Mac OS X Tiger/Introduction
About the Mac's History
In 1984, Apple Computer Inc. introduced a computer called the Macintosh. It was billed as the first computer that anyone could pick up and immediately understand. Rather than typing in arcane system commands, Mac users interacted with their computers using a device called a mouse. Using this device, they could manipulate visuals on the computer's display. To organize these visuals, The Macintosh used a system of overlapping squares called "windows".
Apple Computer's Lisa is often credited as being the first computer to use a Graphical User Interface, however the Xerox Alto (1973) preceded it by almost 11 years. The Lisa was the first mass-market (as mass-market as a $9,995 computer can be) computer to use a GUI and a mouse, a vast improvement over the older system that forced users to memorize a series of commands to perform even the most basic tasks. Other GUI-based operating systems of this period were Microsoft Windows 1.0 (by most accounts an abortion) and Digital Research's GEM, both which bore such a close resemblance to the Mac OS that legal action was taken.
By Microsoft's fourth major release of Windows for consumers, which was called Windows 95, Windows had surpassed the Mac technologically. Apple's maverick CEO, Steve Jobs, credited as the co-creator of the Mac, had been fired and was now running a high-end computing company called NeXT. Apple went through a long stretch of problematic management and failed to maintain the Mac OS, which stayed stagnant with only cosmetic improvements.
In 1997, Apple bought NeXT and its NeXTSTEP operating system, thereby bringing Steve Jobs back into the company. He started as an advisor to CEO Gil Amelio, but quickly moved up the ranks to interim CEO, and finally as Apple's full-time CEO. Under Steve, Apple began introducing groundbreaking new computers, including the original iMac. But they were still powered by the antiquated Mac OS. Therefore, it came as no surprise when in the year 2000, Steve Jobs unveiled Mac OS X, an all-new Mac OS that would carry Apple into the new millennium.
About Mac OS X
Mac OS X (the "X" is the Roman numeral ten) looks a bit like its predecessor, Mac OS 9, but underneath this familiar skin, Mac OS X has nothing in common with Mac OS 9. While Mac OS X is a totally new operating system based on Unix, it can run Mac OS 9 applications through the Classic software. In addition, Mac OS X sports a redesigned interface, which although inspired by previous versions of the Mac OS, is dramatically simplified and uses high-quality photorealistic graphics.
Since the original version of Mac OS X was introduced, it has gone from a futuristic concept to a full-fledged, feature-rich operating system that can handle home, business, and multimedia tasks with ease. The original version of Mac OS X, version 10.0 (code-named "Cheetah"), was very incomplete and was hard to use as a primary operating system. Since the original version, Apple has shipped major updates to Mac OS X -- each dramatically improving the last version, and adding interesting new features and ideas.
One version of the Mac OS is version 10.4 ("Tiger"). Tiger brought many interesting features to Mac OS X. Five new features in this groundbreaking release are:
- Spotlight, an amazing new search technology
- Dashboard, an environment for running tiny applications called "Widgets"
- Automator, an all-new application for performing repetitive tasks
- Multi-person AV Conferencing in the new version of iChat
- RSS, an emerging web standard supported in the new version of Safari
In total, Apple claims over 200 new features in Tiger over its predecessor Panther, although over half are hidden from view and help your Mac run faster and more reliably, and many others are updates to existing features.
About Mac OS X Server
Mac OS X Server is a suite of services and tools built on top of Mac OS X. The majority of the services in Mac OS X Server are implementations or derivatives of open-source software, such as LDAP, Kerberos, Postfix, Cyrus, SquirrelMail, Apache, BIND, and so on. Other technologies were written from scratch by Apple, such as QuickTime Streaming Server and Xgrid. Much of the interface to Mac OS X Server is custom Apple-developed GUI applications, most importantly Server Admin and Workgroup Manager.
Currently, Mac OS X Server runs on a variety of modern Macintosh computers. The Apple Xserve, a high-performance server designed to be mounted in a standard sized server rack, is designed to work specifically with Mac OS X Server and comes with it pre-installed at the factory. However, the server software can be installed on any Macintosh computer that supports the minimum hardware requirements for the product. Mac OS X Server comes in two editions that differ only by the amount of client computers that can be connected to any one server at any one time: one edition supports only up to 10 simultaneous client computers; the other has no software-imposed limit. Mac OS X Server can run on any of the following computers: Xserve G5, Xserve (G4), Power Mac G5, Power Mac G4, Macintosh Server G4, Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White), Macintosh Server G3 (Blue & White), iMac G5, iMac (G4), eMac (G4) or Mac mini (G4) computer.