A new vision.

Discussion in 'Hardware Rumors' started by mischief, Feb 15, 2002.

  1. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #1
    We've all been arguing for a year over whether or not Apple will resurrect Newton, release a similar device or tweak it's towers. We've also been trumpeting a bevy of technologies we'd like to see but don't look likely. We've seen (in the last 2 months) deals or rumors between Apple and IBM, and Apple and Sony. IBM owns Meta Pad technology, Sony has an in-production tablet/terminal.

    Where does it all go? If we step away from all our worldly wierding and just look at the technology a very interesting product emerges. Mind you: We may not see anything approaching it for 5-10 years but, judt the same:

    Core device: A 3/4" thick device containing
    256Mb DDR L3 cache,2-8 G5 1Ghz, RAM and RapidIO controllers. $300.00USD

    Base station: Power supply, 4 high speed DDR RAM slots, Firewire, USB, ATI/nVidia circuitry, HD,Superdrive, Airport. Add a monitor of choice. $400.00 USD

    Tower: 1-4 Core slots,8 high speed RAM slots, 6-8 PCI slots (2 AGP, mutliple PCI) SuperDrive, iPod slot, 6 HD bays, Airport, Multi-port (see below), USB, Firewire.$800.00

    Portable: Viewable:4"x5", 6"x8", 8x10". Single Core slot, 32Mb GeForce TiMo, power supply, 2 HD bays, Combo Drive, USB, Firewire, VGA out, AV port. $600.00 USD

    Or reasonably priced combinations there-of (1800.00/whole set.)

    I didn't get into installed RAM or HD sizes/Tech 'cause that's just a measure of WHEN and when wasn't my point.

    Multi-Port: The fast serial controller that accompanies the newest Chip designs caught my eye. What if you put all your comm Hardware in one place (maybe put the controller circuits on PCMCIA) ? You could have a Phone jack, Ethernet, and Coaxial right on the case. Just plug in and turn on. I just like the Idea of having DSL/Cable modems on the Mobo. If you use the PCMCIA idea you could have 7 kinds, just pick the set of (say) 4 you like: DSL, Cable, 56K, Gigabit/10/100 Ethernet, Airport/3G and Fibre.

    Just thought I'd share that.

    ;) :D :rolleyes: :eek: :p :D
     
  2. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #2
    Oh Come On Folks!

    Are there seriously NO comments on this?:eek: :confused:
     
  3. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #3
    don't think so...

    I don't see that design scheme ever being implimented.

    Most people don't want to have to go out and get different modules just to have a computer. It is easier to get a tower that contains all the needed components (CPU, RAM, HD...). Some people don't even want to get an external monitor, hence the appeal of the iMac and so many laptops.

    I'd say, what you put in is a pipe dream, and that's about all. You might have enjoyed the pipe dream, but I don't see many others following it.
     
  4. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #4
    No, not sold un-bundled.......

    Sold as kits and piece-meal.

    Basic models and BTO in simple grids by feature: # and type of CPU per Core, how many cores. Base station (iMac) or Tablet (ti/iBook)? Prices were given as a cost/value example, not packaged products.
     
  5. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #5
    I still don't think that it would fly any better then a lead brick.

    People want easy to buy computers with the minimum of fuss and muss. MAYBE if Apple put in a few more BTO options, it would appeal to that crowd more, but making them all module leaves too much room for error.

    What about if they get a bad batch of module A, and couldn't fill umteen orders for another few weeks?? People would be BS (rightfully so). Also, if something gets mislabled, say the optical drive part... Where now, they can simply check the label on the drive to make sure it is the correct one, if it is inside a module it wouldn't be that easy.

    All those connections are just begging for something to go wrong. Unless they are made to EASILY LOCK into place, then user error comes into the mix, and the calls to Apple go through the roof.

    How many people would really use two AGP slots?? Very few, and those are high end professionals that require huge screen real estate.

    The scheme you have outlined still make things way too complicated.

    The best analogy that I can come up with at the moment is a motorcycle. Most people buy one and get what comes from the factory and just use it like that (iMac). They might install a few extra parts, but that is about all. Then there are the people that get a motorcycle, change out items right off the bat, and then look towards doing more later (towers). That is the beauty of the choices.

