Intel chips, well, IIRC there are already two chips in my Dual 1GHZ G4
Macintosh. But not processors. Just supporting chipsets and such.
It's complete speculation that Apple wants to turn to Intel for
processors. But Intel does make supporting chipsets, graphics chipsets,
wifi, bluetooth, etc...
Apple hasn't used Motorola chips in quite a while.
What's happening is slow progress towards Apple getting out of the
hardware business where they have always been a day late and many $ over
budget. The move to put their UI on a Unix OS core was the first step in
that direction. The next move will be to move to Intel chips. Eventually
they will just be selling their OS to run on any generic Intel or clone)
This will actually be a good thing for most everyone since when you need
a PC you'll be able to go buy an inexpensive generic Itanium (or clone)
hardware platform and then pick your preferred OS to run on it from
Windows, a few variants of Linux, MAC, VMS, several variants of Unix and
probably a few others.
People will still have their choice of OS's while also benefiting from a
common low cost hardware platform. It will also allow the single
hardware platform to boot multiple OS's which would allow people in a
household to share a PC while still having their preferred OS.
Everyone knows that Apple's hardware has always been overpriced compared
to comparable hardware in the PC world. The move to a common hardware
platform will significantly lower costs for those who wish to use
Apple's OS (really UI since it's no longer an Apple OS), just as the
move to PCI replaced $400 Ethernet cards with $20 ones.
I would expect engineering types to be more careful with statements
like "Apple's hardware has always been overpriced".
Even though there are a lot of conventional wisdom and BS on "cheaper",
when you talk about workstations, the pricing isn't much different. My
Dell M60 was priced higher than my similar 17" Aluminum PowerBook (both
were over $4k). I've seen Xeon vs Mac G5 comparisons within a few
hundred dollars one way or the other. iMacs have been compared
favorably, too, and now the Mini isn't too bad a comparison either.
Comparing the bottom of the barrel doesn't make much sense here in the
SolidWorks group. I've never met a designer or engineer using a "$500
What I want is any OS, anyttime, anywhere, on any box. I'm tired of
the hardware restrictions. I don't expect my hardware cost per box to
go down, and indeed it might go up a bit, but I won't need 2 different
Steve Jobs is anything but stupid. The day may come when the OS that
is most usable and secure will gain major market share, and who knows,
Steve may pull it off. Protecting the OS from rampant piracy would be
a must to have a decent income off the OS, though.
Though I would love to use just Windows, I have been terminally
disgusted at the shortcomings of Windows and convinced that $10s of
billions of dollars can no longer "fix" an OS, when the corporate
mindset is wrong-headed. I think MS has grown too large, and too
dependent on a few individuals 'mantra' to succeed anymore, but that is
strictly my opinion. Microsoft has taken on an almost impossible task
of being everything to every client and customer, in both hardware and
software. As good as their people are, I don't know if it can be done,
especially with Longhorn (get rid of ambiguous dialog box entries).
Unix on the other hand, is not "rewritten" every 3-5 years. Unix has
evolved, as has Linux, and the basics are time tested over decades.
You can depend on Unix, and that is why so many institutions do so.
Apple picked Unix for a darned good reason.
Time will Tell - Bo
Granted I haven't spent a lot of time looking at Apple products, but I
don't recall ever seeing anything from Apple that I would put in the
"workstation" class. The top end that I've seen I'd compare to a higher
end "gamer" PC.
Well that's where things are headed as we get to the Itanium (and
eventual clones). You currently have Windows, VMS and a bunch of Linux
and Unix variants running on it. With Apples move to replace their
inferior OS kernel with a reliable Unix kernel that puts them in a
position to easily port to Itanium.
The day came and went, and I gotta tell you it wasn't an Apple OS. VMS
pretty well kills the competition for stability, reliability, usability
and security, but unfortunately the poor marketing of Digital and then
Compaq and now HP has shown that technical superiority does not
guarantee a market win.
I'm not a particular Windows fan, but I find that it can run acceptably
for most things. As long as you disable / don't enable the "stupid"
features it's pretty stable, not particularly memory or disk space
efficient, but those are cheap commodities these days.
