Apple places unusual flash memory order

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Comments

  • Reply 101 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aga View Post


    First, it's easily the right amount for the next rollout of touch devices. But, that's not what I want to make a point on. Let's talk about the Math of USB software distribution.



    Cost to make and distribute a DVD:

    $ - Master DVD

    $ - Duplicate DVD

    $ - Package DVD

    $ - Distribute DVD

    $ - Shelf Space DVD (retail)

    $ - Ship DVD (online orders etc)



    Cost to make and distribute USB solution

    $ - Duplicate USB

    $ - Package USB

    $ - Distribute USB

    $ - Shelf Space USB (retail)

    $ - Ship USB (online orders etc)



    So, you can fill in the blanks, because I do not know what apple pays for their solutions. Here is what I do know. Apple can save money with USB in the following ways:

    - Duplication

    - Packaging

    - Distribution

    - Shelf Space

    - Warehouse Space



    Then, as others said, Snow Leopard may be a bit thinner / more compact. Without the legacy PPC code, more native Cocoa code, and other optimizations, Apple can easily fit more on less.



    Next, tagging a drive for some more security... keeping the hackers jumping through hoops... sure a lot of you are right and Apple would never do something like that.



    Speeding up the install process, what point is there in that?



    Mac Book Air? why would apple not want those people to buy another $100 device?



    Well, here's the answer you have all been waiting for (probably not, but it's the thing you have to be thinking about). How long does it take to install Mac OS X on 1 computer, 2 computers, 3 computers 4....?



    That's right folks, Apple has Big plans for these new little USB Installers. Plug one into your Airport Base or Time Machine Box, and you now have your network install. How do I know it will work? because I have set it up with other wireless routers, and the technology is old, tried, and true. The best part, now you can keep your install disk up to date along with your computers. Great thing is, now you can net boot your machine off the base. Great reason to buy another base. Oh, and a hardware key... Great way to add some other features but...



    The rest we should leave for Steve or our friend from Alabama to show.



    \



    Mastering a DVD costs $250. You think that's going to make a major difference?



    As I said before, it costs about 50 cents to make a duped DVD. It will cost far more to do it with a USB flash drive.
  • Reply 102 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaringDeveloper View Post


    Is the essence of your comment : "because Microsoft can't do it therefore Apple can't" ? If so, what makes you think the maker of the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPod shuffle/nano can't do better?



    This technology has been out for about three years now, I think. If it made so much of a difference for Apple, don't you think they would have already used it?



    It's very possible that it doesn't work as well as thought.



    This wouldn't be the first time something like that has happened.



    Theoretically, it should have been gangbusters, but all it was was a bust.



    It can be very difficult to predict how software will behave. I know we think that this is down to a science, but it's not.



    For many years they've tried to cut software development costs and time down, by coming out with various software development concepts that were more "scientific". Supposedly those methods should have worked. But they haven't. These methods have been tried for mainframe and minicomputer development, where costs to customer are very high.



    The problem is that writing software is still more than a bit of art.



    So when they tried the Robeson tech, they got a whole 5% speedup, even though from the theory, it should have been more like 30 to 50%. So far at least, no one has been able to figure out exactly why, and what to do about it. Maybe it can't be done.



    There's no reason to believe that Apple was any more successful in their own labs.



    But a good SSD CAN make a difference. The question is whether it's really such a useful thing to have an expensive, but small, start-up drive to cut some seconds off startup, shutdown, and app opening. It won't help with files, as they should be off the drive if possible anyway.



    Even if they can't, because it's a one drive internal system, these drives aren't very good for everyday use. Their write times are slow, they slow down as they fill up, and small file writes are really slow. Even small file reads aren't always as fast as they could be.



    And that's for a good drive. The intel "M" series is a good drive, and costs $700 for 160 GB. But writes are only fair, and it slows down.



    The intel "E" series has fast writes, but it costs $800 for an 80 GB drive.



    Maybe in another year.



    Meanwhile, for everyday use, other than for startup, and first time app opening in a session, getting as much RAM as possible will be much better. OS X does a VERY good job of caching in RAM. With enough memory, you may find that you aren't even needing the HDD for much activity.



    An example is Photoshop. PS isn't yet 64 bit, and some people are getting in a tizzy about it, but it isn't that important in OS X. In Windows it makes a big difference because Windows isn't that good at caching, and spawns processes that prevent it being done well. But on a Mac the difference won't be that much. If you have, say 16 GB RAM, PS will run at about the same speed whether it's 32 bit 0r 64 bit because of the caching.