    I use that analogy because I have Harley on the brain right now. I am heading to the dealership tomorrow to talk with the salesman in person. Before I get there though, I am stopping to get new memory for my TiBook :D. There are some things that I will be changing right off the bat, and having them install. What I am having done will help the performance some, but the look of the bike more. I am looking at modifying it over the next several years.
     
  6. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Way too complicated. The point of many of Apple's new products was to have a simplified computer,in Apple's eyes this would be a step backwards.
     
  7. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #7
    Exactly!!
     
  8. voicegy macrumors 65816

    voicegy

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    #8
    Re: Oh Come On Folks!

    Geesh, you only gave it an hour between your original post and wanting a response. Easy there, big fella!:p
     
  9. teabgs macrumors 68030

    teabgs

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    #9
    That'll be the day!

    Though that would be great. Divide your vision in half and then we'll see a portion of that. I;d love it but its too complicated and: if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
     
  10. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #10
    Okay, I realize the average consumer couldn't handle thinking on this level.

    But the design strategy is very powerful. Regardless of how it is presented to a consumer, this could be an amazing leap in technology.

    As to the "bad batch" phenomenon: That already happens. No matter how simple the design, once you have more than 2 parts stuff goes wrong. I was really thinking more in the overall strategy and technology department. Keep in mind- I was thinking in the 2-10 years out arena.

    The connector issue is IBM's problem, they own the module technology. BTW: how many bad PCMCIA connectors do you see? That's the style of connection we're talking about, a real solid "click" fit.

    I think if you tried to sell it to consumers, you'd be quite subtle about the whole modular issue at first. You'd spend like a year or two just integrating the tech into the build process. Eventually you incorporate the modularity into the BTO options, but no I don't think you could just do a BTO module grid and expect consumers to navigate it. That'd be suicidal for Apple.

    I think it's more likely we'll see a company like Alien PC doing this at first rather than Apple. Which gives me another Idea: How about a company building Linux PPC's with Cocoa/Darwin compliant HW? Build custom boxes for Geeks. All thumb screws and cards. How small CAN you do a Mobo if pretty much all your components are 3rd party cards?

    Oh, the multiple AGP thing: Apple Towers are aimed at exactly those professionals and it won't be long before dual cards are neccessary again. V-RAM and video processor tech is evolving so fast that 2 slots would make the versatility of the case infinitely greater. It's not just a multiple monitor issue but genuinely a multiple card issue. For example: If you are a game head AND do serious CGI or Video capture, having an AGP for a game card and another for Capture or Rendering would be very nice indeed.
     
  11. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #11
    I have seen the pcmcia connections go bad (more then a few too) in different laptops (both Mac and peecee). They can also be tricky with getting them to actually lock into place, and almost never eject far enough to make it easy to grab the card. Most of the time, you need a dongle, or pair of pliers to get the card out (without tipping the laptop, or lifting it up). I also see speed issues with pcmcia card slots. I don't think that the type 1 and type 2 cards are fast enough for what you are talking about. Maybe going with a higher transfer firewire type connection would work. Then again, that also could open up another can of worms.

    How many bad firewire connections have you seen?? They are also more compact and can only fit one way (people could try and put the pcmcia module in the wrong way and break it). Firewire connections already power hard drives, and the next revision or two could probably carry enough power to do what you are talking about. There are going to be major hurdles to get over either way.

    I don't see this working on the consumer level, maybe for some of the extreme pro level. Apple has a good thing going, and I would prefer to see their resources directed at getting the system bus higher, add support for DDR memory, faster hard drives interfaces (ATA133 and faster) as well as getting the G5 out.

    I think a more marketable solution would be for Apple to come out with cordless monitors, keyboards, mice, and such. Think about it, using your Mac laptop with your 17-22" Apple LCD screen without having to plug it in. Initially, there could be modules that you connect to both the laptop and monitor, but later the technology could be built in. I think that idea would really catch on. Apple could do that right, unlike other peecee makers.

    The modules would also allow you to use a non-Apple monitor as a wireless/cordless unit.

    Mate that with an even faster Airport technology (please put it at a frequency other then the 2.4GHz that portable phones use) could pump up Apple's sales numbers, and then market share.
     
  12. OSeXy! macrumors regular

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    London (or virtually here)
    #12
    I am surprised Apple doesn't do more with PCMCIAs. They are the kiss of life on older PBooks. Seems like putting at least one PCMCIA slot on the 14" iBook and iMac would have been a good idea. Without that it just makes the built-in obsolescence of the 'consumer' line all the more obvious...
     
