Machintosh : The computer of new age

By: Firoj Khan


Macintosh systems are mainly targeted towards the home, education, and creative professional markets. Production of the Macintosh is based upon a vertical integration model in that Apple facilitates all aspects of its hardware and creates its own operating system. This is in contrast to PCs, where different brands of hardware run operating systems such as Microsoft Windows.

Apple has introduced a number of innovations in direct relation to the Macintosh 128K that were later adopted by the rest of industry as a standard for the design of computers. Possibly Apple's number-one effect on the industry was the first large-scale use of a graphical user interface in operating system software. Today, almost every mainstream operating system relies on a graphical user interface, and many operating systems still echo the design of the original Macintosh graphical user interface, such as the use of the “double click,” “drag and drop,” and the mouse used for them.

The earliest form of internal Macintosh expandability was the Processor Direct Slot (PDS), present from the SE onwards. It was basically a shortcut to the CPU socket, not a bus—which also meant that parts for the PDS slot were tied to a specific Macintosh model, with the notable exception of the LC PDS slot, which was standardized across the entire LC line. Current Macintoshes use the Intel Core, Intel Core 2 and Intel Xeon 5100 series microprocessors.

For peripherals, the Apple Desktop Bus was introduced with the Macintosh II and Macintosh SE. It was the standard input connector for keyboards and mice until USB was introduced with the iMac. The last Macintosh to have ADB was the Power Macintosh G3 (Blue & White), alongside USB. Other legacy Macintosh peripheral connectors include the serial GeoPort and the AAUI port for networking.

Apple’s actions were criticized by many people in the software community not directly involved in the lawsuits, including the Free Software Foundation (FSF), makers of the open source GNU tools. The FSF characterized the lawsuits as an attempt by Apple Computer to prevent anyone from making a user interface that worked even vaguely like a Macintosh, and called for a boycott of GNU software for the Macintosh platform.The FSF ended its boycott in 1995. Current versions of the Macintosh ship with some GNU tools installed, and the GNU compiler gcc is an integral part of Apple's XCode development platform.

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