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#16841 06/06/05 04:49 AM
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The buzz (once again) is that Apple will be switching to Intel processors, and that it will be announced at WWDC on Monday.

Are you buying it?

OT - Intel inside Apple?
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Votes accepted starting: 01/01/70 12:00 AM
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#16842 06/06/05 05:44 AM
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http://news.com.com/Apple+to+ditch+IBM%2C+switch+to+Intel+chips/2100-1006_3-5731398.html?tag=nefd.lede

Bah....at this point just port macosx for usage on a pc :p

#16843 06/06/05 07:21 AM
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Splitting the user base three ways between x86, PowerPC and OS 8 & 9 PowerPC users sounds like suicide.

Seems like such a bad idea that it must be true, nobody would make that up.

#16844 06/06/05 07:25 AM
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My guess is they'll use Intel processors but the machines won't be PC compatible (yes it's possible). That'll keep Microsoft from getting grumpy.

#16845 06/06/05 09:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by sweetpea:
Splitting the user base three ways between x86, PowerPC and OS 8 & 9 PowerPC users sounds like suicide.
I agree. Announcing a switch to Intel chips doesn't make sense at all. What that will do is leave current users in the dark and make their machines and software obsolete. I don't want to buy another computer and another version of OS X and new software. They should announce something like this when they're losing major money. Then the decision would be justified.
:annoyed:

#16846 06/06/05 09:26 AM
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I don't think they'll do it, unless they're planning to use high-end ones in the long-rumored "X-Station". Even so, I think it's extremely unlikely given that they're still trying to drag about half their user base over to OS X, and as sweetpea said, they don't need to split their already small user base further.

Also, I really don't think Steve Jobs' ego would permit it. He's bashed Intel too many times to do an about-face. (On the other hand, IBM embarassed him by not delivering 3 GHz...)


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#16847 06/06/05 01:13 PM
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He's done an about-face a lot of times before. VErtical optical drives, Flash-based iPod, etc.

I just hope he does an about-face on 802.11a. It really is a lot better than 802.11g in terms of responsiveness and efficiency.

#16848 06/06/05 01:17 PM
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Those were pretty minor about-faces though, compared to what this would involve.

I think he'd be more likely to introduce a two-button mouse, first. wink


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#16849 06/06/05 03:52 PM
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Idea! A new console made from Apple with IBM, a real x360's counter attack laugh laugh laugh laugh

#16850 06/06/05 05:21 PM
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Well they're almost announcing it as "fact" on the morning financial report on CNBC, and had a bit of discussion on it. Of course, their sole sources are the articles in the NY Times and WSJ, which probably both got their info from the same place.

Doesn't anybody do their own research anymore?

I'm guessing if there is any connection, it will be that Intel will begin manufacturing PowerPC chips for Apple. A long shot, but that's my guess.


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#16851 06/06/05 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I'm guessing if there is any connection, it will be that Intel will begin manufacturing PowerPC chips for Apple. A long shot, but that's my guess.
Yeah, that's really the only scenario that makes sense.

A switch to x86 is pretty crazy - Apple doesn't have much to gain from that. The performance gap between G5 and x86 isn't huge, and you'd still have to deal with emulating the PowerPC on the x86 for compatibility's sake for a number of years. And of course x86 and PowerPC use a totally different endian format, so Mac apps would suddenly have to deal with byte-swapping data on a widespread basis. That's never any fun.

Since there isn't any benefit in moving to x86 for Apple, the question that is left - how perverted did this rumor get from its original truth?

#16852 06/06/05 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Also, I really don't think Steve Jobs' ego would permit it. He's bashed Intel too many times to do an about-face. (On the other hand, IBM embarassed him by not delivering 3 GHz...)
My main guess for WWDC is dual-core 3+ GHz G5s and a Mac mini refresh. Oh, and intel chips in new iPods. ;-)

#16853 06/06/05 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
A switch to x86 is pretty crazy - Apple doesn't have much to gain from that. The performance gap between G5 and x86 isn't huge
The big point the analysts were making were that somehow switching to Intel chips would dramatically reduce the cost of making Macs so they could build affordable computers.

Apparently, they missed the whole Mac Mini thing. And the numbers they were kicking around were ridiculous - a 20% reduction in the cost of the computer. So there is some serious perversion going on somewhere. eek


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#16854 06/06/05 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
My main guess for WWDC is dual-core 3+ GHz G5s and a Mac mini refresh. Oh, and intel chips in new iPods. ;-)
I believe this news. Or, I want to believe it. :bemused:

#16855 06/06/05 09:24 PM
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Look at the upside though - the x86 dynarec cores in MAME would work smile

#16856 06/06/05 09:55 PM
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It just doesn't make any sense does it?

The Mac on Intel rumor has been around forever, but this time the rumor seems to have gained some real press. I can't wait to find out what truth is...

If this is completely untrue, I wonder what kind of media response there will be...

"Apple is doomed, as they chose not to switch over to Intel yet again!"

I can already see my stock dropping... :rolleyes:

#16857 06/06/05 10:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by patmcfar8:
It just doesn't make any sense does it?
Well, moving to x86 makes no sense, Moving to another CPU platform only makes a little more than no sense. wink Having said that, a relatively anonymous user at the MacWorld forums posted something interesting. It's the only scenario I can see which is plausible. The post is by RobX and the URL is here.

Here's the text of the article:
Quote:
Apple will use a new processor from Intel that is based on Pentium but is not x86 compatible. The current Pentium processors translates x86 code to its native internal instruction set on the fly. This process is inefficient and a lot of transistors on the chip is used for this. The new processor is called Pentium X and it only runs code in its native instruction set called PX. Code optimized for PX can be considerable faster than x86 code. Pentium X is cheaper to manufacture but still uses the same production facilities as Pentium 4.

Translation from x86 and PowerPC code to PX code can be done in software, similar to Transmeta processors but translation will be done offline, before the application runs. Most existing applications for Max OS x will be able to run without modification. However, Mac OS X applications will not be compiled to PX code, instead they will be compiled to a new virtual machine (VM) from Apple. Apple VM code can run on both PowerPC and Pentium X.

Apple VM is similar to Java and .NET but is faster since application code can take advantage of processor specific features. Both Java and .NET have fixed instruction sets and uses specific memory management, garbage collection, threads, exception handling, etc. Apple VM, like Amiga/Tao VP, does't have these limitations and applications run at native speed. Apple VM is based on an open source project called LLVM.

Future Pentium X processors might have a different instruction set and only the Apple VM (and OS) needs to be adapted for applications to run on the new processor. Developers could also add processor specific code to take advantage of new features. The first Pentium X processor uses a Pentium 4 core and its instructions set is called PX.4. A Pentium M based processor will also be available.
So, a move to Intel without x86 - that would be feasible. The LLVM project actually exists as well: http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/

This scenario definitely bears consideration.

#16858 06/06/05 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
So, a move to Intel without x86 - that would be feasible. The LLVM project actually exists as well: http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/

This scenario definitely bears consideration.
Well, it's possible to have a core running both x86 and PowerPC instruction sets, like the IBM PowerPC 615 would have:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/1998/10/01/microsoft_killed_the_powerpc/

#16859 06/06/05 10:44 PM
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It does make sense - Microsoft's original plan with Longhorn was to move as much as possible into .NET, which is also a processor-indepedant VM. That got largely abandoned due to the not-so-mythical man-month, but it's still a solid concept.

In particular, AMD64/x86-64 pretty much *is* exposure of the creamy RISC middle of recent x86 CPUs, so this wouldn't exactly be a major step for Intel.

#16860 06/06/05 11:37 PM
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The rumour is true. Apple is moving to Intel chips.

#16861 06/06/05 11:52 PM
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Apple Press Release:

Quote:
Apple to Use Intel Microprocessors Beginning in 2006

6 June 2005, 1:30pm ET, PR Newswire

WWDC 2005, SAN FRANCISCO, June 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- At its Worldwide Developer Conference today, Apple(R) announced plans to deliver models of its Macintosh(R) computers using Intel(R) microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007. Apple previewed a version of its critically acclaimed operating system, Mac OS(R) X Tiger, running on an Intel- based Mac(R) to the over 3,800 developers attending CEO Steve Jobs' keynote address. Apple also announced the availability of a Developer Transition Kit, consisting of an Intel-based Mac development system along with preview versions of Apple's software, which will allow developers to prepare versions of their applications which will run on both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs.

"Our goal is to provide our customers with the best personal computers in the world, and looking ahead Intel has the strongest processor roadmap by far," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "It's been ten years since our transition to the PowerPC, and we think Intel's technology will help us create the best personal computers for the next ten years."

"We are thrilled to have the world's most innovative personal computer company as a customer," said Paul Otellini, president and CEO of Intel. "Apple helped found the PC industry and throughout the years has been known for fresh ideas and new approaches. We look forward to providing advanced chip technologies, and to collaborating on new initiatives, to help Apple continue to deliver innovative products for years to come."

"We plan to create future versions of Microsoft Office for the Mac that support both PowerPC and Intel processors," said Roz Ho, general manager of Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit. "We have a strong relationship with Apple and will work closely with them to continue our long tradition of making great applications for a great platform."

"We think this is a really smart move on Apple's part and plan to create future versions of our Creative Suite for Macintosh that support both PowerPC and Intel processors," said Bruce Chizen, CEO of Adobe.

The Developer Transition Kit is available starting today for $999 to all Apple Developer Connection Select and Premier members. Further information for Apple Developer Connection members is available at developer.apple.com. Intel plans to provide industry leading development tools support for Apple later this year, including the Intel C/C++ Compiler for Apple, Intel Fortran Compiler for Apple, Intel Math Kernel Libraries for Apple and Intel Integrated Performance Primitives for Apple.

Intel ( www.intel.com ), the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award- winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music players and iTunes online music store.

NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

SOURCE Apple Computer, Inc.
-0- 06/06/2005
/NOTE TO EDITORS: For additional information visit Apple's PR website
(
www.apple.com/pr/

), or call Apple's Media Helpline at (408) 974-2042./
/CONTACT: Natalie Kerris, +1-408-974-6877, or
nat@apple.com

, or Steve
Dowling, +1-408-974-1896, or
dowling@apple.com

, both of Apple Computer, Inc.;
or Tom Beermann of Intel, +1-408-765-6855, or
tom.beermann@intel.com

/
/Web site:
http://www.intel.com

/
/Web site:
http://www.apple.com

/
(AAPL)

CO: Apple Computer, Inc.
ST: California
IN: STW CSE HRD CPR
SU: TDS

HD
-- SFM142 --
4923 06/06/2005 13:30 EDT
http://www.prnewswire.com

#16862 06/07/05 12:10 AM
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Hell has just frozen over...

#16863 06/07/05 12:12 AM
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Oh my. BTW does anyone know what commercial from 1993 they showed at the keynote?

#16864 06/07/05 12:16 AM
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Has anyone been watching the Keynote? Is it true, Elvis is sitting in the front row?? :p

#16865 06/07/05 12:20 AM
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On a more serious note, what does this mean for the PowerBook? I have been using a G3 since 2001, and have been waiting for the G5, because I wanted to skip the G4, and also, I can't financially manage purchasing a machine as often as I would like to. Is the PowerBook going to see 2 Ghz. or even 2+ Ghz. before the change next year?

#16866 06/07/05 12:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
Hell has just frozen over...
I think my job future has just dried up as well. wink

#16867 06/07/05 12:38 AM
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eek
eek
eek
mad


shocked

#16868 06/07/05 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
I think my job future has just dried up as well. wink
Do you really think so? DirectX will still need conversion...

Either way, before you retire, maybe you can really do that OS X version of the RollerCoaster Tycoon games smile

#16869 06/07/05 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
Do you really think so? DirectX will still need conversion...
The odds of seeing a virtual x86 "box" that can run win32 apps on the Mac is now really high. When that happens, the need for Mac ports of software (particularly games) will drop dramatically. It's only a matter of time.

