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Mac OS® X Snow Leopard™ Bible by Mark Hattersley, Galen Gruman

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Introduction

For those who've used the Mac since the mid-1980s, it's hard to believe that it's been eight years since the first version of Mac OS X (10.0 Cheetah) was released, in March 2001, at a period when Apple's very survival seemed uncertain after years of chaotic management. Returned CEO Steve Jobs changed that chaos into focus and innovation, and a steady stream of improved Mac OS "big cats" have followed ever since: Mac OS X 10.1 Puma in September 2001, followed by Mac OS X 10.2 Jaguar in August 2002, Mac OS X 10.3 Panther in October 2003, Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger in April 2005, and Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard in October 2007. Now the newest big cat is here: Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Of the Mac OS X lineage, Snow Leopard in many ways is the oddest. Apple publicly proclaimed that this seventh version would not introduce significant new functionalities, the kinds of "Wow!" features like Time Machine or the Dock Apple is famous for. Instead, it would be retooled to be lighter and faster — less fat, more muscle — by taking advantage of multiple cores now standard on computer processors. That means a boost to application performance, speedier QuickTime streaming media, and faster JavaScripts on Web pages. Oh yeah, and take less disk space. Many of us believe these under-the-hood changes are not only to make the Mac faster, but to prepare for the use of Mac OS in new kinds of devices that the iPhone (also based on some of the Mac OS) can only suggest.

But of course, Apple can't just do ...

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