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Intel Mac OS X Catches Up With Older Brother 672

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yes-have-some dept.
RetrogradeMotion writes "Apple is now one step closer to the Intel transition. According to the OSx86 Project, a recently leaked installation DVD of Mac OS X 10.4.3 reveals that the Intel version is in sync with the PowerPC version - the two are now identical. Initially, "OSx86" was substantially behind its PPC counterpart, but the recent update makes it ready for the public. The article also notes that Apple has continued to learn from hackers' efforts to crack the operating system and has greatly strengthened the TPM protections."
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Intel Mac OS X Catches Up With Older Brother

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  • A Hopeless Battle (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:04PM (#13944066)
    The article also notes that Apple has continued to learn from hackers' efforts to crack the operating system and has greatly strengthened the TPM protections.

    Time for the next hack to come along.

    Until every byte of code verifies for itself that it is running on genuine Apple hardware before it will execute, I'm not sure if Apple can ever close this door.

    Maybe this experiment will eventually prove that TPM itself is impossible to achieve when more people are working to break your system than are employeed by Apple to defend it.

    Hey, Steve, want to reconsider that move to Intel now?

  • Fine by me (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:04PM (#13944067)
    If they don't want me to install OS X on my x86 Athlon, that's fine. I'm not going to pay a premium for their os AND hardware. I'll stick to my $400 whitebox with dual boot windows/linux.
  • by georgewad (154339) <georgewad@LISPmac.com minus language> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:13PM (#13944164) Homepage
    I agree, and I think (hope) that Apple knows this and looks the other way.
    IMHO it's in Apple's interest for there to be TPM that's breakable if you REALLY want to break it (much like iTunes DRM). This way, only someone who know what they're doing will be able to run OSX on non-Apple hardware - no worries about supporting a crappy handmade POS, but still putting OSX in the hands of the more Crafty interesed geeks.
  • Re:Hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by popo (107611) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:14PM (#13944179) Homepage

    Anyone want to place bets on how long it takes Lik Sang to sell mod chips
    that allow PC's to run OSX?

    I'm going to say within 12 months.

  • Re:"article"???? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by IAmTheDave (746256) <{moc.oohay} {ta} {ds-evademanesab}> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:15PM (#13944185) Homepage Journal
    It's a posting in a blog, which is a far cry from an "article".

    Is there a difference between a blog and legitimate journalism??

    BAM!
  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:15PM (#13944186)

    Until every byte of code verifies for itself that it is running on genuine Apple hardware before it will execute, I'm not sure if Apple can ever close this door.

    Of course they can't and don't expect to. Their goal is to make sure it does not effect profits. People will always hack and pirate and Apple can't stop them. Their goal is to make it hard enough that most people won't bother and so that 99.9% of users would rather use a Apple system than deal with hacking another system to sort of work. Heck people ran Mac OS in emulators on x86 hardware years and years ago. It just was never enough to make any difference in the marketplace. Do you think Apple cares if 500 hackers get OS X sort of running on commodity boxes? Hell no, these people would probably never have bought a legitimate copy anyway and even if they would have it is not worth the effort to lock the system down more just to sell 500 more copies. Anyone who thinks more than a tiny percentage of the market will be running a hacked version is quite mistaken.

  • by FLAGGR (800770) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:16PM (#13944200)
    Wrong. Alot of people seem to have this opinion. This is Apple - not Microsoft. MS got their OS used by everyone, maybe not everyone legally baught a purpose but most of the modern world came to depend on it. Win. Apple is a different beast. They want to design the WHOLE package, not just the software, and not just the hardware. They want everything to work seemlessly, as can be witnessed by the vast amount of first party software bundled with OSX. Sure, I bet they planned on alot of people pirating the developer previews - it helps them stop the real pirating once the OS is released (by making it harder to crack) However, in the long run, they have nothing to gain. They don't need beta testers for unsupported hardware because they don't want that hardware supported. I'm sure a little pirating in the sake of demo'ing the OS wouldn't bother them, but they won't stand for actual use of OSX on non-apple hardware. They make no money off that hardware, and no money off that OS install (as it will be most likely pirated) Apple is not giving up the hardware side of thing's, they stand to lose too much money.
  • not possible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by austad (22163) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:16PM (#13944202) Homepage
    I don't think it will be possible to stop people from getting it running on non-apple hardware. It's just going to be a constant battle. There are too many people working on breaking it. Look at the Xbox, with its whole encryption/authentication scheme. That was broken after a few months.

    Most of the people installing it on non-apple hardware probably wouldn't purchase apple hardware anyway. It's a good, non-official way, for apple to gain marketshare. The highschool/college kids of today are the decision makers of tomorrow. Get them hooked on OSX now (even if it's an illegal copy) means that they will likely influence their friends/family and employer to go with it.

