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Can Apple make its own chipset for the Air ?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by thinkdesign, May 14, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    #1
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    Isn't that the obvious way around the problem -- of where can Apple go next for a suitable CPU-GPU package? //// And, Postscript: I doubt if an Intel "roadmap" ending the current chip production this Dec. forces Apple to something else, immediately. Isn't Apple a big enough customer for Intel. that they could say "Before you stop production on that core duo chip, could you make us x-thousand more, for our stockpile?" That could buy Apple more time to find the next solution, thus allowing them more time to stall the "big upgrade", or any upgrade of the Air. Does anyone know... has Intel always followed the dates on these "Roadmap" projections, precisely?
     
  2. macrumors regular

    #2
    Arm

    Apple can only make ARM chipsets right now, getting an x86 license from Intel would be near impossible (near because AMD did it by giving intel rights to it's 64 bit architecture). Without an x86 licence Apple would need to transfer Mac OSX over to ARM which would require an insane amount of work for only the air to use. The other option would be to render the MBA useless by giving it iPhone OS:(.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    #3
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    So Apple can get this licence until 12/31/2010, but on 1/1/2011 cannot get it for even a few months of extension to use a "stockpile" of parts? So, if they don't get lucky with chip / chipset picking & sourcing, they conceivably might have to make no Airs for the first few months of 2011? /// So, do I have this right? The term "Roadmap" means, more than a preliminary timetable, but rather is something more firmly decided, and has ending dates (like, for licenses) already "locked in"? Wow. Complicateder and complicateder. //// But it just reinforces my overall sense that Apple "designed themselves into a corner", by -- possibly as they did with the NEWTON (whose first 2 models had inadequate AAA batteries) -- starting the design process by (1.) picking a size and weight that seem nice, and then (2.) telling the engineers to see what they can into that size and weight. And if the answer turns out to be "not enough", perhaps then there's NO re-consideration of the size/wt. preconception? ------ It's a commonplace thing among designers in other fields, to say that it helps to identify and shed "preconceptions". Let different parts of the design and the design process interact, see where the facts lead, and do the best you can. "Optimise" for more than one factor. Not "King Jobs said 3 pounds, so even if that ruins it, and no intelligent flexibility can then be applied -- even if another 4 oz. and another 1/8" would save the functionality (or prevent trainwrecks in which they can't get a chip for it). ----- OK. My Plan B: Let the lower Air model be: the best they can do with the iPhone O/S (still could have a 256 / 512 SSD option), and then the higher Air model(s) would continue with the full Mac O/S, and trying to cater to people who want a maximum of everything. (AKA - what designers in another context sometimes call "trying to put ten pounds into a five pound bag". Or in this case: trying to put 5.5 lbs. into a 3 lb. bag.) A "high-low" product development path fir the Air. ----- It 's good for such things to be discussed in public space, and some of this makes for a fascinating thought exercise for the designerati (meaning that "You're not being realistic" sometimes misses the point).... but then, it's back to reality. As Lily Tomlin's character Earnestine the operator (google it) used to say (back when Bell Tel. was a nationwide monopoly): "We're the phone company. We don't care. We don't have to!" Steve, don't turn into Earnestine. Please.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    #4
    Sorry, but this post looks like a whole lot of crazy
     
  5. macrumors regular

    #5
    Sorry, did you get this out of what I said? I was referring to apple's ability to make their own chipset for the MBA. Sorry for any confusion. Apple can try to get their hands on as many C2D's as they can, however, Intel will stop production, and sell off the rest, and that will be that. Apple will be unable to order more, however, they will still be able to sell the ones they have.
     
  6. macrumors 6502

    #6
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    Oh, thanks for clarifying. I was sort of merging what you said, plus what someone who instead of replying in the thread, sent me a direct message on the same topic. //// So, to apply what you said to the tea leaf reading of when do Rev. D and E arrive... the worst case scenario on stalling with the current model, or a tiny bump up.... is that the "big revision" doesn't have to come in Jan. 2011... they could stall things way into 2011. Of course all Apple stuff can be said to be skimpy on some specs, and then the guessing-game on "When" doesn't help, either. But for a product with so little memory (for me it's the tiny SSD, not the small RAM) just to pick one thing, plus some unknown % of buyers say the case breaks even if it's not carried around.... this product NEEDS upgrading more than most. I thought that learning about 4wd cars was complicated. But omg that was nothing compared to picking a #^*@!$!/#^ laptop! To someone not in the computer biz, the amount of minutae is just out of this world. And how does the computer user keep up on this treadmill of fast design/OS/software obsolescence, when one ages into one's later years when memorisation of new things needed keep replacing and using a laptop, gets harder? --- (I saw Bill Gates introduce Microsoft's simplified O/S interface (right term ?) named "Bob", a few years ago. Then, I guess they never launched it, right?) --- I feel like I'm on this treadmill of demand-to-learn that is not really for my benefit as a computer user, but is mostly for the benefit of competing corporations that have no concern for getting the whole assemblage to work. /// Well, that ends today's sermon. Thanks for your reply. :eek:)
     
