I wish I could promise you that by following the suggestions in this book, you'll never experience any problems with your Mac. You will lessen the likelihood and perhaps the severity of problems, but things still can and will go wrong. If, when an application crashes, your hard disk won't mount or smoke starts pouring out of your SuperDrive, you need more help than I can give you here. But allow me to suggest some places you might look for solutions.
Apple's support site: Your first stop should be Apple's official support site, where you can search for FAQs, technical notes, and downloads that may address your problem (www.apple.com/support/).
Apple's discussion forums: Another Mac user may have discovered, and solved, a similar problem. Connect with other users at these forums (http://discussions.apple.com/).
MacFixIt: Check the MacFixIt site daily for information about newly identified problems and solutions for all sorts of Mac hardware and software (www.macfixit.com).
MacInTouch: Keep current with Mac news and real-world reports from users around the world (www.macintouch.com).
MacOSXHints: This site is geared more toward tips and tricks than troubleshooting, but it does contain solutions to many unusual problems as well (www.macosxhints.com).
Software update sites: VersionTracker (www.versiontracker.com) and MacUpdate (www.macupdate.com) provide up-to-the-minute information on updates for thousands of applications, along with user comments.
Mac OS X Help Line, Tiger Edition, by Ted Landau and Dan Frakes, contains a wealth of troubleshooting and repair information (www.amazon.com/gp/product/0321334299/; $50 retail, Amazon.com price $33).
Troubleshooting Mac OS X, by "Dr. Smoke" (Gregory A. Swain), is a 600-page ebook that goes into great detail about solving a wide variety of Mac problems (www.thexlab.com/book/troubleshootingmacosx.html; $20).
When all else fails:
Visit the Genius Bar at a nearby Apple Store for free advice; Apple Stores also offer expert repair services. Be sure to call ahead (or visit the store's Web site; see www.apple.com/retail/) to make an appointment.
If you're not near an Apple Store, search for an Apple Authorized Service Provider (www.apple.com/buy/locator/service.html).