    Maybe apple should stop spending money on the resources to add copy protection and just let it go. If someone comes up with a good solution in the future, they can just roll it out in an update. In the meantime, let people get hooked.
  • Oh yeah? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:18PM (#13944226)
    Define "article," then. Seriously.
  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:20PM (#13944250) Homepage
    Maybe this experiment will eventually prove that TPM itself is impossible to achieve when more people are working to break your system than are employeed by Apple to defend it.

    TPMs were never intended to be used for what Apple is using them for, thus the cracks only prove that a TPM isn't very useful for things it wasn't designed to do. The real TPM features like sealing and attestation still haven't been cracked.
  • Re:"article"???? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:22PM (#13944270)
    Article: [answers.com]

    nonfictional prose forming an independent part of a publication

    Is it nonfictional? Check. Is it prose? Check. Is it an independent part of a publication? Check.

    What, exactly, is your complaint? If it's that this is being treated seriously when it shouldn't, then say that instead of spouting nonsense about how this isn't an article, when it clearly is.

  • leaked? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jgionet (828557) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:23PM (#13944286)
    it's amazing how stuff always manages to get "leaked". It's too bad some extra money didn't get "leaked" in to my bank account. I suppose it's a good way to get stuff tested without being responsible for it's results.
  • by Werrismys (764601) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:25PM (#13944315)
    I mean the beauty of OSX Macs is the tie between beautifully designed, robust, classy hardware and a Unixoid OS with eyecandy UI. If one runs illegal OSX in some crappy consumer PC, there is no support, no quarantee, nothing. The experience is kaput. I'd rather run Linux in a mainstream PC than a warexxored no-support hacked OSX.
  • by twbecker (315312) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:27PM (#13944345)
    Everyone wants a way to make it run on generic Intel hardware. The thing is, even if you could do that, OS X drivers are not going to be available for 95% of your periphrials. What good is running the OS with no network, sound, or perhaps even video?
  • Re:Hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

    by happyemoticon (543015) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:29PM (#13944362) Homepage

    One issue is the fact that they will probably use a different BIOS technology than standard IBM clones: Open Firmware or EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface). For compatibility's sake, your current PC uses more or less the same BIOS as the original PCs when it boots up, and uses tricks to access higher modes. That's one thing I've always loved about Macs - the booting. No matter how much they try to disguise it with logos, I still see it's booting to the same resolution as DOS.

    Also, consider the fact that they might deliberately only include driver support for their stuff. Driver support in Darwin is already pretty limited, and they have no incentive to produce more drivers than they will use. That means more hacking.

    Finally, I think one of the goals with the TPM is to make it so that you'd have to produce a unique hack for each case, rather than one generalized hack that can be mass-produced. Can't give you specifics, but at least they're moving away from "Let's make it impossible to crack!" which always fails, to "Let's make it so hard to crack that only a market-insignificant number of people will be able to crack it!"

    Anyway, I'm sure it's possible and somebody will do it, but it might not be as simple as a little solder job. I don't have much first-hand knowledge of this kind of stuff, I just read a little here and there.

  • by amichalo (132545) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:30PM (#13944372)
    So Apple is dedicating enough resources to make it difficult to run OS X on a non-Apple box, but isn't wasting it's time and money trying to totally secure it.

    Brilliant

    The people hacking OS x86 for non-Apple hardware aren't going to buy Macs anyway, they are in it for some other technical purpose.

    The people who want OS X for business will go legit - too much risk for a company to steal like that.

    The people who want OS X for a home aren't going to either know how to or want to take the time to fuss with some illicit download of the OS that won't be supported.

    So the extreme hackers get OS X without buying an Apple box and maybe they even develop some cool apps with their pirated copy of Xcode too.

    The big winner is still Apple (and OS X users).
  • by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:32PM (#13944391)
    Having no TPM would be an open invitation to widespread unauthorized distribution of OS X - not good for the old revenue stream in either hardware or software. Having perfect TMP would stifle experimentation -- not good for letting prospects try before they buy. Having an evolving, imperfect TPM shield provides the best of both worlds.

    I'd bet Apple knows that TPM will never be 100% successful and that that is OK by them (although I doubt they would admit it). People who really want to _try_ OS X will get a free hacked copy. People that really want to _use_ OS X in a production environment will buy it. I doubt that many people will want hacked version of OS X if they know that it means potential instabilities, lack of updates (or hassles to get updates), etc.

  • Re:not possible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObligatoryUserName (126027) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:33PM (#13944411) Journal
    Most of the people installing it on non-apple hardware probably wouldn't purchase apple hardware anyway.

