MacDirectory Magazine

Winter-Spring 2010 (#44)

MacDirectory magazine is the premiere creative lifestyle magazine for Apple enthusiasts featuring interviews, in-depth tech reviews, Apple news, insights, latest Apple patents, apps, market analysis, entertainment and more.

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Page 47 of 147

BOOK REVIEWS 46 MacDirectory MAC OS X INTERNALS: A SYSTEMS APPROACH REVIEW BY RIC GETTER Object oriented programming (OOP) is a comparatively new paradigm based on discreet and sometimes very simple blocks of code that can be called and combined into increasingly powerful functions which, in turn, are used to build remarkably sophisticated systems. These systems can be the building blocks of an application or layered and further combined into something as powerful and elegant as the Mac OS. Amit Singh uses a very similar method in documenting the OS in his Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach . He explains the machine as a whole, how the major parts that make it run, and then in turn, the mechanisms that make those parts run. It's a task of epic proportions (the resulting book is more than 1,600 pages), yet is written and organized with a level of design genius that is on a par with its subject matter. Unlike the original "Classic" Mac OS, which was detailed from its very inception through Inside Macintosh , a collection of volumes published by Apple, the knowledge base for OS X is primarily online. It's a medium that has its benefits and limitations. But there remain many advantages to have virtually all the essential details compiled in a single source. In the case of Mac OS X Internals, you have the option of possessing that source either physically or electronically (or both, considering that the publisher offers the combination at a very attractive price). The opening chapter is a brief technical history of the Mac OS, culled from a wonderful document of much greater detail and depth that is available on Singh's Web site, . This history provides an important foundation for understanding the OS, as some of the most important building blocks have been around for decades and others are the result of practical compromises rather than concept-to-completion invention. Much of this will be revealed in the revealed in the second chapter, which is a high-level overview of the OS architecture — essentially how the big pieces fit together. This overview provides the structural outline for the remainder of the book. Even though the book will find its biggest audience in the developer community, it contains a wealth of knowledge that would give a tremendous edge to system administrators, support technicians and even power-users who what to know "why" as much as they need to know "how." It would also be especially useful to administrators, engineers and developers coming from a Windows or Linux background who are looking for a complete, one-stop resource on the inner workings of the Mac OS. For anyone who needs intimate insight into the workings of the Mac OS, Mac OS X Internals is not just recommended, it should be considered essential. Mac OS X Internals: A Systems Approach by Amit Singh; $89.99, Addison-Wesley Professional (; 1,641 pgs. ISBN 978-0-321-27854-8 "...Mac OS X is a mix of several technologies that differ not only in what they do but also in where they came from..." Amit Singh Copyright © 2007 Pearson Education, Inc.

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