Extended Warranty. If you buy a Mac, get AppleCare, which extends the warranty from one year to three.

Essential Hardware

Besides what came in the Macintosh box, you will need some other hardware. Some places I buy equipment: Apple Online Store,, Other World Computing, physical Apple Store.

CD-ROM drives are less essential now. USB sticks are cheap and a higher capacity alternative for file interchange. Software installation and music purchase are mostly done from "the cloud." Many Macs don't come with a CD/DVD drive any more. If you want to read or burn CDs or DVDs, buy the Apple external drive (which connects via a USB port), and a spindle of blank DVD-Rs (or DVD+R DL) for backup. Use CD-Rs for file interchange and music. Note the minus-R. You will also want a Laser lens cleaner to fight dust and dog hair.

If you have a laptop, you probably want a bag for it: I have liked bags by be.ez and STM. Amazon has some basic laptop bags that are less expensive. I use a cheap USB mouse with my laptop: my wife uses a wireless Bluetooth mouse with hers (it needs new AA batteries every couple of weeks; we use rechargeable batteries and a charger).

Essential Software


There is a lot of free software available for the Mac. Some of it is more trouble than it is worth. Be conservative. Here are a few that I use.

Comes with the Mac


These cost money.

Essential Web sites

Here are some web sites I use often. Some require signup or accounts. You can add shortcuts to your favorites to your browser's bookmarks bar.

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