Seriously, Why Does The Apple-Intel Announcement Bother Me?

I don’t know why, but it bothers the heck out of me. I’ve been all thinking about ditching Mac OS X and installing Linux lately, and that’s just crazy talk. (It’s hard enough being on an open source OS without also being on a minority platform for that open source OS.)

Best I can figure is, it seems like the support of Apple is the only thing making this unusual platform, PowerPC, not a complete dead end road (a la Amiga). Like, they were telling us all this time, “hey, this is great, it’s definitely worth being on mutant hardware, don’t worry, we’ll take care of you,” and then suddenly, bam, no, I don’t think so. And it’s not like the Intel stuff is a better, more advanced version of the powerPC stuff, like the G3/G4/G5 were. It’s just the stuff the Windows and Linux guys had the whole time, and we didn’t.

I know that Apple will support the PowerPC for a while, but they won’t support it forever, and third party developers will probably bail as soon as they can get away with it. The PowerPC is now a deadend platform for personal computing.

That’s the best I can articulate it. It’s not really a rational conclusion though, it’s more this inarticulate feeling of annoyance and disgust. The rational explanation is post hoc.

6 thoughts on “Seriously, Why Does The Apple-Intel Announcement Bother Me?”

  1. It sounds like OS X will still only run on Apple hardware, and everything will look and feel the same. What does it matter what chip it has?

  2. I don’t know. Maybe it’s also that I’m kinda underwhelmed with Tiger and its performance on my machine.

  3. I’ve got mixed feelings about the move too, and can’t quite place them. One commentator noted that the Universal Binary approach means that Apple may return to the PowerPC in future. They should be able to move back and forth depending on where they can get the best processors.

    Of course, without apple pushing it, PowerPC probably won’t evolve much as a desktop processor. But that ability to move back and forth appeals to me. I was very impressed to hear that Unreal Tournament 2004 was converted to a Universal Binary before the end of WWDC.

  4. Apple pulling out of the PPC scene has really made a mess for the new Amiga, you know. I mean, more of a mess than the current name-holders have made, that is. :)

    Thank god for my emulator.

  5. I hear you on this one, Ed. The switch bothers me, yet I think it shouldn’t, oh wait – maybe it should…

    I think part of my sadness is that from a technical perspective, PPC *sounds* like a superior platform. RISC is more appealing then CISC in the same way that XHTML is more correct and elegant then the font tag emulsified chicken of HTML 3. A CISC processor just sounds like a Frankenstein chip, it probably even has ActiveX built right in.

    But maybe that assumption is wrong. (I’ll make the claim now that I’ve always wondered this, though no one will believe me). Maybe the logical instruction set that we might envision is not the optimal instruction set and that actually some nonsense function that can only be expressed as a 64 bit truth table of random 1s and 0s is *the* most needed instruction and that including that instruction (and 200 varients) will hughly boost the performace of any application compiled using it.

    I don’t know. In the XHTML world there is real meaning to worry about. At the hardware level there is no meaning – only a task to do. Lets say we go put a bunch of tags to our compiled code right now. Are you coming?


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