The Macintosh Operating System

Image of Apple Mac Logo

A Bit of History About the Mac OS

When Apple Computer developed the Macintosh computer system, they also labored to develop an operating system for this new machine.  They didn’t want to rely on the competitor’s MS-DOS system which was developed by Microsoft Corporation.  So programmers at Apple set out to make an operating system exclusively for the Macintosh computer.

What they came up with was Mac OS (standing for Mac Operating System) which introduced the new graphical user interface (GUI) that would serve as a model for other operating systems.

In the early years of the Macintosh, Apple would downplay the existence of the operating system to make it appear user-friendly and to distance it from the MS-DOS system being used over at Microsoft.

First Mac Operating System was far from Perfect

Like Windows, the Macintosh operating system has undergone a series of changes making it more efficient as well as more user-friendly.  Originally, the biggest advantage of Mac OS was the lack of a command line entry as was required by MS-DOS.  However, it wasn’t without its own problems.

Critics of the Mac OS cited its limited memory management, lack of protected memory, and susceptibility to conflicts on a network.  This last one was especially problematic because certain extensions could provide additional functionality among devices.  Some of the extensions would not work properly together or they would only work when loaded in a particular order.

Mac OS Served as a Model for other Modern Day Operating Systems

The truth is, however, that the Macintosh operating system offered – and still offers people advancements that have since been used as a basis for other operating systems were later developed.  These advantages include:

  • Color Sync which matches colors on the screen with colors on a printer
  • The Finder which allows the user to browse the file system and launch applications
  • Plain Talk that is a speech synthesis program allowing the spoken word to control functions on the computer
  • Quick Draw that makes it easy to make images on the personal computer
  • Quick Time which supports audio-visual editing and playback of multi-media content over a network
  • True Type which is a font technology that shows a font on the screen that will print exactly the way it looks

If Not for Mac OS, Windows OS Might Not Exist

The Macintosh operating system isn’t as popular commercially as Windows, but it is still the preferred system for Mac owners.  It has proven to be the foundation for much of what we see on computers today.  Without the Macintosh operating system, we wouldn’t have the types of operating systems that we have now.

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