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BSD Operating Systems

Jordan Hubbard (of FreeBSD Fame) Hired by Apple 215

Posted by Roblimo
from the sometimes-a-paycheck-is-nice-to-have dept.
Anonymous Coward and many others wrote in to tell us that Jordan Hubbard is going to work for Apple. Here's his post to the FreeBSD-announce mail list.
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Jordan Hubbard (of FreeBSD fame) is hired by Apple

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    MS does NOT own a considerable chunk of Apple. The media spin on it was that MS was investing to save Apple's ass. Time spun a cover story on this, even the Pirates of Silicon Valley starts and ends with this premise.

    It's bunk. The details of the agreement in light of the legal issues MS was facing, the patent disputes between the MS and Apple, and the favors between the two make it darn clear it was a mutually accepted and beneficial deal to them. Know what? It was and worked damn well. Apple got an influx of cash and a boost to its stock, got what ended up being the main browser ported to its platform, the dominant office suite, and avoided a potential drain from patent disputes with MS. MS got PR, money from the sales of software, attempted (but failed badly) avoid monopoly issues, and a financial hit from potentially losing to Apple on certain patents.

    The investment is clearly non-voting stock. MS cannot and does not influence Apple with it. Stating as such is absolutely ludicrous and incredibly naive. In the computer industry, EVERYONE has money. No one gives a rat's ass what Ellison thinks because of his cash. His influence, like MSs over Apple, lies in what platform the software runs. If MS is pulling Apple's strings, it's not money. Apple has a $4 billion cash reserve. It would have been threatening to stop developing Office or Explorer on the Mac platform.

    As your Mac coworkers know, and you clearly don't, MacOS X does not run on x86. Darwin does, OpenStep does, MacOS X probably could, but right now, it does not.

    And the reason it does not and WILL not has nothing to do with MS. MS's currently plans are to infiltrate ALL platforms by providing services that are OS independent. .NET. If the Mac base uses their software more, MS wins.

    The reason Apple will not do it is because they are a hardware company. Their claim to fame is their OS and GUI, but they make their money moving hardware. If they didn't, they'd be another Be. Now, why would Apple port MacOS X? That takes time, resources. Then you have to support all the crappy x86 hardware out there, and you know what I mean even if you are an x86 proponent--I wouldn't have bought an EpOX-branded board 4 years ago for a workstation machine or an ECS board today. Then there's the tech support.

    Just to sell software at $120 a box? And then run in with the price wars between Compaq, Dell, and Gateway in the workstation and server market, reducing hardware profits to close to nil? That would reduce their cash flow, reduce R&D, and with the reduction in R&D related to hardware, a reduction in the design of signature Mac hardware--iow, company branding and trademark dress would take a huge hit.

    Forget it. The x86 port won't happen for the masses. The ONLY way is they struck a deal with AMD and Tyan to make SMP Athlon 4s using 760MP and tried to go into the server market. And that's a slim chance given that they'd have an easier time just porting MacOS X server code to IBM's PPC-based mainframes, like the Power4.

    *Not* *going* *to* *happen*.

    Oh, btw, I use a Mac. And while we're whipping them out, I'd pit my Mac coworkers against your PC coworkers in a coding fest and bet some serious cash on my boys and girls.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Don't you know??? This troll that keeps popoing up is a ploy of the *BSD word. You see, since nobody is (apparently [due to the flawed statistics]) it seems really 1337 to all of the Mandrake(TM), RedHat(TM), etc. etc. Linux using newbies out there. They decide to try it, and possibly may get hooked on it, do something with it, or use it just to appear to be 1337. I'm not dissing in any linux or FreeBSD, *BSD, or whatever, becase I use them, and they do what I want. I'm just presenting my paranoid thoery.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Apple is already giving back to the community. Although you might not like it, Darwin is a port of FreesBSD etc to the PowerPC architecture, which didn't exist before Apple got into Darwin. They are just playing a win-win strategy on this: W Sanchez contributed back things on several projects (BSD or GPL ones) both as a developer and as an Apple employee.

    Jordan Hubbard will not work on MacOS X. Read the lines: he'll be manager of BSD technologies. So he won't work on a port of MacOS X to x86 (silly idea), he won't work on bringing aqua to Sun Solaris, he won't work on anything that's not BSD related, or shouldn't.

    Apple had a good experience when they hired W Sanchez. His departure to the nice world of start ups and VC has left a big hole in the relationship between Apple and Open Source. See the comments from mac users and creators at latest machack regarding Apple's opportunity to leverage the open source movement. Their in-house comment is 'Apple's going to have difficulties to make things work'. They need someone with some strong ties to the community to evolve and keep sound relations.

    Talking again about W Sanchez, see his comments regarding his time at Apple on his advocado page. He's been happy there because he's both worked on a great in-house project and continued working on Apache etc.

    Among the stupidest things I've read here: Apple will not port OS X to x86, first things first and the first for them is to have a nice OS on their computers. Apple did not port Darwin to x86, others did, Apple merely said: 'that's nice, let's add a link for that somewhere'. Jordan is selling his soul -> hey no he's a developer working on BSD, it's just another company. Athlons are better than G4 -> well the Rolls Royce engine is better than the porsche engine.

    One sure thing: all the relations Apple is trying to have with the Open Source community is an issue they have to take with care, otherwise another FUD war is going to spread against Apple, you know something like 'Open Source is endangering Apple' or 'Apple is stealing efforts from the Open Source community'. Both of which are so silly I wouldn't care to comment.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I was as skeptical as anyone in the beginning regarding OS X... however, having started in computing with the Apple II line and only grudgingly moved over to the PC platform, I'd always hoped Apple would rise again to take over the world :-)

    And I think they have a chance with OS X...

    First off, the new iBook (the one released this year, not the George Foreman grill of generations past) is a slick piece of equipment. Actual ethernet jack, no dongles (aside from video outputs), built-in 802.11, and a battery life that actually surpasses 4 hours getting work done and listening to mp3's in OS X. Best part? IT'S COMPETITIVELY PRICED! I never thought I'd ever accuse Apple of pricing hardware competitively, but they did it. Base price is $1299.

    Secondly, OS X is quite slick... it's unstable in parts (there's a couple rough edges here and there, and the stock e-mail client... well, I don't think it's designed for how much mail I get), but the core OS has only needed rebooting once (due to an NFS problem -- if an NFS issue bringing a system to its knees isn't a sign of a true unix, I don't know what is). This is on a laptop. Sleep mode works flawlessly, and the system wakes up within about 3 seconds. Moving between home and work (both with DHCP) involves no thought oncesoever... just plug the cable in, and everything's happy. New hardware? Plug it in. It'll probably work without any input oncesoever.

    OS 9 emulation works fairly well... the Classic environment (where OS 9 apps run) takes awhile to load, but once it's running, it's just there and mostly swaps out. This is necessary for viewing PDF's, using SimpleText, and a couple other things still, but new OS X stuff is coming out frequently.

    And, if that's not enough, I actually had a chick say "that's a beautiful thing" while I had it open and operational... I AM NOT JOKING! A CHICK ACTUALLY COMPLEMENTED MY NEW UNIX BOX!

    Truly, this is a wonderful thing. All these years, THIS is what I've wanted Linux to be... and here Apple goes and does it. Check it out.

    DISCLAIMER: I'm an Anonymous Coward 'cuz I'm too lazy to create an account, not because I work for Apple or something like that. I work for an ISP. I do network stuff. Chicks usually don't talk to me. Probably because I'm too lazy to create an account.
  • I'd love to see an Aqua xemacs...Anyone know if such a project is being worked on?

    Indeed. http://emacs-on-aqua.sourceforge.net./ [emacs-on-a...eforge.net]

  • Largest Unix vendor?

    AAPL market cap: 8.373B

    SUNW market cap: 48.982B

    IBM market cap: 195.7B

  • "Largest vendor of x" is always a contestable number, regardless of what x is. For a long time, people claiming Microsoft did not have monopoly power (including the company's own spokecritters) would point at IBM's vast software projects and explain that IBM was a much bigger software firm and thus, MS couldn't have monopoly power. Numbers on the desktop would tell a different picture.