I use W2Kpro for my CAD work (TurboCAD), my CNC control (Mach3), my VRU
(WinIVR) and even my web server since it runs on the same box as the
VRU. The VRU / web server runs for months at a time without any
My work machine is also W2Kpro and does nicely with a slew of WRQ
Reflections telnet sessions, the usual MS office products and a Cisco
Windows tries to do too much and succeeds in being "passable" at most.
If you need better for a particular component there are plenty of third
You can depend on Unix - if you put a fair amount of effort into
configuring it properly. Most Unix versions are pretty mediocre out of
the box. Much of the popularity of Unix is due to hype more than
technical superiority, similar to Windows.
I've heard more that a few management types make statements to the
effect of "we need to convert X application to Windows so we can web
enable it". Certainly anyone with any technical knowledge knows most web
stuff originated out of the Unix world with a bit on VMS. Windows was
just on the UI end much of the time.
I'd like to think that Apple finally realized that they just did not
have the expertise to develop a proper OS kernel and decided to focus on
their UI instead.
That's the basic premise, as long as you aren't waiting for the machine
all is well.
Nope, and I don't jump on the gotta have the latest greatest bandwagon
hype either. A good deal of my general work is done on a P3/500 laptop
with 128MB and W2Kpro. This includes some CAD work and the only time I
see anything that would be better with a newer faster machine is when
doing a photo realistic render. All the design/drawing keeps up without
the slightest issue.
At some point I'll get a new current high end machine, mostly because I
want to do some video work that my current machine isn't very good at.
Email, spreadsheets, CAD, surfing, CNC control, VRU, web server, etc.
all work just fine on the older machines.
They are currently used in the PowerBooks and iBooks.
I think you do not understand apple's philosophy and business model.
"Designing" the user experience is about controlling and delivering the
entire package: Hardware, Software, packaging, manuals, website... it
is all part of the "design" and product. Apple depends on the symbiotic
relationship between the hardware and software - evolved strategically
Microsoft will always be at a disadvantage in this respect since they
must deal with every hardware hack out there who can solder two wires
together and sort-of write code that sort-of-delivers on the product
promises. That is not a user centric concept at all.
Unfortunately too many people make these "inexpensive" hardware
comparisons without really making genuine comparisons that look at the
whole package - and what the user may actually want to accomplish with
the kit. Sure, Dell or Best Buy can advertise a hot deal, but when you
get into the detail, you are better off buying the Mac since they do
not cheat on the features to make the price artificially low. I would
rather have a functional out of the box experience rather than a never
ending tweaking and upgrading experience.
Most people give have absolutely no clue what an OS is and just want to
print their photos, surf the net, email, or do whatever job they have.
You are talking about a small percentage of the geeks who do care and
write about it on the internet. I think that is probably not an
interesting market for most companies.
Sorry, that is bunk. Compare off-the shelf computers with equivalent
specs for hardware and software, and this is simply not true! And even
when you have 1 to 1 features, the difference in usability is the
deciding factor. If it were true that apple was overpriced, I would
still be willing to pay for the better, more reliable, better
integrated kit any day.
Unfortunately, many of the people who bash apple and the "fan-boys"
have not used or had any hands on experience with recent apple hardware
and OSX. People are fans either because the drank the lemonaid, or
there is something to it that makes people like it! Most people I know
who have really done a hands on for a serious period of time, find that
they would never go back to Windows. And what I mean by "serious time",
is to allow yourself to adjust to slightly different concepts and ways
of doing things. Change is always hard, and can be frustrating, but
often can have beneficial results.
Here are a couple links that may be of interest:
This one is especially interesting and is very detailed / fair in it's
comparisons between dell and apple systems.
for a very long and detailed comparison between OSX and XP:
Arstechnica has the most plausible speculation about the apple / intel rumor
Or this funny one from Ars talking about the ultimate budget box -
comes in at about 500USD... including floppy!!! Ha ha... better get a
Anyway, just wanted to stick my oar in it ;-)
No offence intended.
Are they? I though they were on IBM chips these days.
Apple relies far too heavily on they styling of their packaging over the
quality of what's in the package.
I'll also note that the components of their products have not entirely
"evolved" together. Their most recent OS change was far from an
evolution, it was an unstated admission that after all these years they
still did not have the expertise to write a proper OS kernel and
therefore had to adopt someone else's. Until OS-X they still did not
have any memory management worth a damn.
