IMac OS X Basic – What’s going on underneath?

How the core is designed makes more of a difference than all the visual bells and whistles, which tend to be similar between Windows and Mac OS X Snow Leopard (and Linux as well, for that matter). Time for a Mark’s Maxim:

Sure, Snow Leopard’s elegant exterior is a joy to use, but Mac OS X is a better OS than Windows because of the unique Unix muscle that lies underneath!  

So what should you and I look for in an OS? Keep in mind that today’s computer techno-wizard demands three requirements for a truly high-powered software wonderland — and Mac OS X Snow Leopard easily meets all three:  

Reliability: Your OS has to stay up and running reliably for as long as necessary — I’m talking months here — without lockups or error messages. If an application crashes, the rest of your work should remain safe, and you should be able to shut down the offending software.  

Performance: If your computer has advanced hardware, your OS must be able to use those resources to speed things up big-time. The OS has to be highly configurable, and it has to be updated often to keep up with the latest in computer hardware.  

“Mark, what do you mean by advanced hardware?” Well, if you’re already knowledgeable about state-of-the-art hardware, examples include  

  • True 64-bit computing
  • Multiple processors (like more than one Intel chip in your computer)
  • A huge amount of RAM (16GB on the iMac, or far more on today’s Power Mac computers)
  • Multiple hard drives used as a RAID array

If all that sounds like ancient Sumerian, gleefully ignore this technical drabble and keep reading.  

Ease of use: All the speed and reliability in the world won’t help an OS if it’s difficult to use. DOS was the PC OS of choice before the arrival of Windows. It was doomed because it wasn’t intuitive or easy to master, requiring a PC owner to remember all sorts of commands that looked like hieroglyphics. (This is one of the reasons why the Macintosh was so incredibly popular in the days of DOS-based PCs. Macs had a mouse, and they were a snap to master and use.)  

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