    Units shipped is an interesting measure; you'll note IDG and Gartner are currently squabbling over Linux metrics because there's no way of mapping installtions to shipped units.

  • Look folks, Apple is a hardware company. That's were they really make their money. People buy their boxes in order to get the Mac OS. If they could run the Mac OS on cheaper x86 boxes many of them would choose to do so. Of course many people would still buy Titanium PowerBooks and iBooks for other reasons, but fewer.
    I have always wondered about this one. If Apple is a hardware company, why do they sell software, including their own OS instead of just giving it away for free to drive up sales of their hardware?

    It would seem to me that if you bloated Mac OS and added lots of fancy applications that load all sorts of extensions and gave it away for free, you could sell a lot more hardware after poor unsuspecting users "upgrade" and realize after a time that their computers seem sort of slow.

    Of course, that's just the sneaky evil person inside me talking.
  • As far as I can tell from Mr. Hubbard's post, he is not stopping his work on FreeBSD, so his presence on the FreeBSD team *won't* be missed.
  • Transmeta didn't! Their stock price has plunged since they realized they had to distribute a copy of the design plans for the CPU's along with every one sold. The clone makers in Taiwan have been having a field day. ;-)
  • he was right- darwin, not macos. emacs isn't in the kernel, is it?
  • Apple = Great Hardware? What planet are you on?

    I've got a G4, 512 MB RAM with all the fixin's and OS 9. It gathers dust.

    On the other side of the room is a Pentium 300 system with 128 MB running Redhat 6.2. It is my daily desktop.

    The G4, with it's hockey puck, God Aweful, one-eyed mouse and positively horrible keyboard, guarantee it won't get used. No need to even get down to the idiot MacOS (I'm sorry, I have to tell the OS how much memory to give an application when I have 400 MB free? WHAT?).

    The only good things about the Mac these days is one can run Linux on it.



    Since that G4 isn't being used, why don't you sell it to me?

  • This would be more trouble than you can imagine. You would have to have a second verison of OS X just to run on the x86. Then you would need two diffrent versions of all the software. Unless of course they build some emulation in, but that would suck.

    In the end you would have nothing but a bunch of confused users who would have to look *really* close when buying software.

  • Who honestly cares OS X it's FreeBSD based or not, it's BSD based, and JKH is going to be working on it, or if not, he will be working closely with others who are working on OS X. The result will be, either way, OS X will be more LIKE FreeBSD at it's core. Which makes me worry more about something else, Specifically:

    JKH Wrote "FreeBSD doesn't compete with Apple's product offerings in any way and provides an excellent source of technology for them.."

    In other words, Apple will allow FreeBSD to exist as a separate OS maintained by JKH, but it's not ever going to be something that challenges OS X.

    WHY? Are Apple and JKH both agreeing that OS X has a nice GUI front that makes it the perfect OS for non-technical people? Or do Apple and JKH both agreeing that OS X is going to be the killer OS that brings Apple into the small scale server market? Either of which would make FreeBSD not a real OS for either?

    I'm bothered by what JKH said, but then again, I'm usually paranoid and take things out of context...

  • Wind River isns't a small company: 1.4billion market cap, 2000 employees. I bet they compensate well, including insurance.
  • I remember a time when Jordan Hubbard didn't need an introduction here on slashdot. Oh well.

  • Darwin is based substantially on FreeBSD. If you want the exact parentage, it is based on the Mach microkernel with a BSD-ish kernel running atop that, borrowing from the NetBSD PowerPC code. Most of the "userland" utilities came from FreeBSD, starting at about the 3.2 release. All of the above have been developed and customized by Apple for their needs.

    How much of Darwin is based on parts of FreeBSD that are not part of BSD?

    How can a part of FreeBSD not be a part of BSD?

  • It's nice to for Jonathan to say he will continue to assist with the project, but what happens when his time becomes consumed at Apple, and he *has no* time for the FreeBSD project, how will FreeBSD stand up.

    That's Jordan, not Jonathan, and the project will survive just fine. Jordan is one of approximately 250 committers on the FreeBSD project, programmers who are allowed to directly check in changes to the source code. He is also one of the 9 members of the Core Team, the group assigned to be roughly the supreme court of the FreeBSD project. Both bodies are large enough to run adequately with one member down, even one as active as Jordan.

    If Jordan finds himself too busy to fully contribute to the Core Team, I would expect him to say so and step aside; he is certainly one of the most honest men I've ever met. In the first election for the FreeBSD Core Team held last fall, Jordan was one of the few members of the original Core Team members maintained by the voters, so his popularity among the FreeBSD project is not in doubt.

    Rest assured that the FreeBSD project has not allowed itself to suffer from the "what happens if Linus gets hit by a bus" problem, unlike our friends in the Linux community. Our transition of power is assured, unless all of the committers scattered around the globe and all existing copies of the CVS archives -- several million by now -- were to be destroyed simultaneously.

  • Apple will not be porting the Mac OS to x86 for the same reason that Steve Jobs won't allow the smallest bit of GPLed code into Darwin. It would put Apple out of business.

    That's bullshit, and as half-witted as can be expected from a Wintel multibooter.

    Eat this:

    ./Applications/Chess.app/Contents/Resources/COPYIN G
    ./usr/share/emacs/20.7/etc/COPYING


    Karma karma karma karma karmeleon: it comes and goes, it comes and goes.
  • While Sun has a higher market cap than Apple, if you base the comparison on the number of Unix boxes these companies are projected to ship in the next 12 months, Apple is the largest Unix vendor, hands down.
  • I heard rumors that Apple had some sort of agreement with MS that it wouldn't invade i386 territory.

    Yes, it went something like this: you don't release Mac OS for x86 and nobody gets hurt.
    ___

  • by Tack (4642) on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:22PM (#128097) Homepage
    Will Mac OS X ever be released for i386? I heard rumors that Apple had some sort of agreement with MS that it wouldn't invade i386 territory. Is there any truth to this? I can see Apple wanting to keep Mac OS X as an incentive to buy Mac hardware. But I think offering OS X for i386 will help OS X approach ubiquity and can only help the sale of Mac hardware indirectly.

    So what's the bottom line? Anyone know the inside scoop?

    Jason.
  • You're right of course; Java doesn't run "natively" on anything but Sun's Majic chips or in it's VM. What I was trying to communicate is that Java can have lots of seamless access to the MacOS environment and is pretty much a peer to the Cocoa & Carbon layers.

    One of the kewl things about Java w/ Swing on MacOS X is that the applications look & behave as if they were any other MacOS X application - no off-look, no odd limitations. Apple has managed to pull off a Java+other-bits implementation that really integrates Java, far more then on other patforms.

    That Apple is looking to Java to open up lots of cross-platform opportunities is no secret, but their success hasn't yet been widely noticed. BTW, one of the weird bits is that much of the Java GUI stuff is already hardware accelerated where the Aqua stuff isn't yet - stange to see Java sometimes display faster then the native!

    Finally, this strategy is already having payoffs. Apple has yet to port their Airport configuration software to MacOS X, rather pointing folks to the Java implementation already made for other platforms. Why port their native stuff when a universal implementation works and can be standardized upon.

  • First off kudos to Apple for hiring a great coder. While they've already got some strong talent in-house more can't hurt. Besides which Hubbard's FreeBSD skills should come in great use keeping MacOS X compatible with the BSD's.

