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Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bit to the Kernel

post #1 of 47
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Build notes leaked on the web of a prerelease version of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard indicate that the software only supports enabling its new 64-bit kernel on certain machines, including the Xserve, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro, but this does not mean Snow Leopard's kernel will be limited to 32-bit operation on consumer machines.

Instead, it means that the early developer build of Snow Leopard does not yet supply 64-bit kernel extensions for some of the critical components of the MacBook and other consumer machines. When released to developers around spring and to end users a few months later, Snow Leopard will support using a 64-bit kernel on all Intel Macs with 64-bit CPU, such as the Core 2 Duo.

A 64-bit kernel requires all of its extensions to also be 64-bit. Kernel extensions or KEXTs include drivers for audio hardware, graphics adapters, networking, certain printing components, and other devices on the logic board or attached as peripherals. Until Apple delivers 64-bit versions of the nearly 300 extensions it ships with Mac OS X (not all of which will need to be supported on 64-bit Macs; many are legacy), it is limiting official 64-bit kernel support to a subset of Macs in prerelease builds of the new operating system.

The 32-bit kernel of Mac OS X

Snow Leopard will deliver the first 64-bit kernel for Mac OS X. Earlier versions of the operating system, including today's Leopard, can run 64-bit software but do so using a 32-bit kernel. More accurately, whether running on 32 and 64-bit CPUs, Mac OS X loads the same kernel image and run it as a 32-bit process, although when run on 64-bit hardware, the 32-bit kernel switches into "long mode compatibility mode."

Apple's current implementation allows the existing 32-bit kernel to run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications at once, as well as being able to handle 64-bit virtual memory allocations, giving 64-bit applications and background tasks the capacity to allocate memory spaces larger than 4GB when working with large data sets. In Tiger, 32-bit graphical apps could create a 64-bit process; under Leopard, Mac OS X can run full 64-bit graphical apps.

Leopard's 32-bit kernel has been fitted with enhancements that handle copying between 32 and 64-bit user address spaces, and its syscall and trap handlers are also 64-bit code. This hybrid design enabled Apple to deliver a kernel that could run 64-bit apps without needing to immediately deliver 64-bit kernel drivers for it, nor to require third parties to all ship 64-bit versions of their drivers.

As described in earlier coverage of Snow Leopard's 64-bit features, Mac OS X can also currently use various techniques to use more than 4GB of installed RAM, the limit imposed by 32-bit memory addressing, despite using a 32-bit kernel. Intel's hardware uses a method called PAE to enable certain Mac models to address as much as 32GB of installed RAM, despite Mac OS X's use of a 32-bit kernel.



The 64-bit kernel of Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Having a 64-bit kernel will enable Apple to move well beyond PAE to address very large amounts of installed RAM in Macs of the future as memory becomes more affordable. This is particularly useful for servers, but even consumer machines will someday need vast amounts of RAM.

Additionally, the new 64-bit kernel will gain the advantages that 64-bit Mac OS X apps already have: the ability to set up an address space for itself greater than 32-bits (4GB), as well as the ability to access the full x64 register set of 64-bit CPUs. This wasn't as compelling of a need on the 64-bit PowerPC G5, but 64-bit Intel CPUs like the Core 2 Duo provide more general purpose registers that are conspicuously absent on 32-bit Intel CPUs, leading to a significant performance advantage when moving to 64-bit software.

Along with these advantages comes the necessity of upgrading all of the kernel's drivers to 64-bit, including any provided by third parties. Again, that's because 64-bit programs can't load and run 32-bit plugins, and vice versa. That means Mac users will need to do the same driver upgrade that Windows Vista users did.

Fortunately, Apple took steps to plan for the transition. By exposing 64-bit development tools and concepts years in advance, Mac programmers have had time to build a more mature understanding of how things work. If Apple had attempted to simply deliver a 100% 64-bit OS in one fell swoop, it may never have come together. Apple would have run into many of the same catch-22 problems that have held 64-bit Windows from gaining mass adoption.

Additionally, Apple only needs to deliver a relatively small number of drivers: just those devices used in Macs supported by the Snow Leopard release. Since Apple designed and built all those machines, it won't have nearly as tough of a time as Microsoft had in prodding third parties to deliver good 64-bit versions of their drivers for all the hardware anyone has every put into any brand of PC sold within the last several years.

