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Mac OS X Snow Leopard Discussion

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crazzyyfool    29
so would mi iBook G4 be considered a PPC? I wanted to maybe get leopard for it, it doesnt have to be snow leopard.

Yup, Your'e iBook is PPC. Leopard will work fine on it.

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Lasker    0
so would mi iBook G4 be considered a PPC? I wanted to maybe get leopard for it, it doesnt have to be snow leopard.

You can install Leopard if your iBook processor is over 867mhz of power. I don't think you can install Leopard with less than that.

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Simon    177
so would mi iBook G4 be considered a PPC? I wanted to maybe get leopard for it, it doesnt have to be snow leopard.

Yeah, that'd be a PPC. Anything with an IBM processor is a PPC, anything with an Intel processor... isn't. Leopard will work fine on it, you might want to get the RAM up to 1GB if possible first, though ;)

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Chicane-UK    674
I don't recall Apple making, or needing to make, any excuses for Leopard...

Quite. For me it is the best desktop operating system out there bar none right now. I've been into computing for some time both professionally and as a hobbyist and have used so many different types of Windows, UNIX, Linux, and even more bizarre stuff - Leopard is just so so so good hence me selling up all my kit JUST to buy a Mac simply so I could legitimately run Leopard.

Snow Leopard sounds like the next logical step really - Apple already have the best OS out there, so now work on cleaning it up and making it as smooth and efficient as possible!

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The_Decryptor    1,105
it's not like leopard will stop working on these macs, new apps etc can still be used

Unless they require new API's that aren't available.

Like I said before, sure, Leopard runs fine, but you can't do everything you need on a base install of Leopard, you need 3rd party apps for that, and if the apps don't run then you've got problems.

You can always keep using old versions, but there's probably good reasons why there are newer versions.

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Timan    554
You can install Leopard if your iBook processor is over 867mhz of power. I don't think you can install Leopard with less than that.

Ha, you'd be shocked how well leopard runs on machiens that "DO NOT" meet the minimum requirements.

I had to install Leopard on an iBook with 256mb of ram. Besides the initial boot, (spotlight indexing killed it) it was a "very" snappy machine.

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giga    45

Well, someone at TUAW is reporting the following for the Developer Preview..

$ file mach_kernel
mach_kernel: Mach-O universal binary with 3 architectures
mach_kernel (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
mach_kernel (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
mach_kernel (for architecture ppc): Mach-O executable ppc

Both 32 bit and 64 bit kernels on that one disc. (and PPC!) That x86_64 kernel would break the compatibility with all the legacy 32-bit drivers as far as I know--unless they rewrote them?

All hope is not lost PPC users!

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Ricardo Gil    0
This is impossible. On any Mac I've tried, the corner of the window really doesn't stay with the mouse. It's slower than the mouse, you have to look carefully and this happens when you resize at a fast speed. We don't see that in Windows, meaning that OS X's GUI is slower to refresh.

I can vouch for this, always happened on my 1.2Ghz iBook running Panther. Maybe new versions of quartz have solved it by now.

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PL_    19

iTunes and Finder rewritten in Cocoa would rock :D

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Quillz    1,011
iTunes and Finder rewritten in Cocoa would rock :D

Would they actually look/function any different, though?

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Cara    0
Would they actually look/function any different, though?

They could be made to look identical, they would perform different but it'd be transparent to the user.

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CPressland    176
Would they actually look/function any different, though?

Nope but iTunes would be a hell'a'load faster

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MrA    6
Well, someone at TUAW is reporting the following for the Developer Preview..

$ file mach_kernel
mach_kernel: Mach-O universal binary with 3 architectures
mach_kernel (for architecture x86_64): Mach-O 64-bit executable x86_64
mach_kernel (for architecture i386): Mach-O executable i386
mach_kernel (for architecture ppc): Mach-O executable ppc

Both 32 bit and 64 bit kernels on that one disc. (and PPC!) That x86_64 kernel would break the compatibility with all the legacy 32-bit drivers as far as I know--unless they rewrote them?

All hope is not lost PPC users!

