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Chapter 1. The Way of the (Mac) WorldHow... > Let's Get Organized (Mac OS 9.2 and ...

Let's Get Organized (Mac OS 9.2 and Earlier)

So much for how the Mac shifts data from the hard drive to RAM to the CPU and transforms it into information you can understand. This section talks about how Mac OS 9.2 and earlier organizes this information.

The Desktop

The architects of the original Mac OS wanted to create an organ-izational system that closely mimicked the way people store information in real life. And because they intended the Mac to use a graphical user interface (GUI), the designers had to come up with some way to represent this system with pictures. so they decided to use the desktop/folder analogy that you've grown to love. (You're in good company. Microsoft thought so highly of the idea that it “borrowed” the GUI for Microsoft Windows.) The idea was simple and elegant. The Mac's screen would display a work space much like the top of a desk. (What? You thought calling the Mac's work surface the Desktop was just a coincidence?) On this Desktop would be displayed any disks and volumes (a volume can be an entire disk or a portion of a disk called a partition); a menu bar containing a string of menus chock-full of commands; and, of course, the Trash, an icon that represents the means of disposing of items you no longer wanted (and, in a fairly nonintuitive analogy, the way to eject or unmount disks).


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