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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > OS X Intel, and visa versa - A truly new twist

OS X Intel, and visa versa - A truly new twist
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JB72
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:33 PM
 
A computer chip designed to run more than one operating system at a time could break Microsoft's stranglehold on PC software. Plans for the chip were announced last week by Intel, the world's largest maker of processor chips.

Due for launch within five years, the chip will allow future machines to run, say, Windows XP together with Linux or the Apple operating system as easily as today's Windows computers run Word and Internet Explorer simultaneously. Analysts are saying it could be one of the decade's most significant breakthroughs in computer technology.

{more}
     
drnkn_stylz
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:35 PM
 
Pardon my language, but, **** ME RUNNING THAT LOOKS HELLA INTENSE!!!
     
CollinG3G4
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:38 PM
 
Sweet! Just in time for the G6!
     
Landos Mustache
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:41 PM
 
How slow will it be?

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lookmark
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:45 PM
 
Originally posted by CollinG3G4:
Sweet! Just in time for the G6!
Just in time for the G6, and Apple's radical plan C emergency business model.
     
CharlesS
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:46 PM
 
Why would you need something like this to run Linux? It already runs natively on the same machines Windows runs on.

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malvolio
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:50 PM
 
Sounds to me like they're saying that with that chip, you could run Windoze, Linux and OS X at the same time!
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RooneyX
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Oct 6, 2003, 04:57 PM
 
Can U say Transmeta?
     
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:01 PM
 
That is incredible. Wow!
     
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:02 PM
 
Can you say they would legally have to get permission to use the Mac BIOS?
     
ZackS
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:03 PM
 
Can you say vaporware to boost their stock? Itanium anyone?
     
Landos Mustache
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:04 PM
 
You still need the Apple ROM so without Apples permission they are out of luck.

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theolein
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:10 PM
 
Originally posted by RooneyX:
Can U say Transmeta?
Word! And it will probably be as successful

Notice how Intel is saying, "Uh, this should be ready in, say about 5 years". That means vapourware to me. That means Intel attempting to undermine both IBM and AMD in big fell swoop. Intel recently started on the vapourware trail with their 5Gz to 7GHz processor due in, "Uh, say 2005". I seriously doubt Intel will have 7Ghz CPUs ready in 2005, but making big news announcements about it is an old Microsoft trick in order to lure potential future customers away from the competition with promises of some Ultra-Super-Duperô product that can do evrything the competition's products can do, and do it better.
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lookmark
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Landos Mustache:
You still need the Apple ROM so without Apples permission they are out of luck.
True, but it makes for an rather different playing field.

Plus, might not IBM be interested in keeping competitive with this?
     
theolein
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:13 PM
 
Originally posted by Landos Mustache:
You still need the Apple ROM so without Apples permission they are out of luck.
My, aren't we up2date with our understanding of the computers we use

Apple stopped using the venerable Apple ROM back in 1999 with the introduction of the iMac. The so-called "New World" machines produced since use something called OpenFirmware (press Cmd-Opt-O-F on boot to find out more about this) which is an IEEE standard and is also used by Sun for example.
weird wabbit
     
Kurlon
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:17 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
Word! And it will probably be as successful

Notice how Intel is saying, "Uh, this should be ready in, say about 5 years". That means vapourware to me. That means Intel attempting to undermine both IBM and AMD in big fell swoop. Intel recently started on the vapourware trail with their 5Gz to 7GHz processor due in, "Uh, say 2005". I seriously doubt Intel will have 7Ghz CPUs ready in 2005, but making big news announcements about it is an old Microsoft trick in order to lure potential future customers away from the competition with promises of some Ultra-Super-Duperô product that can do evrything the competition's products can do, and do it better.
2003 is coming to a close with 3.2ghz cpus on the market, 3.4's being demo and announced, 4ghz cores have been shown running way back when... and many people are nailing 4ghz using Prometia cooling solutions right now. Doesn't seem to me like 5ghz in 2005 is all that unrealistic.
     
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:22 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
My, aren't we up2date with our understanding of the computers we use

Apple stopped using the venerable Apple ROM back in 1999 with the introduction of the iMac. The so-called "New World" machines produced since use something called OpenFirmware (press Cmd-Opt-O-F on boot to find out more about this) which is an IEEE standard and is also used by Sun for example.
Whatever you want to call it, it will not work without apples support.