    So... is it ok if I steal a new Pontiac Aztec off the lot? They're so unpopular that they've canceled that model, it probably wouldn't have sold anyway. It'll get the Pontiac name out there. They should be happy.

    The way most people are morally retrograde about copyright violations (I'm not preventing anyone else from installing OS X) continues to piss me off. No, downloading warez is not the same thing as stealing, but it is just a bad. To say otherwise is to be either willfully ignorant or uninformed.

    If Apple wants to give their OS away they will do so; making a half-assed guess about what would make them happy doesn't count as consent.
  • by Synic (14430) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:33PM (#13944413) Homepage Journal
    If we brush capitalism aside, then yes, I guess you're right. Keep in mind that the more $3000 machines they sell, rather than $300 ones, the more likely they'll be able to stay afloat and/or keep maintaining high standards for their software. Making something "just work" costs money.

    It also requires a completely locked down platform with the minimal amount of hardware variables. Windows is so crashy because there are a billion different hardware configurations and terrible drivers written by foreigners who can't read or write documentation for anything in English to save their life.
  • by infernalC (51228) <matthew.mellon@NOsPam.google.com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:34PM (#13944417) Homepage Journal
    Sound will be a problem. Graphics will be a problem. Those two things, only because nobody buys a new sound chipset or graphics chipset to put in their Macs. But everything else will be OK.
  • Re:Advice (Score:2, Insightful)

    by honeypotslash (927312) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:35PM (#13944431) Homepage
    If you want to write software that works cross-platform try looking into wxWidgets library (http://www.wxwidgets.org/ [wxwidgets.org])
  • by spirit_fingers (777604) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:35PM (#13944433)
    Intel OS X 10.4.3 is still a 32-bit operating system, whereas the PPC iteration is 64-bits. One step forward, one step back.
  • by fdqum08 (896145) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:37PM (#13944446)
    everyone cries foul when apple tightens up the security, but everyone on this board is thinking about themselves and not apple. Apple is in the business to sell hardware, plain and simple. Why did they create OS X? To sell macs. Why did they create the iTunes Music Store? To sell iPods. Apple created the macintosh platform for people who aren't interested in hacking their system day in and day out. Ironically, it's this stability and quality that has attracted a fair amount unix/linux hackers. but to lash out at apple for doing whatever possible to stay in business? That's childish, selfish, and pretty immature.
  • Jesus, not again (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Hrothgar The Great (36761) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:38PM (#13944467) Journal
    You RISC/CISC kids need a new fucking line - this one was already beat to death back when Apple switched from 68K to PPC about ten years ago. I know when you went to the first week of Intro to Computer Architecture they taught you that term, and you know what, that's really neat, but are you sure you should be making MULTIPLE THOUSAND DOLLAR purchasing decisions based on a 15-20 year old ONE WORD DESCRIPTION OF ENTIRE PROCESSOR ARCHITECTURES?

    Don't you think maybe - JUST MAYBE - the subject has a little more depth to it than that? BTW, I hope you respond to this with the words "IBM PC" or "Megahertz Myth" because that would be FRESH and AWESOME just like YOU.
  • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:46PM (#13944543)
    There's a TON of cheap, crappy hardware out there that you can throw into your x86 box. I'm talking hardware that doesn't work, works slowly, causes problems with other hardware, acts flakey, etc. Apple built their entire business off of hardware that just works. Windows has tried for years to make that kludge of hardware easier to install and configure to almost no avail. I imagine Apple doesn't want to fight that same fight. Apple will actually be expected to win that fight. If some hacker wants to go out and get the latest graphics card running on a Mac, I imagine Apple would care less. If someone is Asia starts putting OS X on cheap, crappy hardware and passing them off as Macs, I imagine Apple will be a little more concerned. The software can't just work if the hardware doesn't just work.
  • by Lorphos (194963) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:47PM (#13944546)
    So why can't this check for TPM_Owner be removed?
  • Re:Don't know, but (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Senjutsu (614542) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:53PM (#13944610)
    It's quite unfortunate that Apple chose not to go with the Cell

    Yeah, the Cell and it's completely branch-pessimizing architecture would have run a general purpose OS just great

    And it's not as though it's a big port job to switch to AMD if Intel doesn't shape up. They're binary compatible. That's why the switch is a good thing; two competing, competent vendors to choose from with no porting cost if you switch between.
  • by Orion Blastar (457579) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <ratsalbnoiro>> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:54PM (#13944621) Homepage Journal
    Why even go that far?

    Chances are the TPM check will be part of the Install program and not the OSx86 itself. If true, someone can Ghost an Apple Mactel image and then use the Ghost to install on a Non-Apple PC.

