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Chapter 1. Upgrading to Mac OS X > Software Compatibility

Software Compatibility

New operating systems are like new houses: they all have the same kind of rooms—bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms—to hold all of your furniture. However, what worked in one house may not exactly work in the next. Maybe the new family room’s ceiling is too low to handle your 100-inch home theater system or maybe the green gingham pattern that worked in the old bathroom doesn’t quite mesh with the burnt orange walls in the new bathroom.

Although most houses work on (basically) the same design principles, moving from one house to another is not always a smooth transition. The same premise holds true for a new operating system. All operating systems have one main task: to facilitate communication between human users and the hardware that comprises their computer systems. The operating system uses the computer’s hardware, which speaks a language all its own, to accomplish tasks. For example, when you click on an application icon to start a program, the operating system interprets that command and relays it to your computer’s hardware components. Those components find the stored application on your hard drive, launch the program, and display the results on your screen.


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