Mac OS X and Windows x64 software

Apple also developed a clean 'fat binary' method for delivering cross-platform binary code, including both 32-and 64-bit versions in a single app bundle, or binary package. On Windows, 32-bit and 64-bit code has to be installed separately. Supporting library files on 64-bit Windows have to be put into System32 (if they are 64-bit) or SysWOW64 (if they are 32-bit).

This apparent contradiction relates to the fact that Microsoft couldn't change the name of the Windows System32 directory (originally named to distinguish it from the 16-bit System directory) for compatibility reasons, and that SysWOW64 is the 64-bit process that runs 32-bit Windows apps in a compatibility mode on Windows x64, called WOW64 for 'Windows on 64-bit Windows.'

On Mac OS X Leopard and in Snow Leopard, Apple designed the kernel to run both 32 and 64-bit software natively with no compatibility layer running, and all supporting files and libraries can be organized in the same application bundle. That means developers can distribute a single installer that works on any Mac, and that users won't need to make sure they've obtained the correct binary for their machine. This promises to go a long way in making the transition to 64-bit Mac software very smooth and virtually invisible to most users.

AppleInsider's Road to Leopard Series

Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: 64-bits, Santa Rosa and the great PC swindle
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Twice the RAM, half the price, 64-bits
Road to Mac OS X Snow Leopard: The future of 64-bit apps
post #2 of 47
I cant wait!
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post #3 of 47
Nice diagram - shows the gradual approach Apple has taken. First the Unix layer, then the programming frameworks, and finally the kernel and drivers. It's good software development practice to do smaller releases and test them in the wild rather than do everything at once.
post #4 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

On Mac OS X Leopard and in Snow Leopard, Apple designed the kernel to run both 32 and 64-bit software natively with no compatibility layer running, and all supporting files and libraries can be organized in the same application bundle. That means developers can distribute a single installer that works on any Mac, and that users won't need to make sure they've obtained the correct binary for their machine. This promises to go a long way in making the transition to 64-bit Mac software very smooth and virtually invisible to most users.

Having only one installer that works for any Mac will make the transition so much easier. If you take an average consumer, they wouldn't know if they're running a 32-bit version, 64-bit version or whatever. So when they go to install an application, they have no clue what version to use.
post #5 of 47
None of this stuff will compel "consumers" to upgrade to Snow Leopard. If Apple is going to offer this as a paid upgrade, and not free, there'll have to be several major obvious "new things". Cocoa touch?
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post #6 of 47
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Originally Posted by themoonisdown09 View Post

Having only one installer that works for any Mac will make the transition so much easier. If you take an average consumer, they wouldn't know if they're running a 32-bit version, 64-bit version or whatever. So when they go to install an application, they have no clue what version to use.

This is also part of the reason why Microsoft's 64 bit strategy, (which is actually ahead of Apple's in terms of most implementation details), is such a colossal failure.

The average user sees no reason to "switch" to 64 bit anything and will not jump through any hoops to do so. Having to install a completely separate version (64 bit) of Windows at a higher price, and then shop around for replacements for all the apps, while having the OS at the same time, look and act exactly the same is a big problem. It doesn't give the end user any reason to move to 64 bits, and at the same time erects some hefty barriers to them doing so.

The Apple approach on the other hand just changes everything around in the background without the user even being aware of the change and provides actual benefits in terms of faster programs that work more reliably.

Yet another case of the difference between having the end user as your customer (Apple) versus having the corporation as your customer (Microsoft).
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #7 of 47
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Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

None of this stuff will compel "consumers" to upgrade to Snow Leopard. If Apple is going to offer this as a paid upgrade, and not free, there'll have to be several major obvious "new things". Cocoa touch?

I'm sure if they think the sales will be lousy they'll talk about about how ridiculously fast it'll be on any Mac bought in the past 2-3 years. I, for one, will buy it for that. 64-bit combined with OpenCL should make my already quick computer noticeably faster. (Should is the key word there )
post #8 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Cocoa touch?