    Why not just modify the ISO copy of OSx86 to change an assembly language instruction from JE to JNE or vice-versa, and then burn the new ISO and distribute that?

    That way it only runs on Hardware that does not have a TPM of Apple? Like Dell, Gateway, Compaq/HP, etc.

    Or better yet change the JE to JMP and JNE to NOP, that way it can run on all hardware.

    Take it from me, I used to write assembly language back in the day, and had to get copy protected software running on network drives, and the stupid software tried to check for a damaged sector on the hard drive which the Netware INT 21H did not allow. Almost everything is written in C/C++ now, which gets compiled into assembly or ML, which can be easily tweaked like I said.

    I give the hackers a week, if not more than a month, to find a way around it and release the unprotected ISO on the P2P networks.

    Not that I advocate piracy or cracking or hacking, I just know how it can be done.
  • Re:Final Cut? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wootest (694923) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:59PM (#13944677)
    If you do have work to get done in the seven months we have to wait and you could easily afford one, I say just get a G5. Your stipulated G5 wouldn't die the exact moment Steve presents the Intel Macs on stage - it won't be cutting edge anymore, but that'll be as true if you were to buy an Intel Mac seven months before its next generation as well.

    If the encoding time is really cut down (which looks like a gimme), you'll make it up in no time. If it's really about productivity, you're comparing the last release of an architecture that's been out for several years now (even the G5 is around 30 months old now) to the first round of machines of a new architecture *ever* - there's no way they'll be as reliable as the G5. Major kinks are worked out (except for the 2xSATA drive limit) and apps have had time to be optimized for them.

    Also consider this: We don't even know which Macs will be Intelized first! We do know that the Intel switch is all about speeding up the cramped PowerBook, so they will probably come first. There's a chance (although not big) they'll have you waiting until this time next year for an Intel PowerMac, and it's not even sure the performance will match!

    I think this "let's hold our horses for a year or so" attitude is getting a bit out of hand. If you were to buy a PowerBook, then maybe I could understand you, but the G5-based Macs are definitely the highlights of today's lineup, and there's no way in hell that the first revision Intel PowerMacs will be a better buy than they are based on what little you've said.
  • by aichpvee (631243) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:15PM (#13944842) Journal
    Yeah, they'll just hack that too. So who cares? As long as the authentication for these things is local it'll get hacked. And even assuming that remote authentication would somehow stop the hacking, we're no where near the point where enough people will accept their programs phoning home in order to run them.
  • Re:Hardware (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ariane 6 (248505) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:27PM (#13944967)
    tying software to your hardware when it could otherwise run on any other hardware is illegal.

    And Apple is somehow completely ignorant that their entire corporate roadmap for the next decade is a criminal act?

    Puh-lease.
  • by Durandal64 (658649) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:29PM (#13944991)
    There's a premium, but it doesn't even approach an order of magnitude greater. If you seriously think a $200 custom box will be in the same ballpark of quality and reliability as the Apple one you're trying to approximate, you're delusional.
  • by Ath (643782) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:30PM (#13944996)
    Have you not looked at Mac prices in a while? Current Macs run 2-10X more expensive than comparable PCs.

    I just have to call bullshit on this one. It is such a myth that Mac prices are completely outrageous compared to generic x86 PCs. You should compare apples to apples - not that I invented that pun in this situation. Find me a comparably designed PC to a iMac G5 and you will come nowhere near 2x let alone 10x the price. You can get a 17 inch iMac G5 with built in WiFi, Bluetooth, and iSight camera. Please point me to a vendor that has these features for half the $1299 price of the iMac G5.

    Do you pay a price premium for most Macs? Yep. Is it anywhere 2x the price of a "comparable" PC. Nope.

    You cannot buy a Yugo with leather interior. There is no such thing as a McDonald's meal that is rated at 5 stars. Motel 66 is not a luxury hotel. And you should not perpetuate the myth that Mac prices are some super premium compared to equivalent x86 PCs. There are plenty of valid reasons to critize Apple, but you stretch yourself quite a bit when you rehash old bullshit that their prices are so outrageous.

    And you can save yourself the typing if your reply is only that Macs are more expensive than even a comparable PC. You are right, but it isn't anywhere near 2x.

  • by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:32PM (#13945026) Homepage Journal

    Current Macs run 2-10X more expensive than comparable PCs.

    What? No. Macs are typically 1.1-1.5X as expensive as comparable PCs. And that's if you're just comparing technical specifications; if you start looking at really comparable PCs, with similar high-quality, well-designed and nice-looking cases and peripherals, then the Macs are pretty competitive.