I don't recall ever promoting Microsoft. Windows more-or-less works and
when configured appropriately makes a reasonable desktop OS. Neither
Windows nor OS-X are at all suitable for an "enterprise" server
environment, though some folks would like you to think so.
I don't buy that argument at all. I don't see any features left out of
the various midrange PCs to make them cheaper than an Apple system.
Compare any brand name PC of an equal price to a given Apple system and
you will find more features, more capability and in most cases more
expandability. The pre installed Windows on those systems work just fine
out of the box without tweaking or upgrading. Recall also that you can
buy that PC and run Unix/Linux on it if you don't like Windows.
I also have a couple friends that have MACs and over the past few years
they have had far more problems, both hardware and software, with those
two machines than I have had with the five Windows systems that I have
Additionally on the PC side you have a vast array of systems to choose
from ranging from consumer desktops up to fairly high end server
hardware and again a number of OS choices available. The ability to pick
a computer that suits your needs from small to XXL and then pick the OS
that suits your needs is a great asset to the purchaser.
I don't buy that one either. If "most" people felt that way, the
"internet appliance" would not have crashed and burned as it clearly
did. The percentage of people who actually care about the OS and the
capabilities of the system is fairly high, certainly not 100%, but far
from a "small percentage".
As the market shifts people will become more aware of the OS choice and
realize that PC does not automatically equate to Windows.
Nope, you've got the bunk there I'm afraid. Ethernet cards for Apple
systems did indeed cost hundreds of dollars at the same time when
Ethernet cards for PCs were sub $50.
The move to PCI industry wide was a big help in driving down the costs
of many items like this, when a single Ethernet card can be used in a
MAC, a PC, or a large Sun, IBM or Compaq/HP enterprise class system.
I have never seen any objective data showing that an Apple system was
more reliable than a PC. Every MAC user I have known has had both
hardware and software problems. One person I know had to send their MAC
in for hardware repair several times, another had their less than 1 yr
old system replaced in it's entirety. All have had many hangs and
As for usability, again I haven't seen any objective evidence of this.
Much of the same software is available on either platform and functions
the same on either platform. The basic UI functions of both the MAC OS
and Windows are very comparable so I can't see how one can be more
useable than the other.
On integration, yes the MACs are integrated, however I don't think they
are better integrated. Windows tries to be pretty integrated as well,
but somehow when it's windows integration it's antitrust and when it's
MAC OS integration it's not. Apple also has a very bad habit of trying
to dumb down standards and making their products somewhat incompatible
in the process. I ran into this very issue trying to get an OS-X laptop
onto a WiFi network where it was quite a hassle to get the encryption
strings in properly due to Apples poor configuration interface design
and misuse of terminology.
I've found just as many people who had the opposite experience, where
once they started exploring the PC world the found they preferred it to
I've had enough time with MACs at various point to know that I still
really dislike them. I strongly dislike their complete dumbing down of
everything, and unlike in Windows where you can disable that dumbing
down, you can't on the MAC.
The only good experience on OS-X I've had was pulling up the underlying
Unix shell and being able to actually do things, even simple stuff like
ping and traceroute. I'm thoroughly tired of MAC users sending me files
with no extensions and having to look at the headers to figure out what
the heck they are.
Interesting, the two comparisons that I looked at (low end and high end)
both put the Dell PCs solidly as the winner for hardware. The software
comparisons were not entirely objective in my opinion and there seemed
to be a few errors.
How about a comparison to something other than Windows? There is more in
the world than just OS-X and Windows.
Wandering the isles at Fry's today I saw a number of pretty well
configured, but not "name brand" PCs for around $300.
None taken. I haven't liked anything from Apple since the II+. I tried
the first Lisa and didn't like it. I tried the first MAC and didn't like
it. I've tried OS-X and didn't like anything past the Unix shell window.
I'm not a Windows fan either, but I find windows to be far more useable
for my style of work than any MAC OS. I find the MAC OS full of the
cutesy nonsense that I disable on windows.
