Apple & Open Source… Strange Buffaloes?

Posted by:
Date: Thursday, June 22nd, 2006, 07:00
Category: Opinion

There are far more interesting topics on the intersection between open source and commercial development than the binary-only kernel for Intel non-story. Tim Bray�s Time to Switch? and John Gruber’s Why Apple Won�t Open Source Its Apps both discuss the potential risks and benefits Apple would face in open sourcing their consumer applications, such as the Finder, Mail, iChat and their iLife apps, to worldwide perusal.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

.Macster!

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Imagine adding Digg and Wikipedia to MySpace, except instead of flashing inverse text on top a stretched out photo of Britney Spears, with some awful pop diva tune set to autoplay, you’d have sharp looking profiles based on classy iWeb templates.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

A Reputation System for .Mac

Posted by:
Date: Wednesday, June 21st, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Reputation becomes a richer basis for trust in an otherwise anonymous community. This principle is so useful in rating the value of an individual’s contributions, that it’s commonly found in commerce sites like Amazon or eBay, and in many tech advice discussion forums, including Apple’s support forum.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

The ‘Mac OS X Closed by Pirates’ Myth

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, June 20th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

There are two elements to this myth. The first is that Apple has actually closed open source development for its kernel, or plans to do so; the second suggests that the reason for this has something to do with Mac OS X being used by pirates on generic PC hardware.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

10 Reasons Why Apple Can Kick Start Web 2.0

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 19th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

The problem with all these sites is that to use any of them, you need to log in and create a unique profile. As you navigate the various social networks, discussion forms, and sharing systems, it becomes frustrating that you can’t take your reputation from one place to another, that you can’t update all those profiles centrally, and that you can’t really prove you are SuperDan2006xyz across the various Internet properties, nor can you take much of what you create to use offline. Boo.
Apple, like no other company on Earth, has a solution to those problems because of their unique positioning in a number of areas. Here’s part one of why.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth

Posted by:
Date: Monday, June 12th, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

This myth is so fantastically absurd that it has to involve Mark Stephens, writing under the name Robert X Cringely. Remember, Cringely was also involved with spreading the Red Box Myth, the Mac OS X Microkernel Myth, and the Mac OS X Needs a Linux Kernel Myth.
His recent speculation that Leopard would not work on PowerPC Macs managed to imply some sort of Osborne Effect for Intel Macs that could only be managed by Apple actively obsolescing all PowerPC Macs this year:
“Speeding-up performance is great, but normally a system vendor won’t want to do that for older hardware, which might encourage some users to keep their old box and just add a new OS. [...] For this reason alone, I’m guessing that the new OS X Kernel won’t be backward compatible to PowerMacs. But this is just a guess.”
Read more in “Unraveling The PowerPC Obsolescence Myth
Contributed by: Daniel Eran, RoughlyDrafted

(more…)

Ask the PowerPage: PC or Mac Notebook?

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 30th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

Dear PowerPage:
I remember the first time I bought my first laptop, a Sony Vaio laptop with Intel Centrino technology. The first time I opened the box to my laptop I was really excited to use my Sony Vaio because it was a Sony Vaio. After two years of using the Vaio I have realized the benefit of the MacBook’s longer battery life and am now deciding to switch.
I often ask myself, should I really do this? Switching would mean changing operating systems from Windows to Mac. Should this be of concern?
A bigger concern for me is battery life. I normally use my notebook for long periods of time and it only runs for two hours on a charge. If I am sitting in the library and I need to use it for a long period of time, the PC is no good. From everything that I’ve heard this is where the Mac shines.
Apple’s notebook comparison chart states that the battery life of the MacBook is “up to 6 hours” and that the MacBook Pro is between 4.5 and 5.5 hours, but recently I went to a local store and the member of staff told that it only is really more like two hours. Is this true?
Thank you for any help with this important decision!
- Confused

