One of the most important development in the computer industry in the recent years was the arrival of Mac OS X, a major upgrade to the aging of Mac operating system. For years, Apple had tried and failed to provide a completely stable, robust operating system of a sort that would appeal to both newcomers and power users alike. Apple’s previous efforts to deliver a modern operating system were doomed to failure. In the most notable example, Apple spent tens of millions of dollars, thousands and thousands of man hours, and several frustrating years developing an operating system that was designed to offer all the industrial strength features needed to bring Macintosh user experience into the twenty-first century.
In addition, the new Mac operating system offers the same industrial-strength features that are the hallmark of UNIX. These include the following:
- Protected memory – Each Mac OS X native program you run resides in its own address space, walled off from other programs. If a single program crashes, that application is shut down, along with the memory address space it occupies. You can continue to run your Mac without the need to restart. This feature will help to sharply reduce the Mac OS’s tendency to crash at the least sign of a software conflict.
- Pre-emptive multitasking – Apple’s previous multitasking method was co-operative, meaning that each application would, in effect; have to share CPU time with other programs. This meant that if you were working in a program, such as typing in a word-processing document, background tasks, such as printing or downloading a file, could come almost to a screeching halt, particularly if a program hogged processor time unnecessarily. With MAC OS X, the operating system serves as the traffic cop, performing the task management
and allowing programs to run more efficiently and with fewer slowdowns when multiple processes are running.
- Advanced virtual memory – With previous versions of the Mac operating system, virtual memory meant slower performance, poor performance with multimedia programs, stuttering sounds, and other shortcomings. Under Mac OS X, virtual memory management is dynamic. Programs are automatically given the amount of memory they require, via either RAM or virtual memory disk swapping. Performance is optimized, so you get the maximum - possible performance from your programs.
In the previous versions of the Mac OS, Apple used an imaging model called QuickDraw to generate pixels on your display. For Mac OS X, Apple has given up this technology, moving instead to Adobe’s portable document format. As you probably know, most electronic documents are available in PDF trim, which retains the exact formatting, fonts, pictures, and colours of the original. Full system - wide support is provided for the major font formats – bitmap, PostScript, TrueType, and the new Open type format. As a result, Adobe Type Manager is no longer needed to render fonts crisply on the screen, although font management is not quite as extensive as the deluxe version of ATM. ATM
works normally from Mac OS X’s classic environment, including the font-management features for the deluxe version, but it will not be upgraded to Mac OS X.