I've been waiting quite a while for this book. It was the introduction
of the Intel Macs that delayed this; an appendix and numerous updates throughout the book cover the new hardware and the software changes (that's the
August 2006 printing; if you are buying used and want the Intel info, don't
buy the June 2006 edition).
This is quite a book. It covers everything from hardware on up.
It's of course not a user's reference, but although it is probably
of most interest to programmers (and especially system level programmers),
I think advanced administrators will also find this to be a rich
resource. You will need some background in Unix internals and C
programming for parts of it, and computer hardware knowledge for other
parts, but even if you are fairly light in those areas this book will
have knowledge to offer.
There's a lot of example code here to show you how things work.
That code, and sample chapters, can be found at http://www.osxbook.com/. Personally, I liked that the author
paid a lot of attention to historical context, how things came to
be the way they are, and interesting side notes that are often not
found in highly technical books. Amit Singh must be a very
interesting and interested person; I imagine any conversation
with him could range far and wide no matter what the starting point.
There is a lot of detail here. As noted, some of it is historical
and anecdotal, but there is also a tremendous amount of hard information
and explanation. On the historical side, the first chapter deals
entirely with the origins of Mac OS X, from "Star Trek" (OS X on
Intel with Novell) on through Next and Rhapsody. Then Chapter Two
gives the 10,000 foot fly-by of OS X, from firmware to the BSD kernel
and the user interface. After that, the meat of the book begins
with hardware and moves on from there. There are over 1600 pages;
that's an amazing effort.
This is a geeky book, make no mistake about that. However, it
is readable and enjoyable: as mentioned above, Amit Singh is
obviously very interested in his subject and he makes it interesting
for you. Highly recommended.
- Amit Singh
- Addison Wesley
Order (or just read more about) Mac OS X Internals, A Systems Approach from
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