Playing the X Game: Windows XP, Mac OS X, and Linux: Is your OS worth an upgrade? (Inside Technology).The next time you walk into a computer store, look around. See where the crowds are? Good. Now look for emptiest aisle in the store. That's it: the one with the operating system operating system (OS)
Software that controls the operation of a computer, directs the input and output of data, keeps track of files, and controls the processing of computer programs. software.
Normally you don't think much about your personal computer's operating system (OS). Most of the time it sits quietly in the background acting as a data-traffic cop and providing needed services, such as printer support for a word-processing program or audio support for a game. The more efficient your computer's OS, the better your applications run.
This has been a busy year for OS upgrades. Microsoft Corp, (www .microsoft.com) unveiled Windows XP The previous client version of Windows. XP was a major upgrade to the client version of Windows 2000 with numerous changes to the user interface. XP improved support for gaming, digital photography, instant messaging, wireless networking and sharing connections to the Internet. (at press time, only a Beta version A pre-shipping release of hardware or software that has gone through alpha test. A beta version of software is supposed to be very close to the final product, but, in practice, it is more a way of getting users to test the software in the first place under real conditions. was available) and Apple Computer Inc. (www.apple.com) made key changes to its Mac OS X. Linux, a family of operating systems Operating systems can be categorized by technology, ownership, licensing, working state, usage, and by many other characteristics. In practice, many of these groupings may overlap. founded in 1991 by software visionary Linus Torvalds Linus Benedict Torvalds , rarely makes it through a week without a new version. (born December 28 1969 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish software engineer best known for initiating the development of the Linux kernel.
Should you care about all of this OS activity? The answer is yes, since a new OS can vastly improve the way your computer works. Aside from the "X" in their names, the common thread running through the latest versions of operating systems is a new focus on audio and video features.
Microsoft's Windows XP continues Microsoft's drive to integrate more multimedia features inside the OS instead of relying on outside applications. Windows XP has a cleaner desktop, a more colorful interface, and more multimedia features than its predecessors.
For example, if you fill a folder with photos, Windows XP switches to a preview mode so you can view thumbnails without having to open each image. You can even order prints of digital images through Window XP's Online Print Ordering Wizard.
Windows XP also has its own firewall to block hackers from damaging your PC as well as new versions of Microsoft's Internet Explorer Microsoft's Web browser, which comes with Windows starting with Windows 98. Commonly called "IE," versions for Mac and Unix are also available. Internet Explorer is the most widely used Web browser on the market. It has also been the browser engine in AOL's Internet access software. , Outlook Express, and Windows Media Player Digital jukebox software for Windows from Microsoft that plays a variety of audio, video and streaming formats including MP3, WMA, CD audio and MIDI. Starting with Version 6.2 in 1999, the Windows Media Rights Manager was added for securing copyrighted content. . In addition, the OS automatically recognizes digital cameras, scanners, printers, and other USB USB
in full Universal Serial Bus
Type of serial bus that allows peripheral devices (disks, modems, printers, digitizers, data gloves, etc.) to be easily connected to a computer. devices.
Windows XP will be available in two retail versions: Home Edition ($199 for the full version, $99 for the upgrade) and Professional ($299, full version, $199, upgrade), which includes the features of the Home Edition plus additional security and remote access features. Your PC will need 1.5 gigabytes of open hard disk space and 128 megabytes of BAM Bam (bäm), town (1996 pop. 70,100), Kerman prov., SE Iran, on the intermittent Bam River. Located on the western edge of the Dasht-e Lut, Bam is a trade center in a henna-growing region. Dates and other fruits are also grown; camels are raised. are recommended to load and run Windows XP.
APPLE'S OS X version 10.1
With its "Aqua" user interface, Apple's Mac OS X version 10.1 features a cleaner, more colorful interface, and includes some glitzy glitz Informal
Ostentatious showiness; flashiness: "a garish barrage of show-biz glitz" Peter G. Davis.
tr.v. multimedia features. For example, click on the thumbnail of a photo file in Mac OS X, and the photo seems to explode from the icon onto the screen. If you want to put a file aside for a moment, you can drag it to the Dock, a toolbar A row or column of on-screen buttons used to activate functions in the application. Many toolbars are customizable, letting you add and delete buttons as required. Toolbars may be fixed in position or may float, which means they can be dragged to a more convenient location in the that provides quick access to often-used files and applications. The Dock has been improved in version 10.1, so that you can position it at the bottom, right, or left side of the screen.
