When OS X led a secret life on Intel

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Mr. Dee, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. Mr. Dee macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

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    #1
    Back in 2005 at WWDC, Steve Jobs revealed in dramatic taste, how OS X was developed to be processor agnostic from its inception. Early hints of this can be found in developer previews of OS X, which let developers target either PowerPC or Intel development. Even ancestor of OS X, NextStep and OpenStep were available for Intel x86.

    My interest though surrounds Apple's maintenance of OS X, the marketed product on Intel in secret. There is a story on Quora posted by a Apple developers wife, who hacked together a working version on Intel for 18 months, without even Apple knowing it seems.

    This eventually became known