I've Personally Heard Steve Say They Would Never Do That...

by Matthew Russell

Related link: http://wired-vig.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,35201,00.html?tw=wn_story_rela…



Although I do enjoy a good history lesson, I'm not usually the one to bring up old news. Just a while ago, however, I stumbled across an old Wired News article from all the way back in 2000 that I thought was just too good not to mention.

It's a very short article that you can zip through in just a minute or so, but here are some interesting quotes from it when viewed in light of the upcoming Intel move:


Apple has no plans to change its fundamental business model and release MacOS X for Intel machines. "I've personally heard Steve say they would never do that..." (Never say never)

"There's no chance of any of that appearing in x86...There's just too much work to run on anything but PowerPC." (Too much work?)

"...all of Apple's software developers would have to rewrite their applications to run on a MacOS X/Intel machine." (Really?)


Aside from the few chuckles I had when reading it because of the obvious irony, I have to wonder if perhaps universal binaries weren't at least a twinkle in Steve's eye back then.

What do you think -- an ironic coincidence or steadfast planning?


9 Comments

cpenner461
2005-09-22 18:54:17
in other news...
soon to be released: the video iPod, and a PDA from Apple (newton v2?)


We can only hope...

lgw4
2005-09-22 19:36:13
You missed the most important quote.
"I think it's a safety net for Apple," Siracusa said. "They want the core OS to be portable. They want to be sure in coming years that the OS can be ported over with little or no difficulty."
ptwobrussell
2005-09-23 07:19:48
Another interesting drive down memory lane
I ran across this link just a while ago while scavenging some other info on Darwin. It's amazing how far things have come along and to reminisce back to what was going on when things were just heating up.


http://www.wsanchez.net/blog/archives/000011.html

brianimator2
2005-09-23 17:02:28
Universal Binaries...
"I have to wonder if perhaps universal binaries weren't at least a twinkle in Steve's eye back then."


They've been around since the days of NeXT from what I understand...

ptwobrussell
2005-09-23 17:18:26
Universal Binaries...
Yea, I think you're onto something there. This is news to me...pretty interesting stuff to know too. From digging around some more in Darwin's lead engineer's online journal from back in 2000, here's a quote that backs that up (although I don't know for sure if fat binaries were specifically a NeXT thing?):


"It should be noted that I am building all components fat (for both PowerPC and Intel) by default."


That's from http://www.wsanchez.net/blog/archives/000007.html


So I guess the interesting question here is whether or not the Intel plan was part of a 5 year plan or if market forces later in the game spurred it. The title of this weblog would indicate that it wasn't a long term plan, but then again...who knows if the story from Wired is completely accurate. Really, I just posted this entry for the humor of sharing the quotes.

leeharveyosmond
2005-09-28 13:34:32
Yeah, but...
Apple has no plans to change its fundamental business model and release MacOS X for Intel machines
That meant existing Wintel hardware. Apple bought NeXT, and NEXTSTEP3.3 had run on NeXT's 68k hardware, and HP PA-RISC, and 32bit SPARC, and Wintel. Apple were busy making PPC-based Macs. Intel-based Macs were not under consideration.


There's just too much work to run on anything but PowerPC.
True in 2000. Lots of MacOS 7/8/9 code about in those days. It was hard work getting people to transition to Carbon. Even inside Apple. In 2005, people are supposed to be using Xcode and Cocoa, and for those that are, porting to Intel means finding and clicking one checkbox, remarkably like I did in front of an HP712/60 in 1995.


all of Apple's software developers would have to rewrite their applications to run on a MacOS X/Intel machine
Same again. It was true in 2000; substantially less true now.

ptwobrussell
2005-09-28 13:51:06
Yeah, but...
And thats....the rest of the story.


Thanks for your insight there. I think you're right on. (Again, I was just having a little fun with this post.)

hudlee
2005-10-01 21:42:59
Business Model Unchanged
Well apple isn't changing their fundamental business model yet. That would require selling Mac OS X so it ran on any pc and dropping the hardware
biz. While I hope they do this eventually (or are forced too) it certanly doesn't appear to be the current plan.


"I have to wonder if perhaps universal binaries weren't at least a twinkle in Steve's eye back then."


I'd say they where alot more than that in 2000.


I'm starting to feel old here and I'm only 21. Anybody remember the Mac OS 68k to PowerPC transition which used fat binaries containing versions of software for both 68k and PowerPC?


Are these different from universal binaries somehow?

ptwobrussell
2005-10-02 14:55:25
Business Model Unchanged
Given that Steve has been rumored to have had the springs in the PowerBook fine tuned so that the latch closes and sounds with just the right "catch", that he had some building for NeXT painted with varying shades of gray multiple times till they got it "just right", and that he was dogmatic on getting the right angles on the old NeXT cubes perfect, I just don't see them ever selling OS X for 3rd party hardware...but that's just my humble opinion.


Heck, I thank the man just about every time I sit back and ponder what beautiful hardware we really do have compared to the stuff you see other vendors selling. We might pay a premium, but we also get what we pay for.


RE: Mac OS 68k to PowerPC transition -- that was well before I my conversion, but based on the things I've read and the people I've talked to off line since I wrote this post, I think you're right: fat binaries definitely have existed at least since the days of NeXT. I guess it's sort of irrelevant if they existed before that time or not, although it would be interesting to know definitively one way or the other.