Mac OS X Benefits

Listing all of Mac OS X's advantages and benefits could consume this entire chapter; however, following are some of the highlights as to why Mac OS X is a very good thing:

  • Stability and reliability? Because the operating system has been designed using modern architectural principles, it is very stable. When an application does crash or hang, only that application is affected. The system manages its resources much more effectively than previous versions of the OS did. The result is that Mac OS X keeps working without those annoying crashes that were far too common with previous versions. Mac OS X is as stable as a rock.

  • Speed? The OS is optimized for maximum performance on Mac hardware. It also takes advantage of other modern Mac hardware features such as faster memory, modern data buses, and so on. All operations under Mac OS X are much faster than under previous versions; these improvements in speed have continued in version 10.3. Mac OS X flies.

  • Beauty? Although it might seem odd to list beauty as a benefit of an operating system, if you have seen Mac OS X before, you probably understand why I listed this. Because of the advanced graphics subsystem, the images, fonts, icons, and other graphic elements of the operating system are very pleasing to look at. The new interface design uses color and other graphic effects in a visually stunning way. Mac OS X looks very, very good.

  • Multiple user support? Mac OS X is designed to facilitate many people using the same machine. Unlike previous versions of the Mac OS, this support is native to the OS rather than being an add-on. Mac OS X is meant to be shared.

  • Organization? Mac OS X features a logical organization that is user friendly?things are where you expect them to be. Mac OS X is your digital housekeeper.

  • Security? Mac OS X has many security features you can employ to protect your machine and its data from other people who use it, as well as from those who share the same network as you, and even from Internet attacks through its built-in firewall. Mac OS X makes the digital life a secure life.

  • Compatibility? With its Classic environment, Mac OS X can use most applications that are written for earlier versions of the Mac OS. This means that from the day Mac OS X was introduced, there were thousands of Mac OS X?compatible applications. Because Mac OS X is based on Unix, it is also compatible with many Unix applications. This brings hundreds of sophisticated applications to the Mac that were previously unavailable. Mac OS X can run thousands of applications.

  • Power? Mac OS X is a very powerful OS. Its multiple layers provide this power in many areas, such as graphics, the Internet, and so on. Its standards-based networking architecture enables you to connect to any system, anywhere. And you have much greater, direct access to system processes than ever before. You can access this power at many levels, from the GUI to using Unix text commands. Mac OS X has all the power you need.

  • Network-readiness? Mac OS X provides support for all sorts of networks, from those containing all Macintosh computers to those composed of Windows PCs. Mac OS X's networking system is powerful, flexible, and relatively easy to configure. With its Rendezvous technology, Mac OS X Macs can automatically seek out and configure other Rendezvous devices with which they can communicate. From LANs to WANs, Mac OS X has been built to connect.

  • High-technology support? Mac OS X supports many advanced technologies, including Bluetooth, that enable the OS to interact with wireless devices, such as cell phones and PDAs. The Ink system provides Mac OS X with handwriting recognition so that you can provide input with graphics tablets and other devices in all your Mac OS X applications. FireWire 800 support means you can access the fastest hard drives and other peripherals. When it comes to high-tech, Mac OS X is all you need.

  • Ease of use? Although power and ease of use are usually conflicting terms, Mac OS X provides both. Its interface features the tools and techniques that have made the Mac OS traditionally the most intuitive and easiest-to-use operating system. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to use Mac OS X (although it is a great OS for rocket scientists, too).

  • Customizability? It wouldn't be a Mac OS if you couldn't tweak the interface to suit your preferences. Mac OS X is fully customizable, and you can adjust and tweak it to your heart's content. After all, what good is an OS if you can't make it your own?

    Part I: Mac OS X: Exploring the Core
    Part III: Mac OS X: Living the Digital Life