The Reinvention of Apple Computer

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  • Reply 61 of 152
    amorphamorph Posts: 7,112member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    Apple only having 1 "external" 5.25" drive bay and 2 hard drive bays in the G5 case is just typical Jobsian design philosophy. Ie, why put in 3 to 4 SATA channels when only 5% of the customers will use them all.



    The only reason we will see a case change is when customers make it the number 1 demand. That also means Apple has to put it more SATA channels in the I/O ASIC, which I'm not sure Apple is willing to do. With drives getting so large, the percentage of customers who will want that many drive bays will only get smaller and smaller.



    [...]



    At some point Apple should also add in RAID options too.




    Why would Apple add any more support for RAID than they currently have if they're only going to ship a system with two drives? You can't run RAID 5 without at least three.



    I think we will see hardware RAID support (borrowed, again, from Xserve) and three drives (borrowed from Xserve, whose controller supports 3 SATA channels).



    Quote:

    The G4 class CPU is dead to Apple. They have zero need for it past 1.25 GHz. With the 970fx at 66 sq mm, it'll be plenty cheap enough to put in low-end machines (eMacs, iBooks and the like) in about 8+ months. In 2005, Apple will probably have the option of using a 970 derived processor with 1 MB L2 cache and multithreading for their high end processor.



    The putative VX would be cheaper still, and (most important for the 'Books) it could run substantially cooler than either the 970fx or the 7457. On the consumer desktop side, the cooler the CPU, the more design options Ives can entertain.
  • Reply 62 of 152
    thttht Posts: 5,536member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Amorph

    If the 970fx does really well on the cost and efficiency fronts as the fab process matures, certain of Apple's lines might be able to limp along on the 7455a and 7457 until Apple can stuff G5s in everything (at which point the towers will sport the POWER5-derived CPU. This is the best case, and one that I don't consider likely.



    I think this is the likeliest scenario.



    Quote:

    What I see as more likely is that Apple figured they'd need something under the 970, so at about the time they started work on GPUL with IBM, or not long after, they started the VX project to replace the G3. There is no particular reason why this CPU can't use Elastic Bus, although it might not ship with the same 2:1 ratio that the towers use.



    Why waste time doing this when just plugging in a low MHz 970fx would solve the same problem?
  • Reply 63 of 152
    thttht Posts: 5,536member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by dealing_death

    Quite a few people have said something like this about bigger XServes. If it were true, however, no >2 CPU boxes would exist. Maybe we should call up IBM and tell them that we at AI just had some amazing insight, and they should stop bothering with their midrange midrange pSeries.



    Not every problem can be solved with clustering.




    I take your point, but I think IBM is getting the idea pretty quick since they are gradually offering more and more 1U servers. There is of course some room for the high-end stuff, but that is quite far away from Apple's server market.



    In the context of Xserves and Apple, why should they do it? It doesn't add any value for Apple. Unless, Apple thinks it should cut into IBM's mainframe business? If the idea of an 8-way Xserve is to add more computational power, then it really isn't worth Apple's time since a 4 1U Xserves will do about the same job.
  • Reply 64 of 152
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    10. Apple will never ever, never buy Pixar. Apple will never ever become a record label.



    I think people are forgetting that Apple already thought about buying Universal Music, but they decided not to because it would cost too much. Apple never bid, but they were more then likely in discussions. Why would Apple deny bidding, but not deny being in discussions? This means Apple is/was interested in entering this arena.
  • Reply 65 of 152
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,686member
    Quote:

    I think people are forgetting that Apple already thought about buying Universal Music, but they decided not to because it would cost too much. Apple never bid, but they were more then likely in discussions. Why would Apple deny bidding, but not deny being in discussions? This means Apple is/was interested in entering this arena



    Apple never had any intention of bidding for Universal - they were obviously just in negotiation to get music rights for the iTunes store.



    That story was silly season nonsense written by journalists who knew nothing about what was going on.



    it makes no sense for Apple to buy Pixar, they don't have any business as content providers.They don't sell movies through any mechanism. They never will - not without massive increases in internet bandwidth capabilities. They have said this. It makes sense.



