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Mac OS X Clearly explained

Learn all about the Apple's latest cutting edge operating system in a lucid and easy to understand book. Learn about Darwin, the Aqua interface, Quartz, and much more.


Mastering OS X

Mac OS X is Apple's next generation operating system, combining a powerful Unix-based kernel with the friendly Mac interface. Mastering Mac OS X is the most comprehensive resource available, a book for everyone who wants to become immediately productive with the latest version of the Mac operating system. Not only does it cover every feature and every built-in application in the new OS, it also includes an advanced Administrator's Section that covers Mac OS X Server--the only general book to do so.


Mac OS X: Visual Quickstart Guide

Mac OS X: Visual QuickStart Guide provides step-by-step instruction in how to use Apple’s Mac OS X, taking an easy, visual approach. Beginners, and professionals moving up to the newest version of the operating system, can quickly learn to use the features and capabilities of Mac OS X. Detailed explanation of how to install, set up, configure, and use the OS are covered, along with instructions on how to use many of the applications Apple will ship with the new OS.


Mac OS X Black Book

Goes beyond the basics with technical references on practical troubleshooting, administrative tools, networking technologies, and more. Explains step-by-step how to use the tools and features of Mac OS X. A book for power users who want to dive into all that OS X has to offer. This book is a must for anyone trying to master OS X.


Mac OS X for dummies

Get up to speed with this fun and friendly road map to Mac OS X. The book is written in plain-english explanations with step-by-step guidance. Yet another in the "dummies" series, this book is a great for both beginners and experienced users.



What is Mac OS X ?

OS X, ( pronounced "O S ten") is Apple Computer's new operating system designed for the 21st century. It is an industrial strength, ultra modern operating system engineered for stability, scalability, reliability, enhanced performance, ease of use, and just happens to be visually stunning.


What is Mac OS X Server ?

Mac OS X Server is an industrial strength server that also adds the ease of use of the Macintosh, and the Aqua interface. It includes AppleShare IP, file sharing, Internet and web serving, networking, client management, and email.


Which features make OS X stand out ?

Mac OS X has many new features that make this a truly modern, and exciting operating system. OS X includes a new user interface, an advanced graphics system, a UNIX based open source kernel, Java 2, the ability to use more than one CPU, preemptive multitasking, protected memory, virtual memory, and much more.


What is required to run OS X ?

As a general rule, if you have a current G3 or G4 computer such as the Powermac, iMac, Powerbook, or cube, you should be able to run Mac OS X. It is also recommended that you have at least 128 megs of ram installed on your system. OS X will run with less than that, but for an optimal experience you're better off with at least 128 megs.


What software will run on OS X ?

Most Macintosh software you can buy today will run on OS X, but these applications will run it what is called "classic mode". Under classic mode, the programs will not be able to take advantage of some of OS X's new features such as protected memory and preemptive multitasking.

Along with all your "classic" Mac programs, OS X will also run applications written specifically to take advantage of OS X's new features. Sometimes these are referred to as Cocoa applications. In addition to Cocoa applications, some classic applications have been "carbonized" to take advantage of some of OS X's special abilities.


Will OS X run on all Macs ?

No, there are certain hardware and software requirements, but most G3 and G4 systems will probably run OS X.


What is Aqua ?

Aqua is the interface to Mac OS X. In essence, Aqua is the graphical environment you see and interact with to use OS X.


What is Darwin ?

Darwin is the core of OS X. It is an open source effort based on the Mach 3.0 kernel and FreeBSD. Darwin is based on BSD UNIX.


What is OpenGL ?

OpenGL is a 2D, and 3D technology that was developed by SGI. It is widely recognized as an industry leading application programming interface (API). OpenGL is also integrated into OS X to generate impressive 3D graphics with blistering performance capabilities.


What is Quartz ?

Quartz is Mac OS X's new 2D graphics system based on Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF).

Quartz delivers on the fly rendering, anti-aliasing and compositing of PostScript-strength graphics in the highest possible quality.


What is PDF ?

PDF is the de facto standard for electronic document distribution. PDF is a universal file format that preserves fonts, formatting, colors, and graphics of any source document, regardless of the application and platform used to create it. This allows documents to be viewed, shared, and printed exactly as intended by the creator.


What is Quicktime ?

Quicktime is a multimedia technology developed by Apple Computer to play and edit digital video, audio. Quicktime also allows users to view and enjoy dozens of other media formats, including MP3, MIDI, MPEG, JPEG, BMP, Flash,AVI, and many, many more.


What is Carbon ?

Carbon is one of the three application programming interfaces that OS X programmers can write to. The three APIs are Classic, Carbon, and Cocoa. Carbonized applications run on Mac OS 9 and Mac OS X. They are able to take advantage of some of OS X's great new features, including the Aqua Interface.


What is Cocoa ?

Cocoa is the most advanced object-oriented programming environment for Mac applications. Cocoa applications will be able to use the full power and feature set of the new OS X operating system.

What is Java ?

Java is an object oriented technology developed by Sun Microsystems. What makes Java noteworthy is that it is a device independent language. It has been called a "write once, run anywhere" programming language. This means A program can be compiled and then run on any device that supports Java. As an example, a programmer may write an application on a Windows machine, and it will run on any supporting platform, including Mac OS X.


What is Sherlock ?

Sherlock is a Mac technology designed to search for information. An easy to use interface and powerful search functions make finding just about anything a breeze. Sherlock allows you to search your hard drive for files, search the Internet for information, and even shop!


What is iTools ?

iTools is a suite of services designed for Mac users running OS 9 or OS X. Some of the free tools offered by Apple include, Mac.com's free email service, iDisk personal storage with 20 megabytes of space, iCards, a free homepage, and Kidsafe, Apple's breakthrough way of safeguarding kids on the Internet. Apple will probably be adding even more services in the future.


What is open source ?

Open source is a term used to describe software packages containing binary and source code which may be used, studied or modified but remain under control of the license holder.


What is a kernel ?

A kernel is the main part of an operating system. It loads first and remains in main memory. The kernel is responsible for providing essential operating services. Just as many people think of the CPU as the "brain" of a computer, a kernel is also a "brain" of sorts for the operating system.


What is Virtual memory ?

Virtual memory is main memory that is saved to the hard drive and then read back into main memory when needed. The purpose of virtual memory is to make a computer work as if it had more memory. By using virtual memory, we can run programs that require much more memory than a computer may have. In OS X, when an application needs more memory, the virtual memory manager will allocate the correct amount of memory needed by the application.


What is protected memory ?

Protected memory is a way of placing applications and processes in their own memory space. This prevents applications from trying to access the same memory at the same time which can cause them to crash.


What is preemptive multitasking ?

Preemptive multitasking is a way of dividing the work a computer does into tiny time slices. This allows a computer to apparently run many tasks simultaneously. When a processor intensive application needs the CPU, the rest of the system won't come to a halt waiting for the application finish doing it's job. To the user, the system will seem fluid and responsive even when engaged in several tasks.


What is symmetric multiprocessing ?

Using more than one CPU to handle data processing (to speed things up), where any processor can handle any task (so the processors are considered symmetric).


What is the Dock ?

The Dock is a new OS X feature which, according to Apple, "sits at the bottom of your screen and holds folders, applications, documents, storage devices, minimized windows, QuickTime movies, digital images, links to websites, or just about anything else you’d like to keep handy for instant access".


Mac OS X links