    For those already posting wild-assed assumptions (like it would kill these folks to look up their own answers - this is the web!) here's a couple of responses bundled up:

    • FreeBSD is *not* the basis of MacOS X. The kernel is different and the utilities are a hodgepodge from a number of BSD distribs.
    • Darwin is the MacOS X core and it's freely available. Indeed Apple has ported it to x86 (a platform they don't sell) and provides it the same support they do their PPC implementation. It's Open Source, go grab a copy for yourself.
    • Darwin is the core of MacOS X - it's NOT all of it. The Classic, Carbon, Quartz, QuickTime, etc. parts remain in house & aren't likely to be released. Some folks whinge on about Apple taking advantage of Open Source - well yeah, that's why folks used the licenses they did. On the other hand Apple's also been contributing back a lot too (unlike MS) and while they may not have released your favorite bits they've been playing fairly.
    • Yes Apple has rabid lawyers when it gets to things that involve their name & IP, especially their "look". Sure imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, on the other hand they spenty a lot developing their look & it's their trade dress.
    • There is no "secret agreement" between Apple & MS regarding using x86 (at least that anyone seriously believes.) MS makes good money off of their MacOS products and wouldn't likely be strongly impacted by Apple using x86. On the other hand Apple is very unlikely to do so for a long list of reasons. Finally any such agreement would get MS in to too much hot water.
    • Porting BSD tools to MacOS X varies in difficulty. For simple command-line stuff it's pretty straightforward, indeed lots of stuff makes just fine already. On the other hand taking advantage of MacOS X's Cocoa OO environment with it's "services", "frameworks", "packages" and other nifty stuff takes a bit more work.
    • For ports that do GUI there's some work involved in going from X to Quartz but it's entirely doable. X-under-Aqua is available but it's kinda missing the point of running MacOS in the first place. Java-stuff of course runs natively, uses the Aqua GUI via Swing.
    What's Hubbard likely to do? There's a spot open for managing the Darwin porting. There's lots of BSD-harmonizing to do. Many parts of MacOS X are still being tuned so any help there is likely to be appreciated. There's also been a push to make MacOS X Server shine so that's also a likely source of work. Finally there's just basic evangelizing and developer relations.

  • The problem with those figures is that they will almost certainly include things like storage which Sun sells a lot of but which isn't really "Unix".

    The numbers are interesting in their own right, however, since it shows that Sun is a larger company and it could be argued that therefore Apple isn't the largest Unix vendor.
    --

  • by larien (5608) on Monday June 25, 2001 @10:06PM (#128101) Homepage Journal
    With the release of OS X, Apple will literally be the largest Unix vendor on the planet.
    Is that for real? Ok, they will be one of the largest, but I would have thought that Sun would have been largest, if not SCO (from what I've heard, a lot of people still use SCO Unix, even if new shipments are low). Anyone got any figures on this?
    --
  • You do understand that Emacs is no more a part of Darwin than Internet Explorer, right? You are capable of distinguishing between the operating system and applications that can run on it, right?

    Running Apple software doesn't automatically grant you wisdom, knowledge, and insight any more than not running it denies you such things.
  • I'd love to see an Aqua xemacs that could use the gorgeous Quartz font rendering instead of the usual hideous X fonts.

    I tried Tenon Xtools, and it sort of worked (there were enough issues it was actually barely usable), but what it did more than anything is taunt me. "Aqua has pretty fonts and you can't use them! See these utterly horrid fonts! Ha Ha!".

    Anyone know if such a project is being worked on?

    D

    ----
  • The world would surely be a more attractive, sleeker and stylish place. And it would be a more expensive one; Jobs' signature product is the Cube hooked up to a 22" Cinema Display: The $4,500 PC (down from $5,700 at introduction).

    I dunno. With my current income, I frankly much prefer Steve's world. But when I was just starting out, perhaps living in Bill's world was better than having no computers at all.

    But I still hated it, and ran off to Linux as soon as I could.

    D

    ----
  • Darn. Now you can't even get close.

    The most expensive possible PowerMac G4 configuration is $ 12,406. Sadly, they give you $1,000 in "Promotion Savings" after charging you $2,000 for 1.5GB RAM; this did not help my "quest for the skies". However, considering that you could get 1.5GB RAM for about $375 elsewhere (see http://www.ramseeker.com ) I fear that I am not very impressed.

    The most expensive PowerBook G4 configuration is $5,345. Sadly, they give you $ 700 in "Promotion Savings". Note that this includes 1GB RAM at their inflated prices; you'd be nuts to actually order it that way. I sure wish they could give me more than a puny 30GB disk; aren't notebooks up to 48GB by now? Oh well; perhaps when they freshen the line in September.

    D

    ----
  • As the nice fellow says, prices are down even more than when I last looked. I found Mac-compatible PC133 at $ 78 per 512MB board, so the 1.5GB maximum capacity would now cost $ 234, a drop of over $100 from when I last checked. Wow.

    Anyone care to speculate over the type of RAM used by the new Macs that will (hopefully) be unveiled at Macworld? Someone on Maccentral was talking about a possible switch to DDR - anyone know what that would do? I'd hate to buy this much RAM and not have it work in my next system :-(.

    D

    ----
  • Another nitch market Apple sells into is the dedicated pro sound/video workstation market (Avid, Digidesign, etc). The vendors in this space like Macs because they have consistant hardware and they like MacOS because it's so feeble that it can easily be shoved out of the way by their custom hardware/software solutions.

    So far, MacOS X has not got a very good reception in this market at all. Not only does it mean a total rewrite of their products, it also means they have to fight with a "real" OS, just like on NT. I would imagine that MacOS 9 will stay supported for a number of years because of this and other vertical market issues.
    --
  • Since nobody knows if the "iMac" version of OS X will even come with /bin/sh installed, it's a little premature to call them a "Unix vendor", at least by commonly accepted definitions of "Unix".

    Don't forget, what's currently shipping is essentially a developer version, so it pays for Apple to talk up the Unix, the Java, the App framework and the other things that make developers happy. They'll chance course 180 degrees when it's time to market the thing to Mac users.
    --
  • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @08:47AM (#128115) Journal
    Main reason was that it cost about a thousand dollars and was marketed as a special-purpose workstation OS. Which is exactly what Apple would have to charge today in order to cover their costs without the hardware business. Unrealistic.

    Sorry, but MacOS X on Intel has "OS/2" or "BeOS" written all over it. Never going to happen -- There's only two ways to make it in the commodity OS market - have 90% marketshare or don't charge for your product.

    Maybe a small group of john82-type hobbyists would pay for it (or would if the driver support was vastly expanded to cover 98% of PC mystery stuff). Most people will continue use the OS that came on their computer via MS OEM contract.

    (Not to mention the technical issues of supporting the transition, not to mention the developer relation issues transitioning to both a new OS and a new platform, not to mention...)
    --
  • by Zico (14255) on Monday June 25, 2001 @07:44PM (#128121)

    Well, the only reason why Microsoft would want Apple to stay away from x86 is because they don't want to see Apple go out of business. It's to Microsoft's benefit to have Apple still be around.

    See, the real reason why all MacOS-on-x86 plans have been canned is because Apple always realizes that it would be the quickest way to kill off Apple. Remember when those relatively small companies were putting a hurting on Apple by selling Mac clones? Now imagine Apple having to compete with Dell. Or competing with the entire x86 sector, which is about 15 times the size of Apple, telling everyone how much better and cheaper it is to run MacOS on an x86 instead of Apple hardware. Apple can get away overcharging for its hardware as long as they control the platform. When that goes away, so does Apple.

    And even if you did get the same bang for the buck, Apple would have to fight the very strong argument of, "If you get an x86-based computer, you'll be able to run MacOS just like the PPC guys, but when you want or need to run one of those Windows-only based apps or games, just reboot and switch OSes — no more need for those slow emulators when you can just use the real thing". And if Apple ever really did do this, that argument would in a few quarters change to, "Well, Apple seems to be having troubles lately, maybe we should get our MacOS computer on an x86 instead of Apple hardware. I like Apple hardware better, but I want to be able to switch to Windows if Apple goes out of business."

    Not gonna happen as long as Apple relies on its hardware sales to stay in business.


    Cheers,

  • (The original can be found at Apple's mailing list archive [apple.com]. If it asks for a username/password, use archives/archives.)
    Subject: Jordan Hubbard joins Apple Computer
    To: darwin-development@lists.apple.com, publicsource-announce@lists.apple.com
    From: "Brett R. Halle"
    Date: Mon, 25 Jun 2001 16:06:21 -0700

    I am pleased to announce that Jordan Hubbard has accepted a position within Apple's Core OS Engineering Department as the new manager of BSD Technologies, Apple Computer. Jordan is well known in the Open Source community and as a co-founder of the FreeBSD Project. Jordan comes to us from WindRiver Systems, where he was responsible for their FreeBSD CD-ROM product line. In his spare time, he is and continues to be an active member of the FreeBSD Core Team. For his "day job" at Apple, he will be responsible for leveraging BSD technology as part of Mac OS X as well as managing Darwin releases and Apple's partnership with the Open Source community.