Or just recompile them. Believe it or not, most drivers aren't written in assembly. They're written in C/C++ or some other higher-levcel language. For the most part, you can recompile and the driver should work. You'll run into problems when you have to do bit-manipulations and reading-writing memory-mapped registers, but provided the driver was coded right in the first place, a recompile is all you need.

As for dropping PPC support, I don't see why. The later generation PPC macs are more than powerful enough to run an OS. The minor amount of work required to maintain PPC is small compared to the benefits of keeping a second architecture around.

I can vouch for this, always happened on my 1.2Ghz iBook running Panther. Maybe new versions of quartz have solved it by now.

I don't think it's a bug. Quartz windows are double-buffered. When you resize a window, the window must be updated, but when the compositor recomposes the screen, the mouse has moved but the updated window may be unavailable. This means the resize may lag the mouse update by one or more frames.

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osirisX    2
Would they actually look/function any different, though?

Cocoa automatically makes things more awesome obviously! :p

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sanctified    1,220
The numbers are vague

"about a year" could mean more, could mean less. Even then it's down to double digit days of out of support periods ("Sorry, you're 45 days out of support.")

Agreed they are vague, but by experience time in developer's language its always more than expected.

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osirisX    2

I hope the built-in apps in Snow Leopard have better Time Machine integration. These apps could do with it:

- Dashboard: Restore deleted widgets.

- Font Book: Restore deleted fonts and collections.

- iCal: Restore deleted events and to-dos.

- iChat: Restore deleted buddies.

- iMovie: Restore deleted projects.

- iTunes: Restore deleted Music, Movies, TV Shows, Audiobooks, Podcasts, iPod Games, Applications and Ringtones.

- iWeb: Restore deleted sites.

- Photo Booth: Restore deleted photos and movies.

- Safari: Restore deleted Bookmarks

Yes, you can go into ~/Library/ and other places to restore most of these, but the same could be said for Address Book, iPhoto and Mail.

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PL_    19

iTunes is a definite. To be honest I don't find Time Machine all that useful as I'm not a moron who deletes important stuff :p

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osirisX    2

But there are plenty of people that do :p

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se7en.hu    0
iTunes is a definite. To be honest I don't find Time Machine all that useful as I'm not a moron who deletes important stuff :p

I have only actually had to use time machine for its intended purpose once, although; I wouldnt be able to live without it anymore, just that peace of mind you get knowing that if your laptop ****s up for any reason you got a complete backup of everything on time machine :)

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The_Decryptor    1,105
Would they actually look/function any different, though?

The only real difference would come from the rewriting. Might be able to write a function better, re-organize some flow, etc.

Cocoa (while cool) isn't a magical "make things better" framework.

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Chicane-UK    674

I found Time Machine super useful when I migrated from a Mac Mini to my new iMac a month ago. I was eager to get the new machine up and running and then I was sitting thinking about how to get all of the data over from the Mac (network cable, network shares, blah blah) and then just realised I could plug my Time Machine drive in and just recover what I wanted from it. It worked like an absolute charm and I had moved all of the stuff back from my Profile, into my new Profile in a matter of minutes!

Sold on Time Machine now, well and truely. It's an excellent feature.

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giga    45

Some new details: http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/06/12/w...x-snow-leopard/

Daniel Eran Dilger

Apple’s public introduction of Snow Leopard, the next version of Mac OS X, was decidedly brief at WWDC, with only passing public mention of its new feature set. That’s in part because the company is delivering something nearly unheard of in the consumer software industry: Apple is advancing a new software product that improves upon its fundamentals rather than advancing a lot of marketing features.

Nothing New, Everything Newer.

As anticipated by multiple reports, Snow Leopard will not advance any major new consumer-facing marketing features apart from new support for Microsoft’s Exchange Server 2007 push messaging in its new versions of Mail, Address Book, and iCal. That move will match the functionality outlined for the iPhone 2.0 software update on the Mac desktop.

The fact that Apple is building its own Exchange Server support in both Mac OS X and the iPhone indicates that the company will no longer be waiting around reliant on Microsoft to make Macs fit into corporate environments with the dreadful embarrassment that is Entourage, just as I surmised earlier. Apple is taking matters into its own hands.

