Is there a Book that is NOT written in Newbie Language??

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rocknpop, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. rocknpop macrumors member

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    Jan 11, 2009
    #1
    I am looking for a book that is technical enough for me (an engineer), so I can understand these basic things (what happens in the background and how does the mac do it):

    - What happens when you do a Clean Install of your OS?
    - How are programs installed and uninstalled (the technical explanation)
    - How to do proper files maintenance in your mac (again, technical explanation of what to keep or not)
    - How to optimize the performance?
    - What is the equivalent "threat" to a MacBook of a PC Virus? How does that work?
    - Basic but technical explanation of the OS.

    Basically, trying to gain the knowledge that I had with my PC into the Mac...
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #2
    None, really.

    Possibly one of the software or hardware certification training manuals would answer these questions.
     
  3. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Where can I get one?
     
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #4
    They're sold from PeachPit Press online and in some stores. I think that Amazon will let you look inside a few of them.
     
  5. Matek macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Most of your questions are very simple and aren't something that should be explained in extensive technical detail, just like a book on sort algorithm optimizations isn't something that can be written for the general public.

    Other than that - file maintenance isn't something you should do. Of the files that belong to the OS, you don't need to delete anything to "maintain" it.
     
  6. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I understand what you are saying, but I would like to understand how my computer works...
     
  7. fireshot91 macrumors 601

    fireshot91

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    #7
    I don't think that programs are technically installed on OS X.

    I think that you can keep your .app file anywhere on your computer and launch it from there.
    The only thing that it leaves behind are the files that it writes whenever you do anything in that application.



    Again, This is how I see it, it might not be right.
     
  8. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #8
    Hmm... well, in order:

    1. Your bits are wiped to zeros and then rewritten as the proper OS.
    2. Install: bits are changed to ones and zeros that form a coherent program. Uninstall: the sectors allocated to this application are deemed overwriteable and are left in stasis until needed for current storage.
    3. You don't need to do this.
    4. Keep your HDD at least 10% empty and make sure you have the RAM to run the programs you have open.
    5. None, as I said.
    6. It's UNIX. ;) There is literature on OS X' architecture.
     
  9. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

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    #9
    I felt the same way when I first got my Mac - "Well, I know a lot about the inner workings of Windows cos I've used it for so long...I should learn the same about the Mac."

    I've had my system now for a little over 1.5 years, and I've found that I *don't* need to know much more than what you learn just from using it on a day to day basis.

    The most technical part of OS X is the UNIX underpinnings, and I've used Linux long enough to understand how to get around in Terminal, and set up my .tcshrc file (Long live tcsh :))

    The only things that I *really* don't have a handle on yet that I might like to know more about are the "write defaults ... ..." commands, and where I could get a list of those - also the .plist files...what are they used for, can you edit them for better performance/enable hidden features, etc.

    Other than that, I'm really happy with OS X just the way it is :)
     
  10. jpyc7 macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Like the OP, I'd like better understanding of the app installation process. I don't know how widgets for the Dashboard are installed either. As someone else said, it's just magic and works so it isn't really critical to know.

    I'd also like to know more about networking on the Mac. For example, you can turn on Internet Sharing where another computer can use your Mac's internet connection. I'd like to know if the Mac is routing or bridging or something else. The answers to these sort of technical questions seem very hard to find on the Internet.

    I guess not many people are interested in them, so no one writes up webpages about them.
     
  11. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #11
    that's only if u do a 0-out.
     
  12. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

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    #12
    Get to know the inner workings of a Linux system. Perhaps install Ubuntu, play with it, learn how it manages networking, file systems, and so on.

    The same stuff is going on under the hood on the Mac. Go into your Finder options and tell it to show you hidden files and directories. Your computer will suddenly look a lot more like Linux.
     
  13. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #13
    Almost all of the applications are not "installed." Each program and its binary blob is maintained in its package (.app). You are free to move the file around anywhere you want, and it will still work. If the program needs a library file, they are always in the same location, such as /usr/lib or /Library/. It is not like windows, where the application makes a mess throwing files everywhere and telling a "registry" all about itself.

    And as seen above, there should therefore be no need to have any "file maintenance" except knowing where you keep your .app files (hopefully in /Applications/). A time where you might want to do maintenance is with a program that uses an installation script- but that would then be dependent on the app. Although there might be some apps that leave settings in your ~/Library folder, especially ~/Library/Application Support.

    You can "optimize" your system by disabling services controlled by launchd. You can use a program like Lingon to disable them. (Risky, know what your doing by researching the importance of each service shown). You can also check your /Library/StartupItems directory, where (depending on your OS X version) is used instead of launchd for running services.