    Please join us in welcoming Jordan into his new role at Apple. We believe having someone at Apple with his unique combination of history, skills, and relationships will greatly enhance both Darwin and the larger BSD community.

    Sincerely,
    Brett Halle
    Director, Core OS Engineering
    Apple Computer


    --
  • His Royal Steveness was quoting Salvidor Dali. And I think you completely miss the point of the quote. Let me explain it to you. A good artist does something "in the style of" someone else. A great artist takes an idea from someone else and does something so incredible with it, it makes it theirs.

    This quote might be used to explain Apple and Xerox vis a vis the GUI. No one much remembers or cares about Xerox and the GUI. "Great Artists Steal" has nothing to do with Apple and FreeBSD. In that case, Apple is clearly borrowing, at best.

    And Apple doesn't have to "give anything back." Apple, as a corporation, is responsible for increasing shareholder value. That's it. Anything which Apple does which doesn't have that as a goal can lead to a lawsuit. If enough Free Software people want Apple to port QuickTime to Linux (or allow Sorenson to port the codec), then start buying Apple stock, and when you own enough stock so you can control the board of Apple, you can determine that the best way to increase shareholder value is to give away Apple's crown jewels. Then you'll get the codec.

    -jon

  • Those numbers mean nothing; it's not the amount of money, it's the number of seats. Sun sells multi-million dollar machines. The most expensive Mac is around $5K.

    And if anything, those numbers show that Sun is either grossly overvalues or Apple is grossly overvalued. With $8Billion less in sales, Apple made only $1.1Billion less than Sun. Meanwhile, Sun is worth nearly $40Billion more than Apple. It's not what your sales are, it's your P/E ratio...

    -jon

  • I have always wondered about this one. If Apple is a hardware company, why do they sell software, including their own OS instead of just giving it away for free to drive up sales of their hardware?

    Apple didn't start charging for the OS until 7.1 (System 7 Pro), back in 1992. The stink this caused was amazing. Apple did put System 7 in a shrink-wrapped box, but if you just wanted to copy the floppies, any Mac dealer would do it.

    -jon

  • The S203 does NOT have Ethernet. (The 253 does).

    The S203 has no built-in wireless support. You have to add a PC card to get this. It does have 2 PC-card slots, so you could add the Ethernet AND the wireless (a wireless PC card costs more than the $100 for the Airport card), but we're now past the $1300 mark.

    The S203 weighs two pounds more than the iBook. It is also substantially larger.

    It is rated at 2 hours of battery life. That means about one hour (90 minutes tops) in the real world. You could buy a second battery, but that costs money and adds weight.

    No FireWire means no video cameras and no high-speed external storage, like a CD-burner (USB CD-RW are a joke). Of course, we could add a FireWire PC-card (more money), but we've already used up two slots on wireless and Ethernet.

    I don't know why a 13.3" screen is better than a 12" screen with the same # of pixels. As far as I can tell, it just makes the computer larger.

    The max RAM on the Toshiba is 512MB. It only has one slot, so if you upgrade, you need to throw away the 128MB it comes with. The iBook has 64MB soldered (the more expensive iBooks have 128MB soldered), and a slot to add an additional 512MB. No throw-away memory is a plus in my book.

    The larger hard drive, more base RAM, IR support, DVD and PC Card slots are nice to have, but you have to balance this against no built-in FireWire, Ethernet, or 802.11 support, slower video, larger size and weight (40% heavier!), and far worse battery life (one-half to one-third of the iBook's battery life!).

    Considering the original premise (Macs are vastly overpriced compared to PCs), I think I've proven my point. They aren't. Comparable feature sets (some additions, some subtractions) are available at the same price point.

    -jon

  • Um, no. Apple's P/E ratio is about 41. Sun's is about 29 (these numbers are from Yahoo! Finance as of 1:40PM, PDT, 6/26/01). Historically, P/E ratios tend to average around 30. Sun might be overvalued for a lot of reasons (chief among them is the glut of second-hand Sun equipment available due to the collapse of the dot-coms). Depending on this quarter's numbers for Apple, Apple might be undervalued (it'll depend on how much money the new iBooks made for Apple).

    I don't think anyone is saying Apple is a bigger company than Sun. It has fewer employees, has less in gross revenue, and has less net revenue. What people are talking about are how many copies of Mac OS X are installed vs. how many copies of Solaris/Sun OS are installed. No one is talking about number of users; just as a UNIX box is multi-user, so are Macs. If a school has one Mac and 500 students, is that 500 Mac users?.

    Pretty soon, there will be more copies of Mac OS X installed than copies of Solaris/Sun OS (the number of Sun OS installs are shrinking every day, as that OS is seriously old at this point). That's a remarkable thing.

    -jon

  • by TWR (16835) on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @08:29AM (#128128)
    Apple can get away overcharging for its hardware as long as they control the platform. When that goes away, so does Apple.

    Oh, bullshit. Apple doesn't overcharge for its hardware. Let's do an easy one. The new iBook has a 500MHz G3, Rage Mobility 128 w/8MB VRAM, 2 USB ports, Firewire, wireless antenna, Composite video out, VGA out, CD-ROM, 64MB of RAM (up to 570MB of RAM possible), a 12" 1024x768 screen, microphone, stereo speakers, stereo sound out, a 4-5 hour battery life, weighs 5 pounds, ships with OS X, and costs $1300. For $200 more, you can get a machine with DVD and 128MB of RAM (up to 640MB of RAM for this one).

    Please find the comparable Wintel laptop. Or, if you'd like, find a comparable x86 Linux laptop, where the hardware actually works.

    This "Apple hardware is overpriced" canard has got to go.

    Apple isn't going to go to commodity x86 motherboards, because they are a hardware company which writes an OS. Steve has said more than once that having tight control over both hardware and software lets Apple deliver the "feel" they want. Give that up, and you might as well turn off the lights at 1 Infinite Loop. If there is an x86-based Mac, it won't run on clones.

    -jon

  • Darwin *IS* substantially based on FreeBSD 3.2! There is not generic BSD to base it on!

    So they had a choice of dragging out their ancient copy of 44BSD-Lite, or choosing amongst modern Free, Open or Net. The choice FreeBSD. All of the *BSDs have code from the others, so this is no slight against any of them.

    How much of Darwin is based on parts of FreeBSD that are not part of BSD?

    A nonsense question, really. FreeBSD *is* BSD. So are OpenBSD and NetBSD.
  • I've got Mac friends who are excited by OSX. But they don't plan to switch until all of the wrinkles get ironed out.

    Dot-oh releases always suck. If the guys at your office didn't want to experiment they shouldn't have switched. That's no fault against OSX.

    If Mac people don't want to have anything to do with Unix, they don't have to! It's like two operating systems in one, and you have the choice of using one, the other, or both. Let's see the Window guys do that...
  • And FreeBSD is a direct descendant of the unencumbered 4.4BSD-Lite. As I recall, 386BSD was the first usable BSD unencumbered by AT&T code, and FreeBSD 1.0 was merely a fork since Bill Jolitz stopped maintaining 386BSD. FreeBSD really is BSD.
  • Yeah, but can you use BSD and Win2K simultaneously? Can you pipe your WinY2K processes through a BSD filter? Can you configure your BSD through the control panel?
  • I agree with that to a degree, but if you get to take storage out of sun's revenues, where do you stop? RAM? network cards? Sun doesn't even charge for Unix on their small machines. Since both companies are comparable (systems, add-ons, operating system) a very broad comparison can be made on their financial fundamentals. Without wanting to minimise Apple in anyway, the suggestion they are the biggest unix vendor is pretty unsustainable.
  • P/E :Price/Earnings ratio

    Sun's current P/E 25.74

    Apple's current P/E 182.69

    So, Apple is about 7X more expensive relative to its earnings. I'm no expert, but this seems to imply to me that Sun's value could increase quite a bit more and would still look better value than Apple.

    The "fair" valuation is arguable, but you really can't say Apple is bigger than Sun. Primarily what Sun sells is Unix systems and support. QED.

