fruition..A few folk have asked me what I think about Apple's latest "bombshell", what can I say?..
One more step towards my dream of building my own mac!
So just when most mac users had finally got used to the idea of OS 9 being dead and switching to a "UNIX-Based" Operating System, they have to go and do it all over again, except onto a "Windows Chip". *ouch*. Those Mac Fan-Boys are burning their Steve Jobs effigies as we speak. Apple is the company that once featured toasting Intel Bunnies in an advert, no?
"But it will be Transparent!", you are assured.
No, it will not be transparent, though Apple will try their very best to make it that way. For basic stuff coded with the apple dev-kits, "by-the-book", it won't be a huge job, although it will still mean days or weeks of work, work that many developers simply won't do. Some software will require no changes at all, just recompilation, and Bingo! But not all..
You see, software writers don't always follow the rules (and this is a very very good thing), they hot-wire, code stuff direct, bypass the API altogether and work new magic, and while a call to a particular tool-box will still produce the same result, a call to some obscure PPC970 register will fail, dramatically.
Rosetta is being designed to overcome this problem, and convert code "live", which sounds like a barrel of fun and games. They say you'll get 70-80% performance of running the same code on its native platform. Not too bad, I guess. But I guess, too, that this is a "manufacturer's estimate", so we'll have to wait and see.
The biggest problem for me is that the P4 is simply shite, the equivalent AMD chips knock it for six. AMD have a better grasp of the 64bit architecture, too, simply way faster, more clockable chips. If I was building a new Linux rig, I'd chose Athlon over P4 every time, probably most would. IBM too, has a real nice line of possibilities for future chips (and some truly crazy patent applications!), and if Apple had stuck with IBM, Mac users would eventually reap these performance benefits.
But as the next generation of processors go live, technologies like Rosetta become more and more viable, and you just know that in five or ten years, it won't matter a shit what platform you use, what chipset you run, there will be a way to run whatever OS you like, and I like OS X, thank you. Anyway, Intel have better chips lined up for sure, and the new Macs, one would hope, will come fitted with these Pentium M or whatever they are! Yeah?
If it all goes to plan, There's nothing to stop Apple swapping-in a different architecture later on. IBM might pull another stunner out of the hat in five years, and our Rosetta-enabled OS X can just switch back, or even to AMD, or whatever.
Also, there will be nothing to stop you running Windows proper on your intel-mac, either, will there? Sales of Microsoft's VirtualPC will doubtless be affected And you can give the hackers six months tops to have the new OS X running sweet as a nut on any old X86 box. You can guess the rest.
I'm real happy about the move. I like OS X, and since my iMac broke down, I miss it! But I'm tired of being tied into an over-priced hardware monopoly to run it. Computer hardware is commodity cheap; I want a machine I can fix when it breaks down! In short, I want OS X on my peecee!
And thanks to you Steve, I'm getting it! You've been playing into my world-plan all along, you see. HARHARHARHAR