I've just gotten off the phone with Apple's tech support. It turns out that I knew the answer to my question and they didn't, but what the heck.
That's not why Apple is superior to Windows. I'd forgotten my FileVault master password, and I wanted to reset it, and I couldn't convince the machine to cough up a hint to what the password was. Since I had access to the computer and since all of the Mac's configuration information is kept in separate, disaggregated files, I knew that I could probably remove one simple file and reset the password that way. I was right. (Tech note: "mv /Library/FileValue/FileVaultMaster.keychain /Library/FileValue/backup.FileVaultMaster.keychain" does the trick and keeps a copy just in case.)
Compare that structure to Windows and its elaborate and delicate "registry," a master database file of all configuration information and one of the reasons Windows machines are a breeding ground for viruses. The wrong move in that database file and you've trashed your Windows machine. Windows machines are built around rigid central control; Apple machines are built around disaggregation and work far better.
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