    As for seats, many multi-million dollar Suns support hundreds of users, not that I think seats is any kind of valid metric.

    Perhaps Apple has become the biggest "desktop unix" vendor. Fine. I'm very happy for them.

  • I got my figures off Bloomberg. Anyway, by your figures, Sun's P/E ratio is still lower, and you brought it up! I would think a glut of second hand Sun equipment would depress Sun's earnings (=> higher P/E not increase it). I'm not sure you have P/E straight. Anyway, I don't really care - see below.

    You may be right that people are talking about how many copies of this and that are installed, however my original post refers to this statement :

    With the release of OS X, Apple will literally be the largest Unix vendor on the planet.

    Wriggle how you like, this statement is incorrect. I do know what you mean, but it's not what this statement says. Over and out.

  • by mihalis (28146) on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @05:16AM (#128147) Homepage

    Net sales for year ending 09/00 :

    Sun : 15.7 billion

    Apple : 7.9 billion

    Net income, same timeframe:

    Sun : 1.85 billion

    Apple : 786 million

    Current Market capitalisation

    Sun : 47 billion

    Apple : 8 billion

    Chris Morgan

  • The only thing he's leaving is Wind River. Linux works for Transmeta, but he's still at the top of the Linux pyramid.

    JKH is still the chief PR spokesman for FreeBSD and it's release engineer and Core team member.

    THAT HAS NOT CHANGED.

    --
  • by leereyno (32197) on Monday June 25, 2001 @09:10PM (#128151) Homepage Journal
    If Apple wants to survive they have to cater to more than what a niche market likes or prefers. Apple has to go for the mainstream because that is the only way they are going to stay alive. Mainstream users are used to the fluid multitasking and efficient behavior of Windows. Sticking with an antiquated OS architecture that just can't keep up is a sure way to make themselves even more marginalized than they are already.

    So far OS-X hasn't really delivered. It does multitask better, but it is very sluggish and its user interface behavior leaves something to be desired.

    Hopefully they'll do what needs to be done to get the efficiency up and then port it to the PC. If they don't they can kiss their ass goodbye because no one is going to buy slower hardware to run a slower OS just because they want to "think different."

    Lee
  • by TheInternet (35082) on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @12:21AM (#128157) Homepage Journal
    Is that for real? Ok, they will be one of the largest, but I would have thought that Sun would have been largest, if not SCO (from what I've heard, a lot of people still use SCO Unix, even if new shipments are low). Anyone got any figures on this?

    Apple tends to sell roughly 4-5 million machines a year on average. Although that was a bit lower in the last couple of quarters due to the downturn in the economy, their new Ti PowerBooks and iBooks appear to be big hits (having trouble finding one for my sister at the moment). It looks like they sold at least 150,000 copies of Mac OS X to users the first weekend it was out back in March.

    I don't know how this compares to Sun, HP, etc in terms of unit sales.

    - Scott
    --
    Scott Stevenson
    WildTofu [wildtofu.com]
  • by TheInternet (35082) on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @01:18AM (#128158) Homepage Journal
    Look folks, Apple is a hardware company. That's were they really make their money. People buy their boxes in order to get the Mac OS. If they could run the Mac OS on cheaper x86 boxes many of them would choose to do so. Of course many people would still buy Titanium PowerBooks and iBooks for other reasons, but fewer.

    That's sort of the picture the mass technology media has painted, but I think the reality is considerably more complex than that. There's not really enough room to explain the whole thing here but the essence of the issue is that Apple creates complete products. They are not merely an OS vendor, nor are they a hardware assembly service.

    As far as I can tell, Apple and Sony are the only desktop hardware companies left actually developing products -- which is why their machines cost more. There are hardware companies that mainly buy components, put them all together, and try to charge slightly more than what it cost them to build the machine. We have plenty of these types of companies.

    Mac OS X for x86 would give some people people immediate, short-term gratification, but I think it would really kill one of the industry's key sources of innovation in the long term. Bottom line: there's little reason to create Mac OS X applications when the same people have Windows-capable (or Linux-capable) hardware. The result: lack of differentiation, and lack of progress. 50% of the population thinks Apple's software sells the hardware, the other 50% thinks that the hardware sells the software. It's neither. It's a symbiotic relationship -- they rely on and complement each other. But this isn't immediately obvious to the user. They take these things for granted, and just see it as part of "the computer."

    For example, the PowerPC runs at lower temperatures and uses less energy than its x86 counterparts. This is why several of Apple's machines are fanless, and substantially quieter as a result. And it does this so while providing more performance per clock cycle.

    Few actually seem to notice, but Apple is in the process of creating substantial long-term value in the company. Revamping the OS, reinventing the hardware, fixing the advertising, opening retail stores, creating (free) industry-leading developer tools, and releasing open source software. These are all elements of building infrastructure. One by one, they're removing the barriers in front of them. They're in this for the long haul. Relegating them to an x86 OS vendor would dash any hope of true variety in commercial computing options.

    (Voline, I realize your comment was not meant to be anti-Apple)

    - Scott

    --
    Scott Stevenson
    WildTofu [wildtofu.com]
  • This is terrific news. As Jordan mentioned, Apple will shortly be the UNIX volume leader, and I'm glad to see one of the leading lights of the BSD world joining them.

    Now, all we need is an open-source re-implementation of Quartz. Once we take X windows out behind the barn and shoot it through the head, then UNIX will reach its full potential on *all* platforms.

    -jcr
  • by joq (63625) on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:27PM (#128170) Homepage Journal

    I will also continue to support WindRiver's efforts in any way I can to ensure that the FreeBSD product line there continues and that FreeBSD can continue to be a solution which is broadly applicable to a wide array of markets.

    The FreeBSD product line has reached the stage where I feel comfortable taking a job which allows me to focus more on Darwin. While I have enjoyed my time working with the people and projects at BSDi and WindRiver, I simply couldn't resist the
    opportunity of working at Apple.


    Nice move on his behalf as everyone needs to make a living, however I wonder a few things. How will this impact FreeBSD in the future. It's nice to for Jonathan to say he will continue to assist with the project, but what happens when his time becomes consumed at Apple, and he *has no* time for the FreeBSD project, how will FreeBSD stand up.

    Another curiousity is, whether or not Apple has plans to move into another arch. Surely Jonathan could provide them with a variety of snippets on how to get it going, and if this does happen, how would FreeBSD compete with a company like Apple.

    Now for the record *BSD is dying posts* will be ignored so don't bother trolling, I would like to hear perhaps from a developer what actions (if any) could, and would FreeBSD take, should Apple decide to switch into the i386 arena with Darwin.

    Also I wonder how this will affect others who may be looking to focus more on themselves, as time becomes more valuable, and others decide to follow suit focusing more on a company and themselves, rather than the OS (FreeBSD). Are there backup developers, or does the team distribute the work left behind by a developer who jumped ship.

    P.S. I hope the developers still aren't pissed at me these (1 [freebsd.org] 2 [freebsd.org])
  • His name is Jordan.
  • When did he say he was leaving FreeBSD?
  • Sure would be nice to be able to play Sorenson-encoded Quicktime movies on my Linux box. Heck, I'd even install *BSD if that's what it took.

  • The most expensive possible PowerMac G4 configuration is $ 12,406. Sadly, they give you $1,000 in "Promotion Savings" after charging you $2,000 for 1.5GB RAM; this did not help my "quest for the skies". However, considering that you could get 1.5GB RAM for about $375 elsewhere (see http://www.ramseeker.com ) I fear that I am not very impressed.

    Over at pricewatch you can get 3x512MB for $132. 6x256MB is even cheaper ($108), but of course PowerMac motherboards dont have 6+ RAM slots.

    Mark Duell
  • Every now and then there's posters on /. who wonder how one makes money with Open Source.

    Well, read this press release, this is how you do it...