    What tends to make people think the gap is larger than it is is the large number of very low-end, very inexpensive PCs on the market. Apple doesn't really make any systems that compete with them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:51PM (#13945224)
    ...says the person whining about something being referred to as an article.
  • by Doctor Memory (6336) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:54PM (#13945258)
    Dunno, I see things like this Mac Mini clone [theinquirer.net] selling for more than a Mini ($900 for the clone vs. $600 for the Mini), and I have to wonder. I think that Apple will pick up the economies of scale from the x86 component vendors and run with it. Sure, they'll still set a 30%+ profit margin, but I imagine they'll save enough money that prices should be "roughly" comparable. C.f. the Dell XPS systems, which seem to have a solid following despite their price premium.
  • by Ath (643782) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:58PM (#13945288)
    If you want to forgoe something, try your ego. Apple isn't trying to sell their experience to you - a computer tinkerer. Their market is someone who looks at an iMac G5 and sees that it is a beautiful looking machine. Their market is someone who works with OSX and feels what a great user experience it is. Is that everyone who buys a computer? No. Is it most people? Not so far. But if you keep thinking Apple is trying to sell boxes, then you don't get their business strategy.

    I have Windows machines, Linux machines, and an iMac G5. For me personally, I like all of them for very different reasons. But when I bought my parents new computers, I got them Macs. They love them. To each his or her own.

  • by hkb (777908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:02PM (#13945329)
    I have a DTK with 10.4.3, so some notes from someone with an actual clue:

    1.) The PPC version of 10.4.3 is NOT a 64-bit OS as several commenters claim. It's a 32-bit OS with some 64-bit math libraries.

    2.) While 10.4.3 Intel may have "caught up" to the PPC version, it's still far from release quality. For example, Spotlight seems to be seriously broke and not functioning correctly in Mail.app, iTunes is still a PPC app, Safari crashes often, and Bonjour is still a bit borked.
  • Re:not possible (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Em Adespoton (792954) <slashdotonly.1.adespoton@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:06PM (#13945371) Homepage Journal
    So... is it ok if I steal a new Pontiac Aztec off the lot? They're so unpopular that they've canceled that model, it probably wouldn't have sold anyway. It'll get the Pontiac name out there. They should be happy.

    Wrong illustration: more like "So... is it OK if I take a Volkswagen concept car apart and figure out exactly how it is built, and then build another one just like it? After all, Volkswagen isn't planning to sell the original, and my knockoff will get the Volkswagen name out there, as it's identical right down to the branding. They should be happy."

    The way most people are morally retrograde about copyright violations (I'm not preventing anyone else from installing OS X) continues to piss me off. No, downloading warez is not the same thing as stealing, but it is just a bad. To say otherwise is to be either willfully ignorant or uninformed.

    You're continuing to be pissed off by the wrong thing; Intellectual property is property; it's just not real property. The definitions of what is legal in the IP realm are much murkier than they are in the real property realm. You appear to be mixing morality and legality. To say otherwise is to be either willfully ignorant or uninformed.

    Up until the DMCA, copyright was closer to a contract issue than a property issue in the US. Now it's closer to a personal rights violation.

    If Apple wants to give their OS away they will do so; making a half-assed guess about what would make them happy doesn't count as consent.

    This part I agree with.

  • by masklinn (823351) <slashdot,org&masklinn,net> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:10PM (#13945411)

    That could get hacked too if the questions/answers schemes of the home-calling were known/cracked.

    One would "merely" (yes, I am aware that this merely is non trivial) have to setup a home-server emulation and redirect communications to legit server to the fake one.

  • by bano (410) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:10PM (#13945413) Homepage Journal
    Actually they are not restricting with you do with the hardware.
    TPM only ensures you can run OSX on validly TPM'ed machines, not restrict you from running other OSes.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:16PM (#13945468)
    you do realize that darwin is open source so drivers can be added at will (onto will?).
  • by Ffakr (468921) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:24PM (#13945532) Homepage
    I have directly compared prices recently. A Quad core G5 tower (dual-dual) with the same drives and same video as a quad Core Opteron (dual-dual) is actually about a grand cheaper .
    Yes, the Dual Processor Dual Core Opteron from Boxx (a very nice computer btw) was significantly cheaper.

