Topic: Apple Inc./Macintosh
In the Apple macOS operating system, .DS_Store is a file that stores custom attributes of its containing folder, such as the position of icons or the choice of a background image. The name is an abbreviation of Desktop Services Store, reflecting its purpose. It is created and maintained by the Finder application in every folder, and has functions similar to the file desktop.ini in Microsoft Windows. Starting with a full stop (period) character, it is hidden in Finder and many Unix utilities. Its internal structure is proprietary, but has since been reverse-engineered.
GEOS (Graphic Environment Operating System) is a discontinued operating system from Berkeley Softworks (later GeoWorks). Originally designed for the Commodore 64 with its version being released in 1986, enhanced versions of GEOS later became available in 1987 for the Commodore 128 and in 1988 for the Apple II family of computers. A lesser-known version was also released for the Commodore Plus/4.
GEOS closely resembles early versions of the classic Mac OS and includes a graphical word processor (geoWrite) and paint program (geoPaint).
A December 1987 survey by the Commodore-dedicated magazine Compute!'s Gazette found that nearly half of respondents used GEOS. For many years, Commodore bundled GEOS with its redesigned and cost-reduced C64, the C64C. At its peak, GEOS was the third-most-popular microcomputer operating system in the world in terms of units shipped, trailing only MS-DOS and Mac OS (besides the original Commodore 64's KERNAL).
Other GEOS-compatible software packages were available from Berkeley Softworks or from third parties, including a reasonably sophisticated desktop publishing application called geoPublish and a spreadsheet called geoCalc. While geoPublish is not as sophisticated as Aldus Pagemaker and geoCalc not as sophisticated as Microsoft Excel, the packages provide reasonable functionality, and Berkeley Softworks founder Brian Dougherty claimed the company ran its business using its own software on Commodore 8-bit computers for several years.
- "GEOS 8-bit operating system" | 2013-06-24 | 13 Upvotes 4 Comments
Mach () is a kernel developed at Carnegie Mellon University to support operating system research, primarily distributed and parallel computing. Mach is often mentioned as one of the earliest examples of a microkernel. However, not all versions of Mach are microkernels. Mach's derivatives are the basis of the operating system kernel in GNU Hurd and of Apple's XNU kernel used in macOS, iOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS.
The project at Carnegie Mellon ran from 1985 to 1994, ending with Mach 3.0, which is a true microkernel. Mach was developed as a replacement for the kernel in the BSD version of Unix, so no new operating system would have to be designed around it. Mach and its derivatives exist within a number of commercial operating systems. These include all using the XNU operating system kernel which incorporates an earlier non-microkernel Mach as a major component. The Mach virtual memory management system was also adopted in 4.4BSD by the BSD developers at CSRG, and appears in modern BSD-derived Unix systems, such as FreeBSD.
Mach is the logical successor to Carnegie Mellon's Accent kernel. The lead developer on the Mach project, Richard Rashid, has been working at Microsoft since 1991 in various top-level positions revolving around the Microsoft Research division. Another of the original Mach developers, Avie Tevanian, was formerly head of software at NeXT, then Chief Software Technology Officer at Apple Inc. until March 2006.
- "Mach kernel" | 2019-09-05 | 139 Upvotes 95 Comments
Miller columns (also known as cascading lists) are a browsing/visualization technique that can be applied to tree structures. The columns allow multiple levels of the hierarchy to be open at once, and provide a visual representation of the current location. It is closely related to techniques used earlier in the Smalltalk browser, but was independently invented by Mark S. Miller in 1980 at Yale University. The technique was then used at Project Xanadu, Datapoint, and NeXT.
While at Datapoint, Miller generalized the technique to browse directed graphs with labeled nodes and arcs. In all cases, the technique is appropriate for structures with high degree (large fanout). For low-degree structures, outline editors or graph viewers are more effective.
- "Miller Columns" | 2018-10-02 | 177 Upvotes 90 Comments
OpenDoc is a multi-platform software componentry framework standard created by Apple for compound documents, intended as an alternative to Microsoft's Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). As part of the AIM alliance between Apple, IBM, and Motorola, OpenDoc is one of Apple's earliest experiments with open standards and collaborative development methods with other companies—effectively starting an industry consortium. Active development was discontinued in March 1997.
The core idea of OpenDoc is to create small, reusable components, responsible for a specific task, such as text editing, bitmap editing, or browsing an FTP server. OpenDoc provides a framework in which these components can run together, and a document format for storing the data created by each component. These documents can then be opened on other machines, where the OpenDoc frameworks substitute suitable components for each part, even if they are from different vendors. In this way users can "build up" their documents from parts. Since there is no main application and the only visible interface is the document itself, the system is known as document centered.
At its inception, it was envisioned that OpenDoc would allow smaller, third-party developers to enter the then-competitive office software market, able to build one good editor instead of having to provide a complete suite.
- "OpenDoc" | 2016-01-23 | 27 Upvotes 6 Comments
A skeuomorph () is a derivative object that retains nonfunctional ornamental design cues (attributes) from structures that were inherent to the original. Examples include pottery embellished with imitation rivets reminiscent of similar pots made of metal and a software calendar that imitates the appearance of binding on a paper desk calendar.
- "Skeuomorph" | 2010-06-25 | 66 Upvotes 47 Comments
The Command key (sometimes abbreviated as Cmd key), ⌘, formerly also known as the Apple key or open Apple key, is a modifier key present on Apple keyboards. The Command key's purpose is to allow the user to enter keyboard commands in applications and in the system. An "extended" Macintosh keyboard—the most common type—has two command keys, one on each side of the space bar; some compact keyboards have one only on the left.
The ⌘ symbol (the "looped square") was chosen by Susan Kare after Steve Jobs decided that the use of the Apple logo in the menu system (where the keyboard shortcuts are displayed) would be an over-use of the logo. Apple's adaptation of the symbol—encoded in Unicode at U+2318—was derived in part from its use in Nordic countries as an indicator of cultural locations and places of interest. The symbol is known by various other names, including "Saint John's Arms" and "Bowen knot".
- "Looped Square Or ⌘" | 2022-09-29 | 225 Upvotes 196 Comments