I don't understand why you have to abandon all logic. How exactly is 'Cocoa touch' going to persuade consumers to buy Snow Leopard? Is it going to magically make their current displays multitouch-capable? Is the new Apple LED Display going to magically become multitouch aware? Just how is 'Cocoa touch' going to change a consumer's decision?

If you're talking about buying a whole new system (hardware+software) that might use a new 'Cocoa touch' feature in Snow Leopard, then fine...but 'Cocoa touch' will *not* be an appealing feature to those who don't have the hardware that supports it.
post #9 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

I'm sure if they think the sales will be lousy they'll talk about about how ridiculously fast it'll be on any Mac bought in the past 2-3 years. I, for one, will buy it for that. 64-bit combined with OpenCL should make my already quick computer noticeably faster. (Should is the key word there )

I know you will, but you are the type of person who reads and comments on AI, I'm talking about the people who use Macs for simple regular stuff. You know, people unlike us with real lives!
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post #10 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by kim kap sol View Post

I don't understand why you have to abandon all logic. How exactly is 'Cocoa touch' going to persuade consumers to buy Snow Leopard? Is it going to magically make their current displays multitouch-capable? Is the new Apple LED Display going to magically become multitouch aware? Just how is 'Cocoa touch' going to change a consumer's decision?

If you're talking about buying a whole new system (hardware+software) that might use a new 'Cocoa touch' feature in Snow Leopard, then fine...but 'Cocoa touch' will *not* be an appealing feature to those who don't have the hardware that supports it.

Well duh!

And besides, Cocoa touch was one of the features. There could be, you know, others too.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

None of this stuff will compel "consumers" to upgrade to Snow Leopard. If Apple is going to offer this as a paid upgrade, and not free, there'll have to be several major obvious "new things". Cocoa touch?

I can't imagine Apple will charge for this. This is a significant step forward for Leopard - hence the name - but it is still Leopard. It will lay the foundations for the next v OS which will definitely be another $100.- or so. Should Apple pile on new usability features and eye candy for Snow Leopard, they can and will charge but otherwise its a geek update.
post #12 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

I know you will, but you are the type of person who reads and comments on AI, I'm talking about the people who use Macs for simple regular stuff. You know, people unlike us with real lives!

Wait. What? I have real life! I just play it out on the internet! Oh wait, damn... haha
post #13 of 47
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Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Wait. What? I have real life! I just play it out on the internet! Oh wait, damn... haha



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post #14 of 47
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Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I can't imagine Apple will charge for this. This is a significant step forward for Leopard - hence the name - but it is still Leopard. It will lay the foundations for the next v OS which will definitely be another $100.- or so. Should Apple pile on new usability features and eye candy for Snow Leopard, they can and will charge but otherwise its a geek update.

Isn't an OS basically a geek thing anyway? Users don't care about the OS, but its what runs everything and makes the Mac possible. From everything I've read, SL seems to be a very different OS from Leopard - but it looks the same. For some people they won't see the purpose of the upgrade. For others it will be huge. Just like Vista vs Windows 7.
post #15 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I can't imagine Apple will charge for this. This is a significant step forward for Leopard - hence the name - but it is still Leopard. It will lay the foundations for the next v OS which will definitely be another $100.- or so. Should Apple pile on new usability features and eye candy for Snow Leopard, they can and will charge but otherwise its a geek update.

Has there been mainstream speculation that they WON'T charge for Snow Leopard? I haven't heard either way.

If Apple is putting in the time and money they'd put into a major release I'm impressed at the "no new features" spin. This industry has rushed so much crap to market, it would be a positive precedent to step back and clean up for once. But I think I'd only pay half the price of something like Leopard for Snow Leopard.

Does anyone have concrete evidence that Snow has hooks for new touch functionality?
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post #16 of 47
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Originally Posted by walshbj View Post

Has there been mainstream speculation that they WON'T charge for Snow Leopard? I haven't heard either way.

If Apple is putting in the time and money they'd put into a major release I'm impressed at the "no new features" spin. This industry has rushed so much crap to market, it would be a positive precedent to step back and clean up for once. But I think I'd only pay half the price of something like Leopard for Snow Leopard.

Does anyone have concrete evidence that Snow has hooks for new touch functionality?