    Forget about startup times, and buy more RAM.
  • Reply 103 of 128
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,201member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aga View Post


    First, it's easily the right amount for the next rollout of touch devices. But, that's not what I want to make a point on. Let's talk about the Math of USB software distribution.



    Cost to make and distribute a DVD:

    $ - Master DVD

    $ - Duplicate DVD

    $ - Package DVD

    $ - Distribute DVD

    $ - Shelf Space DVD (retail)

    $ - Ship DVD (online orders etc)



    Cost to make and distribute USB solution

    $ - Duplicate USB

    $ - Package USB

    $ - Distribute USB

    $ - Shelf Space USB (retail)

    $ - Ship USB (online orders etc)



    So, you can fill in the blanks, because I do not know what apple pays for their solutions. Here is what I do know. Apple can save money with USB in the following ways:

    - Duplication

    - Packaging

    - Distribution

    - Shelf Space

    - Warehouse Space



    Then, as others said, Snow Leopard may be a bit thinner / more compact. Without the legacy PPC code, more native Cocoa code, and other optimizations, Apple can easily fit more on less.



    Next, tagging a drive for some more security... keeping the hackers jumping through hoops... sure a lot of you are right and Apple would never do something like that.



    Speeding up the install process, what point is there in that?



    Mac Book Air? why would apple not want those people to buy another $100 device?



    Well, here's the answer you have all been waiting for (probably not, but it's the thing you have to be thinking about). How long does it take to install Mac OS X on 1 computer, 2 computers, 3 computers 4....?



    That's right folks, Apple has Big plans for these new little USB Installers. Plug one into your Airport Base or Time Machine Box, and you now have your network install. How do I know it will work? because I have set it up with other wireless routers, and the technology is old, tried, and true. The best part, now you can keep your install disk up to date along with your computers. Great thing is, now you can net boot your machine off the base. Great reason to buy another base. Oh, and a hardware key... Great way to add some other features but...



    The rest we should leave for Steve or our friend from Alabama to show.



    \



    Doesn't work for me, neither the cost nor the size of the target market demand an order of that scale. The amount of people who want multiple installs is minor & why would you deploy a principle copy of the OS on rewritable media?



    McD
  • Reply 104 of 128
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,289member
    China, anyone?
  • Reply 105 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I said?for developers, meaning Apple's OS revisions, like we have now with 10.5 updates, and 10.6 updates. According to your idea of no optical drive, and apparent horror at the thought of downloads, these would all have to be sent out on these sticks.



    I have absolutely no issues with DLs, in fact I think DLs are great, but when it comes to an OS you have to have main OS installation that is best done locally.. Apple's update files are big but I never implied that point updates and such would be better delivered via mail on USB flash drives, instead of delivered Software Update. My comment about putting OS X install dics that come with new Macs or being sold as upgrades in retail stores on USB flash drives. For instance, instead of buying a MBA with a couple DVDs that have to use another Mac in your household to install the OS, you can just pop in the USB drive and install it very fast locally. I'm surprised that the MBA doesn't already have this as standard because the other method is considerbly slower than even a local optical drive.



    Quote:

    I don't understand how you can see those as THE two choices. Very few computers come with Blu-Ray support of any kind. Only a handful of models, and except for those with one drive slot, portables, they all have DVD drives as well. I don't think it's clear at all. In a few years, maybe.



    Considering that the next major Mac notebook revision is due in a couple years, based on previous major revisions, my posting was based on a couple years from now. DVD's just hold so little data, are so slow to read and write, use up considerable amount of power and take up so much room in the machine. If Apple doesn't move to BRD then I don't see how they will possibly be keeping a CD/DVD drive in their notebooks.
  • Reply 106 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    I said before, it costs about 50 cents to make a duped DVD. It will cost far more to do it with a USB flash drive.



    Remove the cost of the optical drive and then factor the savings from not having to engineer a huge component along port side real estate. Then assume that Apple doesn't lower the price but touts this as the future of computing and Apple actually makes more money out of the deal.
  • Reply 107 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I have absolutely no issues with DLs, in fact I think DLs are great, but when it comes to an OS you have to have main OS installation that is best done locally.. Apple's update files are big but I never implied that point updates and such would be better delivered via mail on USB flash drives, instead of delivered Software Update. My comment about putting OS X install dics that come with new Macs or being sold as upgrades in retail stores on USB flash drives. For instance, instead of buying a MBA with a couple DVDs that have to use another Mac in your household to install the OS, you can just pop in the USB drive and install it very fast locally. I'm surprised that the MBA doesn't already have this as standard because the other method is considerbly slower than even a local optical drive.



