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Macintosh Application Environment

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UNIX workstations users traditionally enjoy access to a variety of software tools that are well suited to perform technical, scientific or computationally-intensive tasks. In addition to these primary functions, UNIX workstation users often need to perform tasks, such as desktop publishing, spreadsheets, task scheduling, and electronic mail, as well as interact with administrative desktop systems. Currently, there is a very limited selection of these typically inexpensive, industry standard business productivity applications for UNIX users.

Macintosh Application Environment is a software application that provides a virtual Macintosh environment in an X window to users of Hewlett-Packard's workstations running HP-UX 9.0.x or HP-UX 10.10 or later Sun Microsystems SPARCstations running Solaris 2.4 or later. Through 68LC040 emulation and native extensions, MAE lets users run off-the-shelf Mac OS-compatible, 680x0-based business productivity applications. MAE provides significant interoperability with other Mac OS-based systems in the enterprise, while giving users the ability to easily manipulate UNIX files and execute UNIX applications from within a Macintosh environment. Users can also copy and paste text and graphics between UNIX and Mac OS-compatible applications.


The Macintosh Application Environment (MAE) from Apple Computer, Inc. brings the functionality and ease-of-use of the Macintosh environment to Sun SPARCstations running the SunSoft Solaris 2.3 operating system and Hewlett-Packard 9000 Series 700 workstations running HP-UX 9.01.

MAE is Apple's first cross-platform software product for open systems, and the first to bring the Macintosh environment to non-Apple computers.

MAE provides a Macintosh run-time layer on top of the UNIX operating system allowing UNIX users to take advantage of the wide variety of off-the-shelf 680x0-based Macintosh productivity applications available, including popular spreadsheet, desktop publishing, word-processing, graphics, and business applications. These programs run unmodified under MAE, taking advantage of UNIX workstation performance.

MAE includes the System 7.1 Finder, bringing to the UNIX file system the same file-handling and navigation functionality that Macintosh users have, the Macintosh graphical user interface and Desktop Manager, and the ability to cut and paste data between applications. MAE provides many of the new features of the Macintosh Operating System, such as the ability to use aliases, and "publish-and-subscribe" functionality. All of these features are provided within a standard X Window System(TM) client window.

MAE is the only product in the marketplace developed and supported by Apple Computer that helps UNIX workstations to be Macintosh-application capable.

It offers UNIX workstation users the most up-to-date Macintosh experience because technology owned and developed by Apple, such as the Finder, is built into the product.

MAE takes advantage of NFS (Network File System) from Sun Microsystems, which allows transparent file sharing and file services across the network. As a result, remote as well as local Macintosh and UNIX files and applications can be displayed and manipulated by the Finder.

MAE 3.0

This innovative software product brings the functionality and ease-of-use of the Mac OS operating system to SPARCstations from Sun Microsystems, Inc., and workstations from Hewlett-Packard Co., that run popular versions of the UNIX operating system. Like its predecessor, MAE 3.0 enables users of these UNIX workstations to run off-the-shelf Macintosh applications but adds substantial performance improvements, floating licenses, System 7.5.3 support, better integration with UNIX, and a wider range of security options.


  • Enhanced emulator performance, up to 20 percent faster on average over MAE 2.0 because of numerous emulator improvements
  • Optimized remote X graphics performance results in a network bandwidth reduction of better than 10x when displaying Macintosh Application Environment in a remote X window


  • System 7.5.3 based, including ease-of-use features such as AppleScript, Apple Guide, Drag-and-Drop and PC Exchange
  • Multiple Independent Volumes (MIVs), which let users represent any UNIX directory or filesystem as a hard disk volume on the Macintosh desktop, including local, AFS, NFS, and auto mounted filesystems. This makes application installation, file navigation and Find File easier by removing the need to work in the UNIX root directory in favor of user-specified directories

More Flexible

  • Floating License Management uses the popular FLEXlm (tm) floating license manager to let system administrators more flexibly manage and monitor MAE licenses
  • File Sharing Security improvements give system administrators a wider range of file sharing options, from completely disabling MAE file sharing to permitting users to freely share their volumes
  • NFS/Filesystem Improvements let MAE users deal more effectively with UNIX auto mounted directories and Symbolic Links (symlinks) by representing them as MIVs.