Well there is some historical precedence that they won't charge unless they add notable new GUI changes (10.0 to 10.1 was a freebie as I recall). Other than pure speculation on the rumor sites I haven't seen anyone weigh in on the cost of it since it's such a small % of potential Apple revenue the Wall Street people don't seem to be too concerned about it.
post #17 of 47
Also, why pay for Snow Leopard if the SL-aware apps aren't there yet?. Until a smatter of killer 64-bit OpenCL-aware XYZ-whatever apps arrive, one could simply wait for OS X 10.7.

Anyway, I am sure Apple will desperately try to invent some new eye-candy to justify the thing. In some ways, that's what happened to Leopard.
post #18 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Well there is some historical precedence that they won't charge unless they add notable new GUI changes (10.0 to 10.1 was a freebie as I recall). Other than pure speculation on the rumor sites I haven't seen anyone weigh in on the cost of it since it's such a small % of potential Apple revenue the Wall Street people don't seem to be too concerned about it.

10.1 was free only because 10.0 was so unusable, and it was a way of rewarding the people who really helped keep Apple kicking. Apple is doing fine now and doesn't need to give things away to keep customers. 10.5 is nothing like 10.0, so I see no reason why Apple should give it away.
post #19 of 47
Null.
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post #20 of 47
A thing to point out about Vista 64: it seems many brand laptop manufacturers actually preinstall 64 bit versions of Vista for their users to be able to use all the preinstalled memory, get a faster system overall and better drivers. It makes sense that it is not a problem to configure them so, as they control the hardware components as opposite to what happens in the typical beige box. So, in a way, the thing gets more penetration in the consumer space that one would have expected.


About Snow Leopard-aware killer apps, one would hope for a revamp of most of Apple's pro Apps. Also, one hopes OpenCL will allow for, first of all, taking advantage of plain GPUs for GPGPU tasks (instead of monster cards such as the Quadros) , and being able to fill a Mac Pro's bays with several of the lowest cost ones to build an OpenCL farm.
post #21 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmadlena View Post

10.1 was free only because 10.0 was so unusable, and it was a way of rewarding the people who really helped keep Apple kicking. Apple is doing fine now and doesn't need to give things away to keep customers. 10.5 is nothing like 10.0, so I see no reason why Apple should give it away.

Considering all it brought to the table I thought 10.0 was alright. I mean, there have been people talking about how god-awful 10.5 has been and some still stay it's nothing more than a glorified beta (even now that we're at 10.5.5). While Apple is doing really well imagine the extra positive PR they would get by giving their next OS away for free since it's (probably) only going to work on Intel Macs. I mean, the press would eat it up! "Apple to offer OS upgrade for free - new OS dramatically increases speed of existing computers"

While they don't necessarily *need* the press I'm pretty sure they'd love to be loved on by the press
post #22 of 47
Yeah, I am thinking Snow Leopard would be great free, Apple will get LOVED and Windows will get shit all over with Windows 7 (which will become a debacle, we can see that a mile away)

I am more and more excited about Snow Leopard. An ultra-stable, focused and streamlined OS. What has any Windows user been asking for? A computer that works faster, takes less specs, runs very stably.

Stability and performance in critical environments is key at the moment with the netbook craze and with computing becoming mobile. I don't see Windows 7 delivering that. It just appears to be window-dressing on Vista (pardon the pun)

When will Windows learn Features != Better?

One thing that Apple uses as a motto for iPhone OS, and from Steve Jobs' comments as well as Apple's entire business structure, it appears to be Apple-wide: Deliver solutions, not features.

Features mean spending more time using, and learning, and ultimately leads to things people won't use.
Solutions lead to the simplest way to get a job done right. Thus, iPhone. Apple learned a lot from the development of OS X iPhone. Now they are applying it to OS X Leopard - to create OS X Snow Leopard.
post #23 of 47
Until Intel manages to provide compliant motherboards that address these large pools of RAM you're not going to see massive leaps of RAM usage.

http://www.intel.com/technology/memo...CC_results.htm

You're still going to see most boards be 8GB, a decent amount maxing out at 16GB, and a few at 32GB. You're not going to suddenly see 64GB or 128GB motherboard systems anytime soon.