I also really hate cutesy stylized product packaging, and this includes
not just the Apple products, but also the small Sun systems and many of
the home networking products. I tend to prefer the earlier Netgear
products in the nice all metal rectangular packaging. Cutesy packages
don't rack worth a damn.
I'd rather like the CDE on VMS as my desktop machine, but it's not very
practical since a number of important bits of software I use are Windows
only. The CDE on a Unix platform would be a second choice, but again not
I think you are letting the styling get in the way of what is inside.
That is part of the point - keep it simple - have the best quality
components and include everything the user needs (most users), verses
the dell type experience where you have to add and add to get equal
Is there actually something wrong with changing your mind and selecting
a better strategy? Essentially, when Jobs returned to the company, he
changed the strategic goals, and that is what I mean. The hardware /
PowerPC strategy, the BSD OS and open source were major strategic
Of course it always depends what you want to achieve and what your work
is. In my opinion, if one is aiming for the broad market, having a
highly engineered and user focused system that includes the maximum
features out of the box, is the better user experience.
If they are using pre-OSX, then I am sure you are right. I have a
colleague in my office who is still using OS 9 on a 6 year old machine.
Crashes almost every day. He is about to upgrade to an iMac and 10.4. I
am sure he will not have the same experience. I have 3 macs, all
running OSX, and on hardware the is between 2.5 - 5 years old. No
problems, no crashes other than the occasional MS office problem. OSX
is another world from OS 9.
If you are going to do a specialized job, use a specialized tool. The
only reason I have a PC is for SolidWorks. If I had the choice, I would
run it on OSX and apple hardware since my experience is the opposite of
yours - my PC are the unreliable and problematic systems.
I think internet appliance = low power. Problem is that people these
days want to store music, photos, video - and you need decent hardware
and software to deal with that.
I am not sure I understand this point. Unless we are talking about 13
years ago when apple used appletalk, apple has always included ethernet
as a standard feature. And almost all Macs include gigabit ethernet and
have for several years (10/100/1000).
Well, consumer reports may be one. But actual MTBF I have no idea. All
systems can have problems, and again I have no idea if the systems you
speak of are current offerings, or pre OSX. the only sure things in
life are death, taxes, and computer problems. :-)
Yes, they are very similar, but it is in the subtle details that they
are different. It can be as simple as something like drag-and-drop
behaviour not working everywhere (PC problem) or simply having the
ability to print PDFs from any application (mac feature). But these are
not easily described - it really is something one has to use.
I think that has to do with market share and ability to drive your
competition out of existence. Hardly an issue for apple.
Well, hard to know what your issue was - and I am not familiar with
your terminology of "encryption strings". Setting passwords or WEP
Often the issues I have seen windows users have are related to their
expectation that it should be (or will be) more complicated than it
really needs to be. Dumbing down as you put it is really just saying
the starting point is that 1, it should work, 2, if the user needs,
there are all the high end features available. What you describe as
poor interface design may simply be what is familiar verses what is
unfamiliar. All the features you need are there, just may not be where
you would look on a PC.
I see that you are not the average user, and that you also have a
specific way you want to work, or are familiar with working, and that's
great! Not trying to make you change. That you want to use the shell
indicates that you really are not a user interface type, so don't use
it and stick to the shell. If you want to navigate by keyboard, do that
too. For me that is the beauty of OSX - any way you want to work is
fine, and at any level, pro or basic.
Regarding extensions, the mac has always hidden that archaic
information from the user since users don't normally care about the
document type - just want it to open, work, and print. However, in OSX
extensions are shown (or optionally hidden). You should perhaps be
annoyed that PCs still can only recognize a document if there is a
visible extension, which is less user friendly.
To me the main point in my argument is when you look at the end of the
comparisons and the pricing. For the mac it is typically one price to
have all that functionality - standard. For the PC you must add this
and add that, and then you have a comparable system. Many average users
will not do that, and then they will find out later they must add
hardware or software to get functionality, and that costs time, money
Well... you are definitely not the target audience... definitely a hard
Daniel, I am basically similar to you in equipment usage. Dell M60 for
SolidWorks & Excel only (it virtually never goes on the Internet).
17" PowerBook for all other work.
