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Old 06-19-2005, 05:35 AM
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Apple using "PC" processors?

I heard recently that Mac was going to start building with "PC" processors-can't remember which-like Pentium or whatever. I was surprised no one else posted about this for some reason. It seems like a brilliant business decision on the part of Apple/Mac. They can offer a 2-for-1 system that can run Windows etc. while still able to run whatever Apple runs. I've also heard there is substantial overlap between Microsoft's new deal, Longhorn (?), and Mac's new OS, and Apple anticipates a premature and messed up launch for Longhorn followed by a solid lauch of the new Mac OS, so you can have your MS-OS and the Mac OS in the same machine made by Mac. My Mac friends like to say that Microsoft figured out how to make the whole world its beta-testers. I'm not diehard on either-whatever works for me for the money really. Any thoughts? Also, what is it about this 4 MhZ processor speed "brick wal" that can't be broken, leading to diffused processing (like GPU's and overlapping processors for different functions to make up for more speed instead of just one faster CPU?)

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Old 06-19-2005, 09:39 AM
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When Jobs left Apple he started his own computer company called "Next". It started out with a similar business model as Apple (hardware and software) but used BSD (I think) Unix with a proprietary shell. The system was midway between a typical PC and a minicomputer (for the time). It did okay with univeristy research folks but failed commercially. So they stopped hardware development and concentrated on the OS. I have never used the OS, but it was reported at the time to be a very clean, very powerful system. They began developing a variant to run on microprocessors in addition to Motorola.

Fast Forward. Jobs goes back to Apple.

Apple decdies that the Mac OS will never successfully migrate to a mutiprocessing, networked environment in its native code. Jobs shuts-down Next and brings most of those folks into Apple with instructions to write a Mac look-alike shell from all the Next code. It blows the doors off of the native Mac team's best efforts so the native Mac development team gets shut down and Mac System X gets released, essentially a Mac-like shell placed on Unix BSD.

Recall that the Next software was ported to other computer systems, including Intel. So Jobs never shuts that group with a group down and instead, keeps them secretely chugging along working on porting the Mac System X (BSD Unix) to Intel hardware (and probably other computer systems, too. Wanna bet?).

First Motorola (couldn't get the processor speed fast enough, soon enough in large enough numbers) and later, IBM (couldn't get the heat and power requirements to where Apple wanted to be with small laptops and smaller thinner devices planned for) have trouble meeting Apple's expectaions of microprocessor design. Apple gets frustrated, being thwarted in their plans by suppliers outside of their ability to direct so they search for an innovative solution.

And here we are.
'Government is like a baby:
An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and
no sense of responsibility at the other'
- Ronald Reagan
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Old 06-19-2005, 03:11 PM
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The Intel processors will not be the x86 platform that Windows runs on. Intel will simply be manufacturing a new line for Apple.
Adam Lumsden
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Old 06-21-2005, 02:09 AM
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I like the article. I didn't like this:

In the short run, however, the chip changeover should make little difference to average consumers. For all but the techiest techies, changing the processor in these machines will be a nonevent, sort of like changing the engine in next year's Lexus cars. As long as the new engine is at least as fast and smooth as its predecessor, few drivers would notice or care.

I'm not even a "techie", just a fan. But I do like to know how things work and appreciate one over the other based often times on the engineering/design of it even if it makes no difference to performance. This, at least for me, may make me actually join all of my friends and become a Mac user. Also, PC games developed for MS can now be more fully enjoyed on a Mac machine. For my money that's huge. The article claims that it is unlikely that Apple users will be able to install XP or whatever, but that's crap and anyone who uses Mac's has to know it. There's always a way and there's usually a mac user who finds it...

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