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Is MacOS X for you ?


A commentary concerning the new Macintosh operating system.


By Ted Bade


The Mac Faithful have been waiting for a "modern" operating system since before there were iBooks, before there were iMacs, and even before G3s!

This modern system would bring us New capabilities and much stability by adding preemptive multitasking and protected memory and other very valuable improvements. The promise (and the hope) is that although a Mac runs just fine with the current operating system, it will run even better with the newer more modern one. While ultimately this will become a truth, we are all going to go through "growing pains" as the system and the hardware change.

While this new operating system has a LOT of power and should be very stable, Apple (probably at Steve Jobs demand) has saddled this new powerful system with a huge helping of "eye-candy and pizazz". It will look terrific, but this means strict hardware requirements. Your current Macintosh perhaps was last month's sweet machine might not have everything it takes to use this fine new operating system.

System requirements for the Beta include a G3 or G4 machine (no problem!), 128 Mbytes of RAM (Could effect many), 1.5 Gigabytes of free hard drive space (egads!), and standard Apple video (that's easy for most).

Hardware conflicts abound. There are several recent technology hardware items that this "Modern" OS has problems with. It won't work with your Airport card and you cannot install it on an external USB (or Firewire) drive. Other hardware conflicts include problems with a second ATA drive, second monitor, and third party SCSI cards. And print drivers are not out yet.

To let you use older applications that won't work under Mac OS X, a special feature is included that lets Mac OS X boot an older Mac OS in a window. You can then run the application inside this window. If you have ever run emulation software like VirtualPC, it is very similar to this. Like VirtualPC, you need to have a valid copy of the Operating System to boot.

Unlike VirtualPC, which works with a variety of PC based operating systems, Mac OS X works only with MacOS 9.0.4. Which means if you don't already have MacOS 9.0.4 installed on your hard drive, you will have to install it if you intend to use the classic environment.

Many users may consider that $30 for a copy of this BETA software is a bit much. Don't forget Apple may have sold 100,000 copies of OS X, but there are 30 million Mac Users out there!

All this is just conjecture. I haven't seen the system yet, or tried to install and use it. The information provided comes from documentation provided by Apple in their MacOS X area. In future installations we will discuss actual installation and usage of this system.

In the mean time, if you have a favorite MacOS X information site let me know. I will inspect them and list the best of them in future articles. And Don't forget to check our Daily list of news links for Mac OS X news.


Ted Bade


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Mac OS X for Dummies ,
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