#16870 06/07/05 01:05 AM
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WINE's already ported to Darwin/OSX, it's just missing CPU emulation to run games natively (for those unfamiliar, you can use WINE also as basically a portability toolkit like GTK, except it's API is Win32).

#16871 06/07/05 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
The odds of seeing a virtual x86 "box" that can run win32 apps on the Mac is now really high. When that happens, the need for Mac ports of software (particularly games) will drop dramatically. It's only a matter of time.
Um, wat about the other way around? The reasons to go out and buy a Mac just dropped to zero.

I think we're totally ****ed.

#16872 06/07/05 01:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
The odds of seeing a virtual x86 "box" that can run win32 apps on the Mac is now really high. When that happens, the need for Mac ports of software (particularly games) will drop dramatically. It's only a matter of time.
Apps yes, but stuff needing direct hardware access (3D card et al)?

#16873 06/07/05 01:12 AM
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The only thing I want to come out of this is the ability to build my own Mac just like people do on the PC side.

#16874 06/07/05 01:24 AM
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Richard: WINE runs Direct3D games and emulators right now on Linux, via OpenGL. (And it can run Windows browser plugins in Linux Firefox as well - that's how I run QuickTime and Windows Media stuff).

#16875 06/07/05 02:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Computolio:
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
The odds of seeing a virtual x86 "box" that can run win32 apps on the Mac is now really high. When that happens, the need for Mac ports of software (particularly games) will drop dramatically. It's only a matter of time.
Um, wat about the other way around? The reasons to go out and buy a Mac just dropped to zero.

I think we're totally ****ed.
I doubt it. I really really doubt Apple would be so silly to go beyond the processor into the PC camp... That would kill their hardware business in a minute, reducing them to just another gimmicky PC supplier...

At least, I hope they won't... otherwise it will probably be the end of my job as the head of a tech department at an AASP...

Arnoud

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Apparently it's confirmed that the Intel Macs will not be PC compatible, just like I guessed earlier in the thread. Open Firmware instead of the usual BIOS, no wonky 640k hole in the memory map, etc, etc :-)

#16877 06/07/05 02:19 AM
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No Open Firmware....

See the developer website for the new Developer Tools and this was pulled from the PDF that is included (universal_binary.pdf):

Quote:
Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors do not use Open Firmware. Although many parts of the IO registry are present and work as expected, information that is provided by Open Firmware on a Macintosh using a PowerPC microprocessor (such as a complete device tree) is not available in the IO registry on a Macintosh using an Intel microprocessor. You can obtain some of the information from IODeviceTree by using the sysctlbyname or sysctl commands

#16878 06/07/05 02:23 AM
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So who's the first person that's going to watch the latest MAME build crash and burn when trying to build for Intel on Xcode 2.1?

Anyone? Fine, I'll do it...

#16879 06/07/05 02:24 AM
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Ick. Not happy about this at all.

First off, this means support for all Macs currently running OS X is going right out the window. OS 9 users are already there, and we'll be joining them. Not right away of course, but it will happen. When Mac software goes Intel, we PowerPC owners are all screwed. Want to buy OS 12? Too bad. Final Cut Pro? Tough luck. Photoshop? Ain't gonna happen. One of the things I liked about the Mac platform was how long I was able to hang on to a Mac and still be able to keep it updated. We have Macs at work we can still run current apps on that are five years old. They aren't zippy, but they work. When you're on a budget that's crucial.

Apple's sales are going to plummet until the company makes the transitition. Who in their right mind would buy a Mac now, knowing that it will be completely abandoned within a couple of years? Most users can't afford to replace their computers that often. Especially schools. I work at a college and up until this morning we were developing a proposal to buy 50 new G5s for our labs. How am I supposed to justify that now, knowing we'll never get four or five years out of them, like we did with our G4s? The obvious solution - learn Windows and buy PCs. Not something I want to do at all, but at this point I can't honestly recommend to anyone to buy Apple hardware. It's just not a good investment right now. The only other option is to wait a year or more for the Aptel hardware. Also not something I want to do. I guess it comes down to which I want to do less. Either way, Apple loses sales.

The big question - will Apple be able to make hardware and software compelling enough to recover all of the sales they're going to lose?

To me, it's got nothing to do with the PowerPC being "better" than Intel. As long as OS X and the apps behave the same way, they could stick a 6502 in the machine, and a Mac is a Mac. The big problem is that by switching hardware platforms, they're a lame duck company, and we all own lame duck Macs.

And don't think for a second that this means we can run future Apple software on stock PCs. It'll still be proprietary hardware. Apple may have gone Intel, but they'll never allow cloning again. Although after this morning, I'm giving up trying to predict this company.

Thanks for nothing Apple. I hope it pays off for you.


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#16880 06/07/05 02:34 AM
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I think decisions like that will have to wait another week or so until the dust settles a bit...

But it might also be helpful for Apple, it just might earn them a lot of new customers...

Oh, and I think I will put off buying the 2nd mini for my arcade cabinet... Number one will keep playing the home server, which is does like a charm, but it will be alone for a while...

I wonder what Apple will ship as their developer machine in the kit they are offering...

Mmmmm, maybe I should try to get my hands on one of those, they might turn into collectables smile

Arnoud

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"First off, this means support for all Macs currently running OS X is going right out the window."

Wrong, the timeframe for deprecation of existing PowerPC systems has not been planned. Leopard (10.5) will be released for both PowerPC and Intel Macs.

And, Apple may reintroduce a Power processor in the form of an advanced workstation (the so-called Xstation) as a means to bank on continued support for the PowerPC and in order to maintain a fallback plan should IBM be able to see through to their plan to merge the Power and PowerPC processors.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Computolio:
Um, wat about the other way around? The reasons to go out and buy a Mac just dropped to zero.
Apple has said that they're going to prevent the ability to run OSX on a plain old PC, and I suspect they'll try real hard. However, they will not be able to totally prevent this. VirtualPC lets you virtualize the entire PC on a PC inside a nice little box running at near-native speed (no CPU emulation there!). A VirtualMac would do the same thing. It'd likely face Apple's considerable legal wrath, but you can bet an open-source solution will materialize before too long.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
So, a move to Intel without x86 - that would be feasible. The LLVM project actually exists as well: http://llvm.cs.uiuc.edu/

This scenario definitely bears consideration.
Feasible, but not entirely practical. The main benefit of going to Intel is that you are using the same processor as you find in PCs - you guarantee comparable performance, and drive the costs down.

If you don't go x86, maybe you are alright for the current generation of chips - but what about when they develop them further?

Besides, having the x86 layer - even if you don't use it with the OS - has it's uses. The ability to run x86 VMs, and makes it easier for people to port code from the PC.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
[b]Do you really think so? DirectX will still need conversion...
The odds of seeing a virtual x86 "box" that can run win32 apps on the Mac is now really high. When that happens, the need for Mac ports of software (particularly games) will drop dramatically. It's only a matter of time. [/b]
But on the other hand, the cost of providing Mac ports of software will go down, and the availability of hardware that is 'on a par' will increase. And whilst VMs could make ports unnecessary, they would still be desirable to many.

So the 'worth' of a port could still easily outweigh the cost of providing it. Although it would still undoubtedly change the landscape - ie. less work on more ports, and presumably restricted to some of the less interesting code to work on too.

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Computolio:
[qb]A VirtualMac would do the same thing. It'd likely face Apple's considerable legal wrath, but you can bet an open-source solution will materialize before too long.
Hmmm.... OSXen wink

#16886 06/07/05 03:21 AM
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Originally posted by hatoncat:
Wrong, the timeframe for deprecation of existing PowerPC systems has not been planned.
Quote:
From MacNN:
CEO Steve Jobs announced plans to deliver Macs using Intel microprocessors by this time next year, and to transition all of its Macs to using Intel microprocessors by the end of 2007
They may support the PowerPC with something like the "fat" apps used during the 68k to PPC transition, but you can bet Apple's, Adobe's and other software companies' focus will be on the new hardware platform as soon as the Aptels start shipping, and possibly even before then. Just as OS 9 users became Apple's second-class citizens, so will all PowerPC owners. It's merely a matter of when.

Whether it happens sooner than later is irrelevant. The fact is, people know the change is coming, and are going to be hard-pressed to come up with a reason to buy Apple hardware right now.

I don't know if this is the right move for Apple or not. Only time will tell. I'm sure industry pundits will love it, but I think Apple will suffer during the transition.


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#16887 06/07/05 03:34 AM
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During the transition, I'm going to purchase a Mac Mini (first revision whenever that's released) and then replace my LCD iMac next summer.

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Well, I have a dual 1.8 G5, a 1.42 mini and a 1.2GHz iBook G4 12-inch... I am set for the next two years...

But... If they come up with the idea to release an Intel based mini, I'll be the first in line to get one...

#16889 06/07/05 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by scarlet:
But on the other hand, the cost of providing Mac ports of software will go down, and the availability of hardware that is 'on a par' will increase.
The cost of doing Mac ports will go down - when PowerPC macs are phased out entirely. We're looking at 2-3 years at least of dual-architecture builds. Heck, the need for 68k-compatible apps lasted until '97-'98 for many apps. That's a full 4 years after the first PowerMac shipped, and these x86 Mac boxes haven't even shipped yet. wink

#16890 06/07/05 03:50 AM
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Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Whether it happens sooner than later is irrelevant. The fact is, people know the change is coming, and are going to be hard-pressed to come up with a reason to buy Apple hardware right now.
Say, didn't you buy a G5 not too long ago? I guess we should have seen that as a sign. wink

#16891 06/07/05 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Whether it happens sooner than later is irrelevant. The fact is, people know the change is coming, and are going to be hard-pressed to come up with a reason to buy Apple hardware right now.
Yep.

It's not about the computer and who makes the guts for it. It's about the fact that they're going to take all of the tools that we've come to rely and depend on and obsolete them...again. Who could possibly justify the expense of a new machine (or bunch of machines) and the cost of buying all the tools/software to power it knowing that everyting will be obsoleted by 2007?

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I was going to say that Brad... but I didn't have the heart. wink

It is a startling move on Apple's part, but I suppose they have their reasons...

At first glance I'd agree with Nathan and Dave's glass-half empty take, but two things sway me to the glass-half full side...

1. Apple's been working on an Intel OS X variant for over 5 years, so I'd assume after that long, if they still feel this is the best move, then it probably is.

2. Jobs wouldn't have announced this so early (I'm sure Apple could have kept it secret for another year) if they weren't prepared for the "lame duck" effect that Nathan speaks of.

JMHO, but I'm looking forward to the time when OS X will be running at the same speed as all of the Windows boxen out there. Just one more thing they won't have as an advantage any more. wink

#16893 06/07/05 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Say, didn't you buy a G5 not too long ago? I guess we should have seen that as a sign. wink
Sorry. I threw the universe permanently out-of-whack when I started using OS X.

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
VirtualPC lets you virtualize the entire PC on a PC inside a nice little box running at near-native speed (no CPU emulation there!).
Okay, this is going to be some of the wildest, bizarre speculation on this subject you're likely to read. So fair warning up front. (This is speculation, not an actual prediction.)

If VirtualPC on the PC lets you run a near-full speed virtual PC, couldn't Microsoft make the Mac version of VirtualPC also run near-full speed on Intel-based Mac hardware? In other words, Windows running on a Mac at near-full speed. That has some rather interesting possible ramifications.

If they could do that... what then would the incentive be for developers to continue to make Mac-specific software? Wouldn't it make more sense from a resource standpoint for them to just make Windows software only, and if you wanted to run it on Mac OS X, you'd need an Aptel box and VirtualPC? Would Adobe care that their software ran, say, 10% slower on a Mac under Virtual PC than it would natively? (I'm guessing at the speed, of course. But even 20% probably wouldn't deter Adobe from considering it.)

