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An inside look at Mac's OS X

September 14, 2000
Web posted at: 9:04 p.m. EDT (0104 GMT)

The first thing you notice about the long-awaited OS X is that programs slither up and down from little icons at the bottom of the screen, swooping up and down like magic genies from a bottle.

The real magic, as Steve Jobs demonstrated for us, is that the computer can have nearly all of these programs open at the same time without fear of crashing.

The row of compressed icons at the bottom is what Apple calls the dock.

The new look has what dot-commers call a very high cool factor. The screen look is called Aqua.

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  From IDG.net
 

Apple has taken that very dramatic design philospohy that it used on the iMac, the iBook, the G4 and now the G4 cube, and applied that to the screen. The images are semitransparent, so you know at a glance what you've got open, even if one is behind the other.

Aqua has lots of little cool elements. The buttons change color and sometimes shape when selected. The appearance is one of a soft touch, almost calming.

The really big deal with OS X is the underlying software that makes the computer go. In jargon, it's called memory protection, pre-emptive multitasking and symetric multitasking. In English, with OS X, if one program crashes, the rest of the computer keeps going, and what you're working on is not lost. The computer can really work on more than one thing at a time, especially with the new multiprocessor G4 machines that use two processor chips running side by side.

This is really important if your Mac is on the Web all the time, as many are, while you're also working on graphics or video.

Typical of the new Mac programs, the OS X literally screams through video and graphics. It's built to take advantage of the dual processors in the new top of the line Macintosh G4 computers. The software paints pictures faster, moves video faster and draws Internet pages faster.



RELATED STORIES:
Analysis: The evolution of the Mac interface
August 8, 2000
Moving to OS X: A bridge made of Carbon
June 27, 2000
Taking a look at Mac OS X's new Finder
June 19, 2000
Jobs offers a peek at Mac OS X
January 6, 2000
Apple goes open source with key OS components
March 17, 1999

RELATED IDG.net STORIES:
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RELATED SITES:
Apple's Mac OS X page

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