    Equivalent of a PC virus on a Mac is, well, a virus as well. They work the same as in windows, attempting to find exploitations in the code, like buffer overflows. Or by tricking a user to run a program they would think is "safe" but actually ruins their system.

    Might want to check out some books on unix and unix-like operating systems.
     
  14. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #14
    I figured that; I didn't know for sure, thanks. It will just do a standard "this can be rewritten" to the part of the drive in question, then?
     
  15. rocknpop thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    ... Stuff like this is exactly what I am looking for and I don't want to irritate anyone here with my ignorance. :confused: :apple:

    Thanks guys.... Any rec's on Unix books?
     
  16. techfreak85 macrumors 68040

    techfreak85

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    #16
    yes sir.
     
  17. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #17
    Coming from 15 years PC and very knowledgeable on it, and sometimes stumped because I tried to do things on a Mac like you do on a PC, I found this book very useful (from the 'missing manual' series) "switching to the Mac".

    The book might be be a little simplistic for what you want (read selections on Amazon and see what you think, and there are others in that series not written from a PC perspective), but I have found, 4 months in, there isn't the need to know as much about Mac. One of the reasons I was so knowledgeable on PC is because of all the digging around, repairing and fixing I had to do on my and friends and relatives PCs.

    So far, that just has not been necessary on Mac, I use the Mac to do stuff, rather than spend a lot of time monkeying with it in order to do stuff after that. The PC almost became an end it itself !

    The Mac 'philosophy' as I see it, is that the Mac gets out of the way to let you do what you wanted to do, which probably wasnt defrags, removing virus, installing virus checkers, fixing the problems that came because of that, wonderng why you got this BSOD, etc?. Of course, its not perfect, but thats the general idea.
     
  18. Meyvn macrumors 6502

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    #18
    Couple other things that are good to know:

    There is ONE thing you should do semi-regularly (or whenever a problem crops up) is what's called repairing permissions. It's a UNIX thing. You can do this through Disk Utility, which starts out in the Applications/Utilities folder. Though you can move apps and files around wherever you want whenever you want generally without any problems, occasionally the computer misses something here or there, and this results in permissions being a little wonky. It rarely causes problems, but it only takes about a minute to repair them. Though it's not the same in the way it works, I sometimes think of it as "defragging lite." Defragging is something else you don't really have to do on a Mac. A couple programs out there exist that WILL defrag a Mac partition, but as far as I've heard it really doesn't do much.

    Contrary to popular belief, there is (as far as I know) one existing Mac OS virus. It's called "MacCinema." There's also one other name for it that escapes me, but they're both the same program. But it's so uncommon, and it's so unbelievably obvious when you download it that it is a virus, I wouldn't really worry about it. You actually have to not only download it willingly, but also intentionally install it (and you must enter your password to do so) for it to hurt you. So unless you go around installing programs you don't recognize on a regular basis from shady websites you're fine.
     
  19. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    #19
  20. jdechko macrumors 68040

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    #20
    Repairing permissions isn't a cure-all for the Mac, and it's not been thrown about as a suggestion in the recent past. Basically, all of the operating system files have a list of permissions when they get installed. Some updates or programs can screw file ownership up, which is why you might need to do it sometimes. Like I suggested in your post, a random error is unlikely to be fixed by repairing permissions, but a permissions related problem stands a better chance.

    Seriously, everyone should start reading here. Then read every link on that page. It will take a while, but you will understand.
    EDIT: Actually, this is probably the best article on permissions.

    To the OP -

    For "system maintenance" you don't need to do much. Just leave the computer running and it will take care of the cron jobs that clean up a bunch of files. Or you can use a program like Onyx to manually start the cron jobs. Defragmenting is handled in the background, but only for smaller files that need it. It's a feature of the HFS+ file system.

    OS X is actually based of of the Mach kernel, and is similar in many ways to BSD. Read up on BSD and unix shell commands and you've got a great read on how the underpinnings of OS X work (in a really short, but not entirely accurate description, OS X is a GUI for BSD).

    We also have a great blogging community for the Mac. John Gruber's Daring Fireball is a great source not only for Mac News, but he sometimes dives into more technical stuff. TidBITS has a lot of deep technical stuff as well. I also like MacOSXHints. They don't really get into articles and such, but they have a lot of tweaks, tips and hints that use the terminal, which is a great way to get your hands dirty.
     
  21. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000

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    #21
    In which case, its not a virus.
     
  22. Dan73 macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Because virus have never been disguised as legit apps?
     
  23. boast macrumors 65816

    boast

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    #23
    no. because they're called trojan horses" and not viruses. :p
     

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