I don't care about spending near $10k for my work hardware, and yet
Pete is occassionally referring to pricing issues. I think a serious
point is missed by some commentators on PC vs pc vs Mac vs Linux vs
I will use whatever gives me high productivity. If the PC does it OK.
If the Mac does great. If I can increase my productivity even more with
PC and Mac, then that is better for me. If a couple $4.5k laptops, PC
& Mac do it better than desktops, better yet.
Today, I take both laptops to a toolmaker 100 miles away and sit down
to discuss quotes for a new product line and new cavity inserts for an
existing product line.
Esoteric subtleties are nice as long as they are 100% reliable and they
are quick. Twiddling for days or weeks is not an efficient way to run
my work or my life. I have not had good luck "just installing and
running" 3rd party utilities on Dell's PCs. Too often, funny things
happen (even with the Win XP system, like self-generated Network
connections that you can't delete, and crash the system when I try!)
With the Mac, I am trying to remember the last time I bought a small
Utility that didn't work. And the Mac Utilities like SnapZ Pro (screen
capture) is so flexible and advanced that it puts everything else I've
seen to shame.
My efficiency is right at the top of my requirements for my work, and
Mac OSX has that right for me, except for SolidWorks. Dell's M60
running only SolidWorks gives me nearly 100% uptime for SolidWorks so
that is terrific. It would be nice to see SolidWorks run on a Mac, but
I'm not holding my breath, or really complaining.
I'll use what is most efficient as long as it is easy to get up and
running. Man hours are costly, and far too many comparisons of cost
(like + or - $200 to $500) NEVER take into account setup, maintenance,
protection, and upgrade costs, whether in $s or labor hours.
My experience, 5 years ago, was that if you wanted to do digital image
editing, you went with a Mac because their hardware and software were the
best out there for that purpose. But, if you wanted an allaround workhorse,
you went with a windows PC. It wasn't that the PC was better, as much as
that is where the software and the majority of users were. I have seen
arguments here concerning hardware problems with Apples and PC's. It all
comes down to who built it. Apple builds all of their computers, and
Windows does not build any. So, a computer running windows can have
hardware issues, if the hardware is not set up properly, or if there is
anything that would be considered "custom" in the OS.
I don't see the point in arguing which is better, they both have strong
points and weak points, the thing that may be debated are the areas where
neither is particularly strong. You might as well be arguing which is
better, a hybrid sedan or the largest SUV out on the market. Are you too
ignorant to realize that each has their own use?
Today, I would say the mac is the better all-round choice – as you say,
especially for graphics, video and audio. If you have custom or legacy
windows Applications, that is a deterrent to using a mac. But in most
cases these days there are the same, equal, or better applications on
the mac. The one major weak point is solid modelling and engineering
applications. Hence my reason to have a PC. However, this is slowly
changing. Just seeing eDrawings finally on OSX is an example of how
good it can be.
Agreed. However, if i set up a mac, have it connected to the internet,
I do not worry. If I re-instal XP with disks that are more than a month
old, and am connected to the net, I better hope I am lucky and do not
get a virus or other attack before I can install all the patches, or
get the various 3rd party virus tools installed without problems due to
their own annoying ad-ware. I am so tired of all the updates and
security warning pop-ups in XP.... Talk about treating users as
like? Making toast?
If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to hear it, does it
make a sound? If I am ignorant, would I be able to notice? Hmmm
Anyway, I really hope I am not too ignorant....
It's always been touted that MACs are better for graphics and A/V,
however I have not seen that to be true. I think what could be true is
that the MAC OS is better for the typical graphics/A/V user with a more
abstract though process.
I've had experience several MAC and several Windows based video editing
systems 3 or 4 years back and while neither was bug free, the Windows
ones crashed less frequently than the MAC ones.
I know of at least one mid sized magazine publisher that eliminated all
MACs (well, except for one for archive use) from their operation about 5
That is very much a false sense of security and a dangerous thing. If
you are going to have high speed Internet connection these days you
absolutely should have a separate firewall router on your network.
There is absolutely nothing inherent to the MAC OS that protects it from
viruses/mal ware/etc. The only thing protecting it currently is it's
small installed base. If/when that base expands or if some virus
programmer just gets bored there will be viruses targeting MACs and then
you will have to do security patching and virus updates just like the
Additionally not all patches in the Windows world are security related.
