I am new to Mac. Like it a lot, but having trouble getting the some of the UI's paradigms.
-From a technical perspective, what is an "application" to the OS and where does its file reside? I see there is an Applications folder with applications in it, but clearly they don't need to be in there to run. What are the "rules".
-When I download an application from the web, something gets "mounted" on my desktop. What is this item supposed to represent? Why does this only happen in the Desktop? If I launch a program from the Applications folder this doesn't seem to happen.
-When I install a new program I've DLed, a window pops up and tells me to drag the application icon into the Applications folder. What am I doing when I do this? Are any changes made to the system other than copying files to the Applications folder? What am I supposed to so with the readmes and other files that pop up in that box with the application icon? Are the also stored with the application "package" that gets written to the Applications folder, or am I supposed to file them away somewhere?
-When these desktop-launched application files are exited, sometimes I can't "eject" them until I reboot. Why is this, and why am I "ejecting" it in the first place? Related to the first question.
-Is there something like the Task Manager in OS X that allows me to see all of the running processes?
-Is there a way I can see what applications the OS is supposed to execute when it boots up?
-Is there a way to cycle through open windows (like Windows' Alt-Tab)? I realize Cmd-Tab approximates this functionality in Mac, but it cycles only through open applications, not windows.
That'll do for this round.