  13. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #13
    (Shrug)

    I never said it was likely, I just thought It'd be cool in the extreme for Apple to be the company to exploit this technology.

    Point taken about Consumers and breaking stuff. I've met more than a few morons who don't understand the Gently-But-Firmly principal. It's not that I want Apple to waste resources on developing this Idea, I just want someone to and Apple is the only platform I tolerate.

    I would like to see SOMEONE do this and I think a PPC/G4 based system is the way to go. Wouldn't it be nice for Geeks Like Us though? Order a Dual Core, 2 1Ghz G(n), RapidIO, DDR, modular monster system? All decked out with thumb screws and clip connectors...........drool.:p I think someone will do it, and Yes it's unlikely to be Apple.....it'd just be nice to have Apple be the first with a completely PnP case. They're already so close-it wouldn't be as much of a jump as it would be in the Wintel world where HW compatability is a bit like reading chicken Guts.
     
  14. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #14
    Actually, at times, reading chicken guts would be easier. When I built my current game peecee, I spent about a week or two researching products for compatibility issues. I wanted on mobo, but got sold a different one, I had to take that one back because it was either bad, or didn't work with the processor (not an intel). I have a standard brand set that I know works with themselves well, and have yet to have to deviate from that (thankfully).

    Fixing peecee's can be a lot harder then reading chicken (or other animal) entrails too.
     
  15. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #15
    hypothetical:

    So what would be involved in building an "unofficial" Mac Clone? I think a box built for ease of HW customization based on G4 or Sahara G3 chipsets and sold with Linux installed could be a great sleeper product. You could stick to optimizing the design for parts that OS X works with or could easily take the Linux driver for. That'd be fun: Build a hotrod G4 that just happens to be Cocoa/Darwin compliant.:cool:

    Whadaya think? Are there too many variables in Mobo design to pin down OS X compliance or could it be done?
     
  16. OSeXy! macrumors regular

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    #16
    Re: hypothetical:

    Someone posted this link before, on a similar subject:

    http://www.bplan-gmbh.de/news/pegasos_e.html
     
  17. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #17
    Yeah, that was kinda my inspiration.

    But from the looks of that site the company isn't quite to the level I'd want to throw money at. It'd have to be a bit more ambitious and actually show the product to get my attention.

    I was thinking a bit more upscale, what all of us HW geeks would like to see the present G4 case become but with a few nice little touches like say a PRAM battery with some sort of charge indicator and a duplicate battery slot so they can be changed out without having no battery on the board. I'd like to see a generic OS X compatible case that's built specifically for compitant technophiles. All with tool-less mounting screws and a reel-out grounding strap inside the case. Call it the iGeek PC.:D
     
  18. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #18
    What are G4 500s going for these days?

    With G4 1Ghz out on the Mac, will that make 500s cheap enough to get in large enough quantities for Quad Towers?

    Better questions:

    Will that make Moto's low end G4 Apollo's cheap enough?

    Would said Apollos support a faster Mobo?

    Would said Apollos support DDR? How much?

    What does all this crap cost?

    What would it take to fabricate a prototype Mobo?
     
  19. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #19
    Without getting actual prices on the 500MHz G4 chips, I would say that a quad processor system would cost at least as much as the dual 1GHz does. It would require a new processor card, and maybe even a new connection type to handle the 4 processors. All that would add up, especially the development costs of doing this.

    DDR memory is currently selling for about the same as the PC133, but that also depends on what the motherboard requires. I have seen it between 1-1/2 and 2 times the cost of PC133.

    To develope, prototype and then produce a motherboard to incorporate all the items you are looking for will not be cheap. I would guess between tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands. The cost would have to include paying the egineers to design the board.

    A second pram battery would be more then a little overkill for a minor (very minor) convience. From what I have found, the only thing that really suffers when you change the battery is you loose the date and time settings (big whoop). Also, the batteries usually last for at least a few years (depending on use, from 2-5).

    Currently the only DDR that the Apollo chips support is the L3 cache. I'm sure that Apple will be coming out with a mobo that has DDR memory slots (instead of the PC133), it's just a matter of time. I also think that they will opt for a higher bus speed to allow people to use the PC2700 memory that is available now. That costs a little more, but gives you better performance. Who knows, maybe they will make the bus fast enough to use whatever the next memory speed jump is (PC3100??).
     