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MindFad
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Oct 6, 2003, 05:41 PM
 
Or maybe it will work without their support. Whatever. I still want a G5, PLZ K THX. Dual 3 GHz G5, ATI FireGL. Please, PLEASE!
     
danengel
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Oct 6, 2003, 06:26 PM
 
You still need the Apple ROM so without Apples permission they are out of luck.
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soul searching
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Oct 6, 2003, 06:42 PM
 
Originally posted by CharlesS:
Why would you need something like this to run Linux? It already runs natively on the same machines Windows runs on.
Due for launch within five years, the chip will allow future machines to run, say, Windows XP together with Linux or the Apple operating system as easily as today's Windows computers run Word and Internet Explorer simultaneously.
Not quite the same, slightly better. But five years is a long time.

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MacManMikeOSX
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Oct 6, 2003, 07:36 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
My, aren't we up2date with our understanding of the computers we use

Apple stopped using the venerable Apple ROM back in 1999 with the introduction of the iMac. The so-called "New World" machines produced since use something called OpenFirmware (press Cmd-Opt-O-F on boot to find out more about this) which is an IEEE standard and is also used by Sun for example.
Gosh, I thought OF started in 97 with the blue and white G3 tower and iMacs.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Oct 6, 2003, 07:41 PM
 
Yah, Apple is going to let you run OS X on the Dell that has this chip
     
smitty825
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Oct 6, 2003, 07:49 PM
 
Currently, Darwin runs on the x86 platform. Maybe that was what Intel was implying with that graph?

Also, I wouldn't be too surprised to see a version of MacOS X server running on an x86 box someday. Admins are more likely to try out OS X on older Intel hardware than to purchase a new Mac just for that purpose. (Kinda like how Linux is breaking into the server depts.)

The hardware support would be less on a server than a desktop, the low-level code already runs on Intel (high-level code is rumored), and both the major compilers (gcc & metrowerks) support output for PowerPC and x86!
     
JB72  (op)
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Oct 6, 2003, 08:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Immortal K-Mart Employee:
Whatever you want to call it, it will not work without apples support.


[wildspeculation]True. But maybe there would be some give and take. The pro line would remain IBM of course.[/wildspeculation]
     
BigYellowMonkey
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Oct 6, 2003, 10:44 PM
 
Originally posted by MacManMikeOSX:
Gosh, I thought OF started in 97 with the blue and white G3 tower and iMacs.
That's odd... My beige G3 DT has OF as well...

Maybe it started in late 96 when the beige g3's were released...


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smitty825
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Oct 6, 2003, 11:13 PM
 
Originally posted by BigYellowMonkey:
That's odd... My beige G3 DT has OF as well...

Maybe it started in late 96 when the beige g3's were released...


-Biggie!
Actually, All PCI-based PowerMacs have Open Firmware installed, including the 7500, and all Apple clones. (Hey, that reminds me...I'll create another article discussing this someplace else--edit: see this thread)

My understanding is that with the iMac's release, they updated the Open Firmware to a newer version (1.1 or 2.0 ?) and completely got rid of the rom code. (IIRC, MacOS 8 had a "soft" rom as part of the OS)
( Last edited by smitty825; Oct 7, 2003 at 12:06 AM. )
     
ApeInTheShell
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Oct 7, 2003, 12:00 AM
 
It's the new Java VM! Wooohoo!

Oh, its not?

bummer

when operating systems co-exist ill break my arms off and use them to beat the execs at Intel. My guess is they'd eventually kill off Mac OS X or Linux anyway.
     
King Bob On The Cob
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Oct 7, 2003, 12:15 AM
 
So... Uh... Intel is just going to license the PowerPC and Altivec from IBM/Apple just so their chip can run the Macintosh OS? I doubt it.
     
