I remember the first moment I moved a mouse across an OS X Desktop. At that time, it was the beta of version 10.0 — and I very well remember the word elegant as my first impression. (My second impression was Unix done better.) That’s really saying something because I’m an old personal computer operating system curmudgeon: I cut my computing teeth on Atari and TRS-80 Model III machines, and I still feel at home in the character-based environment of DOS and Unix. Of course, I’ve also used every version of Windows that Microsoft has produced (everything from Microsoft Bob and Windows/286 to the much-maligned Windows 8). And yes, I’ve used Mac OS since before the days of System 7, using a Macintosh SE with a 9" monitor (and a built-in handle).

But out of this host of operating systems, could you really call one elegant before now? OS X — now at version 10.10, affectionately called Yosemite — is something different: a fine-cut diamond amongst a handful of semiprecious stones. It’s the result of an unnatural marriage, I’ll admit … the intuitive, graphical world of Mac paired with the character-based stability and efficient multitasking of Unix, along with the iOS operating system developed especially for Apple’s mobile devices. Who would have thought that they would work together so well?

Therefore, you can imagine how I immediately jumped at the chance to write a comprehensive guide to Apple’s masterpiece. (Although it’s been more than a decade ago now, I've never regretted ...

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