    Even fir that, I don't see it as having much purpose. It will still cist much more to distribute that way. So, maybe, if Apple does this for JUST those machines without the optical drive, maybe it would work out, as a read only stick.



    But for everyone else, the 85%, that are left, no.



    Quote:

    Considering that the next major Mac notebook revision is due in a couple years, based on previous major revisions, my posting was based on a couple years from now. DVD's just hold so little data, are so slow to read and write, use up considerable amount of power and take up so much room in the machine. If Apple doesn't move to BRD then I don't see how they will possibly be keeping a CD/DVD drive in their notebooks.



    Now you are talking about two years from today. No one knows what will happen in two years. But we are talking about now, about the memory Apple has been said to have bought. Let's stick to that.
  • Reply 108 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Remove the cost of the optical drive and then factor the savings from not having to engineer a huge component along port side real estate. Then assume that Apple doesn't lower the price but touts this as the future of computing and Apple actually makes more money out of the deal.



    Stop talking about removing the optical drive. You'll just get people angry at yourself.



    Apple only removed the drive where they did because of the marketing required to show the lightest, and thinnest laptop. And most people aren't happy about a drive not being there either, as you know very well from all the discussion here about that.



    Maybe in four or five years, if Blu-Ray doesn't make it here, there will be some alternative. But we've got a way's to go for that.



    When you can back up 8.7 GB of data on a flash stick for 15 cents, then come back with your argument, because until then, its a poor one.
  • Reply 109 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Even fir that, I don't see it as having much purpose. It will still cist much more to distribute that way.



    I still don't see how distributing Mac OS X on a flash drive instead of on a DVD is going to cost much more to distribute. Unless you are using distribute to also include production, in which I hav accounted for the additional cost there.



    Quote:

    Now you are talking about two years from today. No one knows what will happen in two years. But we are talking about now, about the memory Apple has been said to have bought. Let's stick to that.



    I hav always been talking about a couple years from now, even when the new unibody Mac notebooks appeared last year and optical drives were still there. I predicted that optical drives will not included in the next revision. This batch of NAND could only get more certain if Apple publicly stated that it is for iPhone. I think LTMP post is quite convincing on that front.
  • Reply 110 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I still don't see how distributing Mac OS X on a flash drive instead of on a DVD is going to cost much more to distribute. Unless you are using distribute to also include production, in which I hav accounted for the additional cost there.



    Sol, how many times do I have to mention the considerable difference in cost between a DVD and a flash stick? "Murch brought that up as well. It's as though you passed right over those numbers, and I was being generous about the flash pricing.



    Quote:

    I hav always been talking about a couple years from now, even when the new unibody Mac notebooks appeared last year and optical drives were still there. I predicted that optical drives will not included in the next revision. This batch of NAND could only get more certain if Apple publicly stated that it is for iPhone. I think LTMP post is quite convincing on that front.



    We're talking about this year.
  • Reply 111 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Sol, how many times do I have to mention the considerable difference in cost between a DVD and a flash stick?



    I'm well aware of the price differences, but I think it's a very small part for the cost of the OS being shipped with new Macs notebooks if it allows for advances and cost savings in other areas.



    In my past three Macs the only optical disc that has been in them have OS installation discs. I know I'm atypical at this point, but I can't help but think this is inevitable. How long has it been since the average person has purchased a CD for music to store onto their computer in iTunes? I haven't purchases a music CD in years and have long since moved them to digital and got rid of my CDs. I think that people that still do by CDs are going to be fine and that it doesn't mean that optical drives will be obsolete by removing them from notebooks. With Apple's new optical drive sharing utility it becomes even easier and seems to be the start of this trend I speak of. I really don't think that Apple wants to support Blu-ray movies in any form, even if the drives were available and priced well, but I'll wait until Snow Leopard's release before solidifying my feelings on that front.





    Quote:

    We're talking about this year.



    Ireland has his Mac tablet, let me have my optical drive-free non-ultrathin Mac notebook. \
  • Reply 112 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm well aware of the price differences, but I think it's a very small part for the cost of the OS being shipped with new Macs notebooks if it allows for advances and cost savings in other areas.



    Well, how do you propose to do this?



    As I said, it might make sense to send it with the Air, but what about all the other machines that don't need it?



    If Apple shipped it with 13 million computers a year, that would be at least $26 million. Likely it would be more. The DVD's probably cost closer to $6 million to include.



    I don't see Apple doing that, do you? Look at how they don't include cheap adapters and such that can be far more important to most people.



