You there - the early adopter. You don't want to wait until the end of the year to test drive Apple's latest Mac operating system, do you? Of course not. So you'll be pleased to hear that the public beta test for OS X 10.11 is going live today.
It will be the first time non-developers have a chance to put the software, dubbed El Capitan (after the iconic Yosemite rock formation), through its paces. Apple's beta site was down for a bit, but now it's back up with access to the download.
You'll need to register with Apple's public beta program and affirm your acceptance of its agreement to start the download, as well as have a recent enough Mac to actually run the software. As with all pre-release OS software, it's strongly advised that you don't install it on your everyday computer, as it's still unfinished, likely buggy software. At the very least, back up your files first.
Whereas last year's OS X Yosemite issued some sweeping aesthetic changes, this year is all about refinement and useful feature enhancements. Spotlight search is much smarter than ever (as it will be in iOS 9), plus the split-screen app functionality closely mirrors Windows 8.1's Snap feature. Even so, it should be plenty helpful. And the move of Metal graphics tech from iOS to Mac means games should run better, even if you don't have a high-end rig.
Developers have been using El Capitan for the past few weeks, with the third revision just released yesterday, and now it's time for everyday users to get in on the action. If you're already registered, you'll have a nice download waiting for you. And if you're just finding out about this now, well... we hope you don't have to wait for long.