How Apple created OS X: In-depth Apple’s operating system ethos uncovered

“OS X is full of little design touches that have redefined what people expect from a personal computer, and which complement Apple hardware,” Graham Barlow reports for TechRadar. “In fact, you can’t (legally) install the operating system on anything but a Mac, so the two are forever entwined – and that gives Apple advantages that other computer manufacturers simply don’t have.”

“With Apple’s latest MacBook Air, for example, you’ll find special keys on the keyboard that link specifically to new functions in OS X Lion, such as Mission Control,” Barlow reports. “‘We wanted to make this the dream user interface for somebody who has never touched a computer before, and that’s really hard to do,’ said ex-Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he introduced Mac OS X 10.0 to the adoring Apple faithful for the very first time at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, January 2000.”

Barlow reports, “Join us as we explore the world’s most beautiful operating system and find out how Apple created it.”

Much more in the full article – recommended – here.

Related articles:
Security experts: Apple did OS X Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper right – February 16, 2012
Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion heralds annual Mac operating system updates – February 16, 2012
Tim Cook: Apple may further meld iOS and OS X; says Macs could run on ARM chips – February 16, 2012
OS X Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper slams the door on Mac trojans – February 16, 2012
My experience with Apple’s OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview – February 16, 2012
Apple’s Phil Schiller talks rapid speed of OS X Mountain Lion release; mere 7 months after Lion – February 16, 2012
Hands on with Apple’s new OS X Mountain Lion – February 16, 2012
Apple releases OS X Mountain Lion Developer Preview; public release coming in late summer 2012 – February 16, 2012


  1. Read the comment from “imperialguy3” on the article… It’s one of only two at the moment. Jeez, that guy would get his head bitten off had he posted that here.

    1. Maybe, but I think he’s right. There is no computer or OS that everyone will ever totally agree on, but I think that-strictly limited to color schemes-Tiger was my favorite.

  2. Back in 2000 when apple released Osx beta I knew that apple has developed an amazing os. It was rough and ready but had huge potential even then. I remember saying to a colleague who was a pc hack that this was the future. In ten short years look what apple had done with the core os.

  3. Profaning the Master’s name should not be allowed here. It is not yet necessary to preface his name with descriptions. Everyone knows who he was. The only reason to add descriptors is if you’re talking about some other fellow named Steve Jobs.

  4. Too many shortcut keys (in different configurations at that, depending on the Mac model) are not good for you.

    I do use some of them, though, particularly F9 (show all spaces), F10 (show app windows), F11 (show desktop).
    However, I can’t see me using umpteen different function keys.

    Too many function keys remind me of the drafting mice with 4 or 5 buttons that nobody could figure out.

    1. But I love the ability to make your own keyboard shortcuts. For example, if I want to save something as a PDF – command-P, wait a second, command-option-P to save as a PDF. I use it all the time. Anytime I pay a bill or buy something online, I save the confirmation webpage as a PDF.

      1. The closest thing to a simple PDF creation process on Mac OS X is using CUPS-PDF:

        It creates a pseudo-printer with which you can create PDFs from anything printable. It’s a bit clunky to set up and not exactly the perfect solution, the PDF file naming is annoying, but it can save a lot of time and clicking.

        It certainly would be great to be able to set up shortcut key commands for the Print dialog box. Or maybe just have Apple put a simple ‘Print To PDF’ button on the box GUI.

        1. When I was a fan of the OmniWeb browser I enjoyed their File menu keystroke to directly create a PDF from a web page. And it printed the whole web page as one print page, which can be very handy! But OmniWeb has had crash causing memory leaks for years and hasn’t kept up with the times very well.

        2. Indeed Drennyn! CUPS-PDF is simply a one button (Return) method of making PDFs. I read stuff and save copies as reference material all day long. It would be great to just hit a key combination and have articles saved. There are automation apps that allow this. Apple’s built-in keyboard shortcut system doesn’t reach into the Print dialog box. Rather that doing Command-P, click the PDF popup menu, click the ‘Save As PDF’ command, navigate to the save folder, and hit ‘Save’, with CUPS-PDF you just hit Command-P and Return, you’re done. There is some busy work after you’ve collected your PDFs by way or having to rename them and possibly file them, but it allows you to more readily stay in Read & Save & Read & Save… mode.

  5. …when he introduced Mac OS X 10.0 to the adoring Apple faithful for the very first time at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, January 2000.

    That’s not how I would put it. En masse the Apple faithful were highly critical of Mac OS X 10.0. That’s one reason why Apple gave away 10.1 as a free update as rapidly as possible. Even that version of Mac OS X is well hated. It wasn’t until 10.2 that the natives put down their spears and found it worth using.

    I tagged along with the entire OpenStep -> Rhapsody -> Mac OS X process, and it wasn’t remotely romantic or pretty. It tried everyone’s patience.

    At one point Steve Jobs was quite insistent that ALL developers move directly to Objective C / Cocoa programming. That didn’t even work out for Apple! Their own Finder program remained Carbon coded (Mac OS 9 compatibly coded) until Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard.

    IOW: Under the hood, there weren’t any rainbows, unicorns or pots of gold. But there were plenty of bugs!

  6. From the source article:

    WRONG: “…developed by Steve Jobs during his tenure at NeXT, the company he’d founded after being booted out of Apple in 1985…. When he was forced out by the Apple board…” — Myth Mongering! Steve Jobs wasn’t booted anywhere. He CHOSE to leave Apple after Steve Sculley, then (cruddy) CEO, and the board effectively demoted and insulted Jobs.

    WRONG: it looks like Apple is going to win the tablet war. –There is no ‘tablet war’. Apple has no tablet/slate/iPad competitors, except in the imaginations of some TechTard journalists and brain-dead SameDung executives. The lack of competition is actually a problem I wish would end.

    CORRECT: …rarely in the history of computing has there been such a winning combination of hardware and software. –The wedding of hardware and software has always been Apple’s best advantage, despite this concept flying over the heads of decades of TechTard journalists.

    HUH?!: Tiger introduced many of the OS X features that we know and love today: Spotlight… –What?! Someone actually ‘loves’ clunky, PITA Spotlight? Not me! That’s why I use EasyFind, Find Any File, iFileX…

  7. He’s right though I’d never tried a Mac until last year, after all of these years of Windows PC’s. I just love my Mac, my husband a lifelong Windows user too, took mine, that I bought gently used, and got me the newest one. We truly love them. If you don’t like them fine, but I’d suggest you try one before giving a negative or hate comment.

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