This would be a boon for Microsoft, since they could focus on VirtualPC for the Mac, and even dump the Mac version of Office entirely. They could sell even more of their own software to Mac users, too. They'd sell a lot of VirtualPC copies, but it would make even more sense for them to simply give it to Apple to bundle free with every new Aptel Mac.

Why? Well, if, in order to run third-party software on a Mac you had to run it under Windows anyway, the reasons for buying a Mac in the first place all but disappear. You're only running OS X to run Windows. And if developers drop the Mac OS as a unique platform, and just code Windows apps that are happy enough under VirtualPC, then the only one left making apps for OS X could be Apple.

At that point, they'd just be selling hardware to people who needed to run their apps. Final Cut Pro, Shake, Motion, and so on. They'd become, essentially, the Video Toaster of the modern era.

In the end, to survive, Apple would probably have to stop making Mac OS X and hardware altogether, and focus on making their apps work on Windows.

The irony is, Apple could actually be more successful than they are now, because Windows has a much larger market. If Apple could successfully make all of their apps (including iLife) work under Windows, they could become a huge third-party Windows developer.

And iPod manufacturer.

Told ya' it was wild. laugh

Anyway, I'm going to watch the Quicktime of the keynote. Maybe some good o' Reality Distortion Field will make me feel more optimistic about this.


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x86-on-x86 virtualization is pretty mature now - I compile and debug the Windows versions of M1, ZiNc, and Audio Overload in a VMWare 5.0 box. They never touch real hardware until end users launch the binaries ;-)

As far as Apple as a software company, there's some signs of that - iTunes is popular even among people who don't own iPods because it's got a really nice UI. Certainly there's no compelling Windows answer for the other iLife apps excepting Garage Band (and even then Apple wins on price - ACID Music is $70. It's also a lot more capable, but still...)

#16895 06/07/05 07:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
If they could do that... what then would the incentive be for developers to continue to make Mac-specific software? Wouldn't it make more sense from a resource standpoint for them to just make Windows software only, and if you wanted to run it on Mac OS X, you'd need an Aptel box and VirtualPC? Would Adobe care that their software ran, say, 10% slower on a Mac under Virtual PC than it would natively? (I'm guessing at the speed, of course. But even 20% probably wouldn't deter Adobe from considering it.)
Bingo. This has been the main issue bothering me about the move to x86. If Apple pisses off Microsoft or Adobe (come on, you know they have in the past), these companies can simply take their toys and walk back to Windows, with the option of running the Windows apps on the Mac as the only solution. That doesn't help Apple at all. There is financial incentive for this to happen - it's cheaper to just write one Windows app than spend development and marketing money on Windows and Mac apps.

On the flip side, if these developers stayed on the Mac and there was no developer abandonment, then having a Win32 virtual box that runs Win32 apps under OSX suddenly becomes a big plus for Apple. For this scenario to play out, Apple has to start growing some serious marketshare. I'm really skeptical of that happening at this point, but you never know.

#16896 06/07/05 09:51 AM
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If VirtualPC on the PC lets you run a near-full speed virtual PC, couldn't Microsoft make the Mac version of VirtualPC also run near-full speed on Intel-based Mac hardware? In other words, Windows running on a Mac at near-full speed.

If they could do that... what then would the incentive be for developers to continue to make Mac-specific software? Wouldn't it make more sense from a resource standpoint for them to just make Windows software only? Would Adobe care that their software ran, say, 10% slower on a Mac under Virtual PC than it would natively? (I'm guessing at the speed, of course. But even 20% probably wouldn't deter Adobe from considering it.)
You miss the reason the Macintosh STILL exists in the first place: There are many of us who still use Macs despite the obvious ruling of Microsoft over the PC world. There are many reasons for this - habit, a graphics-intensive job, a recent conversion to the light, too much invested in the Mac Platform to justify a move, and others - but for many of us the logical decision would be to dump the Mac and tough out a few rough months of adjustment to that other platform.

But we don't. Indeed, many of us would choose to eek out whatever life remained in our Macintoshes until the necessity of switching changed to utter amazement that a troglodyte crawled out of the cave.

That's why Microsoft supports the Macintosh group (without actually owning it). That's why there's still many companies that come out with both Windoze and Mac applications. And that's why there's still challengers to Word, Excel and PowerPoint in the Mac platform.

Quote:
This would be a boon for Microsoft, since they could focus on VirtualPC for the Mac, and even dump the Mac version of Office entirely. They could sell even more of their own software to Mac users, too. They'd sell a lot of VirtualPC copies, but it would make even more sense for them to simply give it to Apple to bundle free with every new Aptel Mac.

Why? Well, if, in order to run third-party software on a Mac you had to run it under Windows anyway, the reasons for buying a Mac in the first place all but disappear.
Then why aren't they doing it now?

Quote:
In the end, to survive, Apple would probably have to stop making Mac OS X and hardware altogether, and focus on making their apps work on Windows.

The irony is, Apple could actually be more successful than they are now, because Windows has a much larger market. If Apple could successfully make all of their apps (including iLife) work under Windows, they could become a huge third-party Windows developer.
With iTunes as the example of how it is to be done.

Quote:
And iPod manufacturer.
Interesting that you bring this up.

Look at The Apple Store Page , at the list of the best sellers at the right. The only thing presently listed that is remotely related to the computer itself is Tiger OS X v. 10.4. Everything else is iPod or iTunes related.

So I'm sure they're ready for a slump in computer sales. Indeed, I'll bet they could stop making Macintoshes period and focus on new and better iterations of the iPod. Bet it'd even increase their profit margins, as well.

Now for something REALLY wild and disturbing: What if the Aptel cpus turned out to be nothing more than graphics-focused versions of Wintel CPUs?

BTW...Now we know what OS XI will be -- aptel/PC compatible, OS X only.


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#16897 06/07/05 10:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Hood:
During the transition, I'm going to purchase a Mac Mini (first revision whenever that's released)...
While such a move as yours would stick me with older, soon to be discontinued technology, It would hold me over for a while. I could also see if Apple's able to bring their developers (or convince new ones to come along) before committing to a better, newer Mac.

And besides, it wouldn't be the first time I bought something new that was already out-of-date .


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#16898 06/07/05 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Okay, this is going to be some of the wildest, bizarre speculation on this subject you're likely to read. So fair warning up front. (This is speculation, not an actual prediction.)

If VirtualPC on the PC lets you run a near-full speed virtual PC, couldn't Microsoft make the Mac version of VirtualPC also run near-full speed on Intel-based Mac hardware? In other words, Windows running on a Mac at near-full speed. That has some rather interesting possible ramifications.

If they could do that... what then would the incentive be for developers to continue to make Mac-specific software? Wouldn't it make more sense from a resource standpoint for them to just make Windows software only, and if you wanted to run it on Mac OS X, you'd need an Aptel box and VirtualPC? Would Adobe care that their software ran, say, 10% slower on a Mac under Virtual PC than it would natively? (I'm guessing at the speed, of course. But even 20% probably wouldn't deter Adobe from considering it.)
Looks like you're not the only one thinking in this way .


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#16899 06/07/05 11:10 AM
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Originally posted by Godozo:
You miss the reason the Macintosh [b]STILL exists in the first place: There are many of us who still use Macs despite the obvious ruling of Microsoft over the PC world [/b]
I'm not missing that at all. It's the very reason I use a Mac. But if the third-party developers decide to stop developing their apps for OS X, then it's going to make the Mac largely useless. You can't stick with old software forever. Just try doing any productive video or Photoshop work with a 68k Mac. wink Even OS 9 is severely limited now in what you can do (even with Apple's own software). That's why I finally dumped it for OS X, and probably should have months earlier (couldn't afford it, however).

If Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, After Effects and so on became Windows-only, how many people would really buy Macs only to run their apps under a virtual Windows box? How long would Apple last as a hardware company with that happening?

I'm not saying at all that this will happen, just speculating about possibilities. Even if it did, I suspect it wouldn't happen for some time. I'd say at least five years. Well after the transition was complete, and major developers were well on the way to developing the next generation of their software. At that point, they'd be asking themselves, "Do we really want to go to all the work to make an XCode version of this?" How many Intel CPUs Apple sells between now and then will really determine what happens. If they sell a ton of them, then things will generally continue on as they are now. Hopefully without the processor supply problems though. That's what I'm hoping for.

Quote:
Originally posted by Godozo:
Then why aren't they doing it now?
Speed. With Intel processors, Windows virtual machines on a Mac will have far greater, and in all likelihood completely usable speed for most of their apps. Currently, Virtual PC on the Mac is a dog. You can't run Photoshop for Windows on a Mac and be able to do anything useful with it.


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#16900 06/07/05 11:15 AM
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Then why aren't they doing it now?
Because "now", no x86-based Macs exist.

#16901 06/07/05 04:11 PM
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Brad, could you explain us what are the pros/cons between PPC and the CISC architecture? I was convinced that the G5 family had the BEST architecture today...How can an Intel 'emulate' Altivec and all the rest? Even the Xbox is embracing the PPC architecture (the demos at E3 was running on Powermac G5)....It seems that Apple is going to die slowly. To me is like "The day after": is it as someone tell me that from tomorrow Ferrari will be front traction, or that Maserati will use a Ford engine.....

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I was reading the technical data on Rosetta, and Altivec is expressly not supported. There are instructions on how to map to SSE equivalents, but a lot of the functionality isn't there. Sigh.

#16903 06/07/05 06:58 PM
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I don't see why this is a bad thing. I buy Apple for the OS first (which will be the same) and the design second (which will also continue to be the same). Given that the final components that can be made cheaper will be made cheaper by moving to Intel and off-the-shelf motherboards, the only remaining step to really take on Microsoft with a level playing field is to license out the production of systems to someone like Dell; they did it with HP and iPods and people didn't bin their iPods over it. This could really give Microsoft a run for their money as even high-level Intel execs are saying OS X is better than XP (probably what started the most recent rumours).

I doubt that 3rd party developers would dump the platform en masse and say "use Virtual PC to run our app." The market share may be small, but it's still there and someone will sell to it. Given Microsoft wanting to escape from further anti-trust issues and moving to a more pure-play (hopefully) XML format for their document formats, I think that the days of Office ruling based on lack of interoperability alone are numbered, and we'll start seeing more competition in that area.

To deal with the "Hey I just bought this PPC kit!" expect a trade-in deal like they're doing with the old iPods (granted forced as part of a court settlement, but it helps them look greener and pushes new tin whilst holding out an olive branch to the faithful).

What I find most amazing is that this didn't get leaked sooner...

Now if they can only come out with an Airport base-station that doubles as a DSL modem I'll be all set.


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#16904 06/07/05 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I work at a college and up until this morning we were developing a proposal to buy 50 new G5s for our labs. How am I supposed to justify that now, knowing we'll never get four or five years out of them, like we did with our G4s?
What kind of G5s are you using in your lab? Nothing has been said about Apple's Xserve business and the Power architecture is really well suited for server applications, so I don't see Apple necessarily moving to Intel for that as well (unless there was something in the keynote I missed?).


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#16905 06/07/05 07:20 PM
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Has anyone taken a closer look at Xcode 2.1?

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The Intel chip is so damn inefficient:

No 3-operand instructions. You're forever reloading registers because you have to overwrite one of the sources.

No multiply-accumulate. Forget doing fast DSP.

No vector permutations, splat, shift, etc. Why even bother with the vector unit?

Hardly any architectural registers. Pound that cache, baby!

How can they seriously say it's a step in the right direction? IBM pSeries and Sun Blade workstations are starting to look a lot more appealing.

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Sorry, hit the wrong button!


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Quote:
Originally posted by Godozo:
Looks like you're not the only one thinking in this way .
Good article with some good points. Oh, the irony if IBMs open sourcing of the Power architecture spelled the death-knell for Intel!

Right now I'm thinking I'll see what Apple's x86 announcement next year looks like, but I'll also be keeping an eye out for people dumping PPC kit on eBay...