    -John
  • http://homepages.tesco.net/~David.Lockwood/Macinto sh_RIP.html
  • It's those hieroglyphs that really suck.
  • http://homepages.tesco.net/~David.Lockwood/Macinto sh_RIP.html
  • by acoopersmith (87160) on Monday June 25, 2001 @08:02PM (#128184) Homepage Journal
    Of course not - everyone should remember when he rwall'ed the entire ARPAnet [ncl.ac.uk] and in doing so single-handedly forced the invention of the firewall...
  • Maybe I'm just crazy sleep deprived, but it sounds like good bussiness to me.

    i completely disagree. i have one point against everything you've said: prove to me that any company has ever made a decent sustainable revenue off of selling operating systems (not hardware) without a monopoly. i can name lots that failed: OS/2, Be, Linux (commercially), BSD, PC-DOS.

    in short, there is no historical reference of any company that can make a significant and sustainable revenue off of selling an operating system. the only way to do this is to a) sell hardware to fund the operating system (MacOS, Solaris) or to have a monopoly (Windows). if Apple moved to x86 they would have neither of these historically required conditions.

    - j

  • by sg3000 (87992) <sg_public@noSPAm.mac.com> on Tuesday June 26, 2001 @03:22AM (#128187)
    Saying that Microsoft somehow needs Apple to keep the DoJ off their back is out of date. Clearly, Microsoft is no longer worried about the DoJ: bundling MSN messenger, adding smart tags [wsj.com] so they can control content on the web, changing their licensing agreements to force users to upgrade [zdnet.com], and bundling VoIP clients [nytimes.com] into XP. Having Apple around to show they don't have a monopoly isn't enough to stem their recent activity. They probably figure they can entrench their position pretty well until dubya gets replaced in office. No, I think it's more likely that as long as the Macintosh BU is making Microsoft money but not cannibalizing Windows sales, and Apple keeps "preferring" Internet Explorer, they'll keep writing software for it. But if Apple gets into selling an OS for x86, the gloves will come off.
  • You have to have watched Apple for a LONG time. If so, the argument can be made that Apple did ship in a restricted way the X86 version of Mac OS X. It takes a bit of a stretch.....

    The WWDC statement from the Apple CEO was that the new OS (dubbed Rhapsody) would work on X86 AND PPC hardware. Apple *DID* ship this product to developers, DR2. Mac OS X server DID identify itself as Rahpsody when you did a uname -a.

    Steve Jobs pitch for the Mac was it was a closed box. The iMac removed the internal interface slot, thus returning to its closed nature. Apple is tight lipped about its hardware (see Be Inc, NetBSD or any of the Linux PPC companies if you don't believe it), so unless Apple can own the hardware spec from top to bottom, Apple under Jobs doesn't want to deal with it.

    In short, X86 based Mac OS X boxes aren't comming soon.

    Moving to Apple and working for Steve Jobs, a man who stopped bathing (he was on a fruit diet), dodged child support, liked putting his feet in toilets and flushing (its like a mini whirlpool - 1979 Time interview) and a well documented egotistical bastard, the situation at Wind River must REALLY be bad for FreeBSD getting support from Wind River. Wind River wanted BSD/OS, and got it. Any ties to FreeBSD were 'part of the package'. Wind River seems to have 0 PR flaks working on getting press for FreeBSD. Not that BSDi did better on promoting FreeBSD, but at least BSDi acknolged FreeBSD existed.
  • On the other hand Apple's also been contributing back a lot too (unlike MS) and while they may not have released your favorite bits they've been playing fairly.


    Right.

    Like when I went to play the latest greatest Quicktime movie with the Sorensen codec under linux..... no, wait. Apple EXPLICITLY doesn't allow use of its patent license of the codec under linux. They do not provide a player. They refuse, even under NDA, to provide developers with the licensing of the patent.

    In the words of Steve Jobs (quoting someone else) "Good artists borrow; great artists steal." Apple is replacing perhaps the least stable OS ever (OS 9) with FreeBSD. If they wanted to give back, they could at least consider a Quicktime player for linux. Or at least allow xanim to incorporate the codec in binary form.
  • Apples OWNS exclusive licensing of the Sorensen codec, according to Sorensen. He has no control of its use at this point, only Apple does.

    And Apple is not playing along. They will provide Quicktime SERVERS that run on linux, but not a client. Nor will they allow one to be used.

    It goes further though - Apple also has licensing rights for TrueType font patents. They make $$ from other operating systems (like Windows) for these patents. They are an obvious extension of Metafont (of TeX fame). They do not allow open source use of these patents, although they are not challenging the Freetype project at this point in time.

    Apple is utterly unconcerned about the community. They are only concerned about their own $$. If they were really concerned, they could allow patent licensing to Freetype and xanim to ensure TrueType fonts and Quicktime movies are viewable under linux.

    Right now, as a linux user, you simply feel like a door has been slammed in your face.
  • FreeBSD is *not* the basis of MacOS X. The kernel is different and the utilities are a hodgepodge from a number of BSD distribs.

    Darwin is essentially FreeBSD running on top of Mach, much the same as NextStep/OpenStep did. From Apple's website [apple.com]:

    "The BSD portion of the Mac OS X kernel is derived from FreeBSD, a version of 4.4BSD that offers advanced networking, performance, security, and compatibility features. Specifically, the BSD layer is based on the 4.4BSD-Lite2 release from Computer Systems Research Group (CSRG) at the University of California at Berkeley."

  • by Infonaut (96956) <infonaut@gmail.com> on Monday June 25, 2001 @07:24PM (#128195) Homepage Journal
    Oh, please.

    "the next version wil be a lot less *nix-y". Uh. Not likely, they've pinned their future on OS X and its BSD foundation.

    The graphic artists in your office who downgraded, its probably because Adobe has been slow off the mark in Carbonizing their apps. If they're like most graphic artists, they are dead in the water without Illustrator and Photoshop. "Low level access" to their computers has nothing to do with it. OS X protects users from having to do anything at the command-line. It's a different user experience than OS 9, but it's certainly not giving them anything like the complexity associated with the average Linux installation.

    Apple would not have done better by continuing with OS 9. They've squeezed as much as they can out of a very old OS with no protected memory, no preemptive multitasking, and limited networking power. Not to embrace *NIX would have been suicide.

    As for wanting "low-level access", a lot of Mac users do want it, but those that don't want it don't have to bother with it. Gee, what a concept!

  • Right. And everyone should remember when a worm infected over a hundred thousand RedHat systems [cnet.com] and in so doing single-handedly (do worms have hands?) demonstrated that applying security patches is very, very important.

    Unfortunately, many people seem to have forgotten that lesson as well.
  • by zulux (112259) on Monday June 25, 2001 @07:00PM (#128199) Homepage Journal
    Here goes my Karma.....snif...

    CmdrTaco confirmed this week that *BSD trolls account for less than a fraction of 1 percent of all Slashdot posting. This news serves to reinforce what we've known all along; *BSD trolls are collapsing in complete disarray.

    You don't need to be a Kreskin to predict a *BSD Troll's future. The hand writing is on the wall: *BSD Trolls face a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for *BSD Trolls because sooner or later, their Windows95 boxes will hang. As many of us are already aware, *BSD Trolls continues to be moderated down to -1. Red ink flows like a river of blood. Anonymous Coward is the most endangered of them all.

    Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers. Amiga Troll leader Anonymous Coward states that there are 7,000 Amiga Trolls on Slashdot . How many *BSD Trolls are there? Let's see. The number of Amiga versus Emacs Trolls roughly in ratio of 5 to 1. Therefore there are about 7,000/5 = 1,400 Emacs Trolls. Hot-Grits Trolls on Slashdot are about half of the volume of Emacs Trolls. Therefore there are about 700 Hot-Grits Trolls. A recent article put *BSD Trolls at about 10 percent of the Hit-Grits Trolls. Therefore there are 700*.10 = 70 *BSD Trolls. This is consistent with the number of *BSD Troll postings.

    Due to the troubles of *BSD Trolls karma and so on, Anonymous Coward went down this weekend, and was taken over by by a small shell script. That shell script was running on a leased Dell, and was taken back by the Dell Leasing for failure to pay. The computer was re-leased to a charnel house.

    All major surveys show that *BSD Trolls have steadily declined in market share. *BSD Trolls are very sick, and look vaguly like the goatse.cx guy. Their prospects are very dim. If *BSD Trolls are to survive at all it will be among Microsfot-OS dabblers.. Nothing short of a miracle could save them at this point in time. For all practical purposes, *BSD Trolls are dead.

