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 on working without those annoying crashes that are far too common with previous versions.

  • Speed The OS is optimized for maximum performance on Mac hardware, such as the PowerPC processor. It also takes advantage of other modern Mac hardware features such as faster memory, modern data buses, and so on. The speed benefits were further improved when version 10.2 was released in August 2002. The Mac OS X Finder is much faster than that in any previous version.

  • 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, 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.

  • 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 via the Multiple Users control panel.

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

  • 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.

  • 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 of the Unix applications that are available. This brings hundreds of sophisticated applications to the Mac that were previously unavailable.

  • 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.

  • Network-ready 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.

  • 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 new Ink system provides Mac OS X with handwriting recognition so that you can provide input with graphics tablets and other devices in all of your Mac OS X applications.

  • 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.

  • Customizable 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.

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