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Out in the open vs. deep secret development

Apple is all about soft-issues. It is in that respect more of a lifestyle than a technology company. These image things are very delicate, and as such need to be handeled with the utmost care. Steve's Apple understands this. There can be no openness, as this could spoil the mystery and confuse the faithfull.

Bill's Microsoft on the other hand is hardcore tech from the very roots to the top. Techies want to freely speak their minds. They all beleive they are from Vulcan, and hold the one true undiluted true vision. They do not want to be told by some loosers from sales or legal what they can and can not say. They do not need image or publicity. They believe the better technology will do the selling for them, and if any competitor wants to take advantage of the open knowledge shared, they can go ahead. They are convinced they are so much better they will defeat them no matter what.

Just me (Sir to you)
Thursday, January 16, 2003


MS must also stoke the PR fires early and keep them blazing like hell for _years_ while they develop the Next Big Thing.  Pre-selling a new idea before it even exists has been a tried-and-true sales technique for years - just look at something like the concept vehicles at the Detroit Auto Show.

Joel's point is well taken, but ultimately it depends on the context of the project - new app/utility, or new operating system.  The concept is vastly different.

The real meat of the article was this:


That has been up on my office wall for years.

Mitch & Murray (from downtown)
Thursday, January 16, 2003

It's called announcing a product that you haven't started because one of your competitors is trying to make inroads on your market with the product they just announced.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Pre-selling an idea when you're as big as Microsoft can also serve to warn other smaller firms away from competing.

Bruce Perry
Thursday, January 16, 2003

Yes, the pre-emptive announcment for which IBM was busted when they were the 750 pund gorilla.

The idea being that if you make big enough bogus promises early won't have to keep them.

I like to think that no more than 3 (and ideally 1) people know about the coolest (most innovative) things being developed now. Then again, no one's every said that anything from MS is cool now have they?

fool for python
Thursday, January 16, 2003

I don't understand all this talk about Apple being a "lifestyle" company, when their products -- both hardware and software -- ARE genuinely better than PC stuff.

I am mainly a PC user, by the way -- the last Mac I owned was purchased in 1991.  But I have had a chance to use Macs quite a bit recently, and it is clear that they are better, hands-down, than PCs.

So, the explanation for Apple's top secret development can't be traced to their alleged status as a "lifestyle" company whose main innovation is their candy-colored hardware.  They are doing great work technically, too.

Better than Microsoft, at least.

Thursday, January 16, 2003


Apart from their obsolete CPU, apple computer are made from exactly the same components that go into PCs.

Or were you under the misapprehension that Apple actually manufactures their memory, graphics cards, etc ?

But I suppose you'll tell us that Safari is better than Konquerer, and the "Apple" CLI is better that FreeBSDs? Or perhaps the Apple kernel is better than Nexts?

I suppose they make some nice cases, and their GUI is ok, but what else do they actually do?

Thursday, January 16, 2003

They are cool. And that apparently is enough.

fool for python
Thursday, January 16, 2003

The current desktops are much more high end for audio than the fastest PCs. The reason is the dual processor architecture, included standard. Audio can run on its own processor now and context switches are not necessary. To maintain low enough latency for pro audio apps, a uniprocessor system has to switch contexts pretty darn frequently and it eats up processor bandwidth. Not so with multiprocessors. Also, the g4's altivec parallel math engine is far more advanced and pipelined than anything in intel's mmx extensions. This seems to be why the FM7 softsynth, available on both platforms, can run 2-3 times as many voices running the identical algorithms on a dual 1GHz G4 than on a 3GHz Pentium.

Apple's flatscreen monitors are also the finest you can find. Just head down to your local retailer and do a side by side comparison. Not for everyone though. Your average code monkey working weekends and nights without paid overtime would never be able to afford fine gear such as this.

As far as the kernel being better than NeXT, well of course -- it is the same kernel with an additional 10 years of enhancements and running on a much better processor!

Ed the Millwright
Thursday, January 16, 2003

So... dual CPU PCs are not available?

AltiVec is better than MMX, but is it better than SSE2? Not really. Its only real advantage now is bigger registers, as far as I know, but I'm not really an expert in this area. They don't seem to have updated it in a long time, which doesn't look good to me.

The latest photoshop benchmarks show dual 1.25 GHz Macs getting stomped pretty badly by single 3.06 GHz Intel boxes. The SoftSynth application you mentioned is probably just tuned better for the G4.

Apple flatscreen monitors are made by LG, and are typically a generation behind due to Apples laxity in upgrading them - to quote a recent review (Toms) of the current Apple Studio screen "Inside, it contains an LG panel whose specifications are unspectacular, although it proved to be very effective at displaying the color patterns.". Poor resolution is my main complaint.

Personally I'd rather keep my SGI widescreen :)

But I'm biased against Macs, so don't listen to me? Like most anti-Mac people, it's because I used to use one every day ( for about 5 years ) :)

Friday, January 17, 2003

>>Your average code monkey working weekends and nights without paid overtime would never be able to afford fine gear such as this.

Hey!  I resemble that statement!  All except the part about not being able to afford it.

>>Apple's flatscreen monitors are also the finest you can find.... Just head down to your local retailer...

Well, it looks like Mr. blah set you straight on that one.  check them out here:

Aa bonified code monkey, I'd like to correct the mis-representation by "Ed the Millwright".  A *real* code monkey wouldn't be using an Apple to begin with, so who cares if he can afford it!

Anywho, I think we got a LITTLE off topic with this thread, don't you agree?

Friday, January 17, 2003

"I'd like to correct the mis-representation by "Ed the Millwright".  A *real* code monkey wouldn't be using an Apple to begin with"

No misrepresentation here; I am in complete agreement with you.

Friday, January 17, 2003

"probably just tuned better for the G4"

Interesting that you have to resort to uninformed speculation, the mark of a true fanatic.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Heh, fanatical enough to admit my bias, and that I'm not an expert?

2 cases, both making heavy use of AltiVec / SSE:

Photoshop, SoftSynth.

One performs better on Intel, the other on G4.

Tuning could not possibly be a factor?

You are claiming it is because of some inherent superiority of G4, when it only performs better in one specific case..... remind me who's the fanatic.

Friday, January 17, 2003

I don't contest your Photoshop claims. The blanket claim is that the pc is better at everything which is demonstratably untrue. The G4 is currently better at high end pro audio applications.

With the music applications, all the data in one block fits in the cache which affects things, as does the AltiVec, which no one contests.

The FM7 is optimized for the AltiVec on the G4 and MMX on the Pentium. Both are highly code tuned for their respective architectures.

The reason you are a fanatic is that rather than acknowledge the simple fact that the G4 has superior performance for DSPs intensive audio work, you cling to your hopeless fantasies that the G4s competitors are superior in everyway, despite the lack of evidence.

A non-fanatic would make a decision based on the facts and not an their own political agenda, or fanatical cult beliefs in the unquestioned superiority of their aligned absolutist ideology.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Now come on, when did I make those claims?

If what you are saying is true about the tuning of SoftSyth then my wild guess looks correct. Intel went MMX, SSE, SSE2 ( no doubt with a few extra variations for luck ). If SoftSynth is tuned for MMX then it is tuned for an Intel architecture that is 2 whole generations out of date!

And you might have noticed that in my fanatical way, I already said that I believed AltiVec was superior to MMX, but then, I'm no expert :)

Anyway, we seem to be wildly off topic so that's all from me.

Friday, January 17, 2003

Looks like you're right about MMX -- they added SSE support in January of 2002. So we're comparing SSE to Altivec.

Friday, January 17, 2003

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