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Key Features of OS X

  • Published on January 21, 2014
Key Features of OS X

As the adage goes, "Beauty is more than skin deep," and this most definitely applies to Apple computers. Although they can accomplish many of the same tasks, Apple machines and PCs are more different than you might expect. Taking Apple classes at the American Graphics Institute is an excellent way to learn how OS X and Apple hardware differs from their PC cousins, and here are just a few of the many ways in which these two types of computers and operating systems work: 

Optimized performance
The system architecture of OS X is optimized to run certain programs, most notably high-end image manipulation and graphics software such as the Adobe Creative Cloud. RAM usage, memory allocation and numerous other technical specifications allow these programs to operate at optimal levels without placing the machine's hardware under too much stress. This is just one reason why many professional graphic designers and other creatives favor Macs over PCs.

Under the hood
Aside from the striking dissimilarities in appearance, much of the difference between Macs and PCs centers around their operating systems. Although PCs can be configured to run various distributions of the open-source Linux operating system, the majority use one of the many different versions of Microsoft Windows. Modern Macs, on the other hand, run OS X, Apple's proprietary operating system.

You could be forgiven for assuming that the availability and compatibility of software programs is all that separates these two operating systems, but there is far more to it than meets the eye. Apple's OS X is based on the venerable Unix operating system first developed by AT&T's Bell Labs in the 1960s. Apple has modified some of the core functionality of the Unix kernel to suit its needs, but many of the underlying features can still be used on even the latest Apple machines. This includes powerful command-line operations, shell scripting, batch automation and numerous other tasks that could not be easily accomplished through the Graphical User Interface, or GUI.

As OS X is Unix-based, this also means that the operating system is remarkably stable and secure.

Go beyond the GUI
The true strength of Apple's OS X is its underlying Unix architecture. By mastering the fundamentals of this powerful operating system by taking Apple classes at AGI, you can go far beyond the functionality masked by OS X's sleek, stylish GUI and leverage the power of Unix.

Although command-line operations, shell scripting and other Unix functions may sound intimidating at first, our expert instructors will show you how to get started using these powerful features. If you're keen to delve into the deeper functionality of OS X, taking Apple classes at AGI will put you on the path to OS X mastery in no time.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics training along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.