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Mactracker, a classic application for Mac users, has recently made its appearance in the Mac Store. If you ever need information about any piece of Mac hardware, from the Macintosh XL released in 1983, to the latest MacBook Pro models released early this year, you can quickly find it in Mactracker.
This encyclopedia program contains information about nearly everything Apple has ever produced, including its devices, such as Apple TV, every model of iPods and iPhones; all its operating system software releases (from System Software 2.0.1, released in 1987, to Mac OS X 10.6, released in August 2009.)
Now, you may think a program like this is basically for geeky Mac computer addicts, but it’s not. Let’s explore what you can learn about your own Mac hardware and other products, and how it could be useful in purchasing new or used Macs.
After you download and launch Mactracker, the first category you probably want to check out is – This Mac, which presents all the available information about your Mac computer in which you launched Mactracker.
For each Apple product, Mactracker provides general information, including when the product was released and—if applicable—discontinued; the initial price of the product, the processor speed, the default storage and media for the model hardware, and the peripherals for Mac and mobile products. You also get information about software, memory and graphics, and the type of connections and expansions included for Mac computers.
This is the kind of information you find on those thin slips of paper you toss out or misplace when unpack your new Mac. Well, no problem, you can now find all that information, plus a lot more, in Mactracker. Also, when you click on the icon of the Mac model, you can hear the startup chime for that product. Holding down the option key when you click the on the model’s icon will play the death chime, if it has one.
If you took the time to register your Apple product, Mactracker will help you keep track of the type of technical and warranty support you have for your product(s). At the bottom-left of Mactracker, click on the My Models category. Next, click the + button. In the pop-up window, click the Change button. You can instead manually type the name of the product you’re adding to Mactracker, but it’s better to check to see if it’s already listed.
If you want add information about the current Mac your working on, click the This Mac button and select the product you want to input into Mactracker.
You can also type in the name of a product in the search box and select the correct model. If you’re adding a fairly recent Mac computer or device, type in the serial number for your product. For Mac computers, you can locate the serial number by clicking the Apple icon in the upper-left of your desktop. Then click, About This Mac. (For your iPhone or other iOS device, simply click on the Settings app > General > Serial Number.)
Click twice on where it says – Version; and the serial number for the product will appear. If you know your purchase date and warranty information, add that as well. The information for the next column, Network, can be found by clicking the System Preferences on your Mac, and then clicking on Network. Your IP address, server host, and Ethernet information will be listed there.
Back under the General category, click the Check Coverage button. If you provided the correct serial number for your Apple product, you will be taken to a page that provides information about the support services for your product.
Mactracker could be useful tool for researching Apple products you’re considering for purchase. In the Categories column, Macs are sorted by Desktop, Notebooks, Servers and Devices. They are further broken down by models.
Say for example you’re thinking about buying a MacBook Air. You can click on that folder and open the information for the latest models and compare performance, memory, storage, and other specifications.
Mactracker may not be an application you use on a regular basis, but it’s certainly a resource you should have in your in Applications folder for when you needed. And though it’s free, it’s well a donation for all the useful and accessible information it provides.
Let us know what you think of Mactracker and what other similar resources you use to learn about your Apple products. And for information about other free and useful applications in the Mac Store, check out my article, 10 important mac tools you should use but probably don’t.