Mac/x86-What about Classic?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by The Lamprey, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. The Lamprey macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2004
    Overlooking border and beach
    From all the news about the switch to Intel and and the new branch for mac x86 programming, has anyone talked about the future of the old Classic applications? Will we still be able to use OS 9? What about all the applications that we have for classic?, I know that most of the apps have been port over to osX and run just fine, and mostly only a small percent still use classic, I know that myself that I rarely even open a classic app. however, it is useful for item that i need to run. Will apple use a extra emulator to be used? a possible Mac-on-linux(probably not since it is a virtual machine and depends upon the processor structure and ROM) or use softmac express. There haas been intrest in the new MOM(Mac-on-Mac) Emulator which is very promising.

    In addition What of the Fate will Altivec Have, Is it on life support? or will the new x86 processors be custom made for Apple, specifically and increase in the multimedia components? There was talk of a Multi architecture processor a while back that will run multi operating systems using a software layer to switch inbetween the two. What over happend to this? I was very suprised about the annoucement of the switch, specifically when IBM announced the Cell processor and other chips from IBM, running above 3Ghz, this was promising for Apple but, we have not heard of anything about this. From all the information about the IBM roadmap was interesting and their chips derived from the Power 5-6 were very promising for apple and the Apple Customers were hoping for the best, A very big Blow to IBM for it's failure.

    Well a bright spot is that the Switch should allow peripherals to be come cheaper, it is easier to adapt hardware to the x86 that to PPC from more vendors than from a few. PCI ExpressX16 boards, Raid boards, and others can be adapted more easily.

    In addition, what of the Value of the hardware being dropped? Steve says that PPC and Intel will be supported for many years to come but what of consumers choice in the matter, what will they go for? As a MacHead myself I have a big decision to make in buying my next computer. Now I am running a G4 AGP, from the original 500 Mhz to a 1.4 Ghz chip and from a Rage Pro 128 to now a Radeon 9800 Pro with 128 Mbs of Ram. Now I have a hard choice to make the Almost $7000 that I was saving up to buy a new Power Mac 3 Ghz when they were supposably gonna come out, now being left scratching my head and being told to sit back down and wait a little bit before purchasing a new computer. What should I buy now? I love the 30 in Cinema Display, but what is gonna Run it? I am now left here waitng to jump in to either a near Dead PPC or a new Intel Machine. A problem that is hard to answer. Now I am thinking of Spending $3000 for a down payment for a new car instead. oh well...

    Well that's all for now some questions to be answered, Please post comments.
  2. DakotaGuy macrumors 68040


    Jan 14, 2002
    South Dakota, USA
    Alti-Vec is dead, but the Intel processors have much better technology called MMX, I believe, (only from comments I have read here and other places, I am not an expert on this) so they should be able to tap into that. From everything I have seen and read I think Classic will be gone after that as well. They will figure if you need to run a Classic program use a PPC Mac which will still be in huge supply. By the time all the decent PPC Macs are gone, OS9 will be like trying to run an Apple IIe program. That is my thinking anyhow.
  3. bankshot macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2003
    Southern California
    This PDF at Apple's Developer site will answer many of your questions.

    From what I can gather, Rosetta will not support Classic apps. I'm not sure of the technical reasons why (Classic is just an application that runs on top of OS X, after all), but OS 8 and 9 apps are specifically excluded from the list of things that Rosetta will run. From Appendix A of the PDF:

    Basically I think the AltiVec and G4/G5 exceptions are the same thing - if an app requires G4 or G5, that means it wants/needs AltiVec. The System Preferences one seems weird to me - I wonder why that is? The rest all make sense.

    As for supporting AltiVec code for developers, Appendices B and C of that same document go over the x86 equivalents. It looks like this will be an extremely useful reference for a lot of developers moving forward.
  4. StealthRider macrumors 65816


    Jan 23, 2002
    Yokosuka, Japan
    Wait...the G5 had AltiVec added by Apple after it's first incarnation as the Power4. Would it be possible for Intel to add AltiVec to the chips it supplies Apple?
  5. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus


    Jan 9, 2004
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    Woah! Slow down! Breathe! :)

    With respect to Classic...I think people just sadly need to move on. All the switchers can attest that there is really nothing that cannot be done in OS X that can be done in Classic, although one might *like* a Classic app better.