The Macintosh platform has long been preferred over Windows for graphics and video editing See nonlinear video editing and video editor. . To this end Mac OS X offers support for applications such as iDVD2, which lets users view and create DVD DVD: see digital versatile disc.
in full digital video disc or digital versatile disc
Type of optical disc. The DVD represents the second generation of compact-disc (CD) technology. videos. Mac OS X can burn data to a CD without additional software, Apple's QuickTime software provides the support in Mac OS X for viewing streaming videos from the Web.
Mac OS X version 10.1 ($129) requires 128MB of RAM and will run on Apple iMac, iBook, Power Macintosh G3, Power Mac G4, and Power Mac G4 Cube Power Mac G4 Cube was a quiet, fanless, compact Macintosh personal computer from Apple Inc. It was sold from 2000 to 2001. Features
This diminutive 8" x 8" x 8" cube suspended in a 10" tall Lucite enclosure, housed a PowerPC G4 processor running at 450 or 500 megahertz, computers, as well as PowerBook notebooks released after May 1998. Owners of earlier versions of Mac OS X can upgrade to version 10.1 through Apple's Up-To-Date program for $19.95.
Linux is a family of operating systems for tinkerers and programmers. It isn't used so much to create applications as it is used to create solutions. The open source code of Linux allows developers to create unique applications specifically suited for the task at hand, be it weather forecasting or processing requests for football game tickets.
While Linux can be downloaded free from many locations on the Web, many companies and user groups sell their own "distributions" of Linux. Some popular distributions include Bed Hat Inc.'s (www.redhat.com) Red Hat Deluxe Workstation ($79.95), which includes notebook support and a bundle of applications and utilities, and Caldera caldera: see crater.
Large, bowl-shaped volcanic depression that forms when the top of a volcanic cone collapses into the space left after magma is ejected during a violent volcanic eruption. The term is Spanish for “caldron. International's (www.caldera.com) Caldera OpenLinux Workstation Release 3.1 ($59), which includes a raft of tools for developing commercial applications. Many of the Linux CDs offer graphical user interfaces that rival those of Windows XP and Mac OS X.
But few popular applications come in Linux versions. Corel, which offers Corel WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux and other Linux titles, is the exception among major software publishers. Linux information can be found at Websites such as Linux.com (www.linux.com), Linux Online Inc. (www.linux.org), and LinuxNovice.Org (www.linuxnovice.org).
PICK AN OS
Which OS is right for you? It depends on how you use your computer. If you often bring work home from the office, a Windows XP-based PC makes sense, since most large corporations standardize on Microsoft applications such as Word and Excel. However, if you use desktop publishing software The following is a list of major desktop publishing software. A wide range of related software tools exist in this field, including many plug-ins and tools related to the applications listed below. or edit digital videos, the Macintosh platform has a decided edge with a larger choice of powerful graphics- and video-editing applications.
Home users who need a PC for light word processing, Web surfing, and email won't go wrong with either the Windows or Mac platforms. While Linux can support a home PC, it's not recommended for computer novices.
No, operating systems aren't terribly exciting, but an old OS can become a problem. Have you downloaded Microsoft's new Internet Explorer 6.0 Web browser The program that serves as your front end to the Web on the Internet. In order to view a site, you type its address (URL) into the browser's Location field; for example, www.computerlanguage.com, and the home page of that site is downloaded to you. ? If you tried to install it on a PC running Windows 95, you already know that it won't run and that your computer has just taken a step toward becoming a dinosaur.
Making the Cut Microsoft Macintosh Windows XP OS X version 10.1 www.microsoft.com www.macintosh.com ($) Home Edition, $199 Mac OS X version 10.1, $129 ($99 upgrade); ($19.95 for Apple's Up-to-Date program) Professional, $299 ($199 upgrade) (+) Clean interface, recognizes Quality video, audio, and USB devices, and offers digital imaging features. numerous multimedia features. (-) Users may need to upgrade Some applications not their PCs with larger hard available in Mac disks and more memory. version. Linux www.redhat.com, www.caldera.com ($) Red Hat Deluxe Workstation, $79.95; Caldera Open Linux Workstation Release 3.1, $59 (+) Sophisticated OS can be tailored to meet specific needs. (-) Few Linux versions of popular applications; not for novices.