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Official: Apple moving to x86

  1. Jun 6, 2005 #1


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    This is very exciting news. When OX X 10.5 Leopard comes out i'm definitely going to get a copy. Woot Woot !!!

    There is no way Microsoft can compete. Apple has dehorned Longhorn.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 6, 2005 #2
    Sounds like great news, I may have to grab a copy too.
  4. Jun 6, 2005 #3


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    Yeah, only if Apple doesn't cripple OS X to only work on their hardware.

    [edit] It looks like they are going to restrict OSX to Mac only:

    "After Jobs' presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that."

    However, Schiller said the company does not plan to let people run Mac OS X on other computer makers' hardware. "We will not allow running Mac OS X on anything other than an Apple Mac," he said. "
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
  5. Jun 6, 2005 #4
    Sadness. Looks like they just lost a fair share of people who might have otherwise bought it (me included)
  6. Jun 6, 2005 #5


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    I just despise this whole movement to x86 in general. What I would've like to have seen is Apple producing both x86 and PowerPC workstations. The more architectures that are available, the more interesting choices a consumer has - we're just locking ourselves into an obsolete piece of crap that should've been killed off years ago.

    MIPS is dead. Alpha is dead. PowerPC is in the process of dying (as far as the consumer is concerned). Sparc will soon be dead (again, as far as the consumer is concerned). See a pattern?
  7. Jun 6, 2005 #6
    Yeah, increasing compatibility. Hallelujah!
  8. Jun 6, 2005 #7


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    How is this increasing compatibility? Increasing compatibility is not killing other architectures - it is defining more standards to allow interoperability between operating systems and architectures.

    You're not increasing compatibility - you're destroying the need for it.
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2005
  9. Jun 6, 2005 #8

    Heavily agreed.
  10. Jun 6, 2005 #9

    For most computer users who are affected by computer incompatibility, the issue is that files created on one machine can't be shared with another machine. The most common problems are with graphics and text formatting getting screwed up. When you work in an organization that uses both x86s and macs, it's a colossal mess. I can't count the number of times a Mac guy has told me that a Word file on a mac is the same as a Word file on an x86. But (unless this has changed in the last year or so) it just isn't true.

    As to your point that "compatibility....is defining more standards to allow interoperability between operating systems and architectures" all I can say is, you've had your chance, and it didn't get done. If it had, the other platforms and OSs wouldn't be at the edge of extinction.

    The real world moves on; it can't wait around for standards to be defined. A network of identical, mediocre, computers that can communicate seamlessly is far more productive than a hodgepodge of outrageously great computers that can't. That's why Bill Gates is the richest person in world and Steve Jobs isn't.
  11. Jun 6, 2005 #10


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    From an end-user perspective all of this is valid, but irrevelavant to computer science, which is what's important. Just because we can't open a Word file, let's kill a fairly decent, if not superior architecture to x86.

    What computer science has come down to is end-users dictating the path of the field. Not all operating systems are meant to be used by a typical user. Take Plan 9 for example - it's a research operating system with only research in mind. It doesn't care what some end-user will think of its interface - it's there for just purely research and implementing interesting concepts. Should we get rid of it, too? (it does have an MS word to Postscript converter, by the way - so please spare it)

    Point is, even if someone did come out with an operating system that was the coolest thing since slice bread, it wouldn't be accepted. Why? People don't care about new, exciting things - they're in some sort of mindset where they hear things like: "Linux, x86, Windows" all day long.

    [sarcasm]If it ain't Linux or x86 it needs to be killed.[/sarcasm]

    To be honest, I don't understand anything that I just quoted you on. Are you saying that interoperability is not a needed among other operating systems? That we should just kill every other OS other than Linux and Windows along with every other architecture other than x86? Is that what you're saying?

    Again, you're acting like the end-user should dictate the path of computer science. There's more to just judging an OS or an architecture by it's capabilities to an end-user, such as someone in an office environment. If that were true, many of the technologies that are in use today would not be around. Of course, that was in the 70s when those projects were given the chance to thrive, because the mindset of today did not exist then.

    It seems as if you're admitting that indeed these extinct architectures are superior to what's generally accepted. Why is this? Why are you so unwilling to adopt or support something that's radically different (possibly better) than what you're using now? It's that mindset that's around nowadays.

    I suggest you read this: www.cs.bell-labs.com/who/rob/utah2000.pdf , to get a feel of what I'm saying.

    Essentially, we now have one less avenue for possible alternative, since Apple has switched to x86.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  12. Jun 6, 2005 #11


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    Also, while some of these research operating systems and architectures that are around (most of them are on the edge of extinction because of lack of corporate of government support) may not be the most suitable operating systems for a office environment or a home user, each of them offer something unique and special that aren't found anywhere else.

    Apple will be switching from an architecture that uses OpenBoot (if you've used it before or have a clue you know what I mean) to an architecture whose "BIOS" hasn't had an upgrade since it was conceived, other than support for booting of CDROMs, USB devices, and using USB keyboard

    The technologies that are being phased out are usually superior to their accepted counterparts. There's currently some sort of plague going on in the systems research field - money.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  13. Jun 7, 2005 #12
    Well, that's only because "computer science" isn't really science. It's a mix of science and commerce, in other words it's technology. The superior architectures you've mentioned are only physically realized at huge cost. I saw an 8" wafer of the latest generation of Sparks, and there were only about 25 chips on it. Those things are gigantic! Who's going to invest in something like that unless there's a market of "end-users"? And there just isn't. 99% of computer users don't even need the performance of a P4. This technology has just gotten way too far ahead of its market.