  20. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #20
    Clarification of criteria:

    Some of the development cost can be offset by changing the market: Build cases pre-designed to be racked. Real Geeks Want Racks.

    Working from that position case design can be reduced significantly. From the sound of it a modular Mobo almost makes MORE sense.

    How much DDR can an Apollo use as a L3?

    What IS RapidIO and can it be used with PC-133DIMMs?

    How about:

    Each of 4 processors has a DDR 64Mb module for it's level 3 cache and that processor card sits on a 133 Mobo with PCMCIA and PCI. Run a daughter card for the system RAM, allowing for newer RAM spec and processor upgrades (there must be a way to do this). RAM cards range from 3 to 6 slots. Use daughter cards for the PCI controller and the PCMCIA controller. 4 PCI slots, 2 AGP, 4 PCMCIA. Antenna kits available for Airport, 3G wireless and PCS.

    Case is fanned, sound proofed, front-ported (4 USB, 4 FW, 2 AV) and Rack mountable. 2 Units per case, split into 1U for 5 drive bays,1U for the guts. components can be stacked into a "desktop" or Racked and Clustered. Built in 3Hr Powerbook Battery per Unit. Case designed with tool-less connectors for drives and cards. Built in Grounding Strap. Comes with a grounding mat, drive (thumb) screws, drive trays, choice of drive hosting protocol and RAID config. It'd be expensive as hell but I think Lucasfilm would sell their teeth for one.
     
  21. AlphaTech macrumors 601

    AlphaTech

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    #21
    ok, what are you smoking and where can I get some???

    For a configuration that you are saying is a few years off, you are using low end tech from today. I wouldn't do that.

    I think only Apple and Motorola know how much is the max of L3 cache that the Apollo can handle (2MB right now)

    I believe that the reason that the L3 cache is on the chip, and DDR is for speed. Making a removable module is just begging for problems, as well as making the processor card larger.

    I know that rack mounting a G4 sounds great, but how many people have server racks at home???

    The Mobo speed should be at least 266 if not 400, since that is what the peecee's are using currently (at least the newer ones).

    You are mixing too much old tech with too much future thinking... If you are going to project for the future, use tech that is either in the rumor mill, or listed as in the works.

    peace :D
     
  22. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #22
    Okay: say 5 years out, sorry-just scheming.

    If you were in the Bay Area I might hook you up but alas MA is out of range:D

    Okay so 5 years out: Quad G5/8Mb L3 per chip. Modular Mobo as above running@333Mhz with Rapid IO and DDR. ATA-333x4 drives.

    The key to the above product is the modularity: It would have a longer lifespan in being designed with continual upgrading in mind. Is it possible to set a Mobo up to be re-oscillated several times?

    I have a 6 foot, 19" rack at home (It's an SGI Predator case). Lonesome and ignored. If I didn't have to butcher an existing system to put a Mac in it I'd have it packed and be seriously in debt. :D But I could start a fairly ugly home business relatively cheap considering the alternatives. Who has the money for a 6 foot IBM? Who would want a 6 foot Dell(retch,barf,puke)? with a rack and 2-4 of these......(Evil grin).

    This is a product for those of us who want a current system but DON'T want a new box and a whole bunch of HW that's inapropriate or Duplicate. Buy 1, update continually and (if possible) cheaply. Geeks like to continually tweak their machines. If this were 1970 these would be the guys that put chrome Blower packages on their Camaro or Mustang.
     
  23. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

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    #23
    someones somking some of that multi COLORED WEED FROM MEXICO.

    why is APPLE still with motorola. Apple should get with AMD.
     
  24. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #24
    Canadians and Silicon valley have Tech and Ganja in common.

    Texada (an Island within a 20 minute skiff ride of the small town in BC I spent my first 9 years in) has produced a strain that was Best in the World at Amsterdam.
     
  25. mischief thread starter macrumors 68030

    mischief

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    #25
    ACK! I KILL YOU!!! AMD is an agent of the Dark Empire! May your Bong emit noxious black gunk- smoke!

    If Apple drops Moto it would ONLY be appropriate if it was to IBM and Moto liscence Altivec to them for it.
     

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