to the Part of Tens, there are some rules we Dummies authors must follow. Using the word Dummies in the title is one of them.

And speaking of dummies, it’s just a word. I don’t think you’re dumb. Quite the opposite. I think you’re very smart for buying this book. (If you’re still standing in the aisle at the bookstore, approach the cashier with wallet in hand now, and I’ll think you’re even smarter.)

The book is chock full of information and advice, explaining every facet of what you’re doing and why you’re doing it, in language that you can understand.

This reference is supplemented with tips, tricks, techniques, and steps in generous quantities.

The tips, tricks, and so on are supplemented by rants and raves.

It all adds up to the only book in the world that makes learning System 7.5 both painless and fun. Can your beer do that?

How to Use This Book

We start off real slow. The first few chapters are where we get to know each other and discuss the basic everyday things you need to know to operate your Macintosh effectively.

This first part is so basic that it may bore you old-timers to tears. But hey, it’s my sworn duty to teach you all there is to know about System 7.5 in the most painless manner possible. So we start at the very beginning. Skip the stuff you know already.

But here’s a warning: If you skip over something important, like why you absolutely must back up your hard disk, don’t come crying to me later when your life is made miserable by a horrendous hard disk crash.

In other words, it’s probably best to read every word, though not necessarily in one sitting. Another thing: We learn by doing, so it’s best to go through the hands-on tutorials while sitting at your Mac. Sometimes things are easier to do than to read about, so sit at your Mac and try each step when you see the hands-on icon.

Finally, there are cross references throughout the book and a very good index at the end.

Icons Used in This Book

Technical Stuff: Put on your propeller beanie and pocket protector. This is the truly nerdy stuff. It’s not required reading, but it must be interesting or informative or I wouldn’t have bothered.

Caution: Read these notes very, very carefully. They contain important information. The publisher and author will not be responsible if your Mac explodes, spewing flaming electronic parts, because you ignored a Caution icon.

I was just kidding. Your Mac won’t explode or spew. But it’s still a good idea to read Caution notes carefully.

Tip: This is where you’ll find the juiciest morsels: shortcuts, tips, and undocumented secrets. In my humble opinion, the Tips are the best part, the soul of the book.

Hands-On: This icon warns you that a hands-on tutorial is coming. It’s best to be at your Mac when you read these.

Rant & Rave: Me, ranting and raving about something. Imagine foam coming out of my mouth. Rants are usually irreverent or irrelevant and often both.

How This Book Is Organized

Macintosh System 7.5 For Dummies is divided into four logical parts. I suggest you read them in order, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to.

Part I: In the Beginning (The Hassle-Free Way to Get Started with System 7.5)

The first part of Part I is Very Basic Training. From the mouse to the Desktop, from the Menus (including the deliciously configurable Apple menu) to the tricky Open and Save dialog boxes, it’s all here. Everything you need to know to use a Macintosh properly. Old-timers can skim it; newbies should read every word at least once.

Part II: Making It Purr (The Lazy Person’s How-To Guide)

We’ll start out with a rip-roaring tour of System 7.5’s more than 50 improvements and enhancements. Then it’s back to hands-on stuff, with chapters on organizing, printing, sharing (files, that is), and memory management. By the time you finish this part, your System will be running like a champ.

Part III: U 2 Can B A Guru

Now we’re cooking. This part is about how things work and how you can make them work better.

Tips, tricks, techniques, control panels, scripts, and much more, plus the most useful chapter in the book, Chapter 15, ÒWhat Can Stay and What Can Go,Ó which details every single gosh darn file in your System Folder and why you need it (or don’t). If your Mac ran well after Part II, it’ll run great after Part III.

Part IV: Beyond the Lunatic Fringe: The Infamous Part of Tens

Last but not least, it’s the Part of Tens, a Letterman-like look at ten optional System software items, ten great things to throw money at, and the top ten troubleshooting tips for the times when good System software goes bad.

And that retires the side . . . almost.

One Last Thing

I’m thrilled at how this book turned out – I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. But I didn’t write it for me, I wrote it for you. So please drop me a line and let me know how you liked it.

Did it work for you? What did you like best? Least? What questions did I leave unanswered? What did you want to know more about? Less?

Send snail mail care of IDG Books (they’ll see that I get it), or send electronic mail to me:

CompuServe: 76004,2076
America Online: LeVitus
Internet: [email protected]

If you have questions, I’ll do my best to answer them. I do appreciate your feedback.

Bob LeVitus
Late Summer 1994

P.S. What are you waiting for? Go enjoy the book.


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Copyright © 1994-1996 Quadralay Corporation. All rights reserved.