Hail Intel!

Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs announced the first Macs to use Intel processors today. Since a few folks appear to be interested, here’s what I think about them.

Nice computers. Not really what I myself would be looking for, but probably just fine for others. Personally, I’m not interested in the new iMac or other all-in-one desktop machines. Call it the Engineer’s Curse: I don’t want a “main” computer that I can’t rip the lid off of and tinker around with. For those who would just as soon leave the lid on, the new Intel-based iMacs look like very capable machines. Sharp display, good performance numbers, and the price ain’t bad, considering everything that’s included.

That’s not to say that I wouldn’t be interested (oddly enough) in an Intel-based Mac Mini somewhere down the line. [I thought you just said you didn’t want a computer you couldn’t tinker with. –ed] I’m not finished. Pay attention, and quit stealing Kaus’ schtick. [Sorry.] I said I don’t want a main computer I can’t tinker with. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be interested in a second computer that I could hook up to The Beast Downstairs. The iMac isn’t it; it has one monitor too many built-in. But one of these days Apple is going to release the home entertainment hub version that I keep predicting, and that one will be fit for The Beast.

As far as the new Powerbooks Macbooks go (I hate the name already), they look excessively cool, but again, not for me. In contrast to what I expect out of a desktop, my laptop needs are pretty simple, and definitely pretty cheap. A “pro” line that starts at $2,000 is way out of my laptop range (and besides which, I bought a new iBook about a month before Jobs announced the Intel switch–turtleneck-wearing bastard).

I very much like the looks of the new iWeb software. Looking forward to giving that one a test drive soon.

So, that’s what I think: Nice computers. Not for me, but still quite nice. I’m interested to see what Apple can do with the rest of the product line, which according to Jobs will all switch over to Intel chips this year.


11 Responses to “Hail Intel!”

  1. Frank Martin Says:

    Soooo, if Macs are going to use Intel, whats to stop me from using a MAC OS at somepoint in the future on my Intel based machine?

  2. tracelan Says:

    They should have used AMD. AMD is kicking Intels butt. In the latest test at cnet AMD beat Intel in every round and they cost less, use less power and produce less heat.

    AMD vs Intel

  3. tracelan Says:

    Sorry that didn’t work right, it should have opened a new browser. Here is the URL:


  4. Scott Says:

    “whats to stop me from using a MAC OS at somepoint in the future on my Intel based machine?”

    Well, they are going to include some special functions int he Intel chips and in OS X to allow the OS to only run on certain systems. It won’t really stop someone who is dedicated to getting OS X to run on their vanilla Intel box from breaking that DRM. But that’s not the point, the point of the DRM is to draw a line in the sand. To say, “we know it is technically possible to break our DRM but by doing so you are in the wrong.”.

    Why would you WANT to spend a lot of time hunting down drivers for your hardware though? Bleh, I hopped off that merry-go-round a while ago.

  5. Captain Mojo Says:

    The new Mac OS software is supposed to have built in DRM, so it can detect if you’re installing it on a genuine piece of apple hardware, and not on any random x86 machine.

    Also, because the OS is designed to support a proprietary hardware base, expect driver support for most PC hardware to be non-existent.

    That said, I estimate it’ll be less than a week before hackers have it up and running on generic PC hardware…

    I am confused as to why Jobs hasn’t moved into competition with XP Media Center edition. I

  6. Robin Goodfellow Says:

    By the way, advantage: me (by like 2.5 years). Sometimes I do know wtf I’m talking about.

  7. Doug Stewart Says:

    @Captain Mojo:
    Two words for you: Front Row. Apple’s got you covered.

  8. Doug Stewart Says:

    Oh, and incidentally, the new 15″ MacBooks are due to have Front Row and the Mac Remote included by default.

  9. Captain Mojo Says:

    Doug, I haven’t seen FrontRow in use and don’t know what its exact features and limitations are. As long as it wasn’t limited to quicktime and iTunes files it sounds like it would be adequate for most people’s home use.

    Get an intel proc in a mac-mini, add digital audio and DVI out, and price it under $800 and I think you’ve got something as compelling to a mass-market as an iPod. Price it over $1,400 (as I would expect Jobs to do) and only die-hard Macboys will get one.

    As for me, I already have a small-form factor fanless Media Center, which works flawlessly, and integrates perfectly with my home PC network. It cost me all of $650, so I won’t be switching any time soon…

  10. RPD Says:

    I curious about the DRM issue. So I buy a copy of the OS from Apple, I buy some hardware from a legitmate vendor, how is it Apple has a say in where I install the software?

  11. Will Collier Says:

    RPD, I am most definitely not a lawyer, but given the wacked-out state of DRM law, I’m guessing it could be technically illegal to hack OS X onto non-Apple-approved hardware. I base that on it apparently being illegal to hack a DVD’s DRM to allow it to play on a non-DVD-cartel-approved operating system, i.e. Linux (that’s what the kid who first broke DVD decryption several years ago was trying to accomplish).

    Assuming you paid for the software, I don’t see how you’d be hurting anything other than Apple’s business model, and practically zero chance that you’d “get caught” or face any consequences, but given the weirdness and history of the DMCA, I think that’s how Apple Legal could make a case.

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