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Ask the MACist

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Hello again and welcome to this week’s “Ask the MACist”. The weekly column where I answer your Mac and Mac-related questions with hopefully more detail and clarity than you could ever want. Thanks again to all of you who wrote in with your Mac questions this past week. I really appreciate your interest and support for this column. Keep those emails coming in. Send them to: themacist at gmail dot com. Now, let’s get on with the questions.

The first question comes from Peter Barrett in Los Angeles. He asks, "I use both Windows and Mac and with Windows, you have to do a lot of maintenance chores like defrag the hard drive, etc. Do you have to do anything like that with the Mac?"

Scheduled maintenance is very important to the health of any computer system be it Mac OS or Windows based. That said, the Mac can usually go on running for long periods of time without any kind of user initiated maintenance and be just fine. OS X is based on an operating system known as UNIX, which was designed and built to run for long periods of time, months or even years, without being shut down and with minimal, if any, user maintenance necessary.

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Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Windows, which does require routine hard drive and OS maintenance to function at peak or even near-peak efficiency. However, as this column is called "Ask the MACist" we won't get into the Windows side of things here. Instead, we will focus on some of the maintenance tasks that you can perform on your Mac to help make sure it stays in tip-top shape and keeps running smoothly.