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  • Metrogirl
    Today's New York Times carries an article entitled "Windows is So Slow, but Why?". The article compares the development of Vista and MS' insistence on maintaining backwards compatibility, against Apple's strategy.
     
    As XP has remained largely unchanged (bugfixes excepted) in five years, and Apple have exponentially added features to their OS, MS strategy has come into question.
     
    In those five years, Apple Computer has turned out four new versions of its Macintosh operating system, beating Microsoft to market with features that will be in Vista, like desktop search, advanced 3-D graphics and "widgets," an array of small, single-purpose programs like news tickers, traffic reports and weather maps.
     
    So what's wrong with Microsoft? There is, after all, no shortage of smart software engineers working at the corporate campus in Redmond, Wash. The problem, it seems, is largely that Microsoft's past success and its bundling strategy have become a weakness.
     
    The article goes on to question the bloat that will inevitably become incorporated into Vista. Although it's written in NYT's typical journalese, it raises some interesting questions.

  • Swad
    I'll have to admit - there are few things in tech/life more exciting than a good Apple rumor. Somehow between the faked product photos and the insider info (and Steve's Super Secret Podcast), life as an Apple fan is never boring.
     
    MacOSXRumors shares some of this ever present insider info, claiming that Apple is working on virtualization technology for OS X 10.5 Leopard. From the article:
     
    Reliable sources informed MacosXrumors that Apple is developing virtualisation software that could be added to Apple's next major release of Mac OS X, Leopard. The technology will allow users to create and run virtual machines with Mac OS X, Linux or Windows on any Intel-based Mac.
     
    The software, which is said to be code-named "Chameleon", will be made available in Client and Server versions. The Client version will have similar features to Virtual PC and will be included with Leopard Client while the Server version will act as a virtualisation server and will come with Leopard Server. Apple may also sell the solution separately just as it currently sells Apple Remote Desktop.
     
    Sources also claim that Apple is developing the technology hand in hand with partners such as Intel and Microsoft. We don't know if Apple's software will be compatible with Intel's virtualisation technology announced last year but the possibility that Apple's software becomes inter-operable with Virtual PC and VMWare has been mentioned. We also don't know if Apple will use Rosetta technology so as to make the creation of PowerPC based virtual machines possible.
     
    Believable? Maybe. Likely? Maybe? Interesting? Certainly.

  • Metrogirl
    In a classic flipping of the script, a Microsoft program manager who regularly serves as the public face of the software maker's security response process rapped Apple for the way it handles security guidance to customers.
     
    "Here's the reality, for the next couple of years the Mac OS will experience increasing security threats and mark my words, the company will have to seek outside expertise in the form of a head of security communications in the next 12 months," said Stephen Toulouse in his public blog on Stepto.com.
     
    Stepto also carries an entry entitled "Apple, State of Fear, Good night and Good ..." which starts off berating Apple's lack of RSS feed for security advisories.
     
    The full article in this morning's eWeek can be read here.

  • Metrogirl
    "French lawmakers approved an online copyright bill that would require Apple to break open the exclusive format behind its market-leading iTunes music store and iPod players."
     
    After several months' legal wrangling, draft French legislation was passed yesterday which, among other things, will either force Apple to change DRM mechanisms in iTunes, or abandon the service in France.
     
    "Lawmakers in the National Assembly, France's lower house, voted 296-193 Tuesday to approve the bill. The legislation now has to be debated and voted by the Senate -- a process expected to begin in May.
     
    Apple has so far refused to comment on the bill or on analysts' suggestions that the Cupertino, California-based company might choose to withdraw from the French online music market rather than share the proprietary technology at the heart of its business model. Representatives for Apple France did not return calls Tuesday.
     
    Under the bill, companies would be required to reveal the secrets of hitherto-exclusive copy-protection technologies such as Apple's FairPlay format and the ATRAC3 code used by Sony's Connect store and Walkman players.
     
    That would permit consumers for the first time to download music directly to their iPods from stores other than iTunes, or to rival music players from iTunes France.
     
    Apple has most to lose because of its phenomenal penetration of the digital music market, according to analysts. Critics of the French move say legislators have no business forcing Apple to share its proprietary format -- arguing that customers know its limitations when they choose to buy an iPod."
     
    Other aspects of the bill reduce penalties and loosen constraints on file-sharing while making some provisions more restrictive including definitive 30-150 euro fines who break copyright for personal use.
     
    Read the full article here or pre-vote background here.

  • Swad

    MacBooks, Flame On!

    By Swad, in OSx86,

    It seems that while some MacBook Pro users have been busy working to install XP, others have been busy… not being busy at all. This is because of some serious and not-so-serious technical issues with their Apple portable.
     
    Complaints lodged against the MacBook Pro have ranged from a slight buzzing or whining noise (which looks like its related to an inverter) to some serious heat issues. Men, beware of the heat – you know what I’m talking about.
     
    Rogier Mulder, a MBP owner from the Netherlands, came home to find his MagSafe connector burnt and disconnected from his notebook. According to Ars, he said of the event , “Thank god the cats disconnected the MacBook pro during the day (they were probably chasing each other and tripped over the wire).” Seems a little fishy, but oh well – I wouldn’t be too concerned. What’s interesting is that Apple asked him to remove the pics from his flickr account.
     
    Do you have a MBP? Have you had any technical issues? If you don’t have one but are considering one, have these issues convinced you to wait for Rev. B? Let us know.
     