  • by Smitty825 (114634) on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:31PM (#128200) Homepage Journal
    I agree it would be cool to see OS-X on Intel/Alpha/Sparc hardware. I realize that it could cannibalize Apple's hardware sales, but if they only brought OS-X server to i586, then they might not hurt their sales. Apple doesn't sell *true* server hardware. Also, businesses may feel more comfortable buying into a Samba server replacement for WinNT from Apple as opposed to (insert your favorite linux vendor here). OS X Server is much more expensive than the client, so they will be making back their money that they "lost" from software sales.

    but before Apple does that, they need to optimize their OS greatly. It feels really slow (people say its because of a poorly written finder, but that still needs improvement) and it's a memory hog (an 800x600 window uses just under 2MB of memory...imagine what having lots of windows open does to system performance)
  • by Smitty825 (114634) on Monday June 25, 2001 @07:19PM (#128201) Homepage Journal
    That's one of the things that is so cool with Apple (well, Next's old) development tools. When you are writing the program you select which processor(s) you wish to compile for. It compiles the binaries and sticks all apps into one folder. When the user double clicks that folder, it launches the correct binary for the processor!
  • by ctembreull (120894) on Monday June 25, 2001 @09:33PM (#128202)
    > speculation: What if apple made x86 hardware, and ported OS X ?

    Good idea, and one that I've heard before, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Unfortunately, the old adage that just because you can do a thing doesn't necessarily mean that you should do that thing.

    Follow my logic here, if you will.

    Apple has long-standing hardware relationships with IBM/Motorola. Transitioning to x86 or even IA-64 would mean abandoning those relationships. Apple also has a very good processor in the PPC, and a large amount of time, money and code invested in AltiVec (the vector-processing capabilities of the G4 processor). I don't see Apple willing or even able to discard those relationships with any degree of ease.

    "But what about selling both?" you may ask. And it's a good question. The answer is that Steve Jobs would have kittens - he worked very hard when he first became iCEO to get rid of excessive fragmentation of Apple's hardware products. Apple has revived itself on the strength of its four main offerings ("Consumer" and "Pro" desktops and portables - iBook, PowerBook G4, iMac, and Power Macintosh G4, for the uninitiated). To all of a sudden add completely different hardware into that mix - hardware that is fundamentally incompatible with everything Apple has ever produced - would break that successful, efficient model on a number of very basic levels.

    Lastly, there's the Microsoft factor. Microsoft has virtually complete ownership of the OS market (Linux, *BSD, and micro-niche players excluded, natch) on X86. They are quite obviously aiming to continue that tradition on IA-64. The notion of Apple invading that space would lead to a number of typically Microsoftian reactions that would more than likely do severe damage to Apple's bottom line. It's an easy progression to imagine: first stage, Microsoft kills development of IE for Mac. Second stage, they kill development of Office:mac. Third stage, they "compete aggressively" (also pronounced "lie, cheat, and steal") to reduce QuickTime to irrelevance. Lastly, they use the momentum generated from those three maneuvers to point out that the Mac OS in any form (FUD, FUD, FUD) is now useless, as it now lacks an office suite, no longer possesses a leading web browser, and comes bundled with an irrelevant media creation/playback suite. Furthermore, (FUD, FUD, FUD) it uses (*gasp*) Open Source Software!

    Any one of these things would be mitigatable. All of them would represent the complete and utter destruction of Apple. Maybe some folks around here consider that to be no great loss. But it will be - where would desktop computing be without Apple around to stea^H^H^H^H get ideas from? Face it, I think most folks actually enjoy seeing what sort of crazy, cool new or old-but-facelifted technologies come out of Cupertino.

    I myself would genuinely love to see OS X on x86 hardware. I'd *love* to be able to use it instead of Windoze on the cheap-yet-powerful commodity hardware that is coming around on the x86 side of the market. But I know in my heart of hearts that Apple will never, ever, ever do anything that would give Microsoft an opportunity to force them out of business.

    Sad, isn't it?

    Chris Tembreull
    Web Developer, NEC Systems, Inc.

  • by AMuse (121806) <slashdot-amuse.foofus@com> on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:20PM (#128204) Homepage
    He can't work there - that means they'll have to give every copy of OSX away for free! Can't they see the error of their ways?
    ------------------------------------------- -------
  • Wow, a new post from the BSDbot.

    And of course the fact that JH is going to work for one of the largest BSD vendors out there is just one more data point...

    This is one of the most boring trolls, I have to say.

    YCTWS*. YHL. HAND.

    /brian

    *You Can't Troll Worth Shit
  • Close, but no cigar.

    The Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Celeron, and Pentium III are all variants on the original P6/i686 core. The main differences are architectural issues involving L2 cache and the addition of MMX and then Screaming Cindy (okay, so I like how the Register thinks) to the later chips.

    I suspect the Willamette (P4) core would probably qualify as i786 but for the existence of Itanium; it is quite different from the P6 chips on the silicon level. (No, I don't know what the hardware detectors call it)

    /Brian
  • With the first release of Mac OS X Server in March of 1999, Apple became a member of the Open Source community. Since that time, both the consumer version of Mac OS X and Darwin have been publicly released, and with the help of the community, both continue to evolve. Apple has been and will continue to be an active partner in Open Source projects. In light of this, there has been a lot of interest among developers, the Unix community and the general public about Mac OS X, Darwin and Open Source projects at Apple.

    The strength of Open Source initiatives originate in the involvement of their participants, and dialogue is essential to their success. With this in mind, we'd like to hear your questions and concerns. We'll incorporate your inquiries into a Q&ampA on our web site to help you and others with similar questions.

    Please submit any questions that you have about Darwin or any of Apple's Open Source activities by July 6, 2001 to admin_at_opensource.apple.com, and be sure to include "Open Source Question" in the subject line. With your help, we will be able provide relevant information to all developers and interested parties.

    Additionally, you will be able to pose your questions in person at the following USENIX 2001 BOF's:

    BOF Date &amp Time: Thursday June 28th, 10:00-10:30PM
    BOF Title: UNIX Goes Translucent: Mac OS X &amp Darwin
    BOF Presenter: Ernest Prabhakar, Open Source Product Manager

    Find out how Mac OS X will soon be bringing BSD to millions of consumer desktops.

    BOF Date & Time:Thursday June 28th, 10:30-11:30PM
    BOF Title:BSD Panel Session moderated by Marshall Kirk McKusick
    BOF Presenter:Christos Zoulas (NetBSD), TBD (OpenBSD),Jordan Hubbard (FreeBSD), Mike Karels (BSD/OS), Ernest Prabhakar (Darwin)

    Come speak to representatives of the BSD groups, ask all your interoperability questions, and hear about the future of BSD. -end of message- The message was sent from Brian Cassidy of Apple to the following lists:
    publicsource-announce-request_at_lists.app le.com,
    darwin-development_at_lists.apple.com,
    darwinos-users_at_lists.apple.com,
    macos-x-server_at_lists.apple.com

    Curious George

  • I can't believe Steve got Bill to port MS Office to OS X

    It's not hard to believe when you consider that MS has, for most of the Mac's history, made more money selling software for the Macintosh than Apple has made selling the Macintosh itself.

    In this, the Second Era of Steve, Apple Computer wisely sees that their main competition is not Microsoft, it's Dell.

  • Yes, Apple will be the largest UNIX vendor. Largest in terms of number of users.

    I'll probably get slated here for pointing out the obvious...

    The Mac installed base is far bigger than any UNIX even Linux. Even if you just count the number of iMacs Apple sold since its introduction.

    The reason, there are far more consumers in the world who just want to buy a computer that works out of the box than people who want to tinker with every aspect of their OS.

    Those people won't know that they are using a UNIX based OS nor will they care.

    Linux may be strong and increasing in strength in the server market but it does not make an addiquate desktop OS. How many /.ers have only a single boot system into Linux?

    Anyone who has a dual boot system with Windows is effectively saying you can't live without it.

    Anyone can easily and fairly accurately work out how many Mac users there are - just count Apple's hardware sales for the past few years.

    Now compare with the hardware sales of Sun, HP, et al.

