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
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
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.
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