    With respect to the setup you were buying...what exactly do you need/want to do with a $7000 computer? Is this something you're really pricing out, or just a fantasy? I don't mean that to be crass...I just mean that most people who buy such expensive hardware have pretty specific goals for it. They don't spend that kind of money just for obsolescence prevention, when they could buy three fairly-high-end computers for a similar price. If you have a specific purpose in mind, then decide if the products you need to do what you want are available. If they are, who cares about obsolescence? It'll do the job you want. If you don't have a specific need for this kind of hardware then just wait it out.

    And also try not to panic about every detail of everything. The Apple Cinema Display you mentioned already works on PCs that support Dual Link, AFAIK. And the video card in those PMs is almost identical (ROM notwithstanding) to one provided on PCs. So the Intel switch has nothing to do with that, does it?

    But I think the bottom line is that *COMPUTERS ARE NOT AN INVESTMENT PURCHASE*....they don't appreciate in value. They don't maintain. You buy them, you use them, you enjoy them. That's pretty much it. It's a hard thing to accept, but it's the truth.
  6. joecool85 macrumors 65816


    Mar 9, 2005
    People do need to move on from classic, it's old, outdated and just won't be compatible forever. 10-20 years from now I'm sure people will complain about OS X stuff not being compatible with whatever is out at that point, but oh well, that's how computers work. A lot of DOS programs aren't compatible with current windows systems and a lot of 68k programs don't run properly on ppc setups...big deal.
  7. The Lamprey thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 17, 2004
    Overlooking border and beach
    Well I use my machine to do A lot of Video editing, and have upgraded it Last year to 1.4. I *was* gonna Purchase a new 3 ghz Machine when it came out. but we'll see. Every "Common Mac" User is not rich and are working class, so We have to scrimp and save to get the best products. I myself have been saving up for three years for a New "High End" Computer, Something that Won't be Ancient in a few years, my Computer now is almost five years old. Still works, but a bit slower. Went through at least ten HD's since but still chuggin'. I "really" like the Big 30", That's why the $7G. 1/2 for cpu, 1/2 for Display. And going to windows in never the answer.

    (for anyone's interest, just for kicks I tried to install Win Xp on a HD image using QEMU for OSX, Took more than 12 hours. ouch :(

    check out his
  8. Tilmitt macrumors member

    Apr 30, 2005
    That's quite enough FUD from you! Alti-Vec is actually superior to MMX/SSE. Research before you post. And this isn't a subjective thing, Alti-Vec is just plain better.
  9. crackpip macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    Indeed, Altivec is much better than mmx/sse. While Rosetta will not handle altivec code, since Panther's introduction, Apple has recommended using the Accelerate framework, which abstracts the vector code from the assembly/c calls originally required. This framework will be ported to Intel, so only some tweaking and a recompile should be needed to get the code working again. No need to learn the sse assembly instructions or whatever. So I suspect that for as long as MacOS X supports both architectures (which should be for at least a few years after the intel machines debut), vector code will continue to be improved and altivec will be supported as part of universal binaries.

  10. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2003
    Cardiff, Wales
    When i read this, I actually laughed out loud! No offense to you at all, as you said, you're not to know, but MMX was introduced in a Pentium 1 166mhz. It had little/no effect on multimedia apps. Was a joke at the time! Altivec is hardcore processing. Much much better.
  11. GFLPraxis macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    By the time we get the first Mac/x86's, it will be 2006, but PowerPC ones will still be sold. By the time most of the lineup are Mac/x86, it will be 2007.

    Anyone still needing Classic in 2007 will be quite outdated, lol.
  12. RubberChicken macrumors regular


    Sep 16, 2003
    Quite a big deal for some actually. I work in a design studio. When InDesign was released we decided to switch from Quark. We had not upgraded Quark since version 4 (Classic only) as it was a very large unwarranted expense. Also InDesign can open Quark 4 but not 5 or 6. A large number of our projects do not warrant immediate conversion to InDesign if only small edits are required. Next time we upgrade hardware we will either have to do all Quark 4 work on an old workstation or convert everything to InDesign our expense. I still use a couple of classic apps that are absolutely vital for our work. Their development has ceased years ago, so I would have to find alternatives... and I have found no equivelant in years of looking. Backwards compatability is a very big deal for some.
  13. mac-er macrumors 65816

    Apr 9, 2003
    This CNET article should help explain it all.

    It partly states:
    Essentially, once the new processors come on board, kiss support for OS 8, 9, and Classic goodbye.

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