The problem was that I was told by the Apple Support Communities page that I could not install OS X El Capitan from the App Store, since I already had OS X Snow Leopard installed.
The article doesn't explain that you can't install an earlier version of OS X alongside a newer version. Nor does it explain that you can't install an earlier version of OS X alongside an earlier version.
The installation took a long time. I think I'm seeing a progress bar. I set it to install an update to my OS X app. The installer added a lot of OS X El Capitan's apps. My response was to remove the installer. It never allowed me to cancel the installation.
My Snow Leopard computer is a 2009 Mac mini with a 2.4GHz Intel Core 2 Duo and 4GB of RAM. Apple says that the 1.25GB app can only be installed on a Mac with a 2.0GHz processor or faster, but it doesn't mention 2.4GHz. I'm not sure what version of Apple's OS X Snow Leopard I have. So my question is: if I do have Snow Leopard, can I install this beta app? If so, how do I do it?
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