Apple seems to be one step ahead of IBM on PowerPC-based systems It looks as if whatever IBM Corp’s Power Personal Systems division comes up with in the way of PowerPC-based personal computers – reports have the things having features such as CD-ROM drive and speech recognition as standard – Apple Computer Inc will be […]
Apple seems to be one step ahead of IBM on PowerPC-based systems
It looks as if whatever IBM Corp’s Power Personal Systems division comes up with in the way of PowerPC-based personal computers – reports have the things having features such as CD-ROM drive and speech recognition as standard – Apple Computer Inc will be ahead of it, and at a difficult-to beat price. According to PC Week, Apple plans a new Mac with modular motherboard for this summer. Selling under the Quadra and Performa labels, it will initially come equipped with a 33MHz 68LC040 processor but will support an upgrade to the PowerPC 603 chip, the smaller, low-power RISC chip due from Motorola Inc later this year. With an entry-level price under $1,500, the new Mac will come with a built-in CD ROM drive, TV tuner, infra-red remote control, an LC 68030 processor-direct slot, a slot for modem or Ethernet connection, and a video-input slot, sources have said. A key design element of the new Mac is its use of an extremely modular motherboard design that is fairly inexpensive to manufacture. With the design, customising the machine by upgrading the microprocessor, video boards, communication, or television boards will be extremely easy. This is a key feature for the Mac, which will target the education, consumer, and entry-level business markets; it is expected to ship in the summer.
Apple Mac Finder and A/UX programming interfaces to feature in PowerOpen environment
Apple Computer Inc has submitted its Macintosh Finder and A/UX 3.1 application programming interfaces to the PowerOpen Association for inclusion in the PowerOpen Environment specification, and plans a line of PowerOpen-compliant servers for the end of the year. This means A/UX will effectively be rolled into AIX by year-end, and developers will be able to build hybrid AIX-A/UX applications that use either Motif or Macintosh front-ends. The new AWS 95s are expected to be four and eight-way machines based on the PowerPC 604, but all PowerPC-based Macintosh clients will continue to run System 7 Apple has no intention of making these boxes PowerOpen-compliant. Meanwhile, the Association says it is on track to release its draft PowerOpen specification – internally called version 0.9 – in April, and expects version 1.0 to follow in late June. It reckons version 0.9 is 95% complete now, but amendments will be made based on developers’ input. PowerOpen will begin certifying vendors’ operating systems in September, and should have an application certification process in place by October – it expects to have about 50 packages certified by year-end.
Power and PowerPC, past and present
For the record, the genealogy of IBM Corp’s RISC microprocessor is as follows: the multi-chip Power1 introduced in the RS/6000 line in 1990 moved to Power1+ in 1991, which was the basis of Power1++ and the single-chip RSC implementations in 1992. From here, Power1++ became the single-unit, multi-chip Power2 which unveiled last year and will become Power2+ with large level-two cache in machines expected as soon as this week. The IBM Rios became the multiprocessing-enabled IBM/Motorola PowerPC 601 last year. The notebook PowerPC 603 will debut this year, followed by the desktop and entry-level server 604, and 64-bit high-performance 620 iteration around the turn of the year. The 601, 603, 604 and 620 are all IBM-Motorola parts out of the Somerset facility. The Power2+ will step up to PowerPC architecture either next year or in 1996 as the Power3, exclusively an ultra-high performance IBM architecture, inheriting PowerPC 620 features such as 64-bit and multiprocessing.
Apple Cat-in-Hat Mac on RISC
That busy bee, Apple Computer Inc last week announced as scheduled its long-awaited Cat-in-the-Hat project to run Mac applications on RISC machine. The now formalised Macintosh Application Environment, MAE, will run on Sun Microsystems Inc’s Solaris 2.3 and Hewlett-Packard’s HP-UX 9.01 under joint engineering (testing and performance) and co-operative marketing arrangements with both companies, Apple said. Hewlett-Packard and
Sun, which will ship trial copies, will put infomercials on the machines touting it. Mac Application Environment machines will offer users the Apple user interface in a Unix X window along with Mac features such as Aliases, TrueType, publish-and-subscribe, AppleEvents, Balloon Help, QuickDraw and 32-bit addressing. The more cache in a machine the better Mac Application Environment’s performance, Apple said. It requires at least 16Mb internal. Apple said it has tested 50 of the top 100 Mac programs on the stuff and they run, even some tricky stuff. Mac Application Environment, essentially a well-behaved X Window application, integrates Macintosh and Unix so users can manipulate the Unix file system directly from the Mac interface, cut and paste both text and graphics between X Window and Mac applications and administer Unix systems through the Mac interface. The Mac architecture also supports workstation devices, enabling access to Macintosh-formatted floppies and Compact Disks from existing workstation drives. Mac Application Environment support Network File System which enables users to access, display and manipulate remote and local Mac, Personal Computer and Unix files. Apple plans to add AppleTalk support in future. It is compatible with Hewlett-Packard’s Visual User Environment, SunSoft’s OpenWindows and Motif. Apple will put the stuff through its normal distribution channel once it becomes available in late April, selling it for $550. Foreign pricing may vary, but it could offer no examples. It will be out here in May.
Quorum’s Mac-on-RISC now up under HP-UX
Quorum Software Systems Inc now has its Equal 1.3 Mac-on-RISC application adaptor riding on Hewlett-Packard PA-RISC machines, its third version after Sun Microsystems Inc and Silicon Graphics Inc. Hewlett will be bundling the software on Power On CD along with other try me software and data sheets. The Equal stuff on the CD will be a working version that customers of the HP 9000 Model 700 workstations can play with for 30 days. It is bundled with Mac editions of Microsoft Corp Word and Excel. With Quorum, Hewlett now has most of the emulators available to it including Insignia Solutions Ltd’s SoftPC, Wabi and Apple’s Macintosh Application Environment. Hewlett users can transfer existing Windows or Mac licences of Word and Excel and get a Unix upgrade for $400, or $700 for both. New users pay $600 for Word, $700 for Excel, $1,300 for both.