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All about About This Mac

In this week's tip, I'll discuss a cool feature that you may be wholly unaware of--even if you're a long-time Mac user.

In Lion and Mountain Lion, click the Apple menu and choose About This Mac. Yeah, yeah, you've seen this before. But now click More Info.

In the old days, you'd be taken to System Profiler, and you'd see a fairly drab list of specs about your Mac--which you can still see in Mountain Lion by choosing Show System Report from the File menu. But now More Info offers a slicker view that puts your Mac's most important information front and center.

For example, if you need to quickly find out exactly which MacBook Air you have, the Overview screen tells you. Need your serial number? It's here too--and you can create a text snippet of it by highlighting it and dragging it to the desktop.

The Displays tab shows you what you need to know about your display, and it provides a Displays Preferences button in case you want to change your display's settings.

Click Storage and, as with an iPod or iOS device in iTunes, you can see how your storage is distributed on all connected drives. Click Disk Utility if you'd like to work with your storage devices.

The Memory tab tells you how much RAM you have installed and how it's installed. If you're interested in learning how to install more RAM, click the Memory Upgrade Instructions link. (Macs that don't have user-upgradeable memory will lack this link.)

Click the Support link and you'll find several helpful links. For example, you might easily spend dozens of minutes digging around Apple's site trying to find the user manual for your Mac. Click the User Manual link under Support, and you'll never dig again.

Likewise, if you want to see the technical specifications for your particular Mac, there's a link for that too.

And if you'd like to check on the service and support options available to you, click Service, and then click the appropriate link.

I'm sure Apple mentioned the new System Information window somewhere in its 200 new Mac OS features, but it was well down the list and easily missed. If you haven't taken a peek at it before, now's the time.

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