For many new Mac owners, the move to Mountain Lion represents your first major upgrade. To help users prepare to make the jump, Erica Sadun and Steve Sande wrote Getting Ready for Mountain Lion, an Amazon/iBooks eBook (US$4.99). It’s aimed at first-time upgraders and people looking for hints and tips about smoothing the transition. They’re sharing some of their tips on TUAW in a series of posts about the 10.8 upgrade.

If you’re new to Mac, Apple’s use of “vintage” identifiers can be a little startling to those used to actual model numbers. For example, you might own a Mac Mini from July 2011, or a MacBook Air from October 2010. You’ll see these dates when you shop for hardware and when you need to upgrade.

Here’s a listing from Apple’s store, highlighting the release date of the laptop’s model.

Getting Ready for Mountain Lion Checking your Mac's Vintage

That vintage information is used in various ways to support your unit and helps identify what features the hardware can provide, since each generation of Macs brought a certain cluster of capabilities to the table.

To look up your Mac’s vintage, do the following. Select About this Mac from the Apple menu, then click the More Info… button. This brings you to a system overview screen, like the one at the top of this post. Here, you’ll find the name and generation of your Mac. To find out the exact Model Identifier in use, then click the System Report button. In the Hardware Overview screen, you’ll find your exact model name (e.g. Mac mini) and identifier (Macmini3,1 for the Early 2009 minis).

Once you know a model’s vintage, you’ll be able to use that information when checking compatibility at Apple’s website. Here is a screen shot from the Mountain Lion technical specifications page, which details which models you’ll be able to install OS X 10.8 on.

Getting Ready for Mountain Lion Checking your Mac's vintage

By knowing your Mac Mini is from early 2009, for example, you’ll be assured that you’re good to upgrade it to Mountain Lion.

Your Mac’s vintage provides an essential way you can identify your unit to look up information on Apple’s site or when talking to any of Apple’s technical support branches.

OS X Mountain Lion 10.8 will be offered for sale in July for $19.99.

Thanks, John Jellema

Getting Ready for Mountain Lion: Checking your Mac’s vintage originally appeared on TUAW – The Unofficial Apple Weblog on Thu, 14 Jun 2012 08:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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