  7. macrumors regular

    #7
    Picking out the right computer

    What type of stuff will you be using the computer for? The easiest way to pick one is to tell people on this forum your needs, and let people tell you the specs, and everything you'll need.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    #8
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    MhKobe: Thank you. Just now I pecked out my needs list, but it wouldn't 'send', must've exceeded my phone's or the blog's word limit. Does anyone know the latter? ///// And, apologies: this phone doesn't seem able to separate paragraphs, so I use //// or ^^^^. Here goes: A Sony Vaio is out of the question, because I find Windows too complicated (tried the tablet), and can't be bugging friends for computer advice. The way Apple offers not just a product, but a whole educational SYSTEM :eek:) with it (classes, genius bar, 1:1 program) is exactly what this 50+ relative newbie needs. Plus -- I may be entering a grad school's specialised writing program next year, and they all have Macs, though the writing format's always 'Word'. So, "Dude, you're gettin' a Mac." I currently have no computer, and MUST buy no later than WWDC so I can spend the solid 6 mos. preceding the school's application date, doing more writing/research samples. ////// I realise all my "needs" vs. what's available, will boil down to many compromises. ////// I need the 3 lb. lightness to reduce arthritis pain (not to mention, reduce joint damage) from carrying a laptop to research libraries, bookstores and hopefully, to GRAD school soon. ///// I have big & growing archives of written and photo material, and having as much as possible of it IN the laptop for quick retrieval away from home would be almost essential. So, if the max. available SSD grows, I'll buy it. (But not aftermarket SSD; don't want to void warranty.) ///// Economically: I want just 1 computer and can afford just 1 ISP. So, I'll have no home ISP (and so -- no "go to my computer" type software to access big archives); because my cellular aircard will be my only ISP. The computer's long-term cost matters more than initial cost: I want to get 6+ years out of it, by replacing the battery at least once. So if by WWDC there's 2 new Air models, the higher model's cost is OK IF it reduces compromises re: what I need. Max. SSD size, best possible screen, hopefully a battery that can last for a day in library/travel/etc., and durability (hinge problem). "Durability" meaning in practical terms, that if only the higher 6/2010 model were to have a redesigned case, that 1 factor alone would have to control my choice, regardless of cost or anything else. ///// I need one of those project-organizing softwares to gather all sorts of formats of research items for each writing project. And something to make lots of paper files I'll digitise -- searchable and cross-indexed to the max. 'Aperture' or whatever's better to make my 3000+ and growing photo collection searchable. ///// When I guest lecture, I must connect to whatever projector setup they have, even if I must connect to projector THRU their Windows PC. I pray Office4Mac's enough for that, so I don't need Windows O/S on the Air. I prefer to not just carry lecture on USB key, because if they provide no monitor, I need my own. (The projection screen's often a blur to someone standing so close.) /// Thanks for any help :eek:)
     
  9. macrumors regular

    #9
    First off, I would like to say that an upgrade in SSD size is one of the most likely MBA updates to come at (hopefully) WWDC. I would wait until then, and if a new one doesn't come out buy an iPad, with a keyboard dock, and camera connection kit. Store your massive amounts of photos on labeled SD cards, and just carry all those around. Buy Pages for it and you are set.
    -also, buy the battery replacement thing because they will send you a brand new iPad once your battery goes
    -also, you will be unable to connect to a projector from an iPad (it might come in OS 4 though, I forget)

    If they do update the MBA, and you feel it would be a better option for you, then I would still go for iWork over office, because iWork is cheeper, and much simpler to use. iWork can export to the office files, as well as import them if you need to share. if you need to connect to a projector then you will need to buy some mini display port adapters, depending on the inputs the projectors have.