OS 10.6 can access orders of magnitude more, but unless Apple suddenly jumps into the Enterprise vertical market and offers Sun caliber Servers or pushes GRID distributed computing with CLOUD services that can create a cluster of systems that acts as a giant virtual SuperComputer it seems more of a marketing gimmick than anything else.

I'd love to see 10.6 suddenly enter into Real-time Engineering simulations of Heat Transfer, Fatigue, Control Systems, HVAC, etc., Military applications, and offer partnerships with companies to provide Rackmount solutions for this but so far I'm not buying into it.

400 Mac mini's in a cluster don't cut it.

Replacing Virginia Tech's cluster doesn't cut it.

Again, giant render farms for a few select clients don't cut it. This isn't Apple's sole responsibility, but Intel and today's in-flux market of SD to HD viewing for the general consumer hasn't been flushed out and now a common experience.

I'd love to have a Mac Pro that suddenly allows for 128GB of RAM. That will be a while.
post #24 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post


I'd love to see 10.6 suddenly enter into Real-time Engineering simulations of Heat Transfer, Fatigue, Control Systems, HVAC, etc., Military applications, and offer partnerships with companies to provide Rackmount solutions for this but so far I'm not buying into it.

I think that's a niche market and being in the industry I think I've got a right to say that. Most analysis is still done on desktops and, if you're lucky, 64-bit servers running 32GB of RAM. Last place had a few "super servers" as we called them but it was far, far from real-time. It still took hours to get what you were really after (possibly as little as 20-30 mins if you weren't after very much and there weren't many people on the server). If we modeled the way they did back in the day I suppose it's possible that we could have real-time solutions but with all the increase in computer horsepower all we do is refine the hell out of the models.

For a frame of reference the average employment of the last two companies is around 200k.
post #25 of 47
This basically means Apple is 3 to 5 years behind Microsoft.

Windows XP x64 was launched in 4/2005, and contains full x64 kernel (including 64bit memory access and 64bit device drivers) with 32bit apps compatibility.

Later Vista x64 was launched in late 2006, and truly brought 64bit computing to everyday desktop.

So Apple will join 64bit desktop in late 2009. It was about time...

--

Same with PAE support (36bit memory addressing), available since Win 2000 Server (I think Apple had it late as well, since Tiger, ie. 2005):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension
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post #26 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

This basically means Apple is 3 to 5 years behind Microsoft.

Windows XP x64 was launched in 4/2005, and contains full x64 kernel (including 64bit memory access and 64bit device drivers) with 32bit apps compatibility.

Later Vista x64 was launched in late 2006, and truly brought 64bit computing to everyday desktop.

So Apple will join 64bit desktop in late 2009. It was about time...

Nice fodder. Highly inaccurate, but still interesting for trolling.
post #27 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Nice fodder. Highly inaccurate, but still interesting for trolling.

Aww, but he's a newbie
post #28 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

but still interesting

Well, OS X means nothing in servers (unlike Microsoft), means absolutely nothing in enterprise solutions (unlike Microsoft), and they are less and less welcomed as a choice for professional desktop (Vista x64 is). New Adobe CS4 suite runs better on Vista. Even Flash is about 2-4x faster on Vista. Let's face it, Apple does not focus on "invisible" things for end-users like kernel, memory management, etc. They focus on easily marketable stuff. This has influence on their development efforts as well. While their GUI *is* pretty and usable (for some), their kernel lacks behind competition. Developers focus instead on "stars" in Time Machine..

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...player-10.html

But - I am very pleasantly surprised that Apple will (finally) go full 64bit route. It seemed to me they lost their focus on professionals completely during last 3-4 years, marketing MP3 players and selling music.
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post #29 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

Well, OS X means nothing in servers (unlike Microsoft), means absolutely nothing in enterprise solutions (unlike Microsoft), and they are less and less welcomed as a choice for professional desktop (Vista x64 is). New Adobe CS4 suite runs better on Vista. Even Flash is about 2-4x faster on Vista. Let's face it, Apple does not focus on "invisible" things for end-users like kernel, memory management, etc. They focus on easily marketable stuff. This has influence on their development efforts as well. While their GUI *is* pretty and usable (for some), their kernel lacks behind competition. Developers focus instead on "stars" in Time Machine..

http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...player-10.html

But - I am very pleasantly surprised that Apple will (finally) go full 64bit route. It seemed to me they lost their focus on professionals completely during last 3-4 years, marketing MP3 players and selling music.