Additionally, by delivering Exchange support itself Apple will be also be able to offer its own alternatives to Exchange in parallel, much the same as how Microsoft leveraged its Mac Office software to develop Windows as an alternative to the Mac OS. This time around however, its Microsoft’s technology that will be routed around and replaced.

Apple’s first Exchange alternative is Mobile Me, a subscription based web service that serves as the next generation of its existing .Mac service. Beyond Mobile Me, Apple will also be offering an enhanced version of its own server product for businesses interested in hosting their own Exchange alternative.

Trickle Down Tech: iPhone Software and the Mac Desktop.

In addition to inheriting the iPhone’s support for Exchange, the Mac OS X desktop is benefiting from investments made for iPhone in other respects as well. Last year, Leopard’s Core Animation sprang from work developed for the iPhone. Originally called the Layer Kit, Core Animation was conceived in order to give the iPhone a slick UI. Layer Kit was essentially a scaled down, mobile version of the desktop window server with new support for a highly animated new user interface explicitly designed to be easy for developers to fully exploit. Apple subsequently reused the technology in Leopard to make it just as easy to add rich interface polish to desktop apps as well.

In Snow Leopard, there will be another example of trickle down tech from the iPhone: QuickTime X (as in ten, not ex). Apple already performed a major overhaul of its flagship media architecture in QuickTime 7, adding support for modern audio and video codecs and ridding it of a lot of old legacy from the media architecture’s early 90s origins. However, QuickTime is still a complex assortment of software components, designed to work with media in nearly any codec imaginable and support everything from simple playback to complex media authoring. It is essentially an operating system for media.

When Apple developed media services for the iPhone, it started fresh with a pared down set of objectives. The iPhone is designed only to play music and video; it doesn’t need to edit or author it. Further, the iPhone uses specialized hardware that allows it to efficiently decompress H.264 video and AAC or MP3 audio; it doesn’t need to play any random files users can scrounge up on the web in archaic or non-standard formats. By limiting the iPhone to playback of modern codecs, Apple could create a really tight, highly efficient subset of QuickTime that performed well on mobile hardware while being conservative with its battery use.

Snow Leopard will make use of that same mobile-optimized playback software when playing any media that uses modern codecs. That gives desktop Macs the same highly efficient playback performance while still allowing them to fall back to the standard QuickTime routines when playing older codecs or anything requiring proprietary plugins. The marketing name for this iPhone-derived boost is QuickTime X.

The Pristine Technology Stack.

Adding marketing features has complicated the performance of Mac OS X. Even though each new reference release has typically boosted the overall speed of existing Macs, the potential for things ever getting too fast has been tempered by demands the new features in each release have required.

Tiger introduced Spotlight searching which while relatively efficient for desktop search has added a significant amount of overhead. Tiger’s Dashboard similarly delivered a far less demanding architecture for running applets than Konfabulator, but it still adds some extra work for the operating system to manage that users see as a hit against overall performance.

Leopard’s Time Machine is similarly designed to back up files at reasonable intervals and avoid wasting too many cycles on iterating through files manually to see what needs to be backed up, but it still has the potential to hammer performance while doing its thing.

By spending a full release cycle on tuning up existing services rather than tacking on more features, Apple will provide users with far more value in the long run, and be well positioned to eviscerate Windows 7 when it arrives in the ballpark of 2010, likely around the same time Apple will be showing off the release of Mac OS X 10.7.

Handling Processes like Network Packets: Grand Central.

Of course, part of the reason Mac OS X gets faster in each release while tacking on those “200 to 300 new features” (including the more ambitious undertakings such as Spotlight and Dashboard) is that Apple has also been working on its fundamentals all this time, too.

Throughout the development of Mac OS X, Apple has reexamined the old ways of doing things in UNIX and proposed new architectures. One example is launchd, the process that manages the launching, termination, and supervision of other processes in the system. It replaces a variety of existing process managers including init, rc, inetd, xinetd, atd, crond and watchdogd. Few UNIX vendors would bother to engineer an entirely new way to do things, and if undertaken in the FOSS world, such an innovation would rarely be adopted by enough of the Linux community to ever matter.

