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Mac OS X v10.4

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Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger" is the fifth major release of Mac OS X, Apple's desktop and server operating system for Macintosh computers. Tiger was released to the public on April 29 2005 as the successor to Mac OS X v10.3 "Panther", which was released 18 months earlier. Some of the new features include a fast searching system called Spotlight, a new version of the Safari web browser, Dashboard, a new 'Unified' theme, and improved support for 64-bit addressing on Power Mac G5s. Tiger is also the first version of any released Apple operating system to work on Intel's x86 platform, though it is only intended to operate on Apple-Intel architecture machines such as the iMac, MacBook Pro, MacBook, Intel Mac Mini and Mac Pro.

Mac OS X x10.4 "Tiger" is included with all new Macintosh computers, and is also available as an upgrade for existing Mac OS X users, or users of supported pre-Mac OS X systems. The server edition, Mac OS X Server 10.4, is also available for some Macintosh product lines.

The Apple TV, as released in March 2007, ships with a customized version of Mac OS X v10.4 branded "Apple TV OS" that replaces the usual graphical user interface with an updated version of Front Row.

Tiger is scheduled to be superseded by Mac OS X v10.5 "Leopard" in October 2007.


[edit] History

Mac OS X x10.4 "Tiger" was originally previewed by Apple CEO Steve Jobs in his keynote speech at the Worldwide Developers Conference on June 28, 2004. Later in December 2004, several non-commercial developer releases of Tiger were leaked onto the Internet. As a result Apple sued the file sharers who were distributing Tiger for free by using BitTorrent. On April 12, 2005, it was announced that Tiger would be officially released worldwide on April 29. All Apple Stores around the world held Tiger seminars, presentations and demos.

On June 6 2005, at the Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, Jobs announced that almost two million copies had been sold in the six weeks since Tiger's release, making it the most successful operating system release in Apple's history. It was also revealed that Mac OS X had been engineered from its inception to work with Intel's x86 line of processors in addition to the PowerPC, the CPU that the operating system had always been publicly marketed for. Apple announced plans to release the first x86-based computers in June 2006, transitioning the rest of their computers to x86 by June 2007. On January 10 2006, Apple released their first iMac and MacBook Pro featuring an Intel Core Duo processor, and announced that the entire Apple product line would be transitioned to Intel processors by the end of 2006. Apple then released the Mac Pro and announced the new Xserve on August 8, 2006, completing the Intel transition in 210 days, rather than the full year that they had planned, and roughly ten months ahead of the original schedule.

10.4 is the first version of Mac OS X to be supplied on a DVD rather than on CDs, although the DVD can be exchanged for CDs for $9.95.

[edit] System Requirements

The system requirements for the Mac OS X x10.4 upgrade are a Macintosh with :

  • PowerPC G3, G4, or G5 processor
  • Built-in FireWire
  • At least 256 MB of physical RAM
  • A built-in display or a display connected to an Apple-supplied video card supported by your computer
  • At least 3 GB of available space on your hard drive; 4 GB of disk space if you install Xcode 2 developer tools
  • DVD drive for installation (CD media available for a fee)

The 2006 Intel-based Macintoshes come from the factory with an Intel build of Mac OS X x10.4; the boxed 10.4 upgrade DVD only runs on PowerPC Macintoshes.

[edit] New features

Apple advertises that Mac OS X x10.4 Tiger has over 200 new features, including:

  • Spotlight - Spotlight is a powerful full-text and metadata search engine, which can search everything from Word documents to iCal calendars to Address Book cards, as well as any text within PDF files. The feature is also used to build the concept of smart folders into the Finder. Spotlight will index files as they are saved, so they can be quickly and easily found through a search-as-you-type box in the menu bar.
  • iChat AV - The new iChat AV 3.0 in Tiger supports up to four participants in a video conference and ten participants in an audio conference. It also now supports communication using the Jabber protocol. A Jabber server called iChat Server is included on Mac OS X Tiger Server.
  • Safari RSS - The new Safari 2.0 web browser in Tiger features a built-in reader for RSS and Atom web syndication that can be accessed easily from an RSS button in the address bar of the web browser window. An updated version of Safari, included as part of the free Mac OS 10.4.3 update, can also pass the Acid2 web standards test.
  • Mail 2 - The new version of email client included in Tiger featured an updated interface, "Smart Mailboxes" that utilize the Spotlight search system, parental controls, as well as several other features.
  • Dashboard - The Dashboard is a new mini-applications layer based on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, which returns the desk accessories concept to the Mac OS. These accessories are known as widgets. It comes with several widgets such as Weather, World Clock, Unit Converter, and Dictionary/Thesaurus. More are available for free online. Its similarity to the Konfabulator application caused some criticism.
  • Automator - A scripting tool called Automator to link applications together to form complex automated workflows (written in AppleScript, Cocoa, or both). Automator comes with a complete library of actions for several applications which can be used together to make a Workflow.
  • VoiceOver - VoiceOver is an accessibility interface that offers the user magnification options, keyboard control and spoken English descriptions of what is happening on screen. VoiceOver enables users with visual impairment the ability to use applications via spoken commands. It also allows a user to work collaboratively with other users on a single Mac by allowing multiple users give voice commands to scroll text, etc. VoiceOver is capable of reading aloud the contents of files including web pages, mail messages and word processing files. The complete keyboard navigation lets the use control the computer with the keyboard rather than mouse, a menu is displayed in a window showing all the available keyboard commands that can be used.
  • A complete built-in Dictionary/Thesaurus based on the New Oxford American Dictionary, Second Edition, accessible through an application, Dictionary, a Dashboard widget, and as a system-wide command (see below). Some users have complained that the dictionary is lacking in its vocabulary, and that the thesaurus could stand to be more robust.
  • .Mac syncing - Though this is not a new feature, .Mac syncing in Tiger is much improved over Panther. Syncing tasks in Tiger are now accomplished through the .Mac system preferences pane rather than the iSync application.
  • QuickTime 7 - A new version of Apple's multimedia software has support for the new H.264/AVC codec which offers better quality and scalability than other video codecs. This new codec is used by iChat AV for clearer video conferencing. New classes within Cocoa provide full access to QuickTime for Cocoa application developers. The new QuickTime 7 player application bundled with Mac OS X Tiger now includes more advanced audio and video controls as well as a more detailed Information dialog, and the new player has been rebuilt using Apple's Cocoa API to take advantage of the new technologies more easily.
  • New Unix features - New versions of cp, mv, and rsync which support files with resource forks. Command-line support for features like the above-mentioned Spotlight are also included.
  • Xcode 2.0 - Xcode 2.0, Apple's Cocoa development tool now includes visual modelling, an integrated Apple Reference Library and graphical remote debugging.

[edit] New applications in Tiger

  • Automator - Automator uses workflows to process repetitive tasks automatically
  • Grapher - Grapher is a new application capable of creating 2D and 3D graphs similar to that of Graphing Calculator.
  • Dictionary - A dictionary and thesaurus program which uses the New Oxford American Dictionary. It has a fast GUI for displaying the Dictionary, and allows the user to search the dictionary with Spotlight, to print definitions, and to copy and paste text into documents. Dictionary also provides a Dictionary service in the Application menu, and Cocoa and WebKit provide a global keyboard shortcut (⌃⌘D by default) for all applications that display text with them. The Dictionary application is a more feature-filled version of the Dictionary widget.
  • Quartz Composer - Quartz Composer is a development tool for processing and rendering graphical data.
  • AU Lab - AU Lab is a developer application for testing and mixing Audio Units.

[edit] Improvements

  • An upgraded kernel with optimized kernel resource locking and access control lists, and with support for 64-bit userland address spaces on machines with 64-bit processors.
  • An updated libSystem with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions; combined with the aforementioned kernel change, this allows individual applications to address more than 4GB of memory when run on 64-bit processors, although an application using Apple libraries or frameworks other than libSystem would need to have two processes, one running the 64-bit code and one running the code that requires other libraries and frameworks.
  • A new startup daemon called launchd that allows for faster boots.
  • The printing dialog in Tiger now features a drop down menu for creating PDFs, sending PDFs to Mail, and other PDF related actions. However, the user interface has been criticized for creating a hybrid widget that looks like a plain button but acts like a pop-up menu. This is one of only three places in the entire Mac OS X interface where such an element appears.
  • Dock menus now have menu items to open an application at login, or to remove the icon from the dock.
  • The Window menu in the Finder now features a "Cycle Through Windows" menu item.
  • The Get Info window for items in the Finder now includes a "More Info" section which includes Spotlight information tags such as Image Height & Width, when the file was last opened, and where the file originated from.
  • Early development of resolution independence. Apple notes that this will be a user-level feature in a future version of Mac OS X. Among the changes, the maximum size of icons has been increased to 256x256. However, the Finder does not yet support this size.

