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

Let's Get Organized (Mac OS X)

As I commit these words to print, the Mac world is in a period of minor upheaval. No, I don't mean that Apple plans to implement the ill-advised Flower Power design across its product line or, once again, force its users to employ the wretched, pucklike Round Mouse. Bigger events are afoot—the transition from an operating system that's matured over some 17 years to a new operating system built from the ground up. I mean, of course, the move from the original Mac OS (Mac OS 9.2 and earlier) to Mac OS X.

I can't emphasize enough this “built from the ground up” business. Unlike other operating systems that claim to be new (read: Microsoft Windows 95/98/Me/XP and so on), Mac OS X isn't built on the back of the Mac OS we're all familiar with. Instead, Apple created a new operating system based on something called Mach (an operating system conceived in 1984) and a version of the Unix operating system called FreeBSD 3.2. On top of this, Apple added technologies for displaying text (Quartz), 3-D graphics (OpenGL), and multimedia (QuickTime). Farther up the heap are Mac OS X's programming environments (Classic, Carbon, Cocoa, and AppleScript). At the top of the heap is Aqua, the toolbox that makes up Mac OS X's throbbing, translucent interface.


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