A Force and A Farce . . .

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The Force: Apple Goes To 64-Bit Processors

Apple just upgraded the iMac from Core Duo to Core2Duo processors.

Granted, this is not exactly stunning news to the average overclockers, and even less so to the average overclocking gamer.

But, of course, there’s always the Sixpacks in your life, and the subject of Apple comes up often enough.

Up to now, my response to such inquiries has been quite simple: a slightly nicer version of Over My Dead Body.

The main reason for my crude response is that the people in my life who ask me about Apple are a lot like the kids who want a puppy; they just see the fun and not the realities and responsibilities.

They want an Apple because they don’t like having to learn things about PCs, and think they won’t have to with a Mac. They tend to believe or semi-believe the hype about Apple, and seem to think that all their computer problems and even worse, their need to know something about their computers will all go away.

The reality is Macs aren’t different than PCs in that they’re as easy to use as a radio, but they are different in that there’s a learning curve in how the Mac handles everything as compared to a PC.

The issue here is not whether the Mac does things better than a PC; the issue is a new learning curve (and new costly software) for people who don’t want to learn anymore about computers.

So when this type of person talked about buying a Mac, I saw a $1,500 failure in the making (and likely a new learning curve for me, too).

The last six months have mostly shattered that scenario. Now that a Mac is a PC, and can run Windows, if worst comes to worst, anybody who buys this puppy and isn’t enthralled by Macdom still has a perfectly good PC for their light computer tasks. Maybe it cost a few hundred more than a Dell, but that’s a lot better than a $1,500 mistake, and at least it looks pretty.

I haven’t actually said “OK” to a Mac purchase yet, but that was mainly because Apple hadn’t started using 64-bit processors yet, and that’s the future, for either MacOS X or Windows.

It will probably take a little time for Windows-enablers like Boot Camp, or better, Parallels Workstation to come out with Merom-versions*, and probably a bit longer to see Meroms in the miniMac or iBook, but once that happens, I will have run out of reasons (besides cost, of course) to say “No,” even to myself.

And if I’ve run out of reasons, so have you.

The Farce

There’s a new effort being made to run Windows programs on a Mac called Crossover.

Unfortunately, this is much less than it seems. The company putting together Crossover. is simply a corporation developing its product based on WINE and hoping to make money supporting it.

For those who don’t know what WINE is (or didn’t click the link), WINE is an open-source product that is supposed to let you run Windows applications without Windows.

WINE typlifies what happens with most not-corporately-funded open source projects, they either fail, or take forever to develop. It took twelve years for WINE’s first official beta to come out.

While matters will no doubt improve more rapidly once corporate effort and money is going to be applied to the effort, there isn’t much in the way of results yet. As of now, only thirteen applications actually work completely right, not a whole lot work mostly or somewhat right, and many, many more haven’t been even tested yet.

You can check here and here for more details, but unless you use just one app or two that just happens to be on the list, this project has a LOOOOOOOOONG way to go.

Ed


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