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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

How would the future have changed ??

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Ok as promised when I popped in here I have a couple of Apple / Intel stories. I do have to say that most of my time at Intel was most enjoyable and that I was very lucky (if you like chaos - challenge - change) to work in R+D from day one. It was dream job working in the "labs" taking data on this and that part of the system - working with teams trying to push not just the MHz (back in the 90s) wall but the overall system architect and thru-put as well. I did some of the first electrical simulations of the PCI bus as the bus was being defined by our group.

So naturally our team was selected to design the very first PC motherboards for the new Pentium class processor. This was the big jump from the x486 to a whole new architecture. The processor guys of course had their own boards for validation etc. -- our job was to make sure this new cpu + architecture would fit in a standard PC chassis etc.

The time frame here would be about '91 - '92 --- long time ago.

So the new cpu came out -- days of intensive debug from cpu bugs to HW and BIOS. Power levels were much higher than expected - but this new system was really fast - almost a 2x over the x486 out of the chute and thats with no OS or driver optimzations. It debuted at COMDEX - much fan fair.

So one Friday as we were ramping down our efforts - the core part of our team was called into meeting room to by our general manager. We were told that Apple had compiled a version of their OS that would run on a x86 processor (obviously they were using x486's) and they might be here over the weekend to run and benchmark this on our new Pentium system. We were all given pagers and told to be on standby for a call ............................... well the call never came.

I would have loved to be a fly in the Apple board rooms at that time ....

Keep in mind that back then Apple had a respectable market share of over 20% or so - and MSFT was just gaining traction. I believe to this day if Apple had gone ahead we would have a much different computing world today ... as the '90s progressed and MSFT became dominate they exerted huge influences on Intel as they (MSFT) became the only game in town and called many shots. With a secondary OS manufacturer in place I believe this would have balanced the directions and oportunities for the platform in general.

Did the die hards at Apple "we will never sleep with the enemy" over run the more moderate proponets --- and how may this have changed the future.
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Interesting.. I wonder why nothing like that is every put into any of the books out there by Apple employees, ex employees, etc.. that's a first.. no clue about it, but it would be interesting if Apple would have gone with the x86.. I have no clue where they would be today, good or bad!
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I sometimes wonder if Apple isn't secretly designing a cross platform version of their OS. Sure this is a fantasy, but ever since the release of OS X, with its UNIX-like core, it almost seems possible. That is of course, if you have the best programmers working on it. And something that grand would take quite a few years to complete. But really, why not? Its no mystery that *NIX runs fine on the x86, as well as the PPC. Put that into perspective, and it doesn't seem too far fetched.
To think that there could be a mainstream, easy to use OS that would be a perfect alternative to Windows. You could build your own machine, and not have to use Windows, or try to learn the more complex *NIX systems.
OS X for the x86, now that would be a HUGE slap in the face to Billy and his boys at MS. :black:

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