    You can't do the same with Linux, do you count anyone who has even seen Linux? only the purists who do with out Windows totally? or count people with dual boot systems as part of the base? But how do you count these people? So the best anyone can do is guess. Even when you have the figures do you add up the total of all the distros or keep them separate?
  • For $100 you can easily turn that G4 into a much better machine. Buy a mouse with a scroll-wheel ($30), a real keyboard ($30), and Yellow Dog Linux 2 ($40). Either that, or you can send the G4 to me and stop worrying about possible dust allergies and stuff.
  • Hrmph? A long time ago, it stood for Berkley Software Distribution, and was distributed (suprise!) by UC Berkley. Their last release was in (IIRC) '92, and it was called 4.4BSD-Lite. NeXTStep (is that the kosher capatilization) was based on 4.2 originally, and has been upgraded to Darwin (now at 1.3, including a X86 ISO install image) using FreeBSD 3.2 as a reference platform.
  • Given that the BSD license does not require that all derivative works be made freely available as source, Hubbard bringing his tricks to work on OS X won't be a problem for Apple.

    Will this be a problem for FreeBSD? The guy has to work somewhere. Torvalds works for Transmeta, why not Hubbard at Apple? I admit that there may be some problem for FreeBSD (besides loss of a talented developer) that I'm overlooking.

    Hopefully this will get Apple ready for those hordes of users that .NET and Smart Tags are going to drive to their platform.
  • Apple will not be porting the Mac OS to x86 for the same reason that Steve Jobs won't allow the smallest bit of GPLed code into Darwin. It would put Apple out of business.

    Look folks, Apple is a hardware company. That's were they really make their money. People buy their boxes in order to get the Mac OS. If they could run the Mac OS on cheaper x86 boxes many of them would choose to do so. Of course many people would still buy Titanium PowerBooks and iBooks for other reasons, but fewer.

    So don't hold your breath waiting for the chance to run OS X on an Athlon box, it isn't going to happen. If it's speed you crave, just wait for IBM to put their silicon on insulator and .09 micron technologies to work on the PowerPC chip. It'll catch up then.
  • But does going to the x86 mean support for commodity hardware? If it were to ever happen I think Apple would make a "special" design - possibly with a ROM? - to prevent direct competition with Microsoft.

    Now I'm not saying you're wrong - in fact you're probably right. I'm just saying that where there's a will there is a way and if the PowerPC flounders Apple will find a way to make it work.

    Very unlikely but still possible...

    Willy

  • I think this is a good thing overall, though his presence on the FreeBSD team will surely be missed.

    Like he states--Apple will literally soon be the largest UNIX vendor on the planet. This means more exposure, more people skilled in UNIX, and more jobs for the programmer types.

    Definitely a good thing. While Open Source is good, I put my faith more in the forces of Capitalism to make something succesful :) (not that the two are mutually exclusive)

    Scott
  • Java-stuff of course runs natively, uses the Aqua GUI via Swing.

    Quick clarification: Java still doesn't run "natively". Java programmers can use Aqua as the "native" Swing look and feel (L&F) in Java on OS X, and the latest Developer Preview of the Java Virtual Machine from Apple hardware accelerates the Aqua L&F to the point that Java apps in Swing/Aqua can fly (some bugs with double buffering, however). Hopefully once the bugs are worked out, this acceleration will make OS X far and away the best platform for Java apps, as even GUI-intensive apps won't feel the kind of slowdown most schmoes unfortunately associate with Java programs. (Strangely, AWT isn't hardware accelerated, but that's another thread.)

    Though Apple has given Java some good support to reaching into the system toolbox, as I'm sure the poster realizes, the true Java code is still interpreted by a Java Virtual Machine. It is not run natively (a la gcj).

    Ruffin Bailey
  • by wrinkledshirt (228541) on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:30PM (#128243) Homepage
    Definitely better than their original idea -- bringing in Theo De Raadt to lead their PR department.
  • by BoarderPhreak (234086) on Monday June 25, 2001 @06:16PM (#128248)
    MacOS X does need some tweaking, especially in the speed department... Go, dude, go!
  • Ok here's my thoughts on teh possible improvements he might bring:
    • Darwin - x86 (no doubt there)
    • Darwin - Any other Platform
    • MacOS X- Darwin integration (specifically Finder->Filesystem)
    • Kernel drivers (DVD,CD-R/W,DVD-R)

    I hope he can also give those guys pointers regarding the Aqua/Quartz speed =\ it needs a little work in that area. I kind of hope he can suggest some improvemnets to the Gui speed because quite frankly it needs some work there.
    --

  • Oh don't get me wrong, I love the OS ,and I concur - it takes some serious balls to release such a radically different designed OS as your main platform. =)
    --
  • "Of the three graphic artists (their main user-base) at my office who've used Mac OSX two have downgraded back to OS9 and the other spends all her time in the emulation mode. Macintosh users are not accustomed to low-level access to their computers and nor do they want it." Duh. Their programs don't run natively on OS X yet so they HAVE to use the Classic layer until they do. That means nothing for adoption of OS X. When there are native versions of their most needed programs they won't have any trouble using it. As for just keeping the old OS and updating it with a few new features yeah that would have been exciting. All the developers who are drooling over OS X never gave OS 9 or below a second thought. Not to mention OS 9 wasn't the most stable of OS's nor did it have protected memory or pre-emptive multitasking...etc I could go on but I hope you get the point by now.
  • Apple makes, and has made for a long time, a great OS. Its tragic that it only runs on their hardware, because the pricetag keeps a lot of people from using it. Lately, however, apple's hardware has gotten a lot cooler. (note the ibook, g4 titanium, mac cube, g4 towers; ignore flower patterened imacs obviously concieved during one of jobs' acid trips)

    speculation: What if apple made x86 hardware, and ported OS X ?

    Before everyone calls me (crazy|stupid|troll|etc) think about it for a moment. OS X could reach a wider audience (read: just about everyone) and the hardware branch of apple would be just another pc-maker who happens to make the coolest laptops out there. Sure, the g4 is a great processor, but imagine how well apple-quality hardware would sell if you could install any OS (including windows, and OS X for x86). And imagine how many desktops would be running OS X.

    Maybe I'm just crazy sleep deprived, but it sounds like good bussiness to me.
    ____
    Blood, guts, guns, cuts;
    Knives, lives, wives, nuns, sluts.
  • Hubbard says "Darwin is substantially based on FreeBSD 3.2." But I had thought Darwin was based on the generic BSD code. Every time someone said Darwin is based on FreeBSD, I cursed them under my breath, saying, "Don't you understand? FreeBSD and BSD are not the same thing?"

    So it seems I was wrong all this time. What's the real story? How much of Darwin is based on parts of FreeBSD that are not part of BSD?


  • Apple calls BSD Darwin's "wrapper." As a lot of work has already gone into porting Darwin over, Hubbard's expertise with BSD on x86 hardware will only make that easier. Sure, he can help with the open-source community, but of all the names people call Steve Jobs, stupid usually isn't among them.

    And Motorola's PowerPC, despite the embedded market, simply hasn't allowed Mac OS to compete on a horsepower (or economy-of-scale) basis. If Apple's working internally on the x86 alternative -- and I'd bet my cat they have been for some time - this could be very, very significant news.

    Can you imagine? Mac OS X (and onward) on decent hardware? Screw Altivec, give me SMP Athlons. Overnight, the desktop landscape would change for consumers and professionals.

    That's if, of course, Apple can stomach firing their hardware design people and start writing device drivers to go with that kernel. But frankly, I'm kind of stoked.
  • Working for Walnut Creek, BSDi, WindRiver = $ Working for Apple = $$$$ (plus heath & dental!) Can you blame [geocities.com] him?
  • by DeXtroMe (462440)
    I think that Apple needs to get everyone it can under one roof, cause X needs some help. I've used it off and on since it came out and its incredibly slow even on the fastest G4. Not only that, but Apple is going to to have to target a completely different market, because after using it I've decided that its going to piss off a lot of hardcore mac fans. Right now OS X has more in common with Windoze than previous Mac OS's. Don't get me wrong, I hope Apple can pull it off, but I think they need someone to give them a bit of direction.

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