The Promise of PowerPC

in General Discussion edited January 2014 now has the PBS' Computer Chronicles online and their archive spans 19 years!

Here's a great episode I found from 1994 that focused exclusively on the *new* PowerPC technology. In it are people from Apple and possible the very first "Pentium Bake-off".

Keep in mind this is pre-1995 (no Windows 95)

Click me!

For those of you who don't want to see all, but want to see some classic parts, skip to about 17 minutes into program for the Pentium bake-off. They attribute the Pentium's poor performance to inferior "CISC" technology.

Exactly 10 minutes into the video, they demonstrate Photoshop running on a new PowerMac.

About 23 minutes into the program, they demonstrate SoftWindows, the first Windows emulator for the PowerPC and run "a very important" Windows app called Solitaire.

{Edit: Oh, and that Microsoft chick 7 minutes into the program is hot }


  • Reply 1 of 8
    jante99jante99 Posts: 539member
    The best part of the show is that HP sponsors it and that they give a 1-800 number to call for help in accessing the Computer Chronicle website. The bake off is funny also. The Mac loads three 3d graphs in the time it takes a PC to load one.

    In ten years will a show like this be made about the 970?
  • Reply 3 of 8
    What could have been.

    There's somethings sad about watching the anticipated promise of PowerPC on a RealPlayer stream. Just reminds you of all the opportunities Apple has had over the years, and how they have managed to screw them all up.

    ps I can't imagine Photoshop without layers!
  • Reply 4 of 8
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    The PPC still has a lot of promise. It has a tight instruction set for scalar instructions as well as a fuuly functional SIMD unit right on the chip. IT's a transitionary architecture between fully scalar and fully vector processors. And don't think for a second that the future isn't all about SIMD.

    The year at 500Mhz is why we're behind now. The 970 should help. But we all know this.
  • Reply 5 of 8
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    The footage of the programmer/engineer guy at Somerset in the sleeveless wife-beater...priceless.
  • Reply 6 of 8
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member

    Originally posted by Splinemodel

    The year at 500Mhz is why we're behind now. The 970 should help. But we all know this.

    Versus AMD, the MHz gap is shrinking...1.6 GHz Opterons are shipping right now, with 1.8 GHz CPUs coming in June. Of course, who knows when and at what speeds PPC970 will come initially.
  • Reply 7 of 8
    An in-depth look at the new Macintosh

    It's from early 1985 and demos the Macintosh.
  • Reply 8 of 8
    I believe Apple management's selection (back in '98/99) of Moto/AltiVec over IBM/Faster processors have made Mac the nitch platform it is today.

    On the other hand, Apple has done a masterful job of diverting the Mac faithful's attention from their huge hardware price/performance gap:

    \t(1) Selected Photoshop bake-offs

    \t(2) Digital Hub, and now iApps

    \t(3) SWITCH campaign (OS9 to OSX)

    \t(4) Apple Store opening galas

    \t(5) Year-of-HUGE-Laptops

    \t(6) iPod and other Music diversions

    I just hope 'waiting-for-the-970' is worth it over the long haul.
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