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#16909 06/07/05 08:28 PM
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I don't see why this is a bad thing. I buy Apple for the OS first (which will be the same) and the design second
Then maybe in the long run this change won't really impact you or abyone else that buys a computer for the sake of having a computer.

But for those of us who buy Apple for the tools is runs, we don't really care much about the technical components that go inside of the computer. But we do care about, and have huge investments in, is the software that runs on it. Any new print or design shop gearing up right now with new computers and software are guaranteed 2 years on their investment of new Macs and software tools.

Printshops for example rely so heavily on their tools and working environment that many are still using OS9 and compatible tools. I'm not saying Apple should cater to these people but I am wondering about the imapct this will have upon an industry that's already at least partially splintered from the move to OSX.

Hopefully I'm painting a much gloomier picture than what will really take place. But after seeing what happened during the OS9 - OSX transition, having to rebuy tools, and seeing some software fold up and never make the transition, this announcement makes me a little nervous.

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That eWeek article is factually-challenged, to put it mildly. The Pentium M runs under 30 watts and delivers the performance of an Athlon64 3500+ at 2.0 GHz actual clock. The G5's thermals scale exponentially every time Apple bumps the clock, which is why the G5s are liquid-cooled and why you won't see one in a laptop unless it's made of asbestos.

And don't be distracted - laptops are the driver here. The overall PC market is shifting away from desktops thanks to WiFi, wide LCDs, and mobile graphics solutions from NVidia and ATi. If Apple stayed with the G5 they'd be dead in that water. Desktops don't matter, and the Xserves never did - OSX Server loses by a whopping 10:1 margin to Linux in common MySQL and Apache benchmarks.

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I guess I can't complain, because I got a lot of life out of my 1997 G3 (heavily upgraded)

My "hotrod" G3 can process After Effects and Final Cut scripts as fast as some of the better G4's at school. (Learning to be a Visual Effects Artist)

I almost bought a G5 tower...maybe they'll dramatically drop the price soon.

Apple was smart to buy Shake, because none of the competitors are as good and easy to use. I've tried "Flame" on the SGI-Octane’s at school and they are tough to use.

FCP has become an industry standard... Medi 100 is becomming legacy software and Avid's package is really expensive and very similar to FCP, so why not use FCP?

Apple won't go away in the movie industry anytime soon... laugh


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#16912 06/07/05 09:35 PM
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BTW, One of the best reasons to switch or stick with OSX is becasue there are no viruses.

A friend from work said he wants to get an Apple laptop just because he is sick of all the viruses, worms and trojans that come pre-loaded on a windows box...

(How many service pack/ security updates are there for XP now??? :dead: )

I just reinstalled XP for a friend who couldn't even use his PC because there were so many viruses on it. What a PITA! I forgot to make a boot disc onto a floppy, so I lost a Saturday trying to make his PC work again.

Kudos to the Apple developers..the software really does make a difference.


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#16913 06/07/05 10:32 PM
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More importantly, how does this affect MacMAME !? Steve Jobs says to make the switch to XCode 2.1 ASAP and we know Brad is still using Code Warrior. Yes we've had builds of MacMAME using XCode minus the PowerPC native ASM cores, so there's some performance penalty although that has been debated.

Hopefully the good news is we can use Intel native cores and take advantage of dynamic recompilation finally, so MacMAME for Intel should finally be as fast as it is on a PC!

The question is whether or not MacMAME will be built as a universal binary or two separate binaries. Presumably Brad won't want to keep 2 separate development environments but we don't want the PPC native build to be slow either.


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#16914 06/07/05 10:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by will:
More importantly, how does this affect MacMAME !? Steve Jobs says to make the switch to XCode 2.1 ASAP and we know Brad is still using Code Warrior. Yes we've had builds of MacMAME using XCode minus the PowerPC native ASM cores, so there's some performance penalty although that has been debated.
It's pretty simple - an x86 MacMAME will be built with Xcode. There'll be no need for the PPC CPU cores then, and yes - we'd be able to use the dynarec cores on that platform. I'll probably do a universal binary, but with the PPC portion built with CodeWarrior. I won't be able to say for sure for some time.

However, given how Metrowerks is currently imploding, I may move the PPC version over to Xcode exclusively as well. PPC users surely know they're a dying breed now, so a less-optimized PPC MacMAME should be considered an early warning of things to come.

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Hmm, well I guess the good news for MacMAME on Intel OS X, is that emulation speed comes directly from Ghz numbers... right?

So in theory, an Xcode build of MacMAME running on a 3.6 Ghz Intel chip will be significantly faster than anything we have now... correct?

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Actually, assuming Apple isn't dumb they're going straight to x86-64 (EM64T in Intelspeak). That gives you a flat RISC programming model with 16 architectural registers, among other improvements. The PC market's already in that transition (XP64 is out now). And that means no dynamic recompilers or ASM cores until they're rewritten for 64-bit.

Pat: Yes. A 3.6 should have you within spitting distance of 100% with sound on in Crusin' USA, for instance.

#16917 06/07/05 11:13 PM
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Looks like they're not:

http://www.macfixit.com/

anyway I've stopped trying to predict their behaviour now ;¬)

#16918 06/08/05 12:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by patmcfar8:
So in theory, an Xcode build of MacMAME running on a 3.6 Ghz Intel chip will be significantly faster than anything we have now... correct?
Yes, by quite a bit in fact.

#16919 06/08/05 12:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nonoche:
Looks like they're not:

http://www.macfixit.com/

anyway I've stopped trying to predict their behaviour now ;¬)
That doesn't seem very good...means there's going to be another shift. Maybe they're saving the migration to 64-bit for 10.5?

If that's the case it shouldn't be that big a deal as long as they're selling 64-bit systems out the door. Not having apps that run 64-bit initially isn't as important to me as having a system that will run 64-bit when they're ready to make the leap.


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To be honest, Intel based Macs makes me concerned about security and viruses..

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Actually, I think that's more of an OS's fault than the CPUs.

#16922 06/08/05 12:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Quote:
Originally posted by patmcfar8:
[b]So in theory, an Xcode build of MacMAME running on a 3.6 Ghz Intel chip will be significantly faster than anything we have now... correct?
Yes, by quite a bit in fact. [/b]
So, that's a good thing, right? At least as far as MacMAME is concerned? wink

BTW, Marc I don't think switching to Intel will make us any more susceptible to virus or less secure... as long as we're still running OS X. wink

#16923 06/08/05 12:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Quote:
Originally posted by patmcfar8:
[b]So in theory, an Xcode build of MacMAME running on a 3.6 Ghz Intel chip will be significantly faster than anything we have now... correct?
Yes, by quite a bit in fact. [/b]
Pardon my programming ignorance but how much does the PC MAME reliy on PC specific hardware or MS specific software? Specifically things like OpenGL (which seems to be more robust on PC,) graphics cards and other technologies like DirectX? Just switching to Intel doesn't automatically guarantee we'll be able to benefit from any of this, correct? And any PC code that relies on this would need to be converted, no?

#16924 06/08/05 01:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by DaveD:
Pardon my programming ignorance but how much does the PC MAME reliy on PC specific hardware or MS specific software?
PC MAME does rely on things like DirectX and other Windows-specific features. These are of no concern to a Mac port, because we have equivalent code already written that will continue to function with a shift to Intel-based Macs.

The part where PC MAME helps MacMAME has to do with the x86 optimizations in the code, like the dynamic recompiling emulators. It also means that I'll be far less inclined to track down the inevitable endian bugs (note all the Mac-specific endian bugs I fixed in the last 2 MacMAME releases).

There's also the undeniable performance boost that you get when moving to a 3.6GHz Pentium 4 (or whatever CPU Apple ends up with). Megahertz does matter for MacMAME, and the benefit will be felt in the new high-end x86-based Macs.

#16925 06/08/05 01:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc Mame:
To be honest, Intel based Macs makes me concerned about security and viruses..
Nah, this is a "feature" of the OS, not the CPU.

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Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:

Pat: Yes. A 3.6 should have you within spitting distance of 100% with sound on in Crusin' USA, for instance.
Well then I for one welcome our new Intel overlords. wink

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Megahertz does matter for MacMAME, and the benefit will be felt in the new high-end x86-based Macs.
Wait, Mhz in and of itself benefit MAME? So using an AMD Athlon 3000+ which is supposed to be equivilant to a P4 3.0Ghz chip would be slower than that P4 because it's clock speed is only 2.1Ghz?

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This may make me a Devil's Advocate, but I'm looking forward to seeing what an Intel-powered Mac will be like! wink

#16929 06/08/05 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
[QB] The Intel chip is so damn inefficient:

No 3-operand instructions. You're forever reloading registers because you have to overwrite one of the sources.

No multiply-accumulate. Forget doing fast DSP.

No vector permutations, splat, shift, etc. Why even bother with the vector unit?

Hardly any architectural registers. Pound that cache, baby!
I don't get it. Are you serious or it's ironic? To me it's like arab. I would like to understand more about Pentium/G5 performance. For instance: will a Mac/Intel deliver the same low latency in audio apps? Will be the next Pentium as fast as a G5 in vector calculation? The actual G5 delivers 1.35 mhz of frontside bus, more than any Pentium on the market. So my question is: is this so important or Apple told us a lot of bulls? I'm not convinced at all

#16930 06/08/05 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by vitaflo:
Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
[b]Megahertz does matter for MacMAME, and the benefit will be felt in the new high-end x86-based Macs.
Wait, Mhz in and of itself benefit MAME? So using an AMD Athlon 3000+ which is supposed to be equivilant to a P4 3.0Ghz chip would be slower than that P4 because it's clock speed is only 2.1Ghz? [/b]
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, so I'll just assume you're not. wink

Comparing MHz across different chips is tricky business, and there is no 1:1 correlation. However, a 3.6GHz P4 outperforms a 2.7GHz G5 for your average build-it-and-go type of situation, so there is a tighter correlation between MHz on the G5 and P4 vs. the G5 and Athlon or P4 and Athlon.

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On the PSX hardware games in MAME (aka "the ZiNc games"), AMD chips do in fact run in line with their true clock speed and not their "xxxx+" marketing rating. Interpretive emulation is a marketeer's nightmare.

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The lack of 64 bit support doesn't surprise me, since from what I understand (which is very little), there's really not a whole lot that OS X is doing with 64 bit now, anyway. I think there was a lot more hype to it than Apple is actually able to deliver on at the present time. I think it's something they still want to do, but it's not going to happen overnight.

But...

I suspect that Apple knows something about the Intel chips they're actually going to be putting in their Macs that they're not able to talk about yet. If they've been planning this switch for awhile, I think they could get Intel based systems to market much sooner than a year from now. My guess is they're planning to stick an as-yet-unannounced Intel CPU into their Macs. Those may not be the first chips Apple uses, but I suspect there's more there going on than just "let's use Pentiums".

Jobs seemed to indicate as much, since he kept referring to "future products" that Intel's chip roadmap fit, that IBM's didn't, and not so much about what the chips are doing right now. I think that Apple's "projects" will extend beyond computers as well, to include more consumer products. So there's more to this than meets the eye (insert Transformers sound effect here).

Also, I think RB is absolutely correct - this is a lot more about laptops than desktops. The way Jobs presented it, it was obvious that it was much more than just part of it. It's a big part of it. If I had to guess, I would think their first Intel computer may be the next gen PowerBook.

I'll be interested to read Ars Techina's take on all of this. They ususally have very good technial analysises... uh, analysese... well, whatever.


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#16933 06/08/05 03:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
What kind of G5s are you using in your lab?
We aren't using G5s in our labs. We're using G4s (dual 450s). We want to switch to G5s, but I'm questioning that decision based on whether we can still keep running them with the latest software for five years or not. I'm concerned that Apple may not be supporting the PowerPC platform that long, and we may have a couple of years where we have to run out-of-date software. Not good at a film school. Not good at all.

Five years for us is mandatory, too. We just don't get that level of financing all that often.

