In This Chapter
Using Apple System Profiler
Using Activity Monitor and Disk Utility
Updating Mac OS X and your drivers
Backing up your system
Using a disk defragmenter and start-up keys
The title of this chapter really sounds like a contradiction in terms, doesn't it? The concepts of joy and maintenance are likely mutually exclusive to you — and it's true that most Mac OS X owners would rather work or play than spend time under the hood, getting all grimy. I understand completely; maintenance is far less sexy than a game like Prey or even an exciting productivity application like Pages.
However, if you do want to work or play uninterrupted by lockups and crashes — yes, believe it or not, the Big X can indeed take a dive if it's not cared for — and you'd like your Mac to perform like Lance Armstrong, you have to get your hands dirty. That means performing regular maintenance on your hardware, Mac OS X, and your all-important applications, documents, and folders.
As do most techno-types, I actually enjoy pushing my system to the limit and keeping it running in top form. And who knows — after you become a Snow Leopard power user, you could find yourself bitten by the maintenance bug as well. In this chapter, I cover how to take care of necessary tune-up chores, step by step.
Nothing lasts forever, and that includes your applications. You might no longer need an application, or maybe you need ...