The same goes for the various flavors of Unix, VMS, etc. All OSs have
bugs and all OSs require patches to correct those bugs between major
Both are pretty poor in reliability and scaleability.
What I would want to know is why did they drop the Macs? Was it because of
cost to purchase new, software, or what? My opinion would be that it is
because there isn't the software selection available, but I don't know for
Right, but which is worse? I think that Microsquash made improvements going
over to the NT kernel for all of their home OS, but from what I have seen
Mac's aren't any better. At least the windows machine will give you some
sort of error information, you may have to be a Borg to understand it, but
it is better than the Mac reporting that it "has fallen and can't get up."
They dropped them because of the higher purchase cost, additional
maintenance / management expense, the necessity for having PCs anyway
for most non graphic purposes and the fact that all the graphics
software they were using was also available on PC.
Quite true, and "real" enterprise class OSs provide far more than either
Windows or MAC for error and diagnostic information. Nice tools such as
dump analyzers and whatnot.
In other words, they switched over to PC's because of cost. I guess I will
also put in my opinion of how dumb Apple was when the Mac first came out.
If any of you recall, they shot themselves in the foot because they wanted
to controll all aspects of the Mac, from hardwear to who wrote software.
Becaue of this they alienated a lot of software and hardware people, which
then drove people to the less expensive PC market. It wasn't because the PC
was better, only cheaper (at the time). I wonder what would have happened
if Apple had made similar decisions that IBM made with the PC.
Too bad nobody, not even LINUX has been able to come up with a
hardware/software/OS PC system that is truely crash proof.
Cost was certainly one factor. Additionally since all of the software
they were running on the MACs was available on the PC there was no
compelling reason to use the MACs at all.
Apple did indeed do a lot of damage to themselves by trying to control
everything. Their closed mentality kept them from benefiting from all of
the third party development than made the PC shine.
They didn't get the high end graphics applications like CAD, that all
went to PC and Unix systems with specialized graphics hardware. They
didn't get the scientific and industrial users who needed the
specialized I/O cards that were available for the PC. They didn't get
the telecom related users who needed the Dialogic voice and Brooktrout
FAX cards that were available for the PC. The list goes on and continues
to go on.
Had Apple continued to embrace an open architecture then the MAC would
look just like the PC does today, better hardware, massive amounts of
third party hardware and software available, huge user base, etc.
Instead, all they really did was bring the GUI (which they swiped from
Xerox anyway) to the mass market. All of the true innovation in the
computer world after the very early Apple days was outside of the Apple
space, in the PC and midrange worlds.
Apple's legitimate early successes up through the II+ went to their
heads and egos and this caused them to get mired in their own weaknesses
instead of letting others help advance their products. To this day they
are still trying to cling to that early reputation and pass off
packaging as innovation.
Apple's UI conventions do work well for a certain set of users who, as
the ads say "think different", and I don't bash the OS for catering to
The two things I do bash are:
1. Those MAC users who claim that the MAC OS is superior to Windows
since it is not. Up until OS-X the Windows OS was superior since despite
it's flaws it did have such things as memory management. Post OS-X and
W2K/XP the two are fairly comparable for stability and functionality
with the UI being the only significant difference.
2. Those MAC users that claim that Apple's hardware is superior to PC
hardware since it is not. Apple's hardware does not provide higher
performance than is available in the PC world, nor does it provide
better reliability than the mainstream PC world (better than some low
end off brands of course). Didn't Apple have flaming notebooks not too
long ago? A design flaw in the earlier iMacs that caused display
failures? The same friend who had her entire 17" laptop replaced when it
was only a few months old also has an iPod that I have personally seen
lockup and have to be hard reset on at least five occasions. PCs have
hardware problems and so do MACs.
No, the truly crash proof fault tolerant OSs are in the midrange and
mainframe space where there is sufficient profit to fund the best
systems engineers. When you pay $10k+ for an OS that has a 20 year
history and huge teams of some of the best minds out there working on it
you get a lot better than you'll ever get out of a $200 mass market OS.
That is true for the software crashes and hangs, but not for hardware
problems. Melting laptops and dead displays are not caused by typos, at
least not ones at the user level, perhaps on the designers CAD system.
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