So I have to mull over the possibility of us slogging through another year on our G4s (which run everything we need, albeit slowly), and buying Aptels next year in order to gain better future compatibility.

Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
Nothing has been said about Apple's Xserve business and the Power architecture is really well suited for server applications, so I don't see Apple necessarily moving to Intel for that as well (unless there was something in the keynote I missed?).
I'm pretty sure he said "all products". He didn't specifically mention the XServe, but he didn't exclude it.

But you bring up an interesting point I didn't consider. If Apple is going to continue to have a server business, they're going to have to maintain PowerPC support for quite some time, to keep the boxes that are out there now running. Servers get changed out far less frequently than desktops do, but it's essential to keep the software updated. Even though it's a small part of their business, that's one area that's harder for them to abandon than desktops, since it's not as easy to swap out a server that supports hundreds of users, as it is to swap out a desktop Mac. So by extension, they may keep support for other PowerPC Macs around longer, as well.

At least I hope so. We've got seven XServes in our area that we rely on every day.


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#16934 06/08/05 04:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
The Intel chip is so damn inefficient:

No 3-operand instructions. You're forever reloading registers because you have to overwrite one of the sources.

No multiply-accumulate. Forget doing fast DSP.

No vector permutations, splat, shift, etc. Why even bother with the vector unit?

Hardly any architectural registers. Pound that cache, baby!

How can they seriously say it's a step in the right direction? IBM pSeries and Sun Blade workstations are starting to look a lot more appealing.
This is an over-simplification of the modern x86 chips. Read about register renaming:

http://www.cs.swan.ac.uk/~csneal/HPM/reorder.html

Also the Pentium does have vector instructions (SSE and SSE2), this is the first couple of links I found:

http://www.tommesani.com/SSE.html
http://www.answers.com/topic/netburst

K

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
I can't tell if you're being sarcastic or not, so I'll just assume you're not. wink
Haha, no I wasn't being sarcastic. I realize you can't really compare Mhz between chip families which is why I was thrown back when reading about MAME primarily wanting more Mhz. I wasn't sure if you were talking in a general sense, or just between G5 and P4 or what. Thanks for the carification.

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I hate to break this to everyone, but the moment that Apple said "we won't stand in the way of using Windows on our new Macs" (which, I assumed would be the case by Apple killing OpenFirmware, as that's the only reason you would even want to), I realized how unnecessary MacMAME will be.

I had hoped from the minute that the Xbox 360 was launched that J Allard at MS was working on a special NT kernel for Macs that you could just reboot and run Xbox 360 on Mac. He's a big Mac fan, there's certainly a market in (what would have been) emerging G5 Macs, and the advanced state of Xbox 360 would have allowed for things like high-resolution displays (like, a computer display above 640x480).

I have always maintained that if OS X (advanced multitasking, sharing of resources, etc) goes against everything that a good gaming OS needs, why not just reboot out? It only take a few seconds, and the benefits are well worth it. Windows allows the game to "take control", OS X so far hasn't, and don't get me started about the wonders of Direct3D on my future PowerBook.

Now, I don't think this is going to hurt Apple. Apple will never bundle Windows or make it easy at all to install Windows (enjoy repartitioning a hard drive with both NTFS and HFS+, for example). But, let's be blunt here; the userbase for MacMAME has always been the same enthusiast that would be able to install that with even a basic set of partitioning tools (I can see iPartition selling big here if they step up to the plate and add NTFS).

I'll be happy to compile MacMAME in Xcode for years to come, but when it comes to playing that high-end Model 2 (and soon Model 3) game that gives even today's games a run for their money.... it's off to Windows I will be happily going.

#16937 06/08/05 08:44 AM
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Here's an article on the switch at Ars Technica . It's not one of their usual ?ºber-technical pieces, but it's a good read.


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#16938 06/08/05 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Here's an article on the switch at Ars Technica . It's not one of their usual ?ºber-technical pieces, but it's a good read.
Well, the article misses a few things, for example, not stacking up SSE3 against AltiVec. Does AltiVec do some things a lot better? Yes, but nothing necessary and nothing that would warranty going back...

It also fails to mention a critical advantage for going with Intel: Chipsets (and options). Apple needs x86 Macs now. Where are the AMD chipsets? In the dust. If Apple went with AMD, they would have had to go elsewhere (nVidia, VIA) to get a high-end chipset that did everything they need today. Buying them isn't an issue, coding drivers, battle-testing, and supporting them is.

Going with Intel now doesn't preclude Apple from going to AMD, and that's the key. If Intel gives Apple not enough of a pricebreak, they can take that time later after the migration is done to start a price war (imagine, an actual pricewar over Apple's business, and no, Freescale vs IBM doesn't count).

And about x86-64, please, Apple knows it's essential (because they know Power Mac users love their 8 GB of RAM), but it isn't necessary today. I wouldn't be surprised at all if Leopard is x86-64 clean (that's right, clean) and would be Apple's first 64-bit OS. But, the amount of work needed now (porting apps) can be simplified by telling developers the truth; don't worry about it right now.

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It's even simpler than that. Remember, laptops (and other small devices, a la the Mini and maybe the long-rumored Mac Tablet) are the key to this deal. AMD has no story there, while Intel's Pentium-M is so well regarded in the PC hardware community that companies are building full-blown desktop overclocker motherboards for it.

#16940 06/08/05 09:19 AM
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Actually, that was my point, Centrino can fit into a 12-inch PowerBook (13" assuming HD compliance) tomorrow. Down the road Apple can assess chipset divergance from Intel.

The Pentium-M is the key to Intel's success... it is being diverged into just about everything Apple will sell. I don't doubt when the transition is done that we'll be looking at every single Mac having an M-derived processor (with the potiential exception for eMac, Xstation, etc).

On a bit of a sidenote, If all goes well though, and IBM pulls through with their long-term Power strategy (unifying Power and PowerPC processors) we could see super-high-end (Xstation) computing going back to the Power family... Apple is certainly not telling people to stop building PowerPC binaries once things are done in the transition...

#16941 06/08/05 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Quote:
Originally posted by Marc Mame:
[b] To be honest, Intel based Macs makes me concerned about security and viruses..
Nah, this is a "feature" of the OS, not the CPU. [/b]
I've been told that viruses coded in assembly could be a threat. Is that true ?

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Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:
It's even simpler than that. Remember, laptops (and other small devices, a la the Mini and maybe the long-rumored Mac Tablet) are the key to this deal. AMD has no story there, while Intel's Pentium-M is so well regarded in the PC hardware community that companies are building full-blown desktop overclocker motherboards for it.
Absolutely. In the US last month more laptops were sold than desktops. This is a trend that probably wont change for a while now. A dual core yohan powerbook, with sata pci-e gpu and all that will be a very very nice bit of kit. The top end big iron 64 bit market will sort itself out a little later, but for now (and spesh for Apple) portables are very important. I shall replace my pb 1.5 15" with one as soon as it hits (finances depending).

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The Metroworks implosion continues... Metroworks has pulled sales of CodeWarrior for Mac and put a note up saying they sold their x86 compiler...

Ouch for Metroworks, talk about bad timing...

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Looks like I definitely won't be renewing my CodeWarrior license then...

#16945 06/08/05 05:29 PM
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Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
I think he'd be more likely to introduce a two-button mouse, first. wink
As long as it has a pushable mousewheel, I am glad... smile

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Marc: an assembly virus that does *what* without any OS services exactly? No disk, no screen, no network = who cares :-)

There hasn't yet been an virus problem on Linux x86 despite occasional attempts by Symantec to scare people. The OS matters a lot more than the CPU.

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Quote:
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But you bring up an interesting point I didn't consider. If Apple is going to continue to have a server business, they're going to have to maintain PowerPC support for quite some time, to keep the boxes that are out there now running. Servers get changed out far less frequently than desktops do, but it's essential to keep the software updated. Even though it's a small part of their business, that's one area that's harder for them to abandon than desktops, since it's not as easy to swap out a server that supports hundreds of users, as it is to swap out a desktop Mac. So by extension, they may keep support for other PowerPC Macs around longer, as well.
Exactly. I really don't think you'd have any problem keeping those machines going for five years; investing in Xserves to replace your G4s might not be a bad idea; I know if I had the cash I'd love to have one as my home server with the bulk of my files on it and use a laptop as a portable terminal remote mounting everything via Airport.

Some people seem to be acting like this is a major shift, but remember that the PPC has been in use in Macs for 10 years and I don't think people were saying the sky was falling because there weren't going to be new 68040-based systems. Intel has shown that it understands the importance of power management a lot since the early PPC days when that's really where they got their asses kicked; with the business shifting to mobile computing they've shown they can change with the times. It's good for consumers and for the environment.

I really feel positive about this move; hopefully Apple can keep the faithful happy. I know I'd react positively to a £100 rebate for trading in my 15" Tibook for recycling!


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#16948 06/08/05 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by shortstop:
Quote:
Originally posted by Vas Crabb:
[b] The Intel chip is so damn inefficient:

No 3-operand instructions. You're forever reloading registers because you have to overwrite one of the sources.

No multiply-accumulate. Forget doing fast DSP.

No vector permutations, splat, shift, etc. Why even bother with the vector unit?

Hardly any architectural registers. Pound that cache, baby!

How can they seriously say it's a step in the right direction? IBM pSeries and Sun Blade workstations are starting to look a lot more appealing.
This is an over-simplification of the modern x86 chips. Read about register renaming:

http://www.cs.swan.ac.uk/~csneal/HPM/reorder.html

Also the Pentium does have vector instructions (SSE and SSE2), this is the first couple of links I found:

http://www.tommesani.com/SSE.html
http://www.answers.com/topic/netburst

K [/b]
I know about register renaming. However, you still waste a lot of bandwidth in the chip's front end with all the instructions you issue to reload registers.

I know that the Pentiums have SSE and SSE2, but they're very poor vector units for DSP.

DSP example 1: FIR filter. This is implemented in PowerPC by using the saturating fused multiply-accumulate instructions. Sorry, they're missing on the Pentiums. You have to multiply (and overwrite source registers), check to see if the addition will saturate, and then either do the addition or load the upper limit value. A lot more instructions, and a lot slower.

DSP example 2: downsampler. Done very easily using the vector select and permute instructions in Altivec. No equivalent on the Pentiums. Have to do it with scalar instructions. Much slower.

DSP example 3: upsampler. Once again, done very easily on Altivec using splat and select. No equivalent instrctions on Pentiums.

The Pentium is not a good chip for DSP.

DSP makes extensive use of a lot of the features of the PowerPC. At work, we're planning to move our data acquisition hardware from Hitachi SuperH microprocessors to PowerPC because the DSP performance is just so much better.

Why does this matter? Image processing, video compression, audio effects, etc. are all DSP-type tasks. Switching to Intel puts us back a long way in all these areas.

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As I've mentioned elsewhere, I'm not a developer (media production background). However, Steve Jobs would not have taken this decision 'lightly' and may have given IBM additional time to provide the elusive G5 kit to power desktop and laptop machines, but they're clearly (publicly at least) enamoured with consoles.

MacWorld purports that the Pentium M is very likely to appear in the first wave of Macintel machines. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating.

Those of you who get to use the developer kits - I'm envious. smile

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Vas: that's all true at an assembly-banger level, but in real life ACID and Vegas have made that largely irrelevant. People use apps and operating systems, not hardware architectures.

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Mmmm... pudding. smile


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#16952 06/09/05 12:42 AM
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It looks like mactel will support a new file system. End of HFS+.

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I'm probably still going to pick up a newish PowerBook...but that's mostly just because my current one is going on 5 years old. smirk

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During our weekly tech meeting we discussed the whole Aptel thing, and a couple of interesting points were brought up.

First, in addition to laptops (which I think is the primary reason for the switch, with faster desktops being a close second), Apple may have another major reason for going to Intel. Intel is embedding digital rights management into their chips. What does this have to do with Apple?

