[lug] Mac Hardware

Timothy C. Klein teece at silverklein.net
Mon Jul 29 10:58:01 MDT 2002

* rm at fabula.de (rm at fabula.de) wrote:
> 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).

This is the primary problem with proprietary software (and here it *is*
a software issue -- software in a ROM).  It is not difficult (easy,
really), to make a competitor's job nearly impossible.  Most businesses
seems to see that ability as tantamount to ethicallity.  None consider
if they *should*.  Most software companies immediately choose to
use technology to squash competition.  In the end, software consumers
get screwed.  

What are we to do? (Oh yeah, use Linux)

== Timothy Klein || teece at silverklein.net   ==
== ---------------------------------------- ==
== "Hello, World" 17 Errors, 31 Warnings... ==

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