Important: This document may not represent best practices for current development. Links to downloads and other resources may no longer be valid.
Supplemental Reference Documents
For more information about the technologies mentioned in this developer note, you may wish to consult some of the following references.
For information about older models of Macintosh computers, refer to the developer notes archive at
Apple Technical Notes
Apple Technical Notes answer many specific questions about the operation of Macintosh computers and the Mac OS. The notes are available on the Technical Note website at
Developers of 3D graphics for games should know about OpenGL for Macintosh¬®, a new version of SGI’s application programming interface (API) and software library for 3D graphics.
Developer support and documentation is available at
PowerPC G4 Microprocessor
Information about the PowerPC G4 microprocessor is available on the World Wide Web at
Velocity Engine is Apple’s name for the AltiVec vector processor in the PowerPC G4 microprocessor. Apple provides support for developers who are starting to use the Velocity Engine in their applications. Documentation, development tools, and sample code are available on the World Wide Web, at
AltiVec Technology Programming Environments Manual (AltiVec PEM) is a reference guide for programmers. It contains a description for each instruction and information to help in understanding how the instruction works. Obtain a copy of the AltiVec PEM from the following Freescale site on the World Wide Web by logging in and searching for ALTIVECPEM/D.
Mac OS X
Mac OS X is installed by default on the 15-inch PowerBook G4. For access to Apple’s developer documentation for Mac OS X, see the Apple Developer Connection (ADC) website at
O'Reilly & Associates publishes a series of books about Mac OS X development. The books in this series have been technically reviewed by Apple engineers and are recommended by the Apple Developer Connection.
The IOKit is part of Darwin, the operating system foundation for Mac OS X. The documentation for IOKit is available on Apple’s Darwin website at
The software architecture implemented on current Macintosh computers follows the standard defined by the Open Firmware IEEE 1274-1994 specification. Three Technical Notes provide an introduction to Open Firmware on the Macintosh platform. They are:
TN1061: Open Firmware, Part I, available at
TN1062: Open Firmware, Part II, available at
TN1044: Open Firmware, Part III, available at
Other Technical Notes provide additional information about Open Firmware on the Macintosh.
TN2000: PCI Expansion ROMs and You, at
TN2001: Running Files from a Hard Drive in Open Firmware, at
TN2004: Debugging Open Firmware Using Telnet, available at
RAM Expansion Modules
The mechanical characteristics of the DDR2 RAM SO-DIMM are given in JEDEC specification Standard 21-C. The DDR2 SO-DIMM specification can be found by using the search string PRN04-NM5 on the Electronics Industry Association’s website at
The electrical characteristics of the DDR2 RAM SO-DIMM can be found by using the search string JESD79-2A/B on the Electronics Industry Association’s website at
ATA (AT Attachment), also referred to as integrated drive electronics (IDE), is a standard interface used with storage devices such as hard disk drives. For more information on ATA, refer to the following Apple website at
Information about the ATA standards is available at the Technical Committee T13 AT Attachment website, at
For more information about USB on Macintosh computers, refer to Apple Computer’s Accessing Hardware from Applications at
For full specifications of the Universal Serial Bus, you should refer to the USB Implementers Forum on the World Wide Web, at
For additional information about the FireWire IEEE 1394a and 1394b interfaces and the Apple API for FireWire software, refer to the resources available on the Apple FireWire website at
The IEEE 1394 standards are available from the IEEE. Ordering information can be found on the World Wide Web at
You may also find useful information at the 1394 Trade Association’s website:
Digital Visual Interface
For information about transition minimized differential signaling (TMDS) used with digital video monitors, see the specification, Digital Visual Interface DVI Revision 1.0, available on the website of the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG) at
More information about Wi-Fi and wireless networks using the IEEE 802.11 standard is available on the website of the WiFi Alliance, at
For more information regarding Bluetooth technology, refer to the following locations on the World Wide Web.
Bluetooth developer tools on the Apple web site at:
© 2003, 2005 Apple Computer, Inc. All Rights Reserved. (Last updated: 2005-10-27)