[lug] Mac Hardware

rm at fabula.de rm at fabula.de
Mon Jul 29 09:58:10 MDT 2002

On Mon, Jul 29, 2002 at 09:26:17AM -0600, Peter Hutnick wrote:
> > Wish the ObjectiveC' could run on my linux box.  If they can put Auqa
> > and all the NextStep stuff on top of BSD why not put it on top of linux
> > ... then Apple would have a real intel based offering!
> I'm sure there is not technical reason.
> Furthermore, it would be easier still to just put it on top of i386 BSD . . .
> .. . . but why would they want to cut their own legs off like that?  The
> day Apple puts out MacOS for Intel (or any other commodity HW) is they day
> they stop being a viable company.
> -Peter

Indeed. This is one of Apple's greatest dilemmas (and the one the company
probably will die from IMHO): not only do they sell both hardware _and_
software (OS as well as applications), they use one to block the market
for the other from competitors.

For a long time one could not run the old MAC system on anything but
real Macs because of the ROM (even now, when i want/need to run my old
Mac software on my Linux PC with the Basilisk emulator i need a copy
of the Mac ROM -- only legal if one still owns the hardware [i do :-]).

Then there came the PPC plattform (or was it Pink) with the promise of
running several different OSs on on hardware (that's why it was called
'Common Hardware Plattform' ...) -- but of course one _couldn't_, because
OS 7x _still_ needed the ROM - by then of course running code from ROM
was much slower than running it from RAM so the first thing the OS did
was copy the code from ROM to RAM; so your MAC had a magnificent little
hardware dongle built in. And let's not forget the 'MAC clones'. Apple
at some point decided that Clones would be the solution to their sales
problem (way too late). So they sold licences to some hardware companies
who started to build some really nice boxes (UMAX etc.). As soon as their
sales went up Apple decided that this was getting too scarry and performed
a mean little trick: they threw out a minor OS update but labled it 
'OS 8' -- since all the cloners only had licences for OS 7.n they where
out of bussines pretty quick (Aplle wouldn't sell licences for OS 8).
Let's aslo not forget that there _was_/is a port of NextStep to other
plattforms (Solaris and NT if i recall right): it's called OpenStep an
the support for it stopped as soon as Apple bought Next ...
If there is _one_ company that constantly shows why it's time for
Open Source than it's Apple, not Microsoft. You can't deinstall
Internet Explorer? Well, as soon as my OS X detects a harddisk with a
non-Mac operating system it will basically fry it up. The LinuxPPC
people have to jump through hoops to get past this (just create a 
dummy partition that looks like a defect Mac partition).

 Ralf Mattes

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