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Oct 7, 2003, 01:29 AM
 
Doesn't it make you wonder what M$ is up to if Intel is saying this?
     
theolein
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Oct 7, 2003, 01:36 AM
 
Originally posted by Kurlon:
2003 is coming to a close with 3.2ghz cpus on the market, 3.4's being demo and announced, 4ghz cores have been shown running way back when... and many people are nailing 4ghz using Prometia cooling solutions right now. Doesn't seem to me like 5ghz in 2005 is all that unrealistic.
The oprative word you used was "cooling solutions". Those are overclocked chips, not standard vetted Intel clockrates. I'm sure Intel is capable of producing a 5GHz CPU right now, but the "cooling solutions" would have to be quite extravagant. Not only that but Intel was claiming 5GHz to 7GHz in 2005. It might well be possible, but put in line with other Intel press releases as of late, including this wonder chip and Intel's claim of "hidden 64bit operations" in it's Prescott chip, it is far more likely that these are vapourware PR tactics to try to get customers to delay switching to AMD's 64bit Opteron.

And Intel has damn good reason to worry about the Opteron. It's 64bit. It's available now. It's benchmarks are excellent. It's 32bit compatible with no bullsh1t Itanium "32bit emulation". The industry is giving rave reviews to Opteron which they didn't give to Itanium. For the entry level server and desktop market, the Opteron is perfect, as it runs all the thousands of legacy 32bit apps with no speed hit. And it's cheap. AMD stands to steal a good portion of the 64bit market from under Intel's nose. You bet Intel are worried.

I say these new Intel claims are vapourware.
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theolein
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Oct 7, 2003, 01:44 AM
 
Originally posted by MacManMikeOSX:
Gosh, I thought OF started in 97 with the blue and white G3 tower and iMacs.
Mmmh, don't want to get pedantic here, but wasn't the iMac launch in April 1998? (I remember the launch, as Apple's website was down for a day beforehand, and then it came back up with the Roventa machine, bit I'm not so sure of the year).
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theolein
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Oct 7, 2003, 01:58 AM
 
Originally posted by smitty825:
Actually, All PCI-based PowerMacs have Open Firmware installed, including the 7500, and all Apple clones. (Hey, that reminds me...I'll create another article discussing this someplace else--edit: see this thread)

My understanding is that with the iMac's release, they updated the Open Firmware to a newer version (1.1 or 2.0 ?) and completely got rid of the rom code. (IIRC, MacOS 8 had a "soft" rom as part of the OS)
The Soft ROM (Mac OS ROM in the System Folder) is for New World machines (iMac, B&W Tower and Lombard PB and later) to be able to work without the AppleROM, as the OS still needed the MacToolbox that used to be in the Apple ROM to work. Previous machines, PCI PowerMacs and others might have had OF, but you couldn't use it to bless a partition AFAIK, and the motherboards still had an Apple ROM with the Toolbox, because System 7 etc were still using the routines from there. When you wanted to Install YellowDog Liniux on Old World machines, you had to boot into MacOS and then the hacked Linux loader (pretended to be a System partition) would boot you back into Linux. With the New Wold OF you could boot into OF and set the boot partition from the commandline, which I had to do on my Lombard to boot between OSX and OS8, as they couldn't bless one another's partitions.
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theolein
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Oct 7, 2003, 02:02 AM
 
Originally posted by King Bob On The Cob:
So... Uh... Intel is just going to license the PowerPC and Altivec from IBM/Apple just so their chip can run the Macintosh OS? I doubt it.
They don't need to. The Chip architecture an instruction set is an open sepcification, just as the x86 instruction set is an open specification, or did you think Intel allowed the Likes of VIA, AMD and Transmeta to make x86 clones out of the good of their hearts.

Intel needs no support from Apple or IBM to implement a PPC instruction set. They can even hack the OpenFirmware environment to allow booting into MacOSX. The hinderance would and does come from Apple, which states in the licence that you can only run OSX on a Mac.
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Oct 7, 2003, 02:58 AM
 
MS will not allow this under any circumstances. They once convinced Intel to stop using performance-enhancing technology because it made it more likely to let people stop using Windows! I'm slowly getting converted... MS is truly evil.
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K++
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Oct 7, 2003, 03:30 PM
 
Originally posted by theolein:
My, aren't we up2date with our understanding of the computers we use

Apple stopped using the venerable Apple ROM back in 1999 with the introduction of the iMac. The so-called "New World" machines produced since use something called OpenFirmware (press Cmd-Opt-O-F on boot to find out more about this) which is an IEEE standard and is also used by Sun for example.
My aren't we assholes when we try to act smart. The NewWorld machines still have BootROM on the motherboard. However they now have the Apple ROM as a software piece on your HD for OS X its BootX, for OS 9 it was part of the system as Mac OS ROM.

