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Mac OS X -- 2008-12-09

Mac OS X is a line of computer operating systems developed, marketed, and sold by Apple Inc, the latest of which is pre-loaded on all currently shipping Macintosh computers. Mac OS X is the successor to the original or \"classic\" Mac OS, which had been Apple\'s primary operating system since 1984. Unlike its predecessors Mac OS X is a Unix-based operating system, built on technology developed at NeXTbetween the second half of the 1980s and Apple\'s purchase of the company in early 1996. It received UNIX 03certification following its 10.5 version on Intel processors.

The first version released was Mac OS X Server 1.0 in 1999, and a desktop-oriented version, Mac OS X version 10.0followed in March 2001. Since then, five more distinct \"end-user\" and \"server\" versions have been released, most recently Mac OS X v10.5 in October 2007. Releases of Mac OS X are named after big cats; for example, Mac OS X v10.5 is usually referred to by Apple and users as \"Leopard\".

The server edition, Mac OS X Server, is architecturally very similar to its desktop counterpart but includes workgroup management and administration software tools that provide simplified access to common network services, including a mail transfer agent, a Samba server, an LDAP server, a domain name server, and others. It is included with Apple\'s Xserve server hardware, but is designed to run on most of Apple\'s computer models.

Apple also produces specialized versions of Mac OS X for use on three of its consumer devices, the Apple TV, the iPhone, and the iPod touch.

Mac OS X\'s core is a POSIX compliant operating system (OS) built on top of the XNU kernel, with standard Unix facilities available from the command line interface (Apple released this core as afree and open source operating system named Darwin). Over this core, Apple layered a number of components, including the Aqua interface and the Finder, to complete the GUI-based operating system which is Mac OS X.

Mac OS X introduced a number of new capabilities to provide a more stable and reliable platform than its predecessor, Mac OS 9. For example, pre-emptive multitasking and memory protectionimproved the system\'s ability to run multiple applications simultaneously without them interrupting or corrupting each other. Many aspects of Mac OS X\'s architecture are derived from Openstep, which was designed to be portable—to ease the transition from one platform to another. For example, Nextstep was ported from the original 68k-based NeXT workstations to x86 and other architectures before NeXT was purchased by Apple, and OpenStep was later ported to the PowerPC architecture as part of the Rhapsody project.

The most visible change was the Aqua theme, which Bruce Tognazzini, founder of the original Apple Human Interface Group, said Mac OS X v10.0 represented a step backwards in usability. The use of soft edges, translucent colors, and pinstripes—similar to the hardware design of the first iMacs—brought more texture and color to the user interface when compared to what OS 9\'s \"Platinum\" appearance had offered. Aqua was said to be a bold and innovative step forward in a time when user interfaces were seen as \"dull and boring\". Despite the controversy, the look was different, third-party developers started producing skins for customizable applications for Mac and other operating systems which mimicked the Aqua appearance. To some extent, Apple has used the successful transition to this new design as leverage, at various times threatening legal action against people who make or distribute software with an interface the company claims is derived from its copyrighted design.

Mac OS X includes its own software development tools, most prominently an integrated development environment called Xcode. Xcode provides interfaces to compilers that support several programming languages including C, C++, Objective-C, and Java. For the Apple Intel Transition, it was modified so that developers could build their applications as a universal binary, which provides compatibility with both the Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macintosh lines.

 

 

Source : Wikipedia
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