Apple now has the resources to create its own weather, so it can fix outstanding problems and then reap the benefits of that investment, frequently across multiple product offerings. The latest example of this is Grand Central, a new thread management architecture that greatly simplifies developers’ ability to take advantage of the multiple cores now being used in modern CPUs, as well as the raw processing power available in GPUs (graphical processor units) on the system’s video card.

Rather than expecting each developer to become an expert in the black art of multithreading, Apple has built sophisticated process management into the kernel where it belongs and added language conventions that enable mere mortals to take advantage of a wide variety of different hardware that users might have at their disposal.

Grand Central Dispatch manages processes in a manner analogous to modern networking. Old telephone equipment used to use circuit switching to transmit information over networks; a dedicated circuit path is easy to set up but it is also expensive and potentially fragile. Modern networking uses packet switching, which breaks up data, phone conversations, or video streams into packets and routes each of them independently in a far more efficient way that is also resilient to network outages. Packets get routed around the problems.

Snow Leopard’s Grand Central Dispatch does the same thing for processes, packetizing tasks into Blocks and routing them to available processing cores as efficiently as possible. It can also manage the big picture for the whole system, adjusting how it balances its tasks as the performance load increases. This would be close to impossible for Individual developers to do themselves.

More Bits of Computing: 64 And OpenCL.

It shouldn’t be surprising that Snow Leopard extends support for 64-bit processing, which became possible in Tiger and went mainstream in Leopard. Apple will be making the kernel and nearly all of its user apps 64-bit savvy, and is making it easy for developers to do the same for their own software.

The potential downside to 64-bit computing is that many processes will consume more memory to do the same thing. The upside is a significant, across the board performance improvement. For certain processor intensive apps, moving to 64-bits makes a massive improvement. These both offset the increase in memory needed, just as computers begin running into the 4 GB limit of 32-bit architectures. The move to 64-bit support system wide will allow Macs to eventually load up on an insane 16 terabytes of RAM, but in the shorter term will make better use of the 4 GB in the latest Mac Book Pros and the 32 GB or more available in Mac Pros and Xserves.

Apple is also advancing a new technology called OpenCL (for “open computing language”), which allows developers to spin off computationally heavy tasks into jobs that can be run on the fastest processors available to the system. The name is not accidentally related to OpenGL, which does a similar task for graphics operations to fully leverage the GPU in an abstracted way that works on any graphics card.

OpenCL unlocks the GPUs and the multiple cores in modern CPUs for developers who are writing code that deals with graphics and media processing or just heavy math and physics calculations (such as games). Using just slightly specialized code, OpenCL’s just in time compiler prepares developers’ tasks to run on the most appropriate processing engine available on the system, which is increasingly going to be the graphics card.

OpenCL also integrates with Grand Central to manage all those packetized tasks across multiple GPUs and the multiple cores of multiple CPUs in today’s systems. This will also open the door for Apple to include its own acceleration hardware technology in a way that will be easy if not automatic for developers to use.

More New Than the Who’s-Who Knew, Too.

Of course, there’s a lot more that all this going on in Snow Leopard. In fact, there’s so much that’s new that Apple’s line about “no new features” is a bit misleading. Snow Leopard pushes things ahead in a way that will confuse and befuddle tech pundits used to arranging Apple’s marketing names like refrigerator magnets. The next article will attempt to clear things up with a look at Myths of Snow Leopard.

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Quillz    1,011

I agree... Snow Leopard doesn't add any new, visible, end-user features. But in fact, it adds "new features" that are far more valuable than anything that was added in Leopard or Tiger.

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-Hiroshi-    0

Oh well, regardless it's another step to OS 11 ;p

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Qoogirl    0

I don't really get anything about Snow Leopard mainly because I'm just the average end-user.

But I think I read on Engadget (?) that it could potentially take up to 1tb for true 64-bit computing. I think that's amazing. I think that's a step toward the future.

Now when they finish being amazing with that, I hope they focus on the basics: playlist for Front Row and Quicktime. I was happy they allowed full-screen for Quicktime after I grew old, but I don't think I want to wait on my deathbed for a playlist feature. =/

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