Actually, MS, at this point, means very little to servers as most have gone the Linux route. Same can be said for enterprise solutions as well as professional engineering desktops. I can't speak to other professions but I can tell you that Vista 64 is the very last thing any engineer I've ever seen wants on his/her computer. In fact, at my last job we got 64 bit boxes but we ran RedHat on them and used VMWare for Windows since Linux is so much better for hard core processing of data.

I'm assuming you didn't read the article if you're stating they don't focus on things like the kernel or memory management so I'll give you some time to read it. Also, there's some previous posts on AI about memory management and how, in 10.6, it's vastly superior than what MS has.
post #30 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Actually, MS, at this point, means very little to servers as most have gone the Linux route.

Plain wrong

Just look at webservers running Microsoft IIS (with Windows 2003/2008 server), rising all the time due to excellent ASP.NET/C#/Visual Studio (and please note that Apache can run on Windows as well, thus Apache != Linux):



http://news.netcraft.com/archives/we...er_survey.html

(Microsoft) Exchange - even iPhone had to include support for it, to be even considered by few individuals in companies (against Windows Mobile and RIM). There is not better email than Exchange (yes, I am also considering the price)

As for "kernel and memory management" - as I pointed out, Windows had PAE years before OS X, Windows also had full 64bit support years before OS X. Adobe CS4 Suite (most widely used "professional suite") is faster and more stable on Vista x64 (comparing to Leopard).

Speaking strictly about kernel and memory management - Apple is trying to catch Microsoft here...
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post #31 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

Plain wrong

Just look at webservers running Microsoft IIS (with Windows 2003/2008 server), rising all the time due to excellent ASP.NET/C#/Visual Studio (and please note that Apache can run on Windows as well, thus Apache != Linux):

(Microsoft) Exchange - even iPhone had to include support for it, to be even considered by few individuals in companies (against Windows Mobile and RIM). There is not better email than Exchange (yes, I am also considering the price)

As for "kernel and memory management" - as I pointed out, Windows had PAE years before OS X, Windows also had full 64bit support years before OS X. Adobe CS4 Suite (most widely used "professional suite") is faster and more stable on Vista x64 (comparing to Leopard).

Speaking strictly about kernel and memory management - Apple is trying to catch Microsoft here...

Ok, so they are trying to catch them but with 10.6 they are leaping (like a leopard) far ahead of them.

Also, I wasn't talking about webservers (guess I should have clarified). I'm talking production servers - servers that process data in massive quantities. You'll never find an engineering house with a windows server - the IT people would flat out laugh at you... Well, I suppose if you were an itty bitty company you might have a windows server but the likelihood of you having a server at all as an itty bitty company is small anyway.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigmc6000 View Post

Ok, so they are trying to catch them but with 10.6 they are leaping (like a leopard) far ahead of them.

No. 64bit memory addressing, 64bit device drivers, this is what Windows offered on destop since 2005 (Windows XP x64) and was mainstream since late 2006 (Vista x64). No (Apple) leaping far ahead, but catching Microsoft from behind.

Face the facts.

Today, without any doubt, the best platform for professional designers is Vista x64. Photoshop CS4 runs best there, according to any test. Faster, absolutely stable, and truly 64bit. That is Windows. Apple has nothing like that, and -they do not even care-. They do NOT focus on professional market segments anymore, rather on "fashion accessories", which does make sense for shareholders, as it is much bigger segment. They do not seem to have enough developers to cover both.

It seems to me though they still want to regain the (professional) market with OS 10.6, thus catching up on Vista x64 innovations from 2005/2006.

Btw, most Leopard major new "features" like Time Machine are found in Vista (called "Shadow files/folders" and accesible via Complete PC backup applications; but no stars, sorry, just 100% reliable backup and acces to your old files), but launched year earlier. Or parental controls, DVD player, media streaming (from WMP11 to XBox 360), Windows Presentation Foundation (vs Core Animation), Windows Live Messenger (vs obsolete iChat) -- generally all highly acclaimed OS X Leopard new features had Vista one year before :-)

Apple no longer innovates their product. Well, they even lied about Leopard being first true 64bit OS, but this was too much for "IT educated" crowd, and was taken down from their website later on. I was OS X 10.2 user btw (PowerBook G4), nicely build machine, but today Apple lost almost all of their former credibility. They focus on trendy items, not professional tools and development.

