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O'Reilly Network: OS X Brings Unix Stability to the Mac

Jul 18, 2000, 01:14 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Michael J. Norton)

"...when you migrated from Mac OS 7.1 to Mac OS 8.5 and then to Mac OS 9, there were no significant differences among the revisions. The user interface looked and felt the same. Sure, new advances came along, such as a Java runtime environment and better disk utilities, but there were no milestone improvements to speak of. The migration from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X, however, will change all of that. OS X will be a major and long-overdue stepping-stone in Macintosh operating system architecture."

"Apple has made it perfectly clear that they are moving away from their classic Apple window architecture. The Apple menu bar has been replaced with application-specific menu bars. These pull-down menus give the environment more of a Motif or X-window feel, but with an Apple designer flair. The appearance of the new operating system definitely has Apple's graphic-designer market in mind. Icons are now 32-bit color and use alpha channels to allow for transparency. Window-specific dialog boxes are now sheets that appear from the title bar of the application window."

"With a FreeBSD architecture native to Mac OS X, it's likely that the tables will turn in these 3D computation benchmarks, as well as with other tasks. Just imagine the new hot software you can write for OS X. But what's even more mind-boggling is that an operating system developed back in 1976 (Unix) is probably what's going to restore the reign of Apple Computer. Had Apple started with Unix when it shipped the original Macs, it's possible the software icon, Microsoft, may have never become a household name."

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