Well, check this article out, which reads in part:
Quote:
Officially launched worldwide on the May 26, the new offerings come DRM-enabled and will, at least in theory, allow copyright holders to prevent unauthorized copying and distribution of copyrighted materials from the motherboard rather than through the operating system as is currently the case.
Now then... add that to the oft-rumored "iTunes for movies" and "Apple media center" and you have a possible answer. In order for Apple to make movie distribution possible, they need a method of copy protection that makes the studios happy. So by using Intel chips in a set-top box (as well as their computers), they get built-in hardware-level DRM. Remember... the iPod has made Apple a ton of money. It makes sense for them to look for a way to expand that into other media, but only if they can do it the "right" way. Apple waited to get into the MP3 player business until they could build the one they wanted. First isn't always best, and Apple won't get into movie distribution until they can do it the right way. The Intel DRM may play a big part of that. After all, during his keynote, Steve said "products", not just "Macs".

Secondly, related to the whole idea of developers abandoning Mac development in favor of making Mac users run their Windows software under VirtualPC...

Remember Red Box from the Rhapsody days? Low End Mac posted (in 1997):
Quote:
Red Box, although not confirmed by Apple, would be how you run Windows applications under Rhapsody for Intel - and possibly under Rhapsody for PowerPC as well. Like the Blue Box on a Power Macintosh, the Red Box will give Rhapsody users a way to run Windows applications.

As with Blue Box on PowerPC, Red Box on Intel should run flat out, since there will be no need to emulate the Pentium processor. Products such as SoftWindows and Virtual PC show that it is possible to get reasonable performance emulating a Pentium on a PowerPC chip, so it is conceivable, even likely, that Red Box will be available under Rhapsody for PowerPC. (If Apple doesn't do it, bet on Insignia or Connectix.)

A well executed Red Box could offer full PC compatibility, not just Windows. Virtual PC already provides this capability under the Mac OS, providing access to OS/2, Windows NT, and other Intel-based operating systems.
If (big "if") that technology exists, then you could run Windows apps without Windows. Microsoft would hate that, which may be a good enough reason for Apple to pursue it. I suspect that Apple may be working on that, but are holding it in reserve in case it's necessary someday (kind of like... oh... switching to Intel chips).

The other point made regarding the possibility of developers just going with Windows apps, is what Apple can do to avoid it. The solution is in how the OS integrates with the hardware. Apple may be using Intel chips, but what they build around it is still up to them. They aren't tied to the PC architecture. So if Apple can make the hardware (particularly on the high-end) more compelling to develop for than their PC counterparts, then there would be a reason for developers (and users) to stick with the Mac platform. In other words, using their advantage of making "the whole widget" as Steve would say, to its fullest. Make the whole system, bit for bit, run faster on the same Pentium than a PC would, because of how they build the hardware, and how they optimize the OS to use it.

If they can pull that off, and do it to a significant degree, they'll be fine. In fact, they'd probably thrive.

I still think Apple's short-term sales (the next 18 months or so) will be really poor. But I also think Apple is prepared for it. They've had profitbale quarters, are debt-free, have lots of cash on hand, and are selling iPods by the ton. They have a strategy, that much is sure. Whether the rest of the world goes along with it or not is yet to be seen.

If they do, I bet we'll see a huge spike in sales when the first Intel Macs hit the market. Some of the PC'ers in our tech group want them now.

Weird... this all sounds almost optimistic. Still, lot of "ifs" in there.


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Intel has stated that that article is lying and there is no new DRM in either the 845 or the Pentium-D.

Here\'s one reference.

#16956 06/09/05 02:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Marc Mame:
It looks like mactel will support a new file system. End of HFS+.
Not really, what Apple says in the 'Universal Binary' PDF:

Quote:
The partition format of the disk on a Macintosh using an Intel microprocessor differs from that using a PowerPC microprocessor. If your application depends on the partitioning details of the disk, it may not behave as expected.
They do not say that the contents of those partitions will be different, probably just the bootblocks

And a little further on:

Quote:
If your code operates on the file system at a low level and handles Finder information, keep in mind that the file system does not swap bytes for the following information: ?The finderInfo field in the HFSPlus data structures HFSCatalogFolder, HFSPlusCatalogFolder, HFSCatalogFile, HFSPlusCatalogFile, and HFSPlusVolumeHeader.
So, yes, HFS+ is still available for the IntelliMacs.

#16957 06/09/05 02:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:
Intel has stated that that article is lying and there is no new DRM in either the 845 or the Pentium-D.

Here\'s one reference.
I always said that the day my software installs were tied to one piece of kit was the day I'd stop buying computers. iTunes is bad enough already without having DRM on the motherboard as well. As I recall Intel was only talking about putting DRM in at the board level to appease the Hollywood studios...it sure as hell isn't going to make the music/film experience on computers any more fun for consumers that's for sure.

Honestly, the sooner the big studios and music publishers fold the better...


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I have to admit that I'm seriously disappointed about the decision to switch to Intel. I'm disappointed about Apple for the very first time. Apple isn't Apple for me anymore. Not the way it felt like in the past.

First of all I'm disappointed that my well maintained software archive of the last 10 years will be almost worthless from one day to another (as soon as I'm forced to use an Intel-Mac). And certainly not all software will be updated. Especially older utilities or games. I really do not trust Rosetta. Maybe it's a great piece of software - but it's an emulator for another architecture!

Second I'm disappointed because Apple told us so many years that Intel is bad and the PowerPC is the best chip in the world. I know it's not that easy and they exaggerated a little bit. But it's a fact that they made use believe they will stick to the PowerPC for the next decade at least. So they lied to us.

Third I'm disappointed because all NextGen-Consoles are using PowerPCs. Even Microsoft kicked Intel and took a PowerPC for their XBox360 (and PowerMacs G5 are the developer stations for their console! How will they develop in future if they do not have the right hardware????). Sony's Playstation 3 uses a CELL chip which I thought would be the next main processor for the Mac. And it would have been the better solution: It's a relative of the PowerPC and, hell, it's fast! Really fast! All PC magazines reporting about the PS3 said they wish that the CELL processor would find it's way in modern PCs! Even Nintendos Revolution is using a PowerPC. So I really do not understand the switch at all.

Back in the 1990's I watched Steven Jobs making the mistake of his life: Porting NeXTstep (OpenStep) to Intel. Two years later the NeXT hardware was dead. And two years after that NeXT was almost dead. If Apple wouldn't had bought them up. Now Jobs is doing that to the Mac.

All in all I think all these actions could be brought to a bottom line: money. Apple wants to earn more money. The are switching to Intel because there is not G5 for the PowerBooks. They want to "sell" us the "Megaherz Myth" for good now.

I love Apple. But I do not love them the same way I loved them till 5th June 2005.

I hope my G5/2x2GHz will last at least for the next 5 to 10 years - my 14 year old NeXTstation Turbo is still in business and working fine.

I won't switch to Intel within this decade.

I'm disappoined.

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Console games are *never* actually programmed on the dev hardware. Visual C++.NET on Windows XP is used to write Xbox360 code. (Most other consoles use GCC on Windows or x86 Linux).

MS had to remove out-of-order execution from their G5 in order to make it run at the clocks they're getting - they're hoping parallelism (multiple cores) will make up for the large performance-per-clock hit. It remains to be seen what tradeoffs Cell has. Regardless, it's clear PowerPC is a dead end for desktop computers.

#16960 06/09/05 04:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Arnoud:
So, yes, HFS+ is still available for the IntelliMacs.
Available, yes, but for how long ?
I'm not saying anything different like your quote :
The partition format of the disk on a Macintosh using an Intel microprocessor differs from that using a PowerPC

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The partition table format is determined by the system's boot ROM. Since Intel Macs don't use OpenFirmware, they will of course have a different partition table format. That means nothing about the actual filesystem format - Linux happily runs ext3fs on every partition format known to man, including Apple's on PowerMacs smile

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Just got done watching the keynote. Steve's RDF did a pretty good job, as always. I've gone from "this is the worst decision ever" to "cautiously optimistic".

I'd say most of this decison comes down to the portables and the lack of a G5 Powerbook (or someday updating the Mac Mini to G5). I doubt it has much to do with performance, and a lot to do with power consumption causing all kinds of problems with computers that Apple wants to make. Of course I'm a Powerbook user who wants a faster PB, so I'd like to thinkthat's the case anyway. wink

This begs the question though, since we'll see macs with Intel chips in them by this time next year, what will they call them? Certainly they won't be called G5's, but will they call them whatever Intel's naming is? Do they keep the Power PC, or Powerbook name? Powerbook P4? Just sounds odd.

#16963 06/09/05 09:22 AM
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Good question. The PowerBook originally was 68k based (for a couple of years), so its name wasn't intended to refer to the processor anyway. The PowerMac on the other hand didn't appear until the first PowerPC processors. In either case, Apple has every right to hang onto the names if they want.

If they were to change anything, I would think they'd change their pro line to ProMac and ProBook, or something similar. (Although there's at least one company using a similar name.) iMacs, iBooks, the Mac mini, etc., will all remain as-is.

As for the whole "G4", "G5" designation, I would suspect Apple would either come up with their own name for the new chip (G4 and G5 are Apple's designations, not IBM's or Motorola's), or drop it altogether, and just keep the name only. They could certainly get away with calling them G6's - "G" standing for Generation. It works for the iPod.

Although being Intel-based, I guess they could just have all IMacs now. Or IiMacs. iIMacs?

Incidentally, I just ordered an obsolete dual 2.7 G5 at work today.

Steve owes me one. Big time. :p


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The only thing that doesn't adds up is Apple using a typical PC bios instead of OpenFirmware. I mean, they are going to build them, why use the archaic bios? The subliminal message here would be "go ahead, install WinXP in your macintel" but that doesn't make sense. It makes more sense if the dev-kits at this moment in time use a typical bios, maybe they assembled them in a couple of weeks time and the final desings of the yet to be announced macintels are still in the drawing table.
Call me crazy, but I think apple is talking secretly with all mayor pc brand vendors (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) to talk them to offer an "updated bios" for their P4 models that would be in truth an openfirmware that would allow the instalations of OS X. Think about it, as a one time offer for $99 upgrade to OSX. How many people wouldn't trade the crash-prone, virus-oriented and unfriendly Windows for a OSX?

#16965 06/09/05 09:57 AM
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I don't think that Apple is likely to allow Mac OS X to run on Intel boxes that they don't build. Apple wouldn't have the same kind of control over components they have now. That's a key thing that still differentiates Macs from PCs. Apple can support only the hardware they feel like supporting. They don't have to support every odd variation that comes down the road. That, in part, is what makes the Mac OS work the way it does, and what causes a lot of grief for Windows users.


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Nathan, you seem to forget is a software (as well as a hardware) company and that there is wider profit margin in selling it. Macintels would still no doubt have an advantage as they are built with OSX in mind. IMO variety of components is only a pain if there are no drivers, but since Linux supports most components (specially if they are recent) I do not see that as a problem.

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But I don't think Jobs would allow it. Admittedly, I never thought he'd switch to Intel, either, but that's an internal component. One of Steve's big things is design. Apple products must look a certain way. And while I think he probably wouldn't mind the market share that OS X on cheap PCs would bring, I doubt his sense of aesthetics will allow it. He'd cringe every time he even thought someone was installing OS X on a Dell. Also, his control-freak nature wouldn't allow it either. He killed off Mac clones, and I don't think this is really any different. It's all about control. Even the move away from Intel is an attempt by Apple to gain some measure of control over processor supply.

Then again, I'm giving up on trying to predict him. I've been completely wrong on pretty much everything. OS X, iPods, Intel. Phooey on this stuff. I'll go back to making predictions about Pixar instead.

As soon as Michael Eisner retires, Pixar will announce a new distribution deal with Disney. Part of the deal returns control, if not outright ownership, of all previous Pixar creations to Pixar. As a side part of the deal, Disney will be forced to scrap their sequels to Pixar films. Toy Story 3, as made by Disney, will never see the light of day.

