Mac System Software: An Overview

Mac OS was named by the company Apple as Mac System Software in the beginning, a specially designed operating system only for 68K first Motorola processors. With own Macintosh hardware, Mac OS takes up a special role in the world of desktop systems. The first version was “System 1″ and appeared bundled with the Mac in 1984. The classic desktop is designed as a single user operating system and almost completely hides the full path to files and directories. The graphic representation is reduced to the essence. Overall the interface is very easy to use and does not need the right mouse button for user interaction. Mac OS does not include a command line interface.

Starting with System 3.0, the used file system HFS was used officially, which does not different between uppercase and lowercase letters. System 5.0 was the first release to run several programs with the integrated MultiFinder at the same time. The operating system was programmed up to system 6.0 mostly in assembler and partially in Pascal and used a 24-bit addressing mode. Cooperative Multi-tasking could optionally be enabled in System 6. System 7.0 first supported 32-bit addressing. Thus allow the operating system can use more memory and more powerful programs. Since 1994 System 7.5 supported for the first time the PowerPC architecture and is optimized with the following Mac OS versions further on this architecture. With System software 7.6 the name was changed to Mac OS in January 1997.

The optimization of the operating system to the hardware has the disadvantage that the system software can not be installed on every Mac. Application compatibility to the Mac systems may also vary with each version.

2006 MacOS X was presented for the first time publicly on x86 hardware, Apple allows the use of Mac OS X only on specific intel-Macintosh systems. Mac OS X have been developed since 2000 internally parallel for Intel and PowerPC processors. The version of Mac OS X 10.6.0 raised the optimization to Intel-based processors further, the new operating system is no longer available for PowerPC Macintosh or pure 32-bit intel processors. In return the user receives a pure 64-bit operating system optimized for performance on multiple processors. Even the GPU computing power itself can be used with specific applications.

The selection of software is focused on the creative industry and enables such as the professional graphic, audio and video editing. Office applications such as MacWrite, Microsoft Office, OpenOffice and 3D games are also available. The choice of browsers is large with iCab, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Netscape, Opera and Mozilla Firefox. StuffIt is the standard software for file compression.

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