    Good Luck
     
  10. macrumors regular

    thewireman

    #10
    Maybe they can make 128 bit CPU.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    #11
    Why would they want to?- we have no use for one yet.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    #12
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    mKobe: Hmmmm. Food for thought. What does it mean that a text typed originally in 'Notes' on an iPad, can be "exported to 'Word'."? Please keep in mind that an editor might edit my text and then send it back to me, and I may then want to tweak that copy a little and resubmit it. (i.e., not fixing the original text copy that I have in storage.) Can an iPad importing/exporting (???) do all that? (What I cannot do is argue the case with an all-powerful editor or school, that 'Notes' is better than 'Word'. As the expression goes, being merely right about "that, plus $2.50 -- will get you a ride on the subway." Whose price is $2.50) I did say that one less-hassle reason I'm switching to Mac is that I can't pester friends for PC headaches. But (new) I also don't want to pester others to plug into their computers to register the iPad with iTunes (Apple salespeople have told me, otherwise I've bought a brick. Does yesterday's cash-purchase and "register in store" announcement -- change that? Until updates needed?). Apple store staff told me weeks ago -- iPad can't update via Wi-Fi or 3G, they tell me (my Sprint Touch Pro can do that, so I don't know what Apple's excuse is); but iPad has to plug into a computer to update. But my financial reality is -- I'm trying to avoid having more than one computer or almost-computer, and trying to avoid having more than one ISP. (As soon as I get a computer with 3G aircard plugged in (or iPad 3G ?), I may even go back to having a non-smart phone, to dump that redundant ISP.) //// Another question - How easy , comparing w/ an 'Air' with Aperture or better photo management software on it, for me to use an iPad to dig thru thousands of photos on SD cards, pluck out 1 here and 1 there (using numerous keyword tags sometimes, but sometimes not so I'm searching through hundreds) and assemble the picks into Keynote presentations? //// I know Keynote for Mac allows me to have notes for my lecture, which the audience doesn't see. Does the Jr. edition of 'Notes' for the iPad, do that? Generally, what does the Jr. Notes not do, that the full Notes can do?
     
  13. macrumors regular

    #13
    Sorry, forgot that you don't have another computer already, in that case, an iPad won't work. Although, I would like to say that you would need to purchase Pages for the iPad if you did go down that route. Pages is basically the apple made version of word for mac, it is just like how Keynote is the apple made powerpoint. Pages can import, and export to word files, on both Mac and iPad, however Keynote, and Numbers for iPad are unable to export to powerpoint, and excel (the mac version can).

    Taking into account that information I had forgotten about (you don't have a personal computer), it is probably unwise to invest in a post-pc device. I would just keep waiting and hope apple doesn't disappoint, however, in the event that they don't update it know that the current MBA is a perfectly capable computer for text editing, email, web browsing etc. -I even do 3D rendering on mine occasionally. I would recommend a good portable hard drive (not all will have equal performance, and some will have a life as short as 6 months), I would recommend LaCie, as they make decent durable portables (they are a little more expensive than some other brands, but I find they work quite well).

    Anymore questions, just ask... Good Luck.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    #14
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    So when Pages can "export to Word files" that means in effect no compatibility problem? Hmmmm. Something to ask the store to explain more. The not converting to Powerpoint doesn't matter, nor does the Numbers stuff. when they say iPad doesn't do flash, does that mean -- won't play a flash video found in a website... or, it won't display certain whole websites? ///// Someday the iPad gets its "big update", and who knows where we'll be then. It's already "better than any laptop" at websurfing as SJ said at the start of its intro. I just watched some of the intro over again, after reading that iPad's weekly sales are 190% of all Mac's. Maybe a la IBM selling off the ThinkPad biz, Apple sells off the Mac biz, and renames Apple Inc., one more time. //// I can live without watching HD, but if I were in grad school using it -- all day 7 days a week, and the hinge broke, and I lost use of it for just week ..... my education and esp. my ability to produce enough work to compete to get enough grants to finance year #2 would be endangered. The school requires finished writing to be digitally submitted every day, and the pace is "run, run, run!" ///// Last thought -- between the Rev. B and C, is there any statistical hint that C's hinges got upgraded? In the incidence %'s of breakage? If not, and then the 2.13 flubs HD video just as the 1.86 120-SSD does... then it seems the pick goes to the 1.86.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    #15
    It will not show flash content on sites. They show up as a grey area with blue lego looking block with "?"s on it. On some sites, this completely breaks functionality. It all depends. Sites that require flash may redirect you to a warning page, etc.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    #16
    Lets not get in to the flash vs HTML5 debate here, as it is something that shouldn't bother regular people. I am currently designing a graphically based HTML5, and javascript web builder for iPad to hopefully improve the accessibility of these rich tools for average people, however, flash can still be a big whole in the web. For example, wix.com is a fantastic way for people to build websites as simply as they can make a slideshow in powerpoint. This is an excellent tool for people, and is encouraging people to support flash.

    As for the hinge problem, they will probably update the form of the MBAs when they update them because of this massive wait time. This should hopefully become a non-issue soon.