    It doesn't make any sense to buy Apple records either; nor would Yoko, Paul, Ringo, and the Harrison estate ever think of selling. Apple Records is privately owned.



    It makes no sense for Pixar to be bought by Apple, exactly how the CEO would sell that to the Pixar owners ( i.e. the shareholders ) is beyond me. A shareholder revolt or a class action suit would ensue.



    I think people are getting caught up in the fact that Apple has the same name as a record company; and, by pure circumstance - the same CEO as a animated movie company. But all that means nothing, really.
  • Reply 66 of 152
    jadejade Posts: 379member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by THT

    Bah, Faeylyn is making it up.



    6. I believe the next Powerbook will be a Powerbook G5. It is by far the most sensible thing for Apple to do. They really can't afford to do multiple "advanced" architectures anymore. So, at most, Apple is waiting on the 90nm 970fx to become plentiful and for a 90nm system ASIC. It is simply stupid for Apple to develop another system ASIC with 333 MHz FSB for a G4 architecture when the G5 is wholly adequate if not the best option. Simply add 6 to 8 months to the last Powerbook G4 release to determine when a Powerbook G5 will come out, which will be the late March to May time frame.













    I agree, i think the new g4s will stay in the ibooks, but the powerbooks will move to g5



    Quote:





    8. push the iMac to the 800 to 1500 USD, and the new headless Mac will be in the 1300 to 1800 USD range. If they don't, I think it'll be retired after the 1.25 GHz revision and the iMac 15" will be pushed to to 800 to 1000 USD while the 17" and 20" will be in the prosumer range. It is only popular because it is the cheapest Mac.




    The headless prices are much too high.. Apple is aiming for the sweet spot in the desktop market...which is apx $800-$1200. A superdrive less cube for $999 is ridiculous is in today's environment..especially with current levels of RAM and hard disk and video standard equipment.



    Quote:






  • Reply 67 of 152
    Quote:

    10. Apple will never ever, never buy Pixar. Apple will never ever become a record label.



    As true as it ever will be. At least now. We dont know where Apple stands 15 years into the future...
  • Reply 68 of 152
    mattyjmattyj Posts: 898member
    Perhaps th einternals will get a massive upgrade, such as a radeon 9600 in the bottom model?



    I doubt prices will decrease, but perhaps the spec will finally start to justify the price. For example, Powermacs might not be out now, as Apple may want to release them with the next gen ATi chips.
  • Reply 69 of 152
    mikemike Posts: 138member
    There is no way Apple will produce an 8-way X-Serve. Dell, according to my sources, dropped the new 8-way Xeon MP machine. 2-way and 4-way machines are getting too powerful and too cheap to justify the development of an 8-way machine. What we can do with clusters now one could only dream about just 5 years ago.



    A machine to equal the power of my new database cluster would have cost me over a million dollars just 5 years ago. When you get into the realm of an 8-way server you start dealing with much more then just 8 cpu's. Apple server hardware is nowhere ready for 8-way...I would rather have IBM or SUN for this level of hardware.
  • Reply 70 of 152
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    What, exactly, is the criteria used to determine one "less-than-five-posts" poster being a complete nutball troll and another being worthy of "hmmm, you might be on to something" status?







    Simply the quality of their writing and use of some big, smart-sounding words and phrases? Interesting.



    This thread goes on for two pages, spurring all kinds of "serious" discussion, while others of equally "yeah, right..." vibe get hammered. Or locked.



    This of course, coming from a guy (me) who doesn't believe anyone anymore, so...







    At least he's not claiming to have gotten some Apple employees drunk on the eve of Macworld...







    So he's got THAT going for him...



    Welcome to AI. I guess.
  • Reply 71 of 152
    People keep saying there is no advantage to >2 processors in a single machine, but that is just bunk. Processors in the same box are shared memory machines, and for some kinds of processing this is a huge advantage over a cluster. Toss in a dual core PPC and you have an 8 processor box. There is a market for it, but it is a subset of the market for the 1U XServe. This is what Elastic Bus was designed for.



