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Playing with Your New Toy

After the installation is complete and your computer reboots, you see the usual user logon screen or lack thereof. You're asked to enter your contact info, which will become your personal vCard and the default contact info for your .Mac account (if you have one), as well as the iTunes music store and auto-fill for forms when using Safari.

You're also asked whether you want to sign up for a .Mac account. From all accounts, it's a great service, so seriously consider using the free trial membership. (There are rumors that you can keep your .Mac name as an iChat handle even after you cancel your membership.) I expected to have to reset many preferences and settings, but I found the transition to be seamless. The Finder graphics look a bit sleeker in Tiger and there is a new blue magnifying glass icon for quick Spotlight access in the OS menu bar, but everything else seemed, at first glance, to be intact, functional, and the way I remembered it.

With such a smooth transition, I almost forgot to complete the most important step of an OS upgrade: a software update. From the Apple menu on the far left of the OS menu bar, select "Software Update" to check for OS updates and updates to native apps. Scheduling a regular and automatic software update is always a good idea, but performing one after installing a new OS is especially important.

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