    Sorry for the poor wording, I'm restless, and my english has suffered.
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    #17
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    stoconnel: Could you please give me a few website addresses, that would illustrate each of those degrees you mentioned, of not working or just partially working on a iPad? I may have a chance early Sat. morning, to go into an Apple store and "go to" those addresses, and see for myself what you wrote about. On an iPad and an iPhone. Inquiring minds want to know! Even though I'm 99% sure that "I'm saving myself" for my first Apple product (since my old fling with Newton) to be -- with a Macbook Air. :eek:) ////// Even my windows semi-smart phone doesn't work with all websites. For example, on daringfireball.net (now, that's editing!) the photos with the headlines look like tiny blank squares. On some general news sites, the videos won't play. /// On sites like darkroastedblend.com the page is way wider than my screen, so there's so much sliding it to left and right, that it's essentially unusable. And words sometimes overlap. I don't know the "why"s of any of these incompatibilities. ///// Oh, also: I can open some PDFs, or see actual sample pages from a book on a site selling physical books -- but a whole page on a tiny screen with type way too tiny to even render in a focussed way -- may in some narrow technical sense be functionality, but it isn't usable. My phone's ability to zoom up, works on some sites, but not others. If an iPhone or iPad opened files but displayed them too small... well, maybe when I'm at home with a big monitor to plug into - those pages would become readable?
     
  18. macrumors 65816

    fabian9

    #18
    wow, ever heard of line breaks? Your posts are extremely hard to read with all those /// instead of line breaks.
     
  19. macrumors 6502

    #19
    Let's see, here are a few

    http://miniusa.com will redirect you to a page saying you need flash
    http://www.wmata.com has a flash-based news widget on the front page, they do have an interactive map http://www.wmata.com/rail/maps/map.cfm that works on the iphone.
    http://hulu.com has all their video content as flash

    The iPhone and iPad have pinch to zoom functionality as well as the ability to reorient in either landscape or portrait, which can overcome a lot. It's not perfect and can be a bit "fiddly".
     
  20. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    #20
    I hate to say it, but I don't read his posts because of it. I tried, and I just cannot make it work for me. Paragraphs are a completely necessary feature of reading. It is difficult to read a blob of text without spacing. I know why the /// is there, but it doesn't help graphically make the blob of text into paragraphs.

    Sorry. ThinkDesign. I know you have some good ideas and your posts are enlightening but it's just too difficult to read them without moving them to a text file and manually sorting into paragraphs - which is too much work for enjoyable reading.

    When you get a device that allows you to use paragraphs, I look forward to reading your posts again.
     
  21. macrumors regular

    #21
    The Irony...

    As for some websites that use flash and have no HTML alternative, try wix.com.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    #22
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows CE; IEMobile 7.11) Sprint PPC6850SP)

    "The irony..." Yeah, really. ----- If I had never read a Mac-related blog, never learned all the shortcomings of the Air, never read the M.R. Buyers Guide, and never read this Air blog's theories that the upgrade to fix the shortcomings is always just around the corner... I would've BOUGHT the Air no later than January, and it would've been a far better decision than all this waiting. AND I'd be posting with a device that CAN make separate PARAGRAPHS. Sigh.
     
  23. macrumors 601

    Scottsdale

    #23
    Well if it means anything to you I, for one, hope to hell Apple ALLOWS you to buy an MBA soon. A relevant and current MBA that is a decent value proposition.

    The old schedule of an update every six to eight months was ridiculous... the new schedule, which is definitely due to the damned iPad, is 11+ months which is absurd for Apple's system of no discounts for ancient tech.

    I am shocked the MBA update didn't come before WWDC, because I was certain it would come before WWDC. I thought C2D and Nvidia 320m were a lock. Now I don't know what to think. It has been so long, and us Apple faithful just want to give Apple some money for a fair upgrade to the MBA.

    I guess Apple could wait to show off an MBA with a new design, same C2D and Nvidia 320m, but maybe Verizon 4G/3G capable Internet? I mean what is the minimum requirement Apple would use to update the MBA at WWDC? Maybe just a Verizon 4G/3G/LTE network card? I guess it's a possibility. We're all expecting the Verizon connection at some point. I suppose another alternative is Core i7 with a complete component restructuring. I just don't know what will happen now.
     
  24. macrumors regular

    #24
    I hope not because that probably means another contract to add to the stack, and the cost will probably be too absurd to buy without a contract (proof:iPhone 3Gs).
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    #25
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    Scottsdale: Yeah, there are 2 general paths Apple can take w/ the Air: One of their usual mini-bumps, or, a marketing hypothesis of -- don't bother until we have something special, a neato feature that people will have to come to us to get. Or at least is a big step within our sleepy garden -- which internal 4/3G would be. One of the PC mags just predicted a leapfrog -- a touch-screen. .... We can imagine what would be logical & maybe creative too. But as a law student once told me "Law is history, not logic." Jobs's statement that - design is about saying No, isn't logical, but it is the history.
     

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