Ubuntu is under attack

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at gmail.com
Mon Dec 19 14:31:40 GMT 2005

On 12/18/05, Senectus . <senectus at gmail.com> wrote:
> On 12/19/05, Eric Dunbar <eric.dunbar at gmail.com> wrote:
> >
> > I'm not convinced it's going to reduce the cost of the machines,
> > unless they contract out their design (and, Apple hasn't had the best
> > of luck contracting out... in the past 8 years they've put out some
> > revolutionary computer designs that force the rest of the industry to
> > follow).
> > I'm inclined to suspect that they have something else up their sleeve,
> > but, I guess we'll only be sure of that in a few years ;-).
> >
> One of the articles I read said it was to do with supply and cost,
> that the intel promised a stronger supply chain and in doing that
> would reduce production cost immediately _and_ later down the track.

That's what Apple says -- faster CPUs, lower cost. I'm not convinced
the savings will be great, unless, as I stated, Apple adopts Intel
mobos (that was the brilliance of their move to a hybrid mach-BSD
operating system... platform independence).

> But, IMPO I wouldn't be surprised if it was more to do with the fact
> that x86 is the common denominator across the world.
> They want to make it easier for other software/hardware produces to
> produce stuff for their platform, thereby making it a more relevant
> choice in the general market rather than _just_ the graphic designers
> and yuppies market. ;-)

I've partly argued that one as well, but, it doesn't seem to be a
particularly popular idea out there (not seen it repeated in the
popular press). Most development now happens in high-level, platform
agnostic languages. The hard part (as someone pointed out, either here
or on YellowDogLinux mailing list) is in accessing the libraries.
Windows libraries will remain Windows libraries. The only way that Mac
OS X i86 devs will be able to access those is if they're recompiled
for BSD. This could already happen on PPC BSD... Microsoft would just
have to be willing to do so.

"_just_ the graphic designers and yuppies market"... and the
education, home user and business environments ;-). The only place
where Apple doesn't really exist is in the specialised environments
dominated by a single major software manufacturer -- GIS :-( & AutoCad
are the two that come to mind.

> once again IMPO, I liked their old hardware very much. But really
> really hated their GUI, so for me there is no attraction at all to
> apple anymore. and I personally believe this going to increase Apple
> and Linux market share with the only loser here being MS.
> Can't say I'm too broken up by that either.

I'm not so sure that Linux will be a complete winner in this scenario.
One of the appeals of Linux on x86 is that it offers an alternative to
Windows, but, it's not Windows.

Mac OS X on an i86  may offer people the ability run Windows software,
natively but also to be running <i>commercial</i> non-Windows software
and OS. Coupled with Apple's unbeatable hardware, Apple may also be
positioning to take on some of Linux. Apple has a Linux-compatible
core with an interface that has a legendary following (non-Apple users
know of Apple, even if they've never used the OS).

Apple could be in the position to offer "virus free, spy ware free
WINDOWS-compatible computing".

What the end result will be is going to be interesting, but, it
certainly is time for things to get shook up again. Perhaps the next
great thing (tm) will come from Linux.

The GUI that Apple introduced to the world in 1983/1984 is pretty much
UNCHANGED in 22/21 years -- it has stagnated for 21 years (if I
understand correctly, the Xerox prototypes were quite different from
what Apple ended up producing)!

You could take a GNOME user from 2005 and set them in front of the
Macintosh (128) (8 Mhz, 128 KB RAM, 64 KB ROM, 400 KB floppies) from
1984 running MS Word 1.05a, Excel 1.x, MacPaint 1.3 and MacDraw 1.7
and, aside from internet tasks*, they could do 90% of business tasks
that modern business users are asked to do (in fact, they'd probably
do a _better_ job of illustrations because the graphics abilities of
MS Word (2005 era) are arguably worse than MacDraw 1.7).

*And, if you accepted a CLUI for internet tasks, they could use a
terminal to login to a *nix server (via modem or serial... the Mac 512
(late '84) could possibly be coaxed into handling ethernet), where
they could run Lynx, Pine, Mutt and a myriad of CLUI tools to access
internet services ;-).

Anyway, that's enough of a history lesson/ramble for today.


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