‘Apple’s Switch Testing Loyalists’ – Why?


I’ve just got to vent a little bit here. The ‘Intel Announcement’ has Mac loyalists, analysts, bloggers, etc, etc, all in a tizzy – and why exactly?? Let’s take a look at what this means on a basic level…

I understand there will be growing pains. Wait a year for the new hardware or get a good price on ‘old’ technology? Transitioning to x86 will cause pain in the form of getting all your favorite apps in a timely manner (granted, I give kudos to Apple for giving the Devs the new hardware now). What if my favorite apps don’t make the jump?

Yeah, there are plenty of concerns, and many questions as of yet, left unanswered. Give it time people. Apple will give us more info. There’s 12 months to go till 6-6-6 (the conspiracy theorists are gonna have a field day with that little bit, aren’t they?) comes and we get our Intel Apple machines.

But here’s the point I’ve got in mind – Look at the alternative!! Am I going to move [back] to Windows because Apple is moving to Intel? Are the inevitable growing pains really enough to send me back to an inferior operating system? Two words: Hell No. OS X is still going to be OS X. Apple is still Apple. As Rich says, Apple just wants to move to a hardware platform that will allow them to produce the products they want – and for us, the consumer!

So settle yourselves. Hang out a year and then take a look at the new selection of Tasty Apple Macs. Oh – and that’s another thing – why on earth would Apple degrade itself to the nasty typical x86 PC? They’re STILL APPLE! Apple Style isn’t dead, and will continue, holy cow. My only fear is the nasty “Intel Inside” graphic – but I’m sure Steve has worked that into the deal, to make it a nice, tasteful laser etching (think: back of the iPods…) on the backside of machines or something like that.

In a Nut: Relax. Enjoy the ride.



Firstly Amyhr, Sorry for insulting you and anyone else that may have read the above. Obviously those anger management classes are not working, and reading all the brain-dead(not on this site) and expanded rubbish people post I guess I snapped when I got to your post as I have gripes regarding this subject due to a recent screwup I did that resulted in a Buffer Overflow.

Buffer Overflow Links

Back to Buffer Overflows
It is not restricted to X86 architectures, there are just more X86’s out there. Essentially all CPU’s including the PPC family have a finite Buffer and none of the manufacturers lock down. It can be done on anything as its not based on the hardware but based on software written mainly via C and C++ as these can go deep into said system unlike some of the ‘less powerful’ languages like Java that have no need to go deeper. For reason’s unknown programmer’s were left as the last bastion for process security and we do so often screw up.

My answer to BO’s and your post/gripe/lament should have been simple – It’s all in the software silly :P

A Mac will always be a Mac due to the experience it brings. Both in terms of software and style in which it achieves the said goals. Pre-occupation with processors and stat-whoring is just ‘chest-thumping’ by mainly males as our ego’s take over. In an ideal world we would use the ideal processor for our ideal system…

… but back to reality.


I agree. It feels like a step backward to go from powerPC to x86. I have to believe that this is not about what intel has to offer today but what it will have 2 or 5 years out as compared to what IBM will have in the future. I just hope Intel can deliver for Apple on its roadmap better than IBM and Moto have in the past.


By the way, since I’m not a wordsmith, I think Jon Siracusa wrote an excellent piece on this that really sums up my thoughts on the matter: http://arstechnica.com/columns/mac/mac-20050607.ars
also, if you are still convinced that I don’t know anything about PPC being a better architecture then x86, check out the many, many in-depth technical CPU article on Ars Technica…


Um, name calling is not good form, Zoran. Next time try “you are mistaken”, or “you are not necessarily right”. Also, try following with better supporting evidence then “you have no clue” as I would very much like to be educated on my wrongness, so as to not make the same mistake again. Otherwise, the rest of your argument is not really worth taking.