    Quote:

    Ireland has his Mac tablet, let me have my optical drive-free non-ultrathin Mac notebook. \



    I don't want to squash your dream.
  • Reply 113 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by melgross View Post


    Well, how do you propose to do this?



    As I said, it might make sense to send it with the Air, but what about all the other machines that don't need it?



    If Apple shipped it with 13 million computers a year, that would be at least $26 million. Likely it would be more. The DVD's probably cost closer to $6 million to include.



    I would think it would cost them more like $5 a flash drive, not $2, but it doesn't have to be fast NAND or even super small to be a major improvement over an optical disc read times. But my cost saving isn't based on optical disc-to-flash drive, but mostly on optical drive-to-flash drive price comparisons.



    There is also engineering cost savings too, as now Apple would have another side to setup ports. While this isn't a popular theory, I think that the removal of FW-400 without the inclusion of an additional USB port of FW-800 port was due to limited side real estate. removing that 6" long slot that is never* used would alleviate that and allow for some radical design changes in the size of batteries and the placement of other components.



    I think it could mean for an even slimmer case design since that 9.5mm optical drive is the thickest item in the chassis that can be reduced. I don't care about thinner, but Apple does.



    However, as previously stated, if this was a forward thinking idea for Apple and there plan for obsolescing the optical drive in their notebooks I would have thought that they would have included a flash drive installer in the MBA, and not the slow optical disc sharing solution that they use now.



    * Hyperbole for hyperbole sake.
  • Reply 114 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I would think it would cost them more like $5 a flash drive, not $2, but it doesn't have to be fast NAND or even super small to be a major improvement over an optical disc read times. But my cost saving isn't based on optical disc-to-flash drive, but mostly on optical drive-to-flash drive price comparisons.



    There is also engineering cost savings too, as now Apple would have another side to setup ports. While this isn't a popular theory, I think that the removal of FW-400 without the inclusion of an additional USB port of FW-800 port was due to limited side real estate. removing that 6" long slot that is never* used would alleviate that and allow for some radical design changes in the size of batteries and the placement of other components.



    I think it could mean for an even slimmer case design since that 9.5mm optical drive is the thickest item in the chassis that can be reduced. I don't care about thinner, but Apple does.



    However, as previously stated, if this was a forward thinking idea for Apple and there plan for obsolescing the optical drive in their notebooks I would have thought that they would have included a flash drive installer in the MBA, and not the slow optical disc sharing solution that they use now.



    * Hyperbole for hyperbole sake.



    You're making a bad assumption though, which is that people are going to want what you want, which is no optical drive. That's a very bad assumption, and your concept of sending the OS on a flash drive must be constrained within the fact that Apple will be supplying optical drives for some time, likely several years, at least. Read times don't matter for the OS containing DVD. How often do you really need that? For most people, it's used maybe once, adding extra drivers, or other tools. Then it's put away for an emergency. Most of the time using it is for the install time, not the read time.



    Once you recognize that, most of your reasons disappear.



    People are simply not going to stand for not having an optical drive. It's been very clear from most posts on this subject about the Air, that people do want an optical drive, and that, if anything, they're annoyed about having to carry one with the machine.



    Laptop or not, unless we're talking about some netbook, I would always want an optical drive.



    Do you think that developers would be happy about having to move to flash rather than using CDs or DVDs? I don't think so.



    And even though Apple is pushing downloads, there are plenty of people who still buy CDs, and lots who buy DVDs. They won't be going away for some time. If Blu-Ray arrives on the Mac, that will make your scenario even less likely to come any time soon.



    Apple is also not going to make any changes of this magnitude to any of its line this year, and likely not next year either.



    You really have to keep your comparisons of price solely to the flash and DVD. The rest is far too much speculation on something you would like, but likely won't happen.
  • Reply 115 of 128
    uymanuyman Posts: 36member
    I wasn't paying attention to details. thanks.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    You aren't using your capitals. An uppercase 'B' means bytes and a lowercase 'b' means bits. I'm sure you know that there are 8 bits per one byte. So 128Gb equals 16GB, 32Gb equals 4GB, and so on.



    While they use bytes on the retail end to describe capacity, the production side is almost always bits.





    PS: There is also the seldom used IEC standard of Gibibyte (GiB) Mebibyte (MiB) to describe capacity in BASE-2. I wish this was the common usage as the HDD companies advertise their capacities using the SI standard of BASE-10, which is the exact same verbage as the common JEDEC standard of BASE-2 which makes people wonder why their 80GB HDD is only ~74GB, for example.