    The "IBM G4" most likely would not use Elastic Bus (and therefore not have SMP support), and it wouldn't require a different ASIC. Why? Because it'll have an on-chip memory controller and a HyperTransport bus port. If Apple is closely involved in this chip's development (and why wouldn't they be?) then we might also see more functionality mixed in, such as their DMA controller and whatever other magic lives in the G5's memory controller ASIC. This is exactly the kind of chip development that IBM is pushing. As an IBM designed PPC of 750 lineage w/ AltiVec on their 90nm SOI process, speeds approaching 2 GHz at really low power levels seem entirely reasonable. This chip ought to compete just fine with Intel's Centrino line. Might even be able to go dual core by the 65nm process node.





    While I'm skeptical that Apple Computer will turn itself into a media company, I am quite certain that Apple executives are (and have been) burning the midnight oil trying to figure out how to hold onto this music market that they have a tenuous grip on. Being able to offer unique content is certainly one option, but it doesn't seem like a big enough draw for Apple to continue growing this part of its business... or even keep it as healthy as it already is. What does seem obvious (at least to somebody completely removed from the music business) is that we are on the verge of a potential revolution in how music is created and sold. Ever since they realized that they missed the boat on recordable CDs, Apple has been aggressively chasing everything to do with music technology. Now they provide all sorts of technology to help creators do their thing, they are helping publishers do their publishing, and they are helping customers enjoy the end product. The only piece that seems to be missing is the direct link from creator to publisher. This is kind of like desktop publishing for music, and it seems like such an insanely cool idea that its hard to believe that somebody somewhere isn't going to do it -- so why not Apple? They've got a DRM system to protect the creator's rights, and the distribution/sales system to get the content to the customer and the money back to the creator. This is a gross over-simplification, but that is where acquiring a real label would come into the picture. And that is where the seperation into two companies would come into it... to avoid the conflict of interest. The iTMS and technology half of things would remain with Apple Computer, the content side of things would become the new Apple Studios (nee Records).







    Interesting idea anyhow. Interesting initial post(s) on this thread -- certainly well thought out and presented. They are all plausible enough that I wouldn't be surprised to see all of them come true in the next year or two. At the same time they are optimistic enough that it feels more like a wish list. Ah well, hope springs eternal...
  • Reply 72 of 152
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bangstudios



    In addition, I can see a band like "Pearl Jam" (who just got out of their record deal) buying into iTMS big time ... a few of those, and iTMS as a distribution label is a reality. Add a section for GB musicians, and you've performed a coup.



    -John




    ... as great as it would be if Apple could create a "slash-dot" for music, and make it pay ... the problem is the major labels are scared stiff of any such thing, and would do everything possible to crucify Apple if it tried.



    ... all-the-while, over on the side lines is Uncle Bill smiling, shaking hands, and handing out business cards to the effect that - "hey, we want to turn the home computer into a closed appliance, with full DRM everything - ain't this exactly what you big media content guys want anyway? All you've got to do is buy into OUR WM format and OUR DRM - and look, Apple just screwed you! - so what have you got to loose? C'mon, get a clue guys, you're more or less a monopoly, and we're definitely a monopoly ... if we don't work together to keep everything the same, there's no place to go but down!"





    The truth is, with the power of a G5, and a few tens of thousands of dollars (not many, just a few), anybody with a decent garage and a half decent sense of taste - and a bit of time on their hands (let's be generous and say, one person in 100 who buys a MIDI/DigAudio system hoping to be a star), can put out stuff as good or better than any of the major labels can ... and - shock of shocks - with some means of internet distribution, make a living at it, no big labels required!



    It's not like the big labels don't know this.



