Jul 01
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Apple, Intel and MC Rebbe The Rapping Rabbi in The TechnofileFor anyone who hasn’t heard by now, last month, at The Word Wide Developer’s Conference in San Francisco, Apple announced their intention to switch their entire range of Macs from Power PC to Intel based chips…and simultaneously weather reports confirmed a drop in temperature of several million degrees in the substrata of The Earth… A handful of Mac Addicts did jump up and down in protest…but weather reports confirmed that no earthquakes registered on The Richter Scale…

Ten years ago, when Apple switched to Power PC (PPC), things were very different. Back then, everyone including Intel, was predicting that conventional CISC chips were due to slam headfirst into a performance ceiling, because making them run faster would also mean they’d generate enough heat to melt the polar ice caps. Power PC, on the other hand, was going to solve this problem, as its ‘new’ (read 1970s) RISC based architecture was supposed to enable the creation of far more powerful chips that also ran cooler…and if there’s one thing Apple like, it’s being cool…

But like a school science experiment, theory and practice entered separate realities. First Intel and AMD both found ways of delivering more and more power from CISC chips, without encountering the expected cooling problems….then Motorola (now Freescale), the manufacturers of the original PPC chips, failed to deliver on their roadmap, forcing Apple to switch to IBM (their other partner in the PPC project) for the supply of their top end desktop and laptop chips…and, for a while, leaving them a good couple of years behind the PC market in performance terms…and finally IBM failed to deliver, once again leaving Apple behind, not just in the desktop market, but more crucially, in the laptop market…and considering that the laptop market is where it’s at, this ain’t good news.

However, Apple are smarter than the average PC company. In order to protect themselves against exactly this kind of scenario, OS X , their operating system, was designed to be ‘platform independent’ and they have been developing an Intel compatible version as part of a ‘top secret’ project…that’s so secret, rumors of it have repeatedly been printed…

That’s why, at WWDC, Apple were able to demonstrate OS X running on an ordinary Intel based PC. Not that it will. Apple have made it clear that their OS…which presumably will be known as iOS X…will only run on Macs with ‘Intel Inside’…for now…

MC Rebbe

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