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The Most Authoritative Book Available on Apple's New Operating System Take Apple's most stable,advanced,operating system to unprecedented heights with the help of this full-coverage resource. Learn how this completely new operating system leverages ...
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The Most Authoritative Book Available on Apple's New Operating System Take Apple's most stable,advanced,operating system to unprecedented heights with the help of this full-coverage resource. Learn how this completely new operating system leverages powerful,core technologies like Java and Unix,while building upon the famously friendly Macintosh interface. Take advantage of Mac's renowned networking capabilities,rock-solid system architecture,and best-in-class graphics support. From Darwin,the open source core of Mac OS X to Aqua,the elegant,surprisingly simple user interface,Mac OS X: The Complete Reference elucidates every facet of this stunningly smart operating system,guiding you to a rich,productive,and entertaining Mac OS X experience.
The evolution of an operating system influences the product you have installed on your computer and the way it works. Operating system technology is almost half a century old now; it has not started from scratch each time a new one has been built. Learning from the successes and failures of other operating systems helps engineers work with hardware and software developers to provide you with the most powerful and useful operating system possible. The extensive roots that Mac OS X has in some of the most important operating systems-Unix, Mach, and Mac OS 9 and earlier-help make it strong, amazingly powerful, and as user friendly as you expect from a Macintosh operating system.
The preview of Mac OS X in action that you will find in the second part of this chapter introduces you to what your computer will look like as you run this new operating system. Many more details are provided in Chapter 2.
Some of the most important features of Mac OS X are discussed in this chapter. They work behind the scenes to improve the power and reliability of your Macintosh. Terms such as "symmetric multiprocessing" and "protected memory" are not marketing fluff or meaningless jargon. They describe aspects of Mac OS X that set it apart from previous operating systems on the Macintosh and on other personal computers and that make your computer and you more productive. This chapter helps you understand these terms and why they are important. Then, for most of the rest of the book, most of them will remain in the background just as the concepts remain in the background of Mac OS X as you use your computer.
Resources on the early personal computers were expensive and scarce. For example, floppy disks on the Macintosh in 1984 held about 400 kilobytes (KB) of data. By contrast, the System System file alone is over 13 megabytes (MB) in size and the Finder is over 2 MB. (A megabyte is 1,000 times the size of a kilobyte.) Those two files alone would take up nearly 40 old-style floppy disks. (Because of the change in architecture from System 9 to Mac OS X, a comparison of System 9, rather than Mac OS X, to the original file sizes is appropriate.) Today, in an era of multigigabyte-sized hard disks, concern over the file size of an operating system is much lower on the list of priorities for developers than it was fifteen years ago. Likewise, in an era in which 64 and 128 megabytes of memory are standard on most computers, the concerns about memory resources used by an operating system are less serious than they were in the past.
Most of the routines in memory were implemented in ROM-customized chips that were installed in the computer. Some lesser-used functions were stored in the System file and loaded into RAM-standard memory-as needed. Over time, the customized ROM chips were replaced with an operating system that was loaded totally into RAM, but that did not happen until the late 1990s.
Operating system architecture is frequently illustrated in layered drawings. Figure 1-1 shows the first Macintosh architecture. These drawings should be interpreted from the bottom up; each layer depends on the layers below it. Thus, the QuickDraw imaging routines are used in the User Interface Toolbox to create windows and menus. Windows and menus from the User Interface Toolbox are used in application programs. This is what gives a unified look and feel to Macintosh application programs.
The programming tools and User Interface Toolbox layers are highly interrelated. An argument can be made that those layers should be shown in reverse order-that is, with programming tools above the User Interface Toolbox. Apple's presentation of the Mac OS X architecture uses this layering sequence and for the sake of consistency, it is adopted here.
The original Macintosh architecture, which is implemented in Mac OS 9 and earlier, is referred to as the Classic Mac OS environment. Classic appears on Mac OS X so that applications written for Mac OS 9 and earlier can run under Mac OS X.
Posted June 16, 2001
If you can't wait to get up and running on OS X, this book will certainly help. I looked forward to this book because it is the first one available that goes beyond the basics of OS X. I got what I wanted, a primer on the unix foundation of X, so I'm satisfied. The author's competent style is easy enough to follow and he does a competent job of introducing the unix side of X. If you keep seeing the word competent, that's because that's the word that keeps coming to mind. Don't expect to be inspired or excited by the writing. The book leans strongly toward the technical side of the OS, devoting the last quarter or so to programming and apple scripting, enough to add considerable weight to the book but not enough to actually give any competence. I'd give this book 3.5 stars but round up because of the timing of publication.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.