OS X Technology

By: Mike Yocom - Revised: 2006-06-06 devin


Mac OS X, despite its similar name and superficial resemblance to the classic Mac OS, is a new operating system — one that embodies a number of excellent technologies.

Table Of Contents
    The core of Mac OS X — called Darwin — is a solid, UNIX-based system. Darwin combines the Mach microkernel with a number of BSD components. Darwin manages the computers hardware, networking, file systems, and inter-process communication. Darwin can be used as a stand-alone operating system that lacks Mac OS X's Media Layer, Application Layer, and Interface — meaning that Darwin provides all the resource management, UNIX utilities, and UNIX command line shells that Mac OS X does. Darwin is also open source, meaning that anybody interested in looking at, modifying, or expanding the Darwin source code can — providing much more frequent bug fixes, feature additions, and much quicker addition of support for new hardware. One major advantage that Darwin has over the classic Mac OS is stability. This stability is provided by the fact that Darwin exercises a much tighter control of system resources — acting a disciplinarian and making all the running applications "play nice" with each other.

    Discusses Mac OS X's multimedia technology including audio, OpenGL, QuickTime, and Quartz.

    Discusses Mac OS X's application technology including Classic, Carbon, Cocoa, and Java 2.

    Discusses Mac OS X's interface including "Aqua" and AppleScript.