In short you still need an Apple BootROM in order to boot the MacOS, also though Firmware is an open standard, Apple's implementation of it is not.
     
theolein
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Oct 7, 2003, 07:43 PM
 
Originally posted by K++:
My aren't we assholes when we try to act smart. The NewWorld machines still have BootROM on the motherboard. However they now have the Apple ROM as a software piece on your HD for OS X its BootX, for OS 9 it was part of the system as Mac OS ROM.

In short you still need an Apple BootROM in order to boot the MacOS, also though Firmware is an open standard, Apple's implementation of it is not.
yes, you're right. () bootx doesn't work on New World machines, you need yaboot. Tried both on my old Lombard and yaboot is definitely the only thing that works. The bootx in Mac OSX is a boot loader, AFAIK, and may derive from the old OSS bootX, but I doubt it. The boot loader is NOT the same thing as Apple's Mac OS ROM software. It simply implements boot parameters for the OS. Mac OS ROM has the full Apple toolbox in it which has all the legacy OS routines, such as the memory manager, event manager etc in it.
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Partisan01
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Oct 7, 2003, 08:28 PM
 
Originally posted by K++:
My aren't we assholes when we try to act smart. The NewWorld machines still have BootROM on the motherboard. However they now have the Apple ROM as a software piece on your HD for OS X its BootX, for OS 9 it was part of the system as Mac OS ROM.

In short you still need an Apple BootROM in order to boot the MacOS, also though Firmware is an open standard, Apple's implementation of it is not.
If this is true then how is it possible that people are buying non apple motherboards, G3/G4 chips and running OS X ontop of Linux with Mac-on-Linux. All non apple hardware, but it still works. Here's a link. If you'll notice right on their front page "NO ROM IMAGE REQUIRED". Like an earlier poster said, it does break the Apple EULA, but it is doable.

Nate
     
Kurlon
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Oct 7, 2003, 09:17 PM
 
Originally posted by Partisan01:
If this is true then how is it possible that people are buying non apple motherboards, G3/G4 chips and running OS X ontop of Linux with Mac-on-Linux. All non apple hardware, but it still works. Here's a link. If you'll notice right on their front page "NO ROM IMAGE REQUIRED". Like an earlier poster said, it does break the Apple EULA, but it is doable.

Nate
Unfortunatly this method isn't quite the same as running direct on the hardware. Mac on Linux virtualizes ALOT of the system, including video, ethernet, etc. The only real separation between this and say, Boches, is they aren't emulating the CPU, just running it with traps. This is very similar to VMWare under linux booting XP. Yeah, its 'running' on the host cpu, but you don't have direct access to the hardware on that box.

Personally, I'd like to see a true openfirmware bootlader written and drivers built for Darwin to run on the Artica-S chipset based G3/G4 mobos. Once that happens, someone can do an Xpostfacto style installer tweak to get OS X running on that hardware.
     
K++
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Oct 7, 2003, 10:33 PM
 
Originally posted by Partisan01:
If this is true then how is it possible that people are buying non apple motherboards, G3/G4 chips and running OS X ontop of Linux with Mac-on-Linux. All non apple hardware, but it still works. Here's a link. If you'll notice right on their front page "NO ROM IMAGE REQUIRED". Like an earlier poster said, it does break the Apple EULA, but it is doable.

Nate
Because BootX is the boot loader. Notice that they did not start up into OS X since they had no BootROM. Since BootX is what prepares the computer for the mach kernel to load, if you can bypass BootROM and have the machine running all you have to do is get BootX to run and it will do just that, Boot X.

Oh and theolin, yes, I am right
( Last edited by K++; Oct 7, 2003 at 10:44 PM. )
     
Mike S.
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Oct 7, 2003, 10:35 PM
 
Isn't it possible that the person who did that article for New Scientist simply got their facts wrong? (it happens all the time with technology articles written by non-technologists)

The quote from a Gartner rep says that it would allow users to try something like Linux without giving up Windows. (analysts are also wrong a lot...)

This makes more sense to me. VMs are not new technology by any means, this sounds like it simply allows some if it to be done at the hardware level for improved speed.

In the end, VMs are still restricted to running code that the CPU can process. The only way to get OS X running in such a set-up would be to run a PPC emulator in a VM but it would still be slow.