    I'll send you a 6pack of good beer if you can find me a quad core Opteron from a (as in one) reputable company (that won't go out of business) .. with a warranty and one number to call in case of problems.. and a supported OS installed for anything near a new Quad Core G5 price.
  • by ClamIAm (926466) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:30PM (#13945574)
    OK, so you're either trolling, or you haven't thought about this for more than five seconds:

    -One vendor means more supply from that vendor == price breaks
    -One "family" of chips (OK, they might use more than one Intel family, but still) allows the engineers to not have to learn two radically different chip families. This means less re-training and more skill.
    -ATI doesn't make motherboards. Having the CPU+mobo+chipset come from the same place decreases complexity by orders of magnitude.
  • by admdrew (782761) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:32PM (#13945598) Homepage

    Not to disagree with your argument, but the problem that a lot of people have regarding prices PCs and Macs have to do with self-built machines. While it's difficult to make your own Mac from scratch, a powerful PC can be built terribly easily and extremely cheap from individual parts purchased online.

    The $1299 iMac G5 you reference has these listed specs:

    17-inch widescreen LCD
    1.9GHz PowerPC G5
    512MB memory (533MHz DDR2 SDRAM)
    160GB Serial ATA hard drive
    Slot-load 8x double-layer SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon X600 Pro with 128MB DDR video memory

    Comparable PC with random parts online:

    17" LCD - $200
    AMD Athlon64 3000+ (1.8GHz) - $135
    PCIe/Socket 939 motherboard with SATA - $70
    512MB PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) - $50
    SATA 160GB drive - $60
    PCIe Radeon X600 Pro with 256MB RAM - $84
    802.11g Wifi card - $40
    Logitech bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo - $100
    Case/PSU - $50
    Dual-layer DVD burner - $50

    The PC totals about $850. While the Mac isn't twice as expensive, it's still a good few hundred dollars more. If the PC was based on a few more premium parts, it might get a little closer, and if you wanted to make something in the form factor of the iMac G5, then yeah, it'd be more money too... but the power:price ratio for PCs is generally much higher than it is for Macs.

  • by barthrh2 (713909) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:48PM (#13945731)
    Funny, I was just making that argument to my baker that his cakes were way over priced. I mean, $1 for flour, another $1.25 in sugar, an egg or two... his are a total rip off.

    Your comparison is not fair. You are comparing a fully assembled PC with a single warranty to a bunch of parts that you need to assemble yourself (here Mom. It's a computer from Ikea. Good luck.) I won't even get into the quality differences. That 17" LCD compared to the Apple widscreen, the tin-can case you're quoting for $50, not to mention that you completely forgot the operating system, anything to replace iPhoto, iDvd, Garageband, you missed the camera and speakers altogether...

    With all taken into account, yours may be even more expensive in the end. And it would still be a tin can.
  • by ScuzzMonkey (208981) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:49PM (#13945742) Homepage
    Doesn't really matter what your or his or my time is worth... we're not going to be the ones to crack it, it's gonna be some kid in a basement in Estonia who has got nothing but time and deep motivation, and when he does it, then you and I and the next guy all will have access to it, too. It was never worth my time to sit down and crack CSS, either, but I can rip DVDs just like Jon can now. It doesn't take massive individual effort on the part of everyone who wants to circumvent this stuff, just one or two people who figure out the easy way for the rest of us.
  • by stevejobsjr (409568) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:51PM (#13945765)
    The Mac comes with tons of sweet software and a warranty, as well.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:54PM (#13945805)
    Thats not what we're talking about, you tool. We're talking about PC hardware drivers for OXx86. They will come soon, if not by corps, then by OSS
  • by cosmo7 (325616) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:58PM (#13945837) Homepage
    17" LCD - $200
    AMD Athlon64 3000+ (1.8GHz) - $135
    PCIe/Socket 939 motherboard with SATA - $70
    512MB PC2-4200 (DDR2-533) - $50
    SATA 160GB drive - $60
    PCIe Radeon X600 Pro with 256MB RAM - $84
    802.11g Wifi card - $40
    Logitech bluetooth mouse/keyboard combo - $100
    Case/PSU - $50
    Dual-layer DVD burner - $50

    Filling out rebate cards that somehow never get paid - PRICELESS.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:59PM (#13945848)
    Don't forget to add on firewire and make sure the bult in ethernet is Gig and you'll need to buy a web cam, and a remote control.
  • by thinbits (904652) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:02PM (#13945868)
    Unfortunately, your PC parts list is missing a few things... FireWire controller 640x480 autofocus camera with noise cancelling microphone Operating System After adding in the missing parts, I think the cost difference is almost zero.
  • by EntropyEngine (890880) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:03PM (#13945882)
    Let's not forget the software!

    I'm going to sound really lazy now, but someone -- maybe ArsTechnica [arstechnica.com] -- ran an article on the iLife stuff you get with your Mac and tried to find free alternatives for the PC.

    The upshot is, there simply aren't any free alternatives that come anywhere near what you get with iLife.