I am now so much more happy with Vista x64, and free (as in freedom) due to unlimited HW and application choice and support
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post #33 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

No. 64bit memory addressing, 64bit device drivers, this is what Windows offered on destop since 2005 (Windows XP x64) and was mainstream since late 2006 (Vista x64). No (Apple) leaping far ahead, but catching Microsoft from behind.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...e_64_bits.html
post #34 of 47
rADo said
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...Btw, most Leopard major new "features" like Time Machine are found in Vista ...

That may be true.

Apple's accomplishment was to inform the masses that backup was important, affordable, and achievable (at least beyond zero backup) - and provide a tool that people who don't care about computers could use with minimal effort.

No argument, the stars are....well, whatever they are. But if it gets someone interested enough to actually backup it's worth it.
Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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Emailing video from iPhone to Apple TV , sort of..
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post #35 of 47
I've tried to follow this thread about the advantages of Snow Leopard and they appear to be worth it. But what I'd really like to know is if ever a 4GB memory stick for the current iMac (PC-6400 DDR2 ram) is offered, would the existing hardware + Snow Leopard allow it? I saw a big difference between the base 2 GB and when I upgraded to the current max of 4GB. 8GB sounds enticing!
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

This basically means Apple is 3 to 5 years behind Microsoft.

Windows XP x64 was launched in 4/2005, and contains full x64 kernel (including 64bit memory access and 64bit device drivers) with 32bit apps compatibility.

There was an absolute vacuum in terms of device driver support for the majority of the installed base of 3rd party hardware. And users encountered a whole new level of "DLL hell" brought on by having to deal with deciding which plug-ins you'd be using and whether you'd be better off using the 32-bit version of any given program for compatibility, or the 64-bit version of the program for memory and performance.

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Later Vista x64 was launched in late 2006, and truly brought 64bit computing to everyday desktop.

Except that for the first year and a half at least, the vast majority of switchers weren't actually using the 64-bit editions of Vista - Most manufacturers, even when were selling systems with 64-bit CPUs, were pre-installing 32-bit Vista for compatibility reasons.

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So Apple will join 64bit desktop in late 2009. It was about time...

Properly crafted programs have been able to use 64-bit processing and memory spaces (both system-wide physical, and per-process virtual) where appropriate since Mac OS X Tiger in 2005. Only the graphical front-ends were restricted to 32-bit.

When Leopard came out in 2007, every 64-bit ready computer system on which it was installed was automatically given a fully 64-bit userspace - both backends and graphical fontends could be 64-bit. There was no messing around with separate 32-bit and 64-bit editions.

The fact that the kernel was still 32-bit imposed some slight performance limitations, particularly during syscalls, but it would be categorically false to state that OS X Leopard isn't already a 64-bit computing platform.

Quote:
Same with PAE support (36bit memory addressing), available since Win 2000 Server
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension

To be completely honest about the situation, the properties of PAE which allow physical addresses beyond 4GB to be utilized, was silently removed from the 32-bit version of XP when SP2 was released due to a security bug that was easier to fix by removing the subsystem rather than repairing it. And it has never been a feature of 32-bit Vista. CPUs are still sent to PAE mode when available under these 32-bit operating systems because that is the only way to access the NX bit for security purposes - but the physical address space beyond 4GB is always totally ignored in 32-bit XP SP2+ and in Vista 32-bit.
Quote:
(I think Apple had it late as well, since Tiger, ie. 2005)

PAE would have been irrelevant prior to 2005 because the Macintosh platform didn't use the x86 architecture, to which PAE is unique.

The G5 was a fully 64-bit processor, so there was no need for any hardware equivalent to the PAE used by its contemporary 32-bit Intel CPUs. Mac OS X Panther was released in 2003 along with the PowerMac G5, and its kernel had a software layer allowing access to the full physical address space. (Processes were still limited to a 32-bit virtual address space, though, just like the state of Windows at the time.)
post #37 of 47
Quick question... these articles are written by RoughlyDrafted ?
They seem to have the same subtle slant all the way through, but with better focus.