Transmetta did a whole different kind of trick and I imagine their techniques are nicely wrapped in patents.

Their tech isn't all that fast either.

Until I hear Intel say it would be possible to run PowerPC code (Mac OS) on this thing I'm assuming the article made a mistake.
     
DaGuy
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Oct 8, 2003, 01:23 AM
 
Doesn't make sense... I don't buy it...

If I have 95% of the market under the belt why would I bother with this? It will take a heck of lot of work to pull this through. Will it be a one time deal or will it be the norm going forward? Is it worth it?

Seems like vaporware to me also.

     
theolein
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Oct 8, 2003, 01:53 AM
 
Originally posted by K++:
Because BootX is the boot loader. Notice that they did not start up into OS X since they had no BootROM. Since BootX is what prepares the computer for the mach kernel to load, if you can bypass BootROM and have the machine running all you have to do is get BootX to run and it will do just that, Boot X.

Oh and theolin, yes, I am right
From the link you posted, there's the operative words: "BootROM firmware" from where they go on to talk about OSX's bootloader, bootx.

That makes us BOTH right (apart from the fact that I take offense at being called an asshole by you. The lounge is where that's the order of the day)

Again, for clarity:
The BootROM in Apple's New World machines is Apple's subset of the OpenFirmware standard. It is simply needed to do, as stated on Apple's site, the POST check and build a device tree, initialise devices and then start the bootloader, which is Apple's bootx (not to be confused with the Linux bootloader bootX for old wolrd machines). Apple's bootx, and the bootROM (OpenFirmware) are NOT the same thing as the Mac OS ROM in classic. The Old World machine's AppleROM had large parts of the operating system in that ROM, as well as filling classical boot functions. When the New World machines came along, all the operating system routines that were in the Apple ROM were moved into software, the Mac OS ROM file, in the system folder. And the OpenFirmware bootROM, can be replaced or simulated, or else MOL wouldn't work (it simulates the OF boot procedures and device trees). It would be possible to produce some kind of hack, so that OSX would run on another type of PPC machine, but the reason that you don't hear much about it is because Apple doesn't allow this in their licence. If you got it working, and didn't tell the whole world about it, it would be ok. But as soon as news got out, Apple legal would be visiting.
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nobitacu
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Oct 8, 2003, 03:47 AM
 
Well... 5 years is a long time to go, so a lot of other things can happen between this time. But I would really hate to see Mac OS X running on a damn crappy cheaply made Dell.

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Oct 8, 2003, 06:08 AM
 
Wow! They said hyper!!!

You can't eat all those hamburgers, you hear me you ridiculous man?
     
philm
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Oct 8, 2003, 07:42 AM
 
It might be able to run three operating systems at once, but the real challenge is: can it launch Acrobat 6 in less than 34 dock-bounces (or 29 seconds). That's on a 1.8 G5.

That's what I call a real challenge.
     
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Oct 8, 2003, 08:36 AM
 
1) this is, until I hear otherwise, vaporware. Call me when they have a working prototype.

2) that New Scientist article was extremely big on hype, but rather weak on facts. How does Intel plan to do this? make a core with an insane amount of registers and have some sort of abstraction layer like modern IA-32 (aka. x86) chips have?

If they have enough registers, and are able to operate in both big and little endian modes, then theoretically it would be possible to run both PPC code and IA-32 code with the same chip. And simultaneously if that chip is multi-cored, possibly even if that chip was only superscalar... Theoretically.

In a very simple view, it wouldn't be that different from how IA-32 compliant chips work today: a hardware VM in the front-end maps the IA-32 instructions onto the chip's core instruction language.

Most x86 chips aren't truly CISC anymore, but rather have the IA-32 compliant front-ends with RISC styled execution cores. And, theoretically, doing this with the PPC instruction set is possible - provided enough registers exist in the core and endian issues are resolved.

I could see this being useful for developers and such, but I can't see how this capability would be useful for the regular home/office user. And, if Intel ever comes through with these plans, I see only a small and specialized market for them (why, for example, would you want to run more than one OS on a server?)

But, we could all sit here and talk about this until we're blue in the face, and that still won't change the fact that Intel has only announced an interest in doing this. Nothing physical has been shown.
/Earth\ Mk\.\ I{2}/
     
   
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