  • Reply 116 of 128
    Okay, here's an idea:



    What if, for some kind of security's sake, it was used as auxillary storage. In other words, you would now have a slate to store whatever you wanted on it. Accessed by the OS, but could be used to transfer data to another computer. So, when you plugged it into another computer, you would gain access to this dedicated storage but not the normal storage.



    It seems like an inelegant solution when compared to something like Air Sharing, but I could see it some how make headway for security concerns.
  • Reply 117 of 128
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,986member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cuppingmaster View Post


    Okay, here's an idea:



    What if, for some kind of security's sake, it was used as auxillary storage. In other words, you would now have a slate to store whatever you wanted on it. Accessed by the OS, but could be used to transfer data to another computer. So, when you plugged it into another computer, you would gain access to this dedicated storage but not the normal storage.



    It seems like an inelegant solution when compared to something like Air Sharing, but I could see it some how make headway for security concerns.



    I don't understand what you mean by dedicated vs normal storage.



    Flash drives are used for the purpose of moving files from one computer from another. What is the difference in your scheme?
  • Reply 118 of 128
    xpcxpc Posts: 12member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ireland View Post


    Strangely, I think that was insightful. You could be right, as easy as you could be wrong.



    I was only half joking - I was thinking of a new iPhone that "ditched the phone" and was basically a bluetooth-synched earpiece/voice recognition dialing mobile phone.



    But still, I'd be wrong even if I was right, because it would have turn by turn GPS built in somehow
  • Reply 119 of 128
    ajmasajmas Posts: 559member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PatsFan83 View Post


    You would think Apple would move away from physical mediums to something more like, say the Internet?



    A place where you control nothing and depend on someone you don't know with your data. No thanks. The cloud is over rated.
  • Reply 120 of 128
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,912member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I'm not following you on the revisions part of your post. Lets say it costs $5, not $2, for an 8GB flash disc containing the Mac OS X install for Macs shipped with no optical drive.



    It is kinda silky to even dis use the cost of the media. Yes I know CDROMs can be pressed for pennys but a dollar or two for a USB dongle isn't going to impact the profits on each OS sale all that much. The important thing is that a new OS distribution method frees up Apple to take fresh approaches to hardware.

    Quote:

    How much are they saving in HW costs alone from not including an optical drive? How much engineering time are they saving by not having to design around this biggest (to nearly biggest) component in notebooks that has to be positioned along a sidewall of all notebooks?



    Some really important points here. As to the box I'm not convinced that the media is all that expensive relative to the rest of the box. Ultimately when somebody buys an OS they are really paying for the bits on the delivery media.



    As to the physical size of the CD drive, I do hope that people wake up here as it is huge relative to the rest of the machine. I have an early 2008 MBP and frankly the drive doesn't get used that much. It would be far better to free up that space for other things like another Firewire 800 port and USB port. Place those along side an internal PCI Express storage slot and I'd be very happy. Even more so if the battery grew a little bit.



    Frankly an additional slot for more internal storage would free up my need for more ports. One of the biggest problems with laptops is the lack of "disk" space. So yeah drop that CD drive and stuff a little storage in there.

    Quote:



    Apple only has two choices for the next major notebook revision, either include Blu-ray (which I still can't find in 9.5mm sizes and are still cost prohibitive) or exclude optical drives altogether.



    Well that is a little bit of an ultimatum but I have to agree somewhat. The big issue is that the CD drive these days takes up a lot of room but offers little in return. It is just the wrong way to use the space.

    Quote:

    that doesn't mean exclude them from their desktop lines as there is still plenty of room and port real estate or to not offer an external option, like they do for the MBA, but I think it's clear that CD/DVD drives as being a requirement for notebooks is dying and I think Apple will be the first to jump head first into that movement.



    Cd drives certainly don't factor heavily into how I use a laptop. In fact I think the have a negative impact as they actually reduce functionality and hijack space better suited for other things. For example imagine a MBP set up with three or more internal slots for "drives" where said drives could be raided together. Given that those drives could be SSD that would vastly change performance expectations for pro laptops.



    I quoted drives above because I see flux in the industry, this we could be talking about 2.5 inch drives, 1.8 inch drives or SSD on PCI Express cards. Given the selection of the right tech laptops could move from hohum disk I/O to work station class. Dumping the Internal CD drive makes this a snap while enabling other feature possibilities.



    Given all of that my interest isn't in performance out of that array but rather a massive increase in storage space. The puny laptop drives are simply not acceptable. As to RAIDing the drives, why not once you get past two you might as well leverage the arraingement in a modern way.



    In a nut shell that CD drive is a massive waste of space and OS distribution on a USB dongle makes elimination of that drive possible.





    Dave
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