    Physics has a related problem, not commerce exactly, but money. "The path of the field" of high energy physics is hitting a dead end, because it's gotten too expensive to investigate higher and higher energies. Not enough people care what the energy of the top quark is to have their tax dollars spent trying to find out.

    My advice is get used to mediocrity. In a democracy, by definition, that's usually what you get.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  14. Jun 7, 2005 #13
    I don't know but this seems like one of the most careless decisions that apple has ever-made. to me they are just concentrating on making money since dell, compaq, etc. have been selling more systems than them. To me they are forgetting what apple stands for. I was listening to the TWiT podcast and they interviewed someone from apple and he was like "oh this should have been long ago" but I still don't get it, isn't x86 going to be obsolete soon?

    if this does work then it will be great because you will have both worlds.
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  15. Jun 7, 2005 #14


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    It's been obsolete since it's conception. Almost everything you take for granted with the x86 architecture has been added as an afterthought - specifically, the conversion from CISC to RISC (in Intel's on perverted way, of course).

    MIPS, Sparc (calling it `Spark' only verifies your lack of knowledge), PowerPC, and Alphas were designed from the ground up to use a boot PROM. I've seen a hack of the boot PROM concept on x86 servers a lot lately, usually they have some sort of services board running a PowerPC or ARM strapped to the motherboard that has it's own networking interface (and possibly a serial port). Sure, this allows you to configure the system remotely, but you still can't do installs via serial or over a network remotely. The processors I listed above have had boot PROM technology since they were conceived. My little SparcStation 5 (a real gem in it's day) had PROM technology in 92', and Sun systems had it way before that - the same with SGI, IBM, Dec, etc. I can have a customer who lives in Kentucky order a few Sun servers, and I can configure them and install Solaris remotely, while I'm sitting in Florida.

    This all goes back to what I said earlier. Even if the best architecture or operating system were to arrive nobody would care. If you need anymore evidence remember that DEC is dead, SGI is in the process of dying, Apple has had to switch to x86 to survive, and Sun is still fighting. Honestly, though, I don't expect Sun to continue their UltraSparc line for eternity.
  16. Jun 7, 2005 #15
    Actually it's SPARC not "Sparc". What does that verify about you?

    More to the point, the paragraph above makes my case, not yours. Why should 99% of computer users pay the price, chaos and loss of productivity in their work place, so that the 1% who understand what you were talking about can get a technology fix. It's a free country. You want to design unnecessarily high performance processors, get some work stations, hire a few hundred of your ilk, and get to work. Of course if you want actual chips to play with you'll have to get a $3B fab to build them for you, so they won't be cheap. And don't count on anybody buying them, because 99% of us don't want them. That's how it is with free enterprise.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  17. Jun 7, 2005 #16


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    I have no clue. Feel free to enlighten me, though.

    You took the words right out of my mouth. Do you not understand that the information technology industry is boxing itself in? By elliminating all these wonderful technologies and reverting back to piss-poor ones, we're not only not advancing at the rate we once were (mid 90s), but, in fact, we're retrogressing. Sure, consumers can now get their hands on a somewhat powerful platform, but they're going to keep that platform for a long time to come. Are you really willing to use an archaic, much less than perfect set of technologies for years to come just because they're cheap, while killing off what could offer future advances to systems research?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2005
  18. Jun 7, 2005 #17
    Here, Here G7!!! Hmmm, lets all revert to a processor who's ability to arbitrate conflicts between external devices is circa 1971. Nothing like a good old IRQ conflict when installing a new PCI/AGP/whatever card---these conflicts don't occure on modern processors BTW, just the P4(x86) dinosaurs. Ohhh we have HT. Wow guys you added a pipeline!!! Great job. So long RISC. Hello 1980. Get the new Apple with a black joystick featuring a big red button and a DB9 connector. Cartridges sold seperately.

    In the end I think Apple will still make a good machine even if it is based on a crap processor, but I wont be buying a new Apple until the conversion is complete. I was planning on getting a new G5; however, Apple has all but said "we plan on making your $2000 purchase obsolete next year!!!"

    I guess I'll swing by the junkyard(aka any retailer of x86 processors) and pick myself up an AMD to fill the gap until the transformation to the darkside is complete.
  19. Jun 8, 2005 #18

    It certainly verifies that you're a jackass.

    Now, granted graphic7 is incapable of posting without being an ass and attacking anyone he disagrees with unnecessarily, but he is right. For purely economic reasons the elmination of other architectures is bad. For technical reasons its an absolute disaster.

    And just so you know, those compatibility issues have nothing to do with the architectures. They have much more to do with the incompetent design of Windows that is intentionally made to be as incompatible as they can legally get away with (since the antitrust judgement forced them to make certain measures of compatibility, and now the EU is finally cracking down on their intentional incompatibility, though not enough).
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2005
  20. Jun 8, 2005 #19
    I like what the EU did, merely due to the fact that what "the company" is doing is abusive. After installing windows I uninstalled alot of the software that came with it, in order to put on my preferred software.
  21. Jun 9, 2005 #20
    no need for that, You are also very opinionated, and a bit abrasive
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