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By its very design, Mac OS X accomplishes two seemingly contradictory goals. It creates an easy-to-use system that is crash-resistant and resilient to user error. First-time users can sit down in front of the system, find the tools they need, and immediately start working. At the same time, advanced users have complete access to an underlying Unix subsystem, advanced networking capabilities, and a wealth of Open Source technologies including the Apache web server, Perl, Postfix, and many other powerful applications.
We've now been working on this book for almost five years, and with each revision of the operating system, we try to evaluate what you, the reader, will find most useful. We must balance the ever-increasing feature set of the operating system with the finite space of this book. For example: Gone from this edition is the no-longer-free iLife suite. We still provide everything you need to use the core Tiger software effectively, but dedicating 300 pages to applications that were designed to be used without needing an instruction manual (and don't come with the operating system) wasn't a good use of space.
At the same time iLife was removed, we beefed up other areas of the text, such as writing a chapter on setting up QuickTime Streaming Server and QuickTime Broadcaster, including spam and virus filtering in the Postfix mail server chapter, adding a how-to for creating dynamic Safari-compatible RSS feeds, and much more. The content itself has also been reorganized and topic headings rewritten to provide quicker and easier access to the information you need.
Reading through the book, you might be surprised to find that we question how a number of operating system features have been implemented, and are sometimes vocally critical of Apple's design decisions. Although there are many things we love about the operating system, there are still plenty of headache-inducing "gotchas" that crop up from time to time, and we'll do what we can to steer you clear of them.
Mac OS X will grow and update frequently as Apple continues its efforts to provide an optimal user and server platform. As we work to create this resource, we will make every attempt to present the latest and most accurate Mac OS X information available. Be aware that to get this book on the shelves before the next version of Mac OS X ships, we often have to work with software that is beta quality. In addition, Apple provides periodic updates to Mac OS X throughout the year. If you find an example that no longer works as you'd expect, drop us a note and we'll try to find an answer for you.
Comments, suggestions, and questions, are always welcomed.
John Ray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
William Ray (email@example.com)
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