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Chapter 1. Introducing Mac OS X > A Peek Under the Hood

A Peek Under the Hood

The technology that gives OS X all its power and stability is a Unix-based system called Darwin. If Mac OS X were a building, Darwin would be the rock-solid foundation on which the other elements stand. Unix (pronounced YOU-nix) is an operating system developed at Bell Labs during the 1970s. Unix was created to be a development platform for computer programmers. However, it has traditionally been run in the form of text commands typed at a command line, which can be a bit intimidating for casual computer users. Mac OS X preserves the power of Unix while adding the usability of a Mac interface.

Although this might seem complex, the good news is that Mac OS X shields all these technical details from your view—unless you choose to know more. Although software developers can delve into the Unix side of OS X, the rest of us need do nothing more than sit back and reap the benefits. (Those who want to learn more about using Unix from the command line can look forward to Chapter 37, “Using Basic Unix Commands.”)


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