[rescue] Apple WWDC Summary

Phil Stracchino alaric at caerllewys.net
Tue Jun 24 15:24:37 CDT 2003

On Tue, Jun 24, 2003 at 02:46:15PM -0400, Dave McGuire wrote:
> On Tuesday, June 24, 2003, at 01:31 PM, Phil Stracchino wrote:
> >I beg to differ.  I was using SCSI-II in my PCs when brand-new Macs were
> >still shipping with 5MB/s narrow SCSI-1, and I was using Fast Wide for
> >LONG after Macs still supported only 10MB/s narrow SCSI-II onboard from
> >the factory.  (Third-party add-in controllers don't count, I'm talking
> >about factory SCSI support in SCSI-based machines.)
>   You are an exception to the rule.  SCSI on PCs was VERY expensive and 
> highly exclusive what a time when every Mac came with SCSI (and indeed 
> you coulnd't get any other disk interface!)...Have you forgotten the 
> days of the $400 Adaptec 1540 boards?  The known-nothing-about-hardware 
> early Mac world was built around SCSI *years* before that.  What *you* 
> (as a technically advanced user who was obviously able to pour big 
> bucks into your hardware) were using is not indicative of the state of 
> mainstream PC hardware of that era.

You do, indeed, have a point there.  I pretty much went from ST-506 to
ESDI to SCSI, with only a relatively brief flirtation with IDE before I
decided it was a steaming pile of rancid dingos' kidneys.  (It'd have
been a shorter flirtation than it was, except that I got my hands on a
cool engineering-sample caching IDE-RAID controller from Alpha Research
that actually made IDE of the time relatively usable.)

> >Fact is, for a long time, Apple was selling basically architecturally
> >inferior machines,
>   Architecturally inferior perhaps when compared to, say, mainframes.  
> But you're trolling.

Compared to a lot more than mainframes.  The first generations of PPC601
Power Macs were dog-slow, *much* slower than the '040 machines they
replaced, they were hell to work on, and commodity PCs of the time blew
them out of the water without even trying hard.  The 603s weren't a lot
better, and Power Mac 8500s and 9500s were still designed with only
narrow-SCSI when commonly-available PC SCSI controllers were Fast Wide
and it was getting hard to find a narrow-SCSI-only controller for a PC.
Not logn after that, Wide Ultra became available, and around about that
time, Apple started abandoning SCSI altogether in favor of IDE.  (For
cost reasons, I'm sure, not performance.)  Granted this just put them on
a level with the disk subsystems of commodity PCs, but it's still a step
backward instead of forward.

I wonder if it's significant that these are all Macs designed while John
Sculley was at the helm?

>   I resent your suggestion, Phil.  x86 PCs suck because they suck.  
> Macs kick ass (now) because they kick ass.  What you perhaps don't know 
> about me is that I'm a longtime Mac hater...604s were getting old 
> before I gave them a second look, because they SUCKED so badly (mainly 
> due to their OS and their price tags).  But to say their architecture 
> was inferior is plainly incorrect.

I think we'll just have to agree to disagree, then, about which of the
two sucked harder at that point in time.

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