And that's IF I even get the desktop. My machine is about 5.5 years old. It was working fine yesterday but this morning when I started it up, no icons appeared on the desktop and the hidden dock did not appear when I moved the mouse to the bottom of the screen. I restarted it and it got worse. The desktop did not appear at all. The screen went from light gray with the dark gray apple in the middle to a pale blue. The only thing on the screen was the pointer. After searching the forums, I tried unplugging everything and restarting the computer. It wound up at the same blue screen. I restarted it again and held down the shift key. It started to start up but then turned itself off. (I held the shift key down the whole time so if you suggest I hold any keys, please tell me for how long). I tried accessing PRAM by holding down the option and command keys along with the P and R keys but nothing happened and I honestly don't know what PRAM is anyway. I've been using PCs so is the command key on a Mac the control key or the apple key? I've never had any trouble with my Macs. The only reason I got rid of my PowerPc was because the ports were serial and I couldn't find any cables for it to connect to peripherals. I've not had to trouble shoot anything with a Mac so please be really specific with any instructions. As of now, I'm afraid that if I put a disk in it, I won't be able to get it out. Also, the desktop did finally show up after leaving the machine alone for 20 or 30 minutes. Please advise!