Additional improvements

  • Improved control over AppleSingle/AppleDouble Format handling for better UNIX file integration
  • Double pixel option enables users to view the Macintosh desktop more easily
  • MS-DOS Floppy/CD compatibility lets users interchange floppies with DOS and Windows users
  • PhotoCD and ISO9660 CD compatibility.


  • It's a virtual Macintosh
    • Supplies the Macintosh graphical user interface and Finder in an X Window
    • Allows you to cut and paste data between Macintosh applications
    • Lets you resize the Macintosh X Window to any size - without restarting MAE
    • Provides a Macintosh System 7.5.3 environment, including AppleScript, Drag and Drop, Apple Guide, and OpenDoc.
  • It runs Macintosh applications
    • Lets you run off-the-shelf Macintosh software applications
    • Supports sound and QuickTime
    • Includes trial versions of ClarisWorks, FileMaker Pro, ClarisImpact, and ClarisDraw
    • Includes SimpleText, HyperCard Player, MoviePlayer, OpenDoc, Fetch, Disinfectant, Stuffit Expander, DropStuff, and Adobe Acrobat Reader
    • Enhanced emulation increases performance by an average of 20 percent
    • Faster remote X Window display decreases network bandwidth 10X
  • Integrates smoothly with UNIX
    • Provides an easy-to-use Macintosh interface to navigate local and NFS-mounted UNIX files
    • Allows access to UNIX resources and services from within the MAE X window
    • Lets you copy and paste text and graphics between between the UNIX and Macintosh environments
    • Prints UNIX and Macintosh files on printers that support PostScript using the Apple Chooser and the Print command
    • Multiple Independent Volumes feature lets you represent UNIX file systems as Macintosh volumes on the desktop
    • Offers better support for UNIX symbolic links
  • It makes networking easy
    • Makes MAE-to-Macintosh networking easy with built-in support for AppleTalk
    • Lets you share documents, electronic mail, and printers with Macintosh users and other MAE users
    • MacTCP support allows access to the Internet and TCP/IP-based applications
    • Takes advantage of Network File System (NFS), allowing file sharing and file services across the network
  • It's more flexible than ever
    • Supports floating licenses with FLEXlm, to make managing multiple licenses easier
    • Additional security options for Macintosh file sharing


  • Macintosh graphical user interface
    • Provides System 7.5.3 Macintosh graphical user interface
    • Graphically depicts files as icons, including non-Macintosh documents and applications
    • Lets you point and click to copy, move or open files, or launch applications
  • Macintosh Finder
    • Organizes files and applications in an easy-to-use folder hierarchy
    • Provides a consistent interface for all Macintosh applications
  • Macintosh toolbox
    • Includes QuickDraw to manage all graphics operations required by Macintosh applications
    • Allow you to share data that is going to be updated dynamically using publish-and-subscribe capabilities
    • Includes the Toolbox Event Manager to translate the X Window System user keyboard and mouse input
    • Includes routines that enable QuickDraw to interoperate with the X Window System
  • Macintosh system services
    • Allows you to manipulate UNIX files using Macintosh operations (moving, copying, deleting, and so on)
    • Supports printing on system printers such as PostScript printers on UNIX networks
    • Takes advantage of NFS to allow file sharing and file services across the network
    • Simplifies MAE-to-Macintosh networking with built-in AppleTalk support
    • Supports MacTCP for access to the Internet and TCP/IP-based applications
    • Includes the Cursor Manager, which keeps the Macintosh cursor within the MAE window so you can focus on Macintosh tasks
  • Mixed-mode manager
    • Enables faster performance by directly accessing the native RISC processor for certain routines, using the inherent power and speed of the host operating system
  • Macintosh 68040LC emulator
    • Provides high-speed emulation of 68040 code
    • Delivers optimum compatibility with the Macintosh architecture
  • Industry-standard compliance
    • Complies with X Window System version 11, release 5
    • Operates under Motif, HP VUE, OPEN LOOK, and CDE
  • Hardware and software requirements
    • Sun SPARC workstation running Solaris 2.4 or later OR
    • HP 9000 series 700 workstation running HP-UX 9.0.x or HP-UX 10.10 or later
    • X Window System version 11, release 5
    • Memory: 32MB minimum; 48MB recommended
    • Hard disk space: 39MB minimum; 75MB recommended
    • MAE includes STREAMS/UX to enable AppleTalk connectivity on HP Series 700 workstations running HP-UX 9.0.x
    • Local or network access to a CD-ROM drive for installation


See Also