    Suddenly in North America alone, you'd have at least 10,000 good new acts - in just about any style of music! - to choose from! People setting up their own Internet radio stations, distribution networks, (based on their own agreements that cuts out the dinosaurs) ... and the major labels would be reduced to simply picking winners from a pool of artists who would have far more clout/leaverage/independence/income than those now, who - comparatively - have a choice between continuing their careers in landscaping/dry-wall/hospitality, or signing away their souls for the chance of doing what they love full time, and maybe one day getting paid for it.



    So, do the arithmetic - if you're a media dinosaur, and see your justification for existence being threatened (or even if you just identify with this group - like say, if you're Uncle Bill, and fear the independence P2P gives - which is the unspoken multiplyer on the other half of the equation that makes computers/Internet more than just worth while) ... then action must be taken ... and it has!



    Whoever it was that bought MPG.com, (Polygram? Vivendi?) has - just short of the very words coming out of their mouths - made it very clear that they bought it just so they could shut it down. Why? was it failing? Was it a money pit? No, they shut it down becaues it was working! Even the internet archive - an open , well funded project, independent of the music bizz - offered to archive the contents of MP3.com, all that they wanted to do was get an archive of all the tunes - crappy or not - on MP3.com. No way said the parent company - so (apparently) the hard drives have been wiped, and years of independent artistic community work - that was making a profit AND starting to give a few artists a reasonable chance at an independent living - dissappeared.



    You can just hear the labels collectively breathing a sigh of "Whew, that was close!"



    Look, there is a huge revolutionary system that could be tapped into - but it would take time, and it would take incredible risk - such that Apple would find a way to offer it's DRM to small independent artists, and create a kind of MP3.com of it's own ... ensuring that Artists got paid, and that cut out the big media gate keepers.



    But it's such a huge risk, and the price Apple would pay by pissing off the big media it depends on to give it's format and DRM legitimacy, makes it rather unlikely.



    (At least for now)
  • Reply 73 of 152
    Quote:

    Originally posted by OverToasty

    ... as great as it would be if Apple could create a "slash-dot" for music, and make it pay ... the problem is the major labels are scared stiff of any such thing, and would do everything possible to crucify Apple if it tried.



    .

    .

    .



    But it's such a huge risk, and the price Apple would pay by pissing off the big media it depends on to give it's format and DRM legitimacy, makes it rather unlikely.



    (At least for now)




    You make some EXCELLENT points (I know that I agree with you when I find myself getting rather pissed off as I read your post), and after some careful consideration I must agree -- as angry as it makes me.



    This is precisely why I haven't purchased a new CD in over two years -- not because I want to pirate music (I don't; I either buy used discs or used LPs), but because I cannot, in good faith, support an industry that acts in this way. Naive? Maybe, but I'm not going to buy into their severely flawed business model.



    My $0.02,



    -John
  • Reply 74 of 152
    with the shambles of of the media market and the way it is right now... I think this is a viable outlook. While the other mp3 players out there aren't doing well at all, sure they in the future. But right now on the wintel side of the fence, there isn't any direction.... there isn't any focus... or any predictions in the future of it either.



    the media industry will soon be a lot smaller and there won't be the big 5 anymore... television broadcast revenue is down as is ad sales everywhere, and there a huge fallout of music sales that people attribute to stealing music, when in actuality its just obvious that the music thats out now sucks. I think apple could see the writing on the wall that there is a huge hole to jump into and be on top of the new media revolution that is to come. putting it into perspective the reason why I say this is because if you add an independent system of records sales online for any artist think of the possibilities. we couldn't be spoon fed all this craptastic music thats out.



    As for the pixar deal I have a feeling it won't be a full fledged merger... I'm sure it'll be a partner or some other deal. I have a distant thought actually there is going to be something with WB (time warner) and apple coming up. Maybe this is a cog in the wheel tho.
  • Reply 75 of 152
    Quote:

    Originally posted by OverToasty

    ...

    But it's such a huge risk, and the price Apple would pay by pissing off the big media it depends on to give it's format and DRM legitimacy, makes it rather unlikely.



