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Apr 12, 2001
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Ars Technica's John Siracusa has posted an exhaustive review of Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard that delves deep into some of the technical changes behind Apple's latest operating system. The 23 page review covers topics that were previously covered under developer non disclosure agreements.

Siracusa covers technical topics such as Grand Central, OpenCL, as well as the typical user interface tweaks. They also explain why Mac OS X 10.6 does not boot into 64-bit mode and why you shouldn't really care:
If it makes you feel better to know that your kernel is operating more efficiently, and that, were you to actually have 96GB of RAM installed, you would not risk starving the kernel of address space, and if you don't have any 32-bit drivers that you absolutely need to use, then by all means, boot into the 64-bit kernel.

For everyone else, my advice is to be glad that K64 will be ready and waiting for you when you eventually do need it—and please do encourage all the vendors that make kernel extensions that you care about to add K64 support as soon as possible.
Siracusa also explains that many of the underlying changes in Snow Leopard are to push developers into the right path for the future of Mac OS X, and the $29 price is meant to help drive user adoption. He also speculates that Snow Leopard is a prelude to radical new features in the next revision of Mac OS X.
As for the future, it's tempting to view Snow Leopard as the "tick" in a new Intel-style "tick-tock" release strategy for Mac OS X: radical new features in version 10.7 followed by more Snow-Leopard-style refinements in 10.8, and so on, alternating between "feature" and "refinement" releases. Apple has not even hinted that they're considering this type of plan, but I think there's a lot to recommend it.


Article Link: Detailed Technical Look at Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard
 

RTiii320

macrumors 6502a
Aug 15, 2008
596
0
Long Beach, CA
Wow Snow Leopard was just released and they are already talking about how this is a prelude to the next mac-os .. It never ends, that's what's makes Apple who they are.
 

VoR

macrumors 6502a
Sep 8, 2008
917
15
UK
Booting 64bit by default would be a better way to encourage vendor adoption I would have thought?
Removing the silly hardware restriction (and destroying their computer division?) would be a better way to increase user adoption too? :)
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,181
115
Interesting. I doubt they'll do a tick-tock release of OS's though.

If they were to do such a thing again, then even charging for it could be questionable. It'd appear to people that 10.7 would pretty much be a $129 public beta, then 10.8 would be a $29 upgrade to get everything optimised and streamlined.
 

FSMBP

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,585
1,873
I don't know if I like that how OS X is going to be in a cycle of new features, then a new version that is just refinements.

I thought Snow Leopard was refinements, and from now on Apple will deliver new features (with no need to refine, because the features should be optimized already).

Apple should just make every new feature with its best software team and leave no room for unnecessary or inefficient code.
 

themoonisdown09

macrumors 601
Nov 19, 2007
4,319
15
Georgia, USA
I've read a couple sections of the review so far and I've really enjoyed it. I'll finish it up at lunch when I have more time.

I really like his insight on QuickTime X. He talks about how QuickTime X is like how OS X was when it was first released.
 

corinhorn

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2008
713
17
USA
Wow Snow Leopard was just released and they are already talking about how this is a prelude to the next mac-os .. It never ends, that's what's makes Apple who they are.

Hasn't each version of Mac OS X been a prelude to the next?
 

mr.steevo

macrumors 65816
Jul 21, 2004
1,390
888
Hi,

If 64 Bit is still on the horizon then why were the long ago G5's touted as being 64 Bit? Was it a marketing thing on IBM/Apple's part?

s.
 

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,521
1,283
I somehow doubt they will "tick-tock" since this update was only above 10.5 due to dropping support for older architecture. It it was mere refinement, I bet it would have been just another point-number version.

If Apple will "tick-tock" every 3 years and drop support of hardware only 3 years old, I'd be pissed. That would be death to Apple. If they use a "tick-tock" method of release to merely gain a few extra bucks every 36 months, it might not be so bad if the upgrade is worth it...

This upgrade isn't worth it, yet. It's too buggy at this time. 10.6.1 might be good to go for the average, productive user.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,943
1,303
Washington DC
As usual with John's reviews, I end up learning WAY more than I thought there was to know! :eek:



If 64 Bit is still on the horizon then why were the long ago G5's touted as being 64 Bit? Was it a marketing thing on IBM/Apple's part?

The hardware on the G5 was 64-bit and it was capable of running 64-bit software. This usually meant custom software for things like science labs, not somehting you'd buy to bring home.

