[rescue] Apple to ditch IBM, switch to Intel chips

Micah R Ledbetter vlack-lists at vlack.com
Sat Jun 4 23:55:28 CDT 2005

On Jun 4, 2005, at 04:37, Skeezics Boondoggle wrote:

> So maybe it really is just a rehash of the old rumors.  I mean,  
> we've all
> heard that idiotic notion floated before, many times.  And every time
> someone wails "Apple should switch to x86!" (right up there with "Sun
> should switch to x86!") they seem to forget the simplest question:   
> Okay,
> so why would you then buy Apple- (or Sun-) branded hardware, when  
> for $6
> and a puddle of spit you can cobble some whizzy super "fast" system  
> from a
> mail-order outfit or Joe's Commodity Crap Emporium down at the  
> strip mall?

I don't think this is very likely, at all. x86 chips themselves are  
totally separate from a lot of the PC-ness of a standard Dell; if  
Apple were going to switch to the x86 processor architecture, then  
I'm certain they would do away with things like the BIOS. Also, I'm  
even more certain that Apple will require a custom ROM image to be  
present in their hardware before the OS loads, like they do now. You  
wouldn't be able to just buy random crapola at the aforementioned  
JCCE and run OS X, just like you can't run OS X on IBM machines,  
Pegasos PPC boards, or what have you.

An interesting side effect of doing away with the BIOS would be that  
a consumer would still be required to buy PCI cards and such made for  
the Mac (manufactured by Apple or a third party). If there's no BIOS  
in these x86 "Macs", then you'll still need Mac-specific video cards  
and controller cards for things like boot devices. As Linux/BSD has  
shown, a PC card will work in non-PC hardware if there's a driver for  
it, but it won't be available during boot.

Just a couple of thoughts. I'll be as surprised as anyone if Apple  
actually "switches", but I'll eat my socks if they just sell OS X and  
go away from selling hardware completely.

  - Micah

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