I actually have a bet on that one for a steak dinner. smile


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#16968 06/09/05 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
As soon as Michael Eisner retires, Pixar will announce a new distribution deal with Disney. Part of the deal returns control, if not outright ownership, of all previous Pixar creations to Pixar. As a side part of the deal, Disney will be forced to scrap their sequels to Pixar films. Toy Story 3, as made by Disney, will never see the light of day.

I actually have a bet on that one for a steak dinner. smile
Hmm, doesn't Steve Jobs own Pixar too? wink

#16969 06/09/05 02:50 PM
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Part of the transition is to have people that are "normal" users not notice the transition. When you walk into the Apple Store, a PowerBook will still be a PowerBook. Yes, Apple will tout the new, faster Intel Centrino processors and improved wireless (thanks to Centrino chipset), but the answer to every customer's question has to be "it's just business as usual".

That's a major reason why consumer machines (and yes, the PowerBook despite being Pro is a consumer machine) will make the switch first. Pro machines like the Power Mac will continue to give Intel machines a run for their money until they are converted to Intel... which is why I see Apple defecting back to Power eventually for high-end computing once IBM gets its act together. After all, why does MS get to have Windows on two different (but not competing processors) and Apple doesn't?

Anyways, back to point. Anything that breaks from the clear transition to Intel (Xstation based on Power, OS X being released as a standalone product, PC clones using OS X, etc, etc) will not be done until after the transition is complete in 2007.

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Quote:
Originally posted by mangamuscle:
The only thing that doesn't adds up is Apple using a typical PC bios instead of OpenFirmware. I mean, they are going to build them, why use the archaic bios? The subliminal message here would be "go ahead, install WinXP in your macintel" but that doesn't make sense. It makes more sense if the dev-kits at this moment in time use a typical bios, maybe they assembled them in a couple of weeks time and the final desings of the yet to be announced macintels are still in the drawing table.
Call me crazy, but I think apple is talking secretly with all mayor pc brand vendors (Dell, HP, Gateway, etc.) to talk them to offer an "updated bios" for their P4 models that would be in truth an openfirmware that would allow the instalations of OS X. Think about it, as a one time offer for $99 upgrade to OSX. How many people wouldn't trade the crash-prone, virus-oriented and unfriendly Windows for a OSX?
Actually, it makes perfect sense. Apple doesn't have to support Windows, can promote OS X, and can tell prospective Dell/HP/Gateway buyers "hey, get the most stable OS in the world, and still play Half-Life 2 when you're done working", all through word-of-mouth and online advertising from Mac users that do it on their own.

Apple doesn't have to mention Windows, ever. And, they can gauge the market, if tens of thousands of geeks start buying Apple so that they can run both Mac and Windows, that will be a nod of approval to a potential offering of OS X to compete with Windows as a standalone product. Again, that won't happen until after the transition to Intel is done though, which will give Apple two full years of powerful market research to study.

#16971 06/09/05 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
But I don't think Jobs would allow it. Admittedly, I never thought he'd switch to Intel, either, but that's an internal component. One of Steve's big things is design. Apple products must look a certain way.
Agreed. This is part of what brought me back to Apple. The last PC I owned was a Vaio mini-tower. I almost had a mental breakdown trying to put a Voodoo 2 card into the thing and trying to use that as a video card in place of the on-board Matrox chipset. God, what a nightmare. Between that and the Windows 98SE debacle I think I must have re-installed the OS five or six times (no exaggeration). I've reinstalled my Powerbook once and that was just to get rid of my Classic partition.

Moving to Intel is debatable, but I think the support issues associated with putting out a stand-alone OS X to run on any Intel kit out there would be something that Apple would want to avoid at all costs. A core feature of Apple computers is that they just work; I cannot see steps being taken that would compromise that unless they were to do like Sun and give the OS away for other x86 systems.


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better ars article: http://arstechnica.com/columns/mac/mac-20050608.ars
more on the technical side of things, rather than evangelical mac users feelings.

just remember the dev system is just that and nothing more. that said, its apparently pretty damn snappy. look for 'Comments/Info on the Mac X86/Pentium 4 Development system' on http://xlr8yourmac.com

by the time i upgrade, im hoping for a dual quad core powermac. OCTOCORE WILL BE THE FUTURE!
or ill settle for a single quad/dual dual core, or just dual core notebook. and non crappy ass integrated graphics, at least some ati/nvidia solution instead of intel EXTREME suckiness. or the new powervr stuff if theyre working on that and can make it work well in osx, if intel even means to use the technology for consumer boards.

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Here's Bob Cringely\'s take on the whole Apple/Intel thing.

It's an interesting read, if a bit over-the-top.

If he is on the right track, I think its success would hinge on a future version of OS X being able to run Windows apps natively... without Windows.


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Cringley is entertaining, but extremely fact-challenged, including on several of the lynchpins of his conspiracy theory :-)

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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Here's Bob Cringely\'s take on the whole Apple/Intel thing.

It's an interesting read, if a bit over-the-top.

If he is on the right track, I think its success would hinge on a future version of OS X being able to run Windows apps natively... without Windows.
The ability to run programs like Doom 3 or WinKawaks with those satanic pop up windows? Where do I sign up?

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After meditating on the subject for a few days, here's my take on it:

The switch to Intel will be no big deal.

A Mac will still be a Mac. To an end user, upgrading to a Pentium-based Mac won't feel any different than upgrading to a G5-based Mac.

It's a net good thing. PowerPC lagged behind Pentium for so many years; now we'll be on the same-speed hardware as a PC. Now Apple is going to move out from under the shadow of "Macs are so much slower than PCs, just look at the clock speeds" and start competing on more important things.

Mac OS X will never run Windows apps natively. IBM tried that years ago with OS/2 and Win32s, and Microsoft thwarted them by making subtle changes to make Win32 apps incompatible with Win32s. (See the Wikipedia article : "Microsoft made a long series of unexplained and apparently rather pointless changes to Win32s which are widely regarded as a highly successful attempt to make it impossible for any third-party to market a compatible platform.")

A Mac is not suddenly going to be able to run Windows, nor are Windows PCs going to suddenly be able to run Mac OS X. The Intel-based Mac motherboard is still going to have custom audio hardware, custom power management hardware, and other custom subcomponents which will make it different from your standard PC motherboards.

I suspect that Intel Mac users will be able to use the same high-end graphics cards that are available for Windows PCs, because there will no longer be an endian issue. No longer will we have to wait for a "Mac Edition" card that's more expensive and does less.

And that's my two cents on the topic.

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Brian: MS could do that in 1993 when there were 3 Win32s apps and two of them were Photoshop. Now their biggest advantage (the sheer amount of Win32 software) is also an albatross around their neck - they can't change the slightest detail of Win32 without a few thousand of their "partners" apps blowing up. This is why Wine is getting scarily compatible despite similar predictions of doom.

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As a matter of fact Wine (and cedega to be more precise) is so compatible that the macintels will need to have a load of game ports the same day they are launched or many users might decide to buy cedega to access all those games, even the ones already released for the mac since cedega is bound to be faster at "emulating" a pc game than rosetta at emulating a mac game. This would be bad that it would jumpstart a vicious circle where less game ports are produced since users buy the windows version. On the other hand, if today software companies start working in patches to make their games run in macintels, a virtuous circle would be created (specialy if the instaled base of OS X users grows due to my other theory wink

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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Kendig:
"Microsoft made a long series of unexplained and apparently rather pointless changes to Win32s which are widely regarded as a highly successful attempt to make it impossible for any third-party to market a compatible platform.")
It's been widely reported that at that time there were competing groups within Micrsoft that argued over implementation details for 9x & NT. IIRC 9x came out of Win32s, so petty squabbling is likely the real reason. For some reason Microsoft probably never wanted to say that officially.

smf

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Anyone know what Mac games will likely work with Rosetta? I had hoped to someday get a chance to play Jedi Knight 2, and Star Trek: Elite Force 2, but I don't know if they're Cocoa or Carbon apps. My understanding is that Carbon isn't supported by Rosetta, but Cocoa is; I'm also hoping that those games are old enough that they'll run well with a fast enough P-M. Of course if there was a re-release of older titles freshly ported to OS X - Intel edition that would be very cool.


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#16981 06/11/05 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
Anyone know what Mac games will likely work with Rosetta? I had hoped to someday get a chance to play Jedi Knight 2, and Star Trek: Elite Force 2, but I don't know if they're Cocoa or Carbon apps. My understanding is that Carbon isn't supported by Rosetta, but Cocoa is; I'm also hoping that those games are old enough that they'll run well with a fast enough P-M. Of course if there was a re-release of older titles freshly ported to OS X - Intel edition that would be very cool.
I was wondering that too. Perhaps Brad could shed some light on this matter?

#16982 06/11/05 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Kendig:
Mac OS X will never run Windows apps natively. IBM tried that years ago with OS/2 and Win32s, and Microsoft thwarted them by making subtle changes to make Win32 apps incompatible with Win32s. (See the Wikipedia article : "Microsoft made a long series of unexplained and apparently rather pointless changes to Win32s which are widely regarded as a highly successful attempt to make it impossible for any third-party to market a compatible platform.")
As the Wikipedia article states, Win32s was the 32-bit extension to 16-bit Windows. As much as I doubt Microsoft's motives, it's unlikely that Win32 changes occurred *just* to run interference with third-parties.

Quote:
Originally posted by Brian Kendig:
The Intel-based Mac motherboard is still going to have custom audio hardware, custom power management hardware, and other custom subcomponents which will make it different from your standard PC motherboards.
I'm not so sure about that - particularly the power management part. Sure, I can see Apple using it's own motherboard designs - for example, they may well be bigger with more spaced out components, allowing for large heatsink(s) on the Intels (a la PPC G5), so that it has fewer, larger, quieter fans. But the implementation of power management doesn't rely on custom hardware. Although for sure there will be something 'unique' about the hardware so that they can lock OS X to it.

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Quote:
Originally posted by mangamuscle:
As a matter of fact Wine (and cedega to be more precise) is so compatible that the macintels will need to have a load of game ports the same day they are launched or many users might decide to buy cedega to access all those games, even the ones already released for the mac since cedega is bound to be faster at "emulating" a pc game than rosetta at emulating a mac game. This would be bad that it would jumpstart a vicious circle where less game ports are produced since users buy the windows version.
I certainly see that as a likely short-term scenario - as long as there is a significant PPC user base, ports aren't going to be that commonplace - any port would have to include PPC versions, otherwise it woud be a problem to market.

So yes, people will use other means to run Windows games in the short-term. But I don't really see that as a problem in the longer term, providing Mac maintains it's user base. Some people won't go to third-party compatability layers, and having a native port will always increase the potential market. As long as that market is big enough to make money from the port - and the costs of an Intel-only port will be significantly lower than they are today - then they will happen.

#16984 06/11/05 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
My understanding is that Carbon isn't supported by Rosetta, but Cocoa is
Not true, Rosetta supports Carbon and Cocoa apps compiled for OSX as long as they are G3 compatible. Any software that is G4 or G5 only will not work (no AltiVec translation).

So any games that are G3 compatible (like Jedi Knight and Elite Force) should work fine. However games like Doom 3 or Splinter Cell which require a G4 or better need to be recompiled for Intel.


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#16985 06/12/05 01:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by will:
Not true, Rosetta supports Carbon and Cocoa apps compiled for OSX as long as they are G3 compatible. Any software that is G4 or G5 only will not work (no AltiVec translation).

So any games that are G3 compatible (like Jedi Knight and Elite Force) should work fine. However games like Doom 3 or Splinter Cell which require a G4 or better need to be recompiled for Intel.
Excellent! Thanks for the correction/clarification.

It will probably behoove Apple/Apple software developers to state what software will run under Rosetta so they can try selling PPC software to people just buying into the Intel platform.

