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Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach Hardcover – June 29, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 1680 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 29, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321278542
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321278548
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 7.5 x 2.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #588,145 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

 "Overall, I recommend this book to anyone that wants a deeper understanding of the internals of the Macintosh. If you are a developer, this is a must-have book."--Justin Williams, Founder, Maczealots.com

 

"It's a book that every administrator and developer of almost any kind of hardware and software would want to own. It explains the how as opposed to the what of OS X more clearly, thoroughly and intelligently than any other book on the market."--Mark Sealey, Contributing Editor, ThinkSecret.com

About the Author

Amit Singh is an operating systems researcher, programmer, and author. He manages the Macintosh engineering team at Google. Previously, Amit has worked on operating systems at IBM Research, Bell Laboratories, and a Silicon Valley startup doing cutting-edge work in the area of virtualization. He also created and maintains osxbook.com and kernelthread.com. Amit often writes and releases open source software, such as MacFUSE, a Mac OS X implementation of the FUSE (File System in USEr Space) mechanism.


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Customer Reviews

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Highly recommended for anyone interested in Operating Systems and/or Mac OS X.
James Mauro
While reading the book I have to say that I have become a great fan of Amit's style.
S. Gylfason
In fact, I was eager enough to review portions of an early draft of this book.
Ulfar Erlingsson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

132 of 136 people found the following review helpful By S. Gylfason on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I had the opportunity to review the draft manuscript of Amit Singh's Mac OS X Internals book. With so many different types of operating systems books out there, let me try to place the book to give a better idea what to expect. There are general introduction books that normally introduce the operating system to the reader, without explaining what is actually going on. We have concept books (I put "The Design and Implementation of the FreeBSD Operating System" in this category) which are usually a good introduction to a new system. I used to be a great fan of this type of books, and I still enjoy reading them, but I don't anticipate much new from them. The fact is that operating systems today differ not that much in concepts and abstractions but more in their implementation. Then we have the kernel programming books that either cover the kernel programming in general, like Linux Kernel Internals, or focus on specific parts of the kernel, like Linux Device Drivers.

The Mac OS X Internals book falls into a category that I call OS Internals books category. Books in this category (like the popular Inside Windows books) are similar to the concept books in the sense that they are not focusing on solving some predefined problems, but rather share knowledge. They differ from the concept books in that they approach the concepts from implementation point of view. In recent years I have become a great fan of this type of books. Books in this category are both very enjoyable for anyone interested in the OS but also very useful for application developers.
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59 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Ulfar Erlingsson on July 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is essential for anybody that wants to understand the inner workings of Mac OS X, which should include all serious OSX software developers. This book is also a must read for any technical users of OSX, in order for them to know what's really underneath the covers, even when they are not writing software for OSX.

I am the second type of reader: I am a researcher with Microsoft Research, where I work mostly on operating-systems related topics. However, at home, I've had machines running OSX since version 10.0, and I have been waiting for somebody to write this book since then. (In fact, I was eager enough to review portions of an early draft of this book.)

The published book is a bit daunting, at over 1600 pages (bound in a sturdy format, which should tolerate heavy use). However, as quickly becomes clear, it covers a complex topic in such substantial detail that it is hard to see how it could be shorter. Also, given the book's size, and the amount of material it covers, the price seems very reasonable.

Fortunately, despite its size, the book is well structured and has a good index, so information is easy to find. Also, the book is written in an highly readable style, which helps the reader maintain attention. As a result, the book is quite pleasant to browse and read a few dozen pages at a time (as I've been doing for a while, as light bed-side reading).

One of the reasons this book is so useful is that, even more so than other modern operating systems, OSX is a complex mix of new and legacy technologies, both proprietary and open source. So to understand OSX, one has to understand parts of Mac OS 9, Mach, BSD Unix, NextStep, GNU/Linux as well as technology novel to OSX.
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79 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Dominic B. Giampaolo on July 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book has to be one of the most comprehensive treatments of any operating system ever. I read through the sections with which I am most familiar (file systems, Spotlight and HFS). The level of detail and understanding expressed in those sections is very impressive. I thought I might find some errors or at least niggling details that weren't quite right but I could not find any.

Perusing the other sections of the book I even found that I learned a few things. The depth and breadth of this book make it a must-have for anyone involved in MacOS X programming (IMHO). Even if you're not a kernel programmer, there are many details and pieces of information that explain how and why things work the way they do.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. G. Miller on July 17, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I'm a professional Mac/Unix developer for a relatively large, very well-known, and generally well loved company. I'm also a sort of junkie for good tech books, and this one is among the best.

I've read a lot of Amit's technical writings on his website over the years, and they were always chock-full of awesome tid-bits, had unmatched depth, and were written very well. So, when I heard he was writing a book, I could hardly wait to get my hands on it. And it didn't disappoint.

It's a thick book, but I had trouble putting it down and read it cover to cover. It was filled with more detail than I could've imagined, but it was presented in such a way as to not lose the reader. Each page seemed to spark a new question in my mind about how something works, only to be answered by the next page.

The book goes into great detail about the boot process, OpenFirmware, EFI, the PowerPC 970FX processor, Mach (the best info I've seen), virtual memory (and physical memory), launchd, Spotlight, and much more. It covers so many areas that are scarcely covered elsewhere, and will answer questions that you didn't even know you had.

This book is great for those interested in operating system and kernel design, but also it's a must-have for anyone who's serious about Mac OS X development.
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