    (At least for now)




    I can tell you that for now... the media industry is on the verge of collapsing. There's going to be a big fallout, as because they are trying to maintain control right now. With tivo players and mp3 players... I can see the writing on the wall... its going to be come like the way of the book publishing business...
  • Reply 76 of 152
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kraig911

    I can tell you that for now... the media industry is on the verge of collapsing. There's going to be a big fallout, as because they are trying to maintain control right now. With tivo players and mp3 players... I can see the writing on the wall... its going to be come like the way of the book publishing business...



    Explain yourself.
  • Reply 77 of 152
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,432member
    re: Keeping iTMS the leader.



    Well #1 They have to keep the sales popping. I just purchased 5 songs today and let's just say Pepsi and I will be close this month



    Next they need to isolate themselves from being controlled by the Big 5. Within 2 years Apple must have more tracks from independants than Big 5. Right now Apple will have a "ceiling" on their success because they are wholly dependent on the licensing of the Big 5. The more I think about it the more I realize that a future conflict is inevitable. Distribution and TV/Radio play is really the only thing that the large Distributors can offer at the price of giving them ownership of your music. The future is Internet Distribution and keeping the rights to your own IP. What established artist right now is not thinking of this right now. Double your profits and even if you sell half the copies you make the same.



    The problem is the 3 headed Cerebus. Stores/Radio/TV. Right now if your a Pearl Jam and want to self-distribute you are swimming upstream to get your product played on Clear Channel ahem I mean the Radio. TV exposure would be very diffcult as well.



    So to make this viable there has to be a way of getting that exposure. Perhaps Apple could create their own iTMS radio station playing the hot tracks of iTMS or perhaps they can take advantage of videos using iTMS as well. iTunes Music Store should morph into iTunes Media Store.



    I just don't see how Apple can succeed without damaging the Big 5. They are on divergent paths.
  • Reply 78 of 152
    mikemike Posts: 138member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Programmer

    People keep saying there is no advantage to >2 processors in a single machine, but that is just bunk. Processors in the same box are shared memory machines, and for some kinds of processing this is a huge advantage over a cluster. Toss in a dual core PPC and you have an 8 processor box. There is a market for it, but it is a subset of the market for the 1U XServe. This is what Elastic Bus was designed for.



    You are certainly correct that there are advantages to > 2 processors in a single box (more then even memory as you know). The only problem that Apple faces is diminishing return on investment the bigger they go. Apple should certainly come to market with a 4-way machine.



    The big question is how does Apple hardware compare to Dell's. This is who they will be competing against. I am getting ready to order a G5 x-serve to test in our database cluster (with Dell 1750's). We have been talking to Apple for a couple months about the new x-serve. My only hold-up has been the memory limit of the G4 x-serve. This is what Apple will be competing against.



    I will be interested so see if Apple can share mother board design cost effectively with larger server hardware.
  • Reply 79 of 152
    rhumgodrhumgod Posts: 1,289member
    Regarding >2 processors in a box. Need I say more than xGrid? I think this is the starting point of doing away with huge workstations for someone other than, oh let's say Pixar.



    Regarding DRM and independents vs record labels, bahhhh.....record labels are too pig-headed to see the presence of independents as a threat. But it will come to that, and as others have said, it will be the falling of the record labels as we know it. Let's face it, they have to adapt to current and future trends in the business, or else they will go the way of the dodo. Good for them too!



    Look at people like Brad Sucks. I visit his sight once or twice a week to see if he's released anything new. Now he's on iTunes. It has started already. I'd love to hear what kind of deal, if any, he's made with Apple and the revenue made from the download of his iTunes.
  • Reply 80 of 152
    garypgaryp Posts: 150member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Faeylyn

    5. Display Update #2: Kill me now. Think large. Think ULTIMATE viewing experience.



    So, um, how large? 42 inches? Resolution? GUI scales to resolution so controls don't keep getting tinier? A revolution in resolution? A true canvas for the digital artist? Huge roll-up displays that compete with costly digital projectors? How about 60 inches?
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