This is the one thing that seems odd about this announcement to me: why make a big public announcement like this without a hardware/software rollout almost immediately following it?


Sean Aaron
#16986 06/12/05 02:36 AM
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They'd need to have some seriously fast x86 processors to do such a thing, because Rosetta runs software quite a bit slower than top of the line PowerPCs.

Nobody wants to buy a computer that is (currently) a lot slower than last years model. In a year or so, once developers(*) have gotten their universal binaries together, there should be a decent selection available.


*: Premium and Select developers, that is. The lack of any solution for everyone else out there shows exactly how much Apple cares about those developing shareware and freeware for its computers.

#16987 06/12/05 10:35 AM
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Well, Apple could subvert any potential Windows procedure by simply executing Windows in a protected state, and (unfortunately) making users go through the Windows install process. Then it would work just like the Classic Blue Box.

PowerBooks will use 2 GHz+ Centrinos that will give the current 3.6 GHz P4 a run for its money. And, I think six months from now you'll see little everyday software needing Rosetta...

#16988 06/12/05 10:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
Excellent! Thanks for the correction/clarification.

It will probably behoove Apple/Apple software developers to state what software will run under Rosetta so they can try selling PPC software to people just buying into the Intel platform.

This is the one thing that seems odd about this announcement to me: why make a big public announcement like this without a hardware/software rollout almost immediately following it?
Simple, the hardware isn't ready yet. Imagine if in October, after all the after-school buyers had bought new Macs that Apple said "oops, your machine won't last three years in our roadmap, sorry". What kind of negative PR would that have made? On the other hand, any customer that asks about this in an Apple Store can be put at-ease by a salesperson.

Doing it now gives developer access (WWDC), press coverage at a time when Apple is at least a month away from new iPods (SJ is good at keeping Apple in-the-news at a constant yet standable trickle), and it gives software makers no excuse to start supporting Intel in time for hardware launches.

#16989 06/12/05 11:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
*: Premium and Select developers, that is. The lack of any solution for everyone else out there shows exactly how much Apple cares about those developing shareware and freeware for its computers.
A little unfair that one - what they are shipping isn't a 'real' product, and has to be returned. They have to draw the line somewhere, and is a developer that can't or won't pay $500 to be a select member going to pay $999 to borrow a dev kit? Take advantage of the hardware discount as well (which you probably would want to next year to have an Intel based box that you can keep), and the membership is virtually nothing.

And it's not like it is impossible to do *anything* without Intel hardware - you can make sure that you are using Xcode, ensure there is no reliance on AltiVec. OK, you won't be able to optimise it properly, but there is no reason why most developers can't get to within a few hours of a working native Intel binary without ever going near an Intel-based Mac.

Sure, some low-level stuff is more reliant on having actual hardware, but even then quite a few of the details that would be necessary haven't even been finalised yet - dev kit or no dev kit.

#16990 06/12/05 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by scarlet:
A little unfair that one - what they are shipping isn't a 'real' product, and has to be returned.
I do not see why they could not be shipping a reverse version of Rosetta now for everybody else. Lord knows they've had long enough to plan, and such a system would be handy for those who will need a little longer to migrate.

Quote:
Take advantage of the hardware discount as well (which you probably would want to next year to have an Intel based box that you can keep), and the membership is virtually nothing.
The hardware discount is better than the academic discount [a category which a lot of small developers fall into] but it's not that spectacular.

Quote:
And it's not like it is impossible to do *anything* without Intel hardware - you can make sure that you are using Xcode, ensure there is no reliance on AltiVec.
Oh sure, but I for one am not prepared to release something I have not tested thoroughly. Odds are that it'll take me a month or two after receiving an Intel mac to get any of my software updated for it.

#16991 06/12/05 02:12 PM
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On that related note, I assume we'll see a boost in emulation speed by being able to tap more x86 source code that is well, more fine-tuned for the task?

As to Rosetta for PowerPC, the only way that will happen is if Apple goes back to Power for workstation computing. That said, that's certainly a door they're telling developers to keep open in their universal binaries.

More code independency also opens the door to even future tasks. Apple has gone back to the PDA multiple times since Newton, and from the looks of what Steve has said, he pretty much muttered "screw it, we'll bring all of OS X over when XScale hits 1 GHz".

#16992 06/12/05 04:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Richard Bannister:
I do not see why they could not be shipping a reverse version of Rosetta now for everybody else. Lord knows they've had long enough to plan, and such a system would be handy for those who will need a little longer to migrate.
I would rather like to see a Rosetta for PPC users. At some point you have to assume that people will ship Intel only binaries.

But how much use would a Rosetta for PPC be to developers? Would it deal with SSE instructions? Can you rely on the results of testing?

Quote:
Oh sure, but I for one am not prepared to release something I have not tested thoroughly. Odds are that it'll take me a month or two after receiving an Intel mac to get any of my software updated for it.
Fine sentiment, but I don't see how an Intel emulation on PPC would reduce the amount of testing you do on a real Intel mac - the best you can hope for is that you might have found and fixed a few bugs before you get to the point of real testing.

#16993 06/13/05 05:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nathan Strum:
Also, I think RB is absolutely correct - this is a lot more about laptops than desktops. The way Jobs presented it, it was obvious that it was much more than just part of it. It's a big part of it. If I had to guess, I would think their first Intel computer may be the next gen PowerBook.
This matches the whisperings I heard at WWDC from certain folks as well. PowerBooks seem to be at the heart of this. The plan seems to be to transition PowerBooks and other low-end Macs to x86 first, then do the high-end stuff towards the end.

#16994 06/13/05 05:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hatoncat:
I'll be happy to compile MacMAME in Xcode for years to come, but when it comes to playing that high-end Model 2 (and soon Model 3) game that gives even today's games a run for their money.... it's off to Windows I will be happily going.
I'm curious why that would be. Performance of MacMAME on an x86 Mac will be roughly equivalent to a PC with similar hardware. The only reason I can imagine for wanting to boot Windows to play MAME would be the UI. I admit that MacMAME's UI hasn't aged gracefully (which is something I'm actively working to address), but I'd like to think it's not _that_ hideous. ;-)

#16995 06/13/05 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
Anyone know what Mac games will likely work with Rosetta? I had hoped to someday get a chance to play Jedi Knight 2, and Star Trek: Elite Force 2, but I don't know if they're Cocoa or Carbon apps. My understanding is that Carbon isn't supported by Rosetta, but Cocoa is; I'm also hoping that those games are old enough that they'll run well with a fast enough P-M. Of course if there was a re-release of older titles freshly ported to OS X - Intel edition that would be very cool.
Rosetta runs PowerPC binaries - Carbon or Cocoa. The main issue will be the performance of Rosetta, from what I can tell. I don't think anyone can say for sure yet how that will pan out - ask again in 12 months time. ;-)

#16996 06/13/05 07:39 AM
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The rumor in slashdot is that the dev-kit has already been leaked to the net, so I suppose now that shareware-freeware developers get a crack at it, and we will get some rosetta benchmarks before the year end smile

#16997 06/13/05 09:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mangamuscle:
The rumor in slashdot is that the dev-kit has already been leaked to the net, so I suppose now that shareware-freeware developers get a crack at it, and we will get some rosetta benchmarks before the year end smile
The thing to remember is this: those benchmarks aren't going to be terribly useful, at least in the short term. We won't know for a while yet what hardware will actually ship from Apple next year, and it's safe to assume that performance of Rosetta and the x86 OSX will certainly improve as well. If I were Apple, I'd certainly be leery of Rosetta benchmarks leaking out and perhaps tainting things a bit when it's not yet warranted.

#16998 06/13/05 03:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mangamuscle:
The rumor in slashdot is that the dev-kit has already been leaked to the net, so I suppose now that shareware-freeware developers get a crack at it, and we will get some rosetta benchmarks before the year end smile
its a gnaa prank apparently (look on wikipedia if you dont know what the gnaa is).

otherwise an ati guy posted this on the macach (ars):
Quote:
You can't just install the Dev build on a standard x86 machine. Each machine went through a process to install keys at Apple prior to being shipped to WWDC. Each install is tied to that particular machine.
then theres some wacko on some apple mailing list saying theres going to be an x86 pci-x card. im just hoping for rosetta to go both ways down the line when intel only apps come out, or at least for pc emulation purposes. itll be possible, but would probably cost apple more, depending on what their deal with transitive is like. if theyre not doing it because of cost, i guess by not having it, itll force developers to continue creating fat binaries for a while.

#16999 06/13/05 07:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Rosetta runs PowerPC binaries - Carbon or Cocoa. The main issue will be the performance of Rosetta, from what I can tell. I don't think anyone can say for sure yet how that will pan out - ask again in 12 months time. ;-)
Brad, you're working for Aspyr, right? Any idea if they're planning on updating the binaries for any existing PPC titles for running on Intel hw? Kind of like The Sims and many of the early expansions got Carbon updates to enable OS X native execution.

As my post made clear there's a number of titles I probably would have gotten already, but for the fact that my aging powerbook lacks the VRAM to do so. I'd hate to think that my only option would be to buy some soon-to-be-obsolete machine to play a two-year-old game (by itself a move that would be impossible to justify, although if I saw a deep enough discount in a 12" or 15" powerbook I'd be quite tempted -- not having to re-purchase software like MS Office would be a powerful incentive; plus I could probably pick up discounted PPC software...something to think about!).

They did re-publish a lot of the Sims stuff Carbonized quite awhile after the original release; I'd hope that stuff like Call of Duty sold well-enough to warrant the same treatment for the release of Intel HW. Heck they could even bundle some of these titles into a hits package or something...


Sean Aaron
#17000 06/14/05 12:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by seanraaron:
Brad, you're working for Aspyr, right? Any idea if they're planning on updating the binaries for any existing PPC titles for running on Intel hw?
I'm sure we'll do something along those lines, although it's unclear to me yet to what extent. It may be that Rosetta will run a number of games just fine. If so, then I don't know if we'll spend a lot of effort reworking older titles to be x86 native. A lot of our games from 2 or more years ago are not built in Xcode, so the effort required for them would be greater than for stuff released in the past 2 years. Bottom line - it's too early to say, but I expect to have to x86-ify a few games at least. wink

#17001 06/14/05 03:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Oliver:
Quote:
Originally posted by hatoncat:
[b]I'll be happy to compile MacMAME in Xcode for years to come, but when it comes to playing that high-end Model 2 (and soon Model 3) game that gives even today's games a run for their money.... it's off to Windows I will be happily going.
I'm curious why that would be. Performance of MacMAME on an x86 Mac will be roughly equivalent to a PC with similar hardware. The only reason I can imagine for wanting to boot Windows to play MAME would be the UI. I admit that MacMAME's UI hasn't aged gracefully (which is something I'm actively working to address), but I'd like to think it's not _that_ hideous. ;-) [/b]
Well, if you're able to get full parity with Win32/source going, then that would be great, since it would have full compatibility... no more "Mac can't even emulate as well as Windows"...

And, on a personal note, I'm a huge fan of the UI in MacMAME, I'd love to see a MAME32 interface that looks as nice as it does. It's simple, and it's organized.

#17002 06/14/05 03:58 AM
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The big drawback for me is that it won't run small enough for my arcade machine. The interface is great. Except it won't work on my actual arcade monitor, or on my TV.


-Mahuti

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#17003 06/14/05 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by mahuti:
The big drawback for me is that it won't run small enough for my arcade machine. The interface is great. Except it won't work on my actual arcade monitor, or on my TV.
You need something that can shrink down to around 640x480 or somewhat less, right? I'm definitely keeping this in mind - I think the new MacMAME interface should scale well.

#17004 06/14/05 10:00 PM
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The TV monitors need 640 x 480, and the arcade monitors *may* require as low as 320 x 240, though a series of new arcade monitors can use multiple resoutions as high as 800 x 600.


-Mahuti

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