Originally posted by Aquatic
Something I never understood: Why is there frame loss if the drive/comp is too slow when extracting video from a camera? It's DIGITAL. Shouldn't it just extract it slow and steady until done?
Capturing video is a real-time operation, and it's not like transferring a file. The device won't slow down if the computer is having trouble keeping up; it doesn't know or care about that. The camera's obligation is to play the video at the quality dictated by its configuration, and the computer has to keep up. Now, on the other hand, if we're talking about a device that stores its data in file format fashion (as some DV drives do), when it comes time to edit, the data will be in the form of a file and not a DV stream. Then the computer can treat it as it does any other file.
I like the subject of this thread, because I too have wondered about this issue. There is a great deal of pent up demand for the G5, much of it do to the fact that the G4 didn't have any legs and its anemic performance caused many (including me) to delay upgrading. But what will drive the upgrade cycle after we're all in G5 land? It's an interesting question because the fact is, for many the G5 will be quite enough for some time to come. My 8600 is an ancient machine now, but even though it doesn't run OS X, its still my primary workhorse. It meets my essential needs despite the fact it will turn six years-old in November. In contrast, my first two Macs simply wouldn't cut it after four years -- I simply had to upgrade out of necessity.
So I agree with boy_analog's comment, "I'm perfectly happy with my PB800: it should last me several years if I treat it well. And that should go double for a desktop G5." We won't be needing to upgrade from our G5s for quite a long while, hopefully. And that's good for the consumer but bad for Apple.
What could drive demand for the next generation? Here are some ideas:
* Digital Hub of Tomorrow: Apple has a lot invested in the digital hub concept, and that strategy will continue be utilized and extended in the future. (Unfortunately, since SJ hates plain old TV, PCs beat us easily in the area of enhanced TV connectivity. I really wish Jobs would rethink his position on that issue.) We can think about the future of home automation. Or the fact the Mac will be expected to handle all kinds of diverse data with aplomb. We all know HDTV is almost ready for the masses, and it would be a good thing for Apple to embrace it. Professionals will be using it; consumers will want to partake, and any way you slice it HDTV is resource intense. But that's just the beginning of where the digital hub will be in the future.
I believe that the digital hub implementation will become far more comprehensive in the coming years. As the computer continues to supplant the TV and bandwidth improves, the line between TV and the Internet will blur . I envision the day when channel surfing and web surfing merge and become nearly indistinguishable. There will be a tremendous amount of market potential for a company that can provide the toolset needed to take advantage of such a convergence. Apple should be that company. We know that if Apple wanted to, it could create a DreamWeaver killer -- an Internet content creation suite that would be intuitive and
powerful. Create A/V-web productions with the beefy content creation/server suite from Apple. Serve up your high bandwidth site with the touch of button, and your G6 will be powerful enough to still let you log into another account and frag some people in your FPS of choice. The implications of such a content distribution system are immense. The web has allowed single-person operations to gain significant notoriety, but the web isnt yet as strong a medium as TV. But when the two converge, quality work of the little guy will compete with the content of the media giants. And isnt empowering the individual Apples overriding mission?
*Software paradigms of tomorrow: Ten years ago the WWW wasnt on the radar screen (MS was busy developing multimedia CDs instead), but now it dominates a large part of computing. What type of computing technology could be huge ten years from now? We probably believe nothing as significant as the web could come in the next few decades, but thats not necessarily true. The next big thing probably isnt on the radar yet, either. And you can be sure the next big thing in computing is going to require some computing muscle.
*Technical applications/Significant multitasking demands: Technical tasks will continue to demand as much computing power as possible. And as I alluded to in my previous point, not only will we wish to perform many demanding tasks on our machines, were going to perform many concurrently. Were going to want to serve that high resolution video and
resize a window at the same time without it slowing it a crawl! (Ha ha, Im joking, and yet Im really not...) As our computers become faster, were going to continue demanding of them things that will still tax their resources. Someone on AI once said something like, only when he could run every resource intense task on in his system concurrently, without seeing his computer slow down, only then would he stop looking for more speed. Thats an exaggerated claim, of course, but the point is fast still wont be fast enough for some pros.
*Future of the OS: This is one of the ways Apples going to convince many to finally put their G5s away six or seven years from now. The OS and its software will march on, and eventually the G5 wont be able to cut it. (This goes hand-in-hand with my next comment on bloatware.) At some point it will be time to upgrade yet again, to the G7.
Hardware Competition: This isnt demand side stimulus (as the other factors listed are); this affects the supply side. In order to stay in business, Apple needs to be competitive. In spite of our hopes to the contrary, AMD and Intel wont throw in the towel and switch to the IBM PPC. Theyre going to continue pushing the performance envelope. If the PPC alliance begins to believe it no longer needs to do any serious R&D for the next generation, the results wont be pretty: Wintel will speed past us again. Someone will always ask why its important to have at least performance parity with the other platform. Theyll ask, who needs all that speed? The simple fact is, if your competitions low end is faster and cheaper than your high-end, even your most passionate platform partisans will start to lose faith. The competitive market moves on no matter what, and those who dont like it wont stay in business.
*Cutting edge gaming: enough said
*Bloatware/emulation: We shouldnt underestimate the ability of MS to bloat our G5s into obsolescence. They know how to make a several hundred meg word processor with features you dont need and cant get rid of (yet people still use Word, but I digress). And I dont know what MS has planned for VPC -- maybe they really wish to improve it. It would help them sell more copies of Windows, which they want to do. The tech geniuses here say it is possible to provide graphics acceleration to VPC. Maybe by the time the G6 comes out, MS VPC will give us emulation speeds approaching that of a 2GHz PC.
And those are a number of solid reasons for future upgrade cycles. Comments/questions?