    If memory serves me correctly, the guys had to fork out a little over $800 to get their hands on the equivalent commercial software...
  • by Sark666 (756464) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:13PM (#13945970)
    Maybe people will end up compiling a list of hardware combinations that work fine, instead of throwing it at any random piece of hardware.
  • by Star_Gazer (25473) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:58PM (#13946335)
    Only as long as they don't try to make it mass-market compatible and just continue to develop it only for the Apple x86 platform and silently accept some people are running it on non-Apple hardware.

    But, since Apple is still a hardware company that sells the overall experience, it would still be a bad idea, IMHO. And Microsoft has more than one way to put a major barrier into the adoption of OS X/x86 as an alternative to Windows. The most likely and effective way would be to cease the development of Office/X - that would be a big blow for Apple!

    Part of the mess that is Windows is that Microsoft basically has to offer support for every crappy video card, mainboard chipset or whatever and because of that, the complexity of the system goes beyond anything manageable.

    I firmly believe that a major reason why OS X works so well is that the engineers at Apple can test their software with every piece of hardware Apple ever built. Try that with Windows. If Apple would try to go beyond their own platform, they would face the same problems.

    Sven

  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @08:03PM (#13946380)
    I urge everyone to boycott Apple and OSx86 because of the draconian copy protection and spyware features

    Spyware? Draconian copy protection? Wha?

    Does the bag of bullshit you're carrying around ever get too heavy? In five years, every single PC and PC motherboard will have a TPM. You might as well boycott sand.
  • by chia_monkey (593501) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @08:43PM (#13946641) Journal
    Look at what Microsoft did with Windows: they let Windows be freely pirated, and now they dominate the desktop.

    Do you really think that's why MS dominates the desktop? You don't think it's because of all the licensing deals MS had with all the PC makers? And the fact PCs had become a commodity item long ago and were cheaper than Macs, thus Joe Blow would buy the PC based solely on price (thus, getting Windows)? Or maybe that the common (incorrect) perception for a long time was that PCs were for business, Macs for designers...so people kept buying the PCs. Why didn't OS/2 make it? Couldn't that be pirated? Wait...I do recall people loading up Mac OS on machines all around school. I don't think Microsoft dominates the desktop because they let Windows be pirated.
  • Re:TPM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mmeister (862972) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @09:20PM (#13946866)

    Good! The harder they work on keeping people from using it, the less effort they can put in making it good, and the fewer developers will come to the platform.

    And if Apple doesn't do anything, then cheap-ass folks who call themselves developers will pirate the software. I don't think Apple is missing out on the "big" developer pool by not making their OS free

    To me, this says that Linux is going to improve compared to OS X,

    In what way? Linux sucks when it comes to user experiences. Developers on Linux seem to think that offers 100 command line options is a good UI for the average user. That's fine for the techies, but real folks want a real, full-blown user experience that is pleasant and seamless.

    because Apple is investing effort in making their OS worse instead of better, and because they will fail to attract as many hackers as they could.

    The OS is worse because they won't let you run it on some two-bit piece of hardware you threw together? Give me a break. How cheap are you really? As for failing to attract hackers -- who cares. I want folks that actually understand users to be writing the software, not some command-line, script-happy "hacker". And the reality is that Apple is attracting UNIX guys that are realizing that they can have their UNIX power and a real interface.

    I already switched from OS X to Linux because I find it technically superior

    I don't even know what that's supposed to mean, since technically superior is very vague. Windows is technically superior at running Active-X controls and if you need that, it would be the choice. In the end, it just sounds like you are trying to rationalize your decision to stay away from the mainstream desktop world. That's fine -- but don't expect 99% of the rest of the population to think like you. Linux has its uses, but running a Desktop is not one of them. Until there are folks that understand usability designing the entire Linux user experience, it won't make it into the mainstream.

  • by senatorpjt (709879) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @11:38PM (#13947546)
    In five years, every single PC and PC motherboard will have a TPM.

    Only if they start confiscating any computer over five years old.. They can have my pre-TPM machines when they pry them out of my cold dead hands :)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 04, 2005 @10:45AM (#13949751)
    you have to be kidding right? you apparently don't know anything about modern CISC chips like i686's and athlons, that are more like modern RISC chips under the hood.

    The CISC instructions get broken down into risc-instruction-like "micro-ops" which are then sent to multiple execution cores. In general, modern Intel/AMD processors can execute more RISC-like micro-ops per clock cycle than PPC's. Most of the PPC's on-again off-again performance advantage comes from the fact that it has way more registers to work with than x86, so you don't need as many load-and-store operations. The increased number of registers on AMD64 is one of the reasons it destroys P4 so handily.
  • by DECS (891519) on Friday November 04, 2005 @12:24PM (#13950725) Homepage Journal
    Apple isn't hiding this TPM in the kernel. The kernel is open sourced, and will happily run on PCs today.

