- MacOS X is based on several layers. The kernel (core) of the operating system is Darwin, an evolution of the Carnegie-Mellon Mach kernel. On top of Darwin sits a layer of BSD libraries and utilities. The display system of OS X, called Quartz, uses the Adobe PDF architecture for vector-based images, allowing rapid transformation and transparency of graphics on-screen, as well as providing true 'what you see is what you get' representation on paper. Quartz natively displays OpenGL for 3D graphics and animation, QuickTime for full-motion video and sound, and also allows the stunning Aqua interface design.
- Programmers can write for OS X for five main environments. They can write C, C++, Perl, or any other Unix language for the BSD console and X Windows environment. Common Macintosh applications may use Classic (a compatibility environment for older Macintosh applications, which does not use the advanced features of OS X) or Carbon. Carbon applications can be run on older OS 9 systems as well as take advantage of the modern OS X features. New applications for OS X can be written in Cocoa, an extremely powerful and incredibly simple object-oriented architecture based on NeXTStep, supporting Java and Objective-C. Finally, they can develop and deploy object-oriented Java applications with WebObjects, with all of the simplicity and power of the Cocoa environment.
- The least expensive Macintosh (the iMac) costs $899 US. That's about 1/3 of the price of the original 1984 Macintosh, and it includes a Motorola G3 processor that runs 500 times faster than the '84, 64MB of RAM (500000 times the original's 128k), a 10GB disk, CDROM, ATI Rage 128 Pro video (with 8Mb of video RAM - 62500 times more total RAM than the '84), a 56k modem and 10/100 Ethernet, 15" display, and two pairs of USB and FireWire ports. And it all comes in the same simple all-in-one style that made the original famous.
- Most new Macintoshes come with CDROM read/write drives. The exceptions are the low-end models (CDROM read-only) and higher-end models. The high-end models come with the first consumer drive that can read and write CDROMs and DVD-ROMs and DVD movie discs. You can edit a DVD movie on your digital camcorder over FireWire with iMovie, using simple drag-and-drop commands, and then record it to a DVD disc and play it in any household DVD player.
- All of Apple's technical documentation and developer documentation is available online, free of charge.
- Most graphics designers and publishers use Macintosh because of its superior color-calibration system. The ColorSync system automatically adjusts for the differences between different brands of scanners, displays, and printers, so that colors and contrast remain true to the original - from the first scan, to the final print run. On-screen graphics also look better on Macintosh because of its native gamma correction - much more true to life than the gamma used by most other display systems.