I did state “one of the reasons”, not the “only reason” that the Mac is more secure has to do with the processor. Of course software bears the largest brunt of the blame. It has been noted that, while buffer overflows occur on all architectures: “they are easier to exploit on x86 due to the orientation of the stack (placing the return address of a function at the end of the stack) and lack of memory security options”. Also, I did not make this up myself, but got it through research. Here is one (admitadly not exactly connical) example: http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?BufferOverflow

I’m not attacking the Mac, I’m quite the faithful Mac evangelist myself, I’m just stating that this is a technological step backwards, and it’s being made for what are apperently purely marketing reasons. Every single in-depth technological comparison I’ve ever read comparing PowerPC architecture and x86 has always pointed to PPC as the winner, which is to be expected since it is much newer, and has the advantage of experience. There are architectures out there better then PPC, mostly newer and built with lessons learned from all their predecessors, but x86 is not one of them. There’s just too much legacy stuff in there designed for combatibility with nearly 20 years worth of junk that Mac OS X has no need to be compatible with.

If Apple felt it HAD to go more ‘mainstream’, then AMD64, for example, would be a better choice, especially if it’s really “integer perf units per watt” that Jobs is really after. the x86 legacy stuff is still there, but in 64-bit mode it’s handled much better.

If Apple felt they needed something more powerful then the PowerPC, I would argue that a reasonable amount of research would pull up something far better then x86.

It’s not cheaper – many many reports show Apple pays less for PPC then they would for Intel, unless Jobs got Apple a better deal then Dell even. They are not doing this so you can run Mac OS X on any ol’ commodity system. You can bet Apple will still make their own proprietary motherboards, most likely with OpenBoot instead of BIOS (this is a must) – and if they stick with OpenBoot, you are not going to be able to drop any ol’ graphics card in there either (one of the ways Apple can create the magic they do is by strictly controlling the hardware – having to write/test the OS with every imaginable graphics card is NOT the way to a better OS) . The only thing that is inharently more expensive for Apple about their motherboards is that they design them theirselves. There’s no magical super-expensive component that a switch to x86 will eliminate. Thus, we are not likely to see cheaper systems.

So, Zoran, if I’m an ‘idiot’ who ‘obviously has not clue’, then please educate me by refuting the above. If you can successfully show how I’m wrong on every single point, then yes, I’m an ‘idiot’ and quite ‘clueless’. If not, then maybe I actually have some kind of clue afterall…


Wow…easy now….calm down.

*hands Zoran a Prozac*

I realize Amyhr is wrong about this subject but I’m sure she or he is not an idiot.


Your an idiot Amyhr!

Try software faults for security problems, you obviously have no clue as to what you speak of. Heart of the Mac indeeed.



For me, the issue is going x86 is a step backwards technologically. For instance, one of the reasons Mac OS X is so secure and Windows is not is that the PowerPC was built with an inharent resistance to many of the security flaws found in the x86 (such as the infamous buffer overflow exploits). The PPC is inharently more effiecient then x86, being designed with lessons learned from x86 design. The only ‘technical’ reason Jobs really gave for this switch is IBM isn’t delivering the GHZ, but yet the PPC outperforms x86 chps w/much higher clocks. Until we can see the IBM/Intel Roadmaps Jobs has seen, I remain unconvinced this is a Good Idea(TM).
The Soul of the Mac is the OS, but the Heart of the Mac (PPC) contributes a great deal to the health of the Soul…

Gareth Potter

They won’t be required to put the Intel Inside logo on Macs. According to the now-massive discussion on Slashdot, the logo scheme is just a deal-sweetener that Intel offers which in turn gives them some publicity – it’s like a “Works with Windows” or “Made for the Mac” logo, really, suggesting conformance to some kind of standard.


I agree. Apple is about design and software. Not the processor.

The only thing I’m iffy on is if Apple will allow Mac clones now. There are plenty of ways to lock people out, which would be cracked at some point of course. Maybe Apple could sell bare Mac motherboards to help cope with the issue.

Apple will still be innovative with their hardware and software. My iMac G4 isn’t domed shaped because it has a G4 in it! Nor is the clock positioned in the upper right corner because of the processor.

Just my 2 cents…

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