Adam Fields (weblog)

This blog is largely deprecated, but is being preserved here for historical interest. Check out my index page at for more up to date info. My main trade is technology strategy, process/project management, and performance optimization consulting, with a focus on enterprise and open source CMS and related technologies. More information. I write periodic long pieces here, shorter stuff goes on twitter or


If you lick them first, they’ll stick

Filed under: — adam @ 3:50 pm

Thoughts on Mac on Intel

Filed under: — adam @ 9:48 am

So, you’ve probably heard by now that Apple is switching to Intel x86 chips for the Mac, from the PowerPC chips made by IBM.

The implications are pretty clear – not much changes. IBM couldn’t deliver fast enough chips on Apple’s schedule, and they got the boot. Apple can’t be happy about this, but they’re still going to control the rest of the hardware, OSX won’t run out of the box on your random home-built PC.

So, I think there’s very little interesting in this announcement, except for two things:

1) This is a major score for Intel.
2) Older software is going to be supported via emulation. We have FINALLY reached the point where hardware is fast enough, and we have something to burn all those extra cycles on – emulating other chipsets in a way that’s usable.

We’re seeing this in more places – Xbox 360 is rumored to support Xbox games via emulation. I think it’s an interesting trend to have chip design progress to the point where processors are optimized for specific purposes, but they’re fast enough to run everything else via emulation anyway. It really blurs the line at the application level about “what is a platform anyway?”.

For example, if you buy Photoshop for Windows, and you switch to Mac, you need to buy Photoshop for Mac. What if you buy Photoshop for Mac, and switch to Mac for Intel? (Same platform, different chip.) What if you then switch to Windows for Intel? (Same chip, different platform.)

I think there are going to be some confused consumers.

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