Ever since the very first days of the Macintosh, Apple Computer, Inc. has prided itself on building computers that were "different." Back in the early
, Macs were marketed on the principle of being graphical, easy-to-use alternatives to the arcane, command-line-driven DOS computers that then were most common. Later, Apple's "Think Different" campaign presented the Mac as a stylish and elegant niche machine for the
, writers, and free thinkers of the world. Today, the computing world is unarguably dominated by
PCs, but the Macintosh holds an indomitable (if small) percent of the marketan unbending cadre of loyalists, their
bolstered by newcomers attracted by the stability and modern design of Mac OS X.
The original Macintosh.
The Macintosh's operating system, known as the "Mac OS" since version 8.0 (Mac OS 8) in 1996, has often seemed to be quirky, oddly designed, even clumsy particularly to those people who were used to Microsoft Windows (and before that, MS-DOS). The first Macintosh hit the
in 1984; at that time, before Windows had become widely used on PCs, the Mac"the computer for the rest of us"was often derided as a "toy" because its operating system was graphicalusing icons and
and multiple windows for different applications, when many computer users preferred to think of computers as being something that only a privileged few ought to be able to understand, something that should be controlled only with austere keyboard commands.
When Windows 95 was released, however, it incorporated many graphical features that seemed to
features of the Macintosh, and Windows users found
using their computers in ways that Mac users had been accustomed to doing for years. Still, Microsoft implemented the features of Windows in such a way as to be
from the Mac that Windows users came to think of Windows's way as the more common and natural, despite the Mac's long-standing claim to have been
designed, through thousands of hours' worth of human interface study, to be the most intuitive system for controlling a personal computer that could possibly be created. Reality seemed to have outpaced Apple's theory.
-source Unix operating systems such as Linux and FreeBSD had come onto the scene, bringing their own ideas about how computers should work, as well as their much-vaunted advantages of stability, security, and networking versatility. Windows grew to
many Unix concepts as the Internet age dawned. By the time the translucent iMac was released in 1998, the Mac OS had
behind the technological curve, despite its fans' insistence that it was still the most pure and elegant operating system on Earth.
The Macintosh System 1.0, the operating system of the original Macintosh, is the
of Mac OS X.
When Apple co-founder Steve Jobs returned to Apple after being exiled from the company for more than 10 years, he brought with him an infusion of ideas from the company he had been running in the meantime, NeXT, which made a line of computers based on the BSD flavor of Unix. Apple put all its efforts behind turning NeXT's system into a new generation of system software, which was released to the public in 2001 under the
Mac OS X, with the "X" pronounced "Ten." This new operating system
the aging Mac OS 9's
technology with the BSD Unix undercarriage derived from NeXT, and laid on top of it a redesign of the familiar Macintosh operating system that boasted many new features and deep alterations to the venerable
interface. The goal was to create a hybrid operating system with industrial-strength networking features and stability, that would be as intuitive and elegant as the old Mac OS, but immediately familiar to users of Windows or people
to computers altogether. With Mac OS X, Apple gave Macintosh users a platform they could again be proud of using, one that gave them bragging rights over the competition. Now, the world's most easy-to-use computer was also a true Unix workstation, and compatible in most important ways with a Windows-dominated computing world.
Following the tradition of the original all-in-one Macintosh, the
of the 2004 G5 iMac are all contained inside the hanging display unit.
Whether designed to be superbly intuitive or not, Mac OS Xin its current incarnation, version 10.4, code-named "Tiger"is not
to be easy for a new user to figure out. Depending on whether you are used to Windows, familiar with Mac OS 9, or new to computers altogether, Mac OS X offers a specific set of unfamiliar metaphors and technical challenges to
. Nonetheless, Mac OS X enables the user to accomplish very nearly everything that a user of any other operating system can do, if in a slightly different way. This book explains how to do those
, step by step, introducing the concepts fundamental to Mac OS X along the way. Whether you are a Windows user, a longtime Mac user, a Unix geek, or a first-time computer user, the procedures in this book should leave you with an understanding of why Mac OS X is designed the way it is, which in
should enable you to accomplish things far beyond the scope of this book.