    The lock is on Apple's proprietary WindowManager : the closed source Quartz Compositor display system and the Q-2D drawing engine, and possibly across many other higher level libraries, which have never been open and which very few people know anything about.

    It will be far easier for Apple to keep Mac OS X a tough-to-crack, moving target compared other attempts to lock media or software. When DVDs were cracked, there was no easy way to re-lock DVDs, because they still had to work with existing players and any new players would have to play existing DVDs. As Apple demonstrated with iTMS, since they control the whole widget, they can relock the system after it gets cracked. And you can similarly expect Mac OS X to get "fixed" really quick with a software update just as soon as any work around is found to the TPM lock.

    Windows XP, Photoshop and all the other software with "call home" verification is instantly pirated because it's also offered in a "corporate" edition with no verification, for large clients to install in Enterprise environments, where verification and serial numbers are a huge hassle. These corp versions get leaked so fast, it makes one wonder why Adobe, Microsoft and the rest all force their customers to deal with super annoying verification systems that generally end up requiring a call to India to resolve any problems when upgrading or reinstalling machines.

    Apple will not have to offer such an undefended version, since corporations who want Mac OS X can buy the same version of the software to run on any Mac (Intel or PPC), and the software link to Mac hardware doesn't get in the way in a per machine fashion. In fact, the only people worried about Mac OS X's link to real Mac hardware will be people trying to run Mac OS X on PCs.

    Since Apple's business plan currently makes no effort to bring Mac OS X to the unwashed masses of PCs, which would require supporting all that crap hardware with undocumented flaws and incompatibilities, and which has only ever really been designed to work well with Windows (WinModems and USB Cams and PS/2 bridges and Centronics Zip drives and serial port Palm cradles and the like), there won't be a retail version anytime soon (just as Apple never sold a software version of the iPod for Palm/WinCE devices).

    So not only will Mac OS X's link to Mac hardware be very hard to crack, but there won't be any easy "pants down" way to get around it, as there is for nearly all other software out there.

    Hopefully, Apple will continue their permissive licensing that allows users to apply an upgrade as liberally as their conscience will stand. That serves to keep more Mac users on the latest version of Mac OS X, while allowing honest people to vote for Mac OS X development with their dollars. And me, I like Mac hardware, and as much as I'd like to run Mac OS X on PCs, I can only begin to imagine what a huge task it would be to duplicate huge scope of work Microsoft goes through to support the smorgasboard of hardware out there.

    It would be a huge effort for Apple just to support, say, Dell Optiplex machines built since 2004. It would take Herculean efforts to support a small selection of the top, major brand name PCs: Dell, HP/Compaq, and (who's #3?). And that would only piss off all the PC users who bought crap PCs from CompUSA to save a few bucks, or built their own from Fry's.

    All the people who think throwing Mac OS X to the PC masses for free to let people try to get it working themselves, in an attempt to create a Microsoft-like monopoly upon hoodwinked piracy, fail to get that Apple makes most of its money from hardware. Even if Apple could sell 20 software retail boxes for every lost Mac sale, they'd only bury themselves in supporting software for unhappy users who can't understand why their new Dell keyboard doesn't launch Safari when they push the Internet Button.

    Bigger isn't always better. By growing organically, Apple can sell more Mac hardware (they sold already 43% more Mac this quarter, compared to ~17% for HP and Dell) to happier customers and build loyalty that sells new iPods, more Apple software, updates, and .Mac services.
  • by danielsfca2 (696792) on Friday November 04, 2005 @08:42PM (#13954872) Journal
    > we're nowhere near the point where enough people will accept their programs phoning home in order to run them.

    You're right. Everyone will surely switch to Linux once Microsoft and Apple start forcing that. Just like the droves who switched when Windows Activation was introduced. Just like the torrential flow of enterprise and home users that switch every day due to the myriad gaping security holes in Windows.

    </sarcasm>

    People are lazy. Not just regular lazy, but LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY. And even more so, they're AFRAAAAAAAID of CHAAAAANGE. They ask, "What do I have to do in order to keep doing things exactly the way I've been doing them since 1995?" and even if the answer involves bodily harm, they'll do it. Even if it's harder than just friggin' learning a new way to do things.

    If 50 zillion college students put up with the pile of dung that is MySpace, 100 zillion consumers and pointy-haired-bosses will put up with WinGenuineAdvantageHourlyPhoneHomeProductKeyValida tion and iTrustedComputing.

    Count on it.

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