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Introduction

Introduction

So what is the big deal about a new operating system from Apple?

Just those very words: new, operating, system, and Apple are enough to get the blood of every Mac geek on the planet boiling with anticipation. But why should the rest of us care?

Having specialized in the Linux operating system for several years, I thought it was going to be quite a leap for me to jump back to the Mac system and produce a book about the latest and greatest from Apple. I had followed along the progression of Mac OS, of course, from its humble beginnings with System One to the sophisticated OS 9. I learned computers on a Mac. Mac was my first graphic user interface and it would shape my expectations for all operating systems for years to come.

But my presumptions regarding how hard it would be were wrong. OS X, it seems, has more similarities to the Linux operating system than anything that has ever come out of the Apple corporate offices. The more I researched the coming operating system, the more excited I got.

The jump from OS 9 to OS X in terms of computer architecture is akin to the leap from the piston engine on an airplane to a turbine engine. Both engines will make a plane fly, but the turbine engine will make the plane fly a heck of a lot faster. Exaggeration? Hardly. And the beauty of OS X is not that it has become more complex. Rather, it has become more simple. Complexity has been weeded out of the architecture, as the developers of OS X realized that the simple structures are the most stable.

In this book, we will take a close look at this underlying architecture of OS X, so you can see first-hand what all the fuss is about.

But more importantly, we’re going to show you how to use OS X to accomplish all the things you want to do with your computer: install new software, record music CDs, edit digital movies, and more. We’ll also show you how to do these tasks efficiently by putting pertinent information in Notes, Tips, and Cautions.

What is the big deal about a new operating system from Apple? It’s an operating system made to be used by all kinds of users—from geeks to newbies. It’s an operating system built for you.

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