  • Swad

    And the iPod winner is...

    By Swad, in OSx86,

    Well it wasn’t an easy decision! (Yeah, people always say that, but it's true!) It took the staff longer than we thought to decide who should get the iPod. When you have a membership of 26,000, narrowing it down to a few members – and then to one - who have given the most back to the community during the contest is tough! We received a lot of nominations and suggestions. A lot of people suggested Maxxuss, but the contest was specifically geared for the most helpful use on the site during the time limits. Forum staff also weren’t eligible (which is probably a good thing for you, since they’re so amazing!).
     
    We finally narrowed it down to one individual who has proven very willing to help others and the site itself. Since the beginning of the contest, he has lent a helping hand to many forum users, cleaned spam from the wiki, and asked to assist in our IRC channel. It was clear that if anyone was working to 1) be helpful and 2) be helpful enough to get the iPod, it was this guy.
     
    The iPod contest was launched to reward a helpful user for his or her service to the community during the past month. I’m happy to announce that the iPod will be going to jbjonas. Congrats jbjonas! Thanks for your willingness to help.
     
    If you were really hoping for the iPod, don’t lose heart – although this site gets just enough ad money to get by, we’ll try to have random games and contests as time goes by. Stay tuned!

  • Swad

    Macintel or Mactel?

    By Swad, in OSx86,

    Due to its incredible popularity over the past few weeks, we decided that the Macintel Dual Booting forum needed it’s own place on the main forum page… hence the change from a subforum to a forum in its own right.
     
    But while making the change, I couldn’t decide whether to call it the “Mactel” or “Macintel” or “Intel Mac” forum. I’m partial to Macintel since it sounds more like Macintosh and Mactel just sounds so ungraceful.
     
    I'm curious to know what OSx86 Nation thinks about this. Which do you prefer? Let us know here!

  • Swad

    Spring Break, Baby!

    By Swad, in OSx86,

    In a perfect world, technology would have a Spring Break as well. Progress might head to the Alps for some skiing while Moore’s Law took it easy on South Padre Island. Tech news knows no bounds or timeframes, however, meaning that things change after even just a few days away from the ether.
     
    I just returned from a Spring Break vacation during which I had limited (and highly expensive!) internet access. I doubted that anything earth-shattering would happen while away – after all, how much could happen in a week?
     
    A lot. While I was away, Microsoft announced that they would not support EFI when Vista ships. This disheartened Macintel owners the world over, who quickly got excited about BAMBIOS, which was soon mitigated by the news that XP was actually booting on their new computers, with a patch for Windows Media Center for those so inclined (for these stories, see the articles below). Whew. That’s a lot of news!
     
    We got a few emails while I was gone saying, “I just read about _____________ on slashdot?!!?!? Why isn’t it on teh blog?” To those who were concerned, I apologize – while sHARD and the rest of the site staff did a great job keeping it humming alone, the blog wasn’t running at full steam. If you were worried, fear not. We’re still on the cutting edge.
     
    Speaking of cutting edge, if you’re interested in helping keep our readers informed about the latest OSx86 news, drop us a note. We’re always looking for articulate and witty writers to help! Actually, we’re still looking for just one articulate and witty writer… [/self deprecating humor]

  • Metrogirl
    PCMag, the online version of Ziff-Davis' PC Magazine, today reported yesterday's announcement by Onmac.net that a dual-boot solution to XP on the iMac was now available. The "site reported on March 16 that it has come up with a method for booting Microsoft's Windows XP alongside Apple's Mac OS X on Apple's Intel processor-based Macs, which began rolling out earlier this year. "
     
    This comes on top of recent reports of successful Linux booting, Gentoo by Edgar Hucek and Knoppix by Amit Singh.
     
    A downloadable package including EFI files and stub loader, modified bios image and i386 hook, is offered for the Onmac XOM (Xp-On-Mac) solution. Details on the function and operation are sparse at this time. The Onmac forum discusses the topic at length but a lot of the content appears to be speculation rather than hard fact.
     
    If it is genuine, this represents a major breakthrough and it is a true dual-boot solution since it involves partitioning the hard drive on the iMac into OSX and XP partitions and allowing a choice at boot time.
     
    It's not April 1st yet, is it?
     
    Rather amusingly, a member of the Onmac forum asked the question "Now we have XP on the Mac, when will we be able to do the opposite and boot OSX on a PC?" (paraph.). Forum members quickly put him straight and pointed him to osx86project.org.
     
    Read the PCMag story here PC Magazine or an almost identical report on another Ziff Davis mirror eWeek .

  • sHARD>>
    A few researchers from IBM are working on a new BIOS emulator for EFI based on the Boch's x86 emulator. This BIOS emulator is essentially an EFI application which serves to load and execute an emulated BIOS for older operating systems, including Windows, to use. OSNews notes, however, that this may present a few problems: complex partitioning and many updates for new Macintosh Computers. Amit Singh, a developer, elaborates on it's functionality:
     
    "To EFI, our software looks like a regular EFI program which happens to be a bootloader. This bootloader contains a binary payload which is an entire BIOS, VGA BIOS, and other x86-specific glue needed to boot the machine. This binary payload is loaded into memory in the legacy BIOS space. To all software on the machine, it appears as if the machine has a traditional BIOS. An important aspect of BAMBIOS is that its goal is to be non-disruptive."
     
    This could finally bridge the gap for legacy OSes, including Windows and Linux flavors.
     
    Find more information at the BAMBIOS website.

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