PDA

View Full Version : Free software users and IBM/Apple Power4


jbm
Oct 14, 2002, 01:16 PM
A bit about myself: I am a linux and openbsd user and free software advocate.
I am very excited about the news about Apple/IBM's upcoming 64-bit Power4
derived processor. Not because I think it will blow away whatever 64-bit
offerings amd and intel have, but because amd and intel are already
committed to some DRM measures whereas Apple has shown resistance to this
technology that could render free software unusable.

In a year or so I will be looking for a new box (currently on a p3 650).
My number one concern will not be speed, it will be DRM/Palladium. It is
likely that if Apple sticks to their no-DRM stance I will be picking up
a Mac and loading debian-ppc on it. There are many more like me,
practically all free software users, who are in the same boat.

So what do you all think--will Apple/IBM have any sort of DRM in this new
chip? Apple likely scooped up a lot of Unix users with OS X. But there are
still those like myself who prefer to use open source software for various
reasons. In my view if Apple plays their cards right and resists DRM
pressures they will scoop up most of the free software movement, at least
hardware wise.

nixd2001
Oct 14, 2002, 06:14 PM
Originally posted by jbm
A bit about myself: I am a linux and openbsd user and free software advocate.
I am very excited about the news about Apple/IBM's upcoming 64-bit Power4
derived processor. Not because I think it will blow away whatever 64-bit
offerings amd and intel have, but because amd and intel are already
committed to some DRM measures whereas Apple has shown resistance to this
technology that could render free software unusable.

In a year or so I will be looking for a new box (currently on a p3 650).
My number one concern will not be speed, it will be DRM/Palladium. It is
likely that if Apple sticks to their no-DRM stance I will be picking up
a Mac and loading debian-ppc on it. There are many more like me,
practically all free software users, who are in the same boat.

So what do you all think--will Apple/IBM have any sort of DRM in this new
chip? Apple likely scooped up a lot of Unix users with OS X. But there are
still those like myself who prefer to use open source software for various
reasons. In my view if Apple plays their cards right and resists DRM
pressures they will scoop up most of the free software movement, at least
hardware wise.

I think Apple will continue to resist where they legally can. They will probably do some lobbying as well, but they could easily be outspent.

I think there's a certainty irony in the idea of free software enthusiasts moving to hardware supplied by a single supplier, but the world has plenty of these ironies. I think it would do some of the free software movement some good to try Mac OS X (including getting the XNU source and tweaking it if they are brave enough and capable enough - kernel hacking is a much more specialised form of programming than most going), complete with extensive class libraries, and develop some Mac OS X applications that they open source. I've played with various *nix systems for many years now, and frankly can't be bothered to get too excited by the precise legal status or heritage of the kernel if it gets the job done for me. As for the comment on libraries: during conversation the other night, it was ponder that the uptake of perl, python and java are all partly driven by the degree to which many standard tasks are already solved. Cocoa provides a similar rich base environment, and one which is well worth having a play with.