[edit] Technologies

  • A new graphics processing API, Core Image, leveraging the power of the available accelerated graphics cards.
Core Image allows programmers to easily leverage programmable GPUs for fast image processing for special effects and image correction tools. Some of the included Image Units included are Blur, Color Blending, Generator Filters, Distortion Filters, Geometry Filters, Halftone features and much more.
  • A new data persistence API, Core Data, that makes it easier for developers to handle structured data in their applications.
The Mac OS X Core Data API helps developers create data structures for their applications. Core Data provides undo, redo and save functions for developers without them having to write any code.
  • A new video graphics API, Core Video, which leverages Core Image to provide real-time video processing.
Apple's Motion real-time video effects program takes advantage of Core Video in Mac OS X Tiger. Core Video lets developers easily integrate real-time video effects and processing into their applications.
  • Core Audio, introduced in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther, integrates a range of audio functionality directly into the operating system.

[edit] Interface differences

In every major new revision of Mac OS X, Apple alters the graphical user interface somewhat. In Tiger the menu bar displayed at the top of the screen now features a colored Spotlight button in the upper right corner; the menu itself has a smoother 'glassy' texture to replace the faint pinstripes in 10.3.

Also of note, 10.4 introduces a new window theme, often described as 'Unified'. A variation on the standard, non-brushed metal theme used since the introduction of Mac OS X, this theme integrates the title bar and the toolbar of a window. A prominent example of an application that utilizes this theme is Mail.

[edit] Tiger trademark lawsuit

Shortly before the release of Mac OS X x10.4, the computer retailer, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging that Apple infringed's trademark with the Mac OS X Tiger operating system.

The following is a quotation from's court memorandum:

Apple Computer's use of its infringing family of Tiger marks to expand sales of products besides its operating system software is already evident — for example, Apple Computer is offering free iPods and laptops as part of its Tiger World Premiere giveaway. In short, notwithstanding its representation to the PTO that it would only use Tiger in connection with their unique computer operating system software, Apple Computer has in recent weeks used a family of Tiger marks in connection with a substantially broader group of products and services, including the very products and services currently offered by Tiger Direct under its famous family of Tiger marks.

The judge in the case ruled in Apple's favor.

[edit] Tiger x86

At the 2005 Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that Apple would begin selling Mac computers with Intel processors in 2006. To allow developers to begin producing software for these Intel-based Macs, Apple made Developer Transition Kits available for sale which include a version of Mac OS X v10.4 designed to run on x86 processors, which has come to be referred to as Tiger x86 or osx86.

This build includes Apple's Rosetta — a translation process that allows Intel processor versions of the OS to run PPC software with little penalty. This is contrasted with the current Mac OS 9 Classic mode, which uses comparably larger amounts of system resources.

Soon after the Developer Transition Kits began shipping, copies of Tiger x86 leaked onto file sharing networks. Although Apple had implemented a Trusted Computing DRM scheme in the transition hardware and OS in an attempt to stop people installing Tiger x86 on non-Apple PCs, hackers had soon managed to remove this restriction. As Apple released each update with newer safeguards to prevent its use on non-Apple hardware, hacked versions were released that circumvented Apple's safeguards. However with the release of 10.4.5, 10.4.6, and 10.4.7 the hacked versions continued to use the kernel from the 10.4.4 because later kernels have hardware locks and depend heavily on Extensible Firmware Interface. However, the 10.4.8 kernel has recently been cracked.

At MacWorld San Francisco 2006, Jobs announced the immediate availablility of Mac OS X x10.4.4, the first publicly-available release of OS X Tiger compiled for both PowerPC and Intel x86 machines.

[edit] Trivia

  • Six weeks after its official release, Apple had delivered 2 million copies of Tiger, representing 16% of all Mac OS X users. By mid-2006, Apple expects Tiger to account for half (50%) of the Mac user base. Apple claims that Tiger was the most successful Apple OS release in the company's history.

[edit] External links

This article was started using a Wikipedia OS X v10.4 article
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