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Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach Hardcover – June 29, 2006
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"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
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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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very out-dated at this point, and doesn't reflect the reality of how many OS X services have been architected since 10. Read morePublished 2 months ago by =^.^=
It reads pretty well for a technical textbook. Must read for software enthusiasts especially for those wanting insight into the history and makings of the current Apple Mac/iOS... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Scott
Seems like a good book. Learned some useful stuff. Only one problem: pages 127-190 are missing and now I need them! Um, what...? Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ersin Akinci
Its great book, but keep in mind it is out of date. I am sure that most of book still applies. I just don't know what applies and what doesn't in current Yosemite release. Read morePublished 9 months ago by PAUL T. PRYOR
Honestly I haven't found a single useful scrap of useful information in this massive tome. For example I needed info on a few internals like the Quartz Event Services and found... Read morePublished on February 5, 2009 by John A. Marcovitz
I'd been meaning to buy this book for over a year and was not disappointed. It is very well written, easy to understand and goes quite into depth regarding OS X.Published on January 19, 2008 by James Schorr
I enjoyed the writing style of the author, well presented information with bits of humor to keep it interesting. Read morePublished on January 13, 2008 by Ronald M. Colbert
This well written books contains everything you need to know about the internals of Max OS X. This book is enormous and really goes deep into the internal of the OS. Read morePublished on December 31, 2007 by E. Weber