Each version of OS X has brought a little bit more 64-bitness to the home user. We're getting close, but it will be 10.7 or 10.8 before the transition is totally complete.
 

tabasco70

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2009
316
0
Japan
Wonder what kind of racial new features they might pack into 10.7.
I know that's a long way into the future, but I remember reading in several places about a year ago that Apple was planning on completely redesigning the User Interface and how we use computers.

I didn't and don't really believe they'll completely overhaul the UI, but it'll be nice to see the 'tock' of the tick-tock cycle as the author says.
 

No1451

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2008
474
0
Ottawa, ON
Hi,

If 64 Bit is still on the horizon then why were the long ago G5's touted as being 64 Bit? Was it a marketing thing on IBM/Apple's part?

s.

You're confusing 64bit hardware and software, a 64bit processor is required to run the software but is meaningless if you aren't. Basically saying a processor is 64bit compatible just means it's future-proof(for a home user) or can run 64bit windows which is more of a necessity for windows users than it is for OS X users.
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,396
1,390
Wherever my feet take me…
As for the future, it's tempting to view Snow Leopard as the "tick" in a new Intel-style "tick-tock" release strategy for Mac OS X: radical new features in version 10.7 followed by more Snow-Leopard-style refinements in 10.8, and so on, alternating between "feature" and "refinement" releases. Apple has not even hinted that they're considering this type of plan, but I think there's a lot to recommend it.

In my opinion, I it would be nice if Apple was more like MS in the way where instead of putting out a new major version of the OS every 12-18 months, they took maybe 3 years between each version. That way, they can add a lot of amazing new features and take the time to take all the bugs out.
 

iBug2

macrumors 601
Jun 12, 2005
4,383
663
As usual with John's reviews, I end up learning WAY more than I thought there was to know! :eek:





The hardware on the G5 was 64-bit and it was capable of running 64-bit software. This usually meant custom software for things like science labs, not somehting you'd buy to bring home.

Each version of OS X has brought a little bit more 64-bitness to the home user. We're getting close, but it will be 10.7 or 10.8 before the transition is totally complete.
The transition is complete. What else do we need? We got K64 and almost all system apps 64 bit. The rest will come from 3rd party vendors in time. We'll all be booting into K64 in couple of months.
 

Lesser Evets

macrumors 68040
Jan 7, 2006
3,521
1,283
In my opinion, I it would be nice if Apple was more like MS in the way where instead of putting out a new major version of the OS every 12-18 months, they took maybe 3 years between each version.
This release was around 22 months from the last. It was more like 2 years, but they originally slated release for January 2009.

I'd rather that they spend more time refining their OS over several years as well. What they should be doing now is making their other programs more versatile and refined: Numbers, iWeb, iTunes, iMovie, iDVD, etc.

Apple could conquer if they made an iWeb program that wasn't so stiff and bloated: something even more versatile for the average person and business owner. The web programming is too complex for average neophytes, and takes too long to study and learn if you are busy doing other things like running a business. iWeb is a great baby step in a lucrative direction, but I doubt Apple will grab hold of that market because they are focused on devices and OS at this time.

As for iTunes... what a load. It's a good music program, but for video it is so clunky. And they still haven't fully worked out dual screen function.
 

Farplaner

macrumors 6502
Aug 4, 2008
303
0
23 page is way too long... I wish they had a table of contents so I can just click on whatever topic I'm interested in.

I also wanted to learn more about the new Cisco VPN support, but there was nothing about that...
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,667
4,674
The Peninsula
Was it a marketing thing on IBM/Apple's part?

It was pure marketing hype (and lies about being "the first 64-bit desktop") when the G5 was released.

The version of OSX that shipped with the G5 had *no* 64-bit capability, so when the first G5s shipped there was no 64-bit software.

The next version of OSX added minimal support for command (terminal.app) applications to use 64-bit addresses.
 

Winni

macrumors 68040
Oct 15, 2008
3,207
1,195
Germany.
or can run 64bit windows which is more of a necessity for windows users than it is for OS X users.

And why is that? Windows 7, like Vista and XP before it, will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. The only difference between Apple and Microsoft is that Microsoft's platform has a MUCH better 64-Bit support than Apple's platform, especially when we are talking about hardware drivers. And unlike Apple, Microsoft does not switch their targeted hardware platforms every two years while at the same time abandoning the 'older' architectures.
 
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