Dear Confused:
The first thing to note is that if you buy a Mac you’re not only limited to using Macintosh software, you can still run Windows and Windows software by installing Apple’s free Boot Camp software, or by installing Parallels Desktop (US$49) – just remember to keep your WinXP CD.
On the issue of battery life, manufacturers always inflate their battery life estimates on notebook computers to the point of it being almost fraudulent. Their battery estimates are usually based on a “perfect world” environment: brand new cells, monitor dimmed and little or no disk or CPU access. This is not reality. I usually take Apple’s battery life estimates and half them for something closer to reality. For example: Apple claims that my MacBook Pro should run for “up to 4.5 hours” but about two hours and 15 minutes is more like it.
That said, jump right in and grab a MacBook or a MacBook Pro and you’ll never look back.
Readers: What are your thoughts on this buyer’s quandary? Should he go with the Mac or stick with a PC notebook?

(more…)

Unraveling The Mac OS X Linux Kernel Myth: Part 1

Posted by:
Date: Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006, 08:00
Category: Opinion

mk.jpgOn the surface, the idea sounds great: replace bits of Mac OS X that date back to 1985 with today’s Linux: the buzzword compliant, speedy, standardized tech darling of the moment.
There are three problems however:
1. A kernel replacement would be extraordinarily difficult, time consuming, and a major investment of development resources for Apple. This is simply overlooked anytime the myth is retold, but it factors strongly against the idea.
2. Reasons for wanting do this are based on faulty information. I’ll show why.
3. Reasons for not moving to Linux are clear and substantial. I’ll give examples.
Read more at RoughlyDrafted
Contributed by: Daniel Eran

(more…)

Unraveling the Mac OS X Microkernel Myth

Posted by:
Date: Friday, May 19th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

mk.jpgAccording to proponents of this myth, Mac OS X is in grave danger because it has a microkernel and Linux doesn’t. They’re wrong; here’s why.
The Myth Weavers
This myth is of the wishful thinking type, making it more of an irritating distraction from reality than devious misinformation, but it’s also used in fanboyism that borders on FUD.
Some Linux advocates insist that nothing compares to the pure genius of Linux, so everything should just adopt Linux. Some Mac OS X users worry that there’s something evil lurking in their system that makes that dreaded beach ball spin; perhaps it’s a microkernel, and perhaps replacing it with Linux (which doesn’t even have a beach ball!) is the answer?
What is a Kernel?
The Unix Kernel is the master control program which governs all other programs, schedules access to hardware, and manages the file system and security model. The name kernel differentiates the core system (which runs as the root process with special privileges) from everything else on the system (which runs under restricted user accounts). Everything outside of the kernel space is called the userland.
In the natural development of Unix, the kernel began to grow rapidly. For example, Berkeley’s famous contribution to Unix was a fully functional TCP/IP networking stack. A rapid influx of other new functionality in the core kernel space has resulted in modern versions of Unix (and Linux, which is essentially a clean room rewrite of Unix) having 2-3 million lines of code in their kernel alone.
Read more at RoughlyDrafted.
Contributed by: Daniel Eran

(more…)

The iMachine

Posted by:
Date: Monday, May 15th, 2006, 09:00
Category: Opinion

With Apple moving to Intel processors and with Michael Dell talking about running OSX on Dell PC’s, I have been contemplating the concept of Apple reaching out to the mainstream PC users.
Of course, the first argument forming in any technophiles mind is the fiasco surrounding ‘clones’ in the mid 90′s, before the triumphant return of Steve Jobs rescued the beleaguered company from mediocrity. So let me nip that in the bud. I know that I speak for many by saying that licensing OS X will not work.
Between driver issues, etc., Apple would quickly lose the reputation that ‘it just works.’ Plus, Steve Jobs called the licensing ‘ill-conceived’ and a result of ‘institutional guilt.’ So, if Apple were to make a play for market share, it would be through a partnership, or through acquisition. Of course, the ‘partnership’ concept is tantamount to ‘licensing,’ so we are left with acquisition ‘ which would allow Apple to maintain a robust OS and still have a low-cost product line.
Read More…
Contributed by: Kevin

(more…)