(I enjoy roughlydrafted... just have to be careful about the bias).
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

None of this stuff will compel "consumers" to upgrade to Snow Leopard. If Apple is going to offer this as a paid upgrade, and not free, there'll have to be several major obvious "new things". Cocoa touch?

Apple knows that this OS is going to BREAK things. There will be problems. And hardware will be left behind (I'll be surprised if it supports 32bit Intel, actually).

As such, they are
1) going all out to minimise such breakage, make it all go smoothly
2) trying to make Snow Leopard look identical to Leopard
3) minimising the attractiveness of Snow Leopard until it's ready for everyone to jump aboard.

It's what Apple did with the Intel transition - every machine transitioned but looked identical (except MacBooks... which got a new look). Average users figured it was all simple enough, no stress & no problems. Those in the know LEAPT to the Intels.

I think Snow Leopard is going to be a great improvement, really glad they're doing it. It should probably be OS 11. But Apple won't compel anyone to upgrade until it's perfect and all the drivers are updated etc.
post #39 of 47
If Apple release a much more efficient Snow Leopard which speeds up older machines considerably, I think they'll definitely charge for the privilege. If everyone got the free update and their macs ran faster it may significantly delay their perceived need to upgrade to newer, faster Mac hardware.

Thus people more in the know about the advantages of Snow Leopard may purchase it knowing the investment keeps their existing mac hardware more competitive for longer, or buy a new mac with SL for free and get a *much* faster computer. But either way Apple gets money from them.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

New Adobe CS4 suite runs better on Vista. Even Flash is about 2-4x faster on Vista. This has influence on their development efforts as well.
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post...player-10.html

I use the CS suite on a daily basis on Windows and Mac, depending on the individual projects. Just because an application is 64 Bit compatible, it does not mean that it runs better, I would say the Mac version of the Adobe CS suite runs circles around Windows when it comes down to real world use, except for Acrobat and Flash.

Flash is faster on Windows because Macromedia slacked when developing the Mac version, and now Adobe is stuck with their crap-ass code. But fortunately it will all have to be rewritten in Cocoa. You see It's not slow due to the OS it's just crappy code.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

Let's face it, Apple does not focus on "invisible" things for end-users like kernel, memory management, etc. They focus on easily marketable stuff.

What!!! All Apple has been doing is working on invisible things, how do you think technologies such as CoreAnimation, CoreVideo, CoreAudio, Spotlight, Spaces, and TimeMachine are possible. If you follow Mac forums you'll realize that Apple is huge on the invisibles. The new OS Snow Leopard is that much more work on the invisibles. The Mac's 2D engine is based on PDF, a huge undertaking that left MS scratching its head, and scrambled to produce Longhorn Vista, which turned out to be somewhat of a disaster. The Mac file-system has been going through constant changes too, in the next few years we're expecting ZFS to be fully implemented. The Mac OS is a much safer OS than Windows, I'm yet to meet someone who uses an anti-virus or anti-spam software on their Mac, how is that possible you say? You got it! It's those pesky little invisible things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

But - I am very pleasantly surprised that Apple will (finally) go full 64bit route. It seemed to me they lost their focus on professionals completely during last 3-4 years, marketing MP3 players and selling music.

Apple has been talking 64 bit since the G5, I applaud their decision to force Cocoa on developers because it forces them to recode, and fresh code is always better than classic code. Apple's implementation of 64 bit technology is much more advanced than Windows implementations, Apple did a lot of those invisible things you talked about earlier. Checkout some in-depth articles here on AI about 64 Bit implementation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rADo View Post

While their GUI *is* pretty and usable (for some), their kernel lacks behind competition. Developers focus instead on "stars" in Time Machine..

Before TimeMachine I never properly backed up my PC or Mac, all I did was RAID-1 my drives. But now my MacPro uses RAID-1 with an additional internal drive dedicated to TimeMachine. Works beautifully, I don't even think about it, I've used similar software before on Windows but nothing as transparent as TimeMachine, thanks to all those invisibles.
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