Why OSX is better, reason 4: Can you say multi-tasking?

by Hadley Stern Dec 26, 2002

multiplyCan you say multi-tasking? If only I could multi-task like this is real-life! It would be like that Simpson’s episode where Homer clones himself and suddenly he is a loving father, an attentive husband, and great handyman. I realized the significance of OS X’s uncanny ability to multi-task one day when I was scanning a 20+mb slide, burning a cd, downloading an update from apple in the software update panel, exporting a large QuickTime file from iMovie, surfing the web, and printing a large document. By the way this is true! Everything was happening smoothly, no screen glitches, and no crashes. So much for the days of doing two things at once in OS 9 and crossing your fingers!


  • It’s hard to appreciate true multitasking unless you’ve exprienced it.  But it’s almost impossible to go back once you have (to either Windows 98 or OS 9).  New users to a true multitasking enviornment I find have trouble taking advantage of it. They are sooooooo trained into waiting for the foreground task to finish what it’s doing.  In OS 9 if you have to wait a couple seconds for something, that’s it you tend to wait those 2 seconds. In OS X, you take a glance at your InBox, read a little more of that PDF doc, glance at a web page.  Those quick task switching episodes add up.  And you just find you get much more done.  Of course the wins REALLY ad up when you do some heavy lifting and feel the freedom to do something else at the same time rather than head for the water cooler.

    David Lawrence had this to say on Dec 27, 2002 Posts: 1
  • It’s correctly called Preemptive Multitasking.  The “Preemptive” is important.  All versions of Windows have had multitasking, in that they allow multiple programs to be executing at once.  The thing that’s different with OS X is that the OS doesn’t have to wait until a program relinquishes control.  Instead it switches many times a second between all programs, thus making them all appear to be actually running simultaneously.  So, it’s not just “multitasking” that’s important here.  It’s “Preemptive Multitasking”.

    raj had this to say on Dec 27, 2002 Posts: 1
  • I don’t really multitask that much, but when I do, it’s great.  I love being able to rip a CD while still doing other things.  When I tried this on a PC, the computer was SO SLOW!

    va1entino had this to say on Aug 13, 2003 Posts: 12
  • This is a great function. With multi tasking you can do a lot more in less time.
    Best regards,
    Oferte de cazare ieftine

    mike99 had this to say on Aug 18, 2011 Posts: 1
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