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Architosh Staff (
26 Mar 2001


Mac OS X: Core Technologies Overview -1

In this series will be be detailing Mac OS X from a "system overview" perspective. Many readers have never had the chance to fully delve into Mac OS X's technical background beyond the material posted at

Mac OS X - General Overview

Mac OS X is a completely new operating system composed of many existing technologies both old to the Macintosh and to the Unix world. For example, OS X is built on a Unix core called Darwin. Darwin itself is made up of several components, including the existing Unix OS called BSD and the Unix Mach core. Those are just some of the existing pieces, newly refined and utilized in Mac OS X.

Other existing components include many of the traditional API's already written for the older Mac OS but modified (Carbonized) for the new Mac OS X. Additionally there is what used to be called the Blue Box environment and is now called Classic, which is the actual current Mac OS 9.1, running besides and in OS X as an application (no an emulated OS).

For Apple Mac OS X is an OS strategy that strives to marry the most industrial strength Unix operating system components with the legendary "Ease-of-Use" graphical user interface of the classic Mac OS. At the same time OS X is striving to do two very important things that have never been done before in any available OS:

1) To make a powerful Unix operating system understandable and useable by the "average person" (Unix for the Rest of Us - UFRU), and

2) Advance the Mac's legendary Ease-of-Use interface design way beyond the current Mac OS.

Most users, especially existing Mac users, will probably feel Apple has succeeded on the first goal, yet the second goal will be harder simply because Mac users can be vicious critics and will miss the features they have grown to know and take advantage of. Ironically, Windows users will likely appreciate the OS X GUI more than existing Mac users.

Next: Details on Aqua


Apple G5: Smokes Intel Competition

Apple, Autodesk and Mac OS X

ProSwitcher: Joe Esch: SketchUp, Cocoa and Mac OS X

Bill Gates' House Designed on Macintosh?

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