On the surface, Mac OS X isn't all that different from Mac OS 9.1. Indeed, most users will be just as happy with the slightly older version of the Macintosh operating system as with version X. But for people who have longed for a more robust kernel with true preemptive multitasking, better graphics support, and a stronger suite of programming tools, Mac OS X is manna. Like too many other books that choose to focus on Mac OS X as just another Mac System for everyday home and office users, Mac OS X: The Complete Reference explores the new Mac OS in terms of its basic features before delving into its new architecture, server capabilities, and BSD Unix-derived features.
Feiler's coverage of the new features isn't terribly deep--readers might expect more from a "Complete Reference." In explaining the new low-level architecture of Mac OS X, for example, Feiler does a fine job of explaining that Mach manages system resources and that an implementation of BSD Unix handles tasks associated with networking, the filesystem, and threads of execution. Great, but there's nothing about configuring a machine at the BSD command line or the "Unix way" of thinking about hardware and settings. Read this book if you're a beginner or interested in a high-level guide to the new features, but look elsewhere for deep documentation. --David Wall
Topics covered: The features of Mac OS X, explained at a level suitable for everyday users, with some sections of interest to administrators and power users. Specialized sections address architectural fundamentals, hardware and software setup, networking, and programming with AppleScript, Carbon, and Cocoa.
From Library Journal
A timely and complete reference for OS X is in order. Maria Langer's Mac OS X (Computer Media, LJ 7/01) faltered, but Feiler has come through. He clearly covers a range of concepts, including the Aqua interface, networking, applications, and, surprisingly, programming OS X with Carbon and Cocoa (see above). This volume lives up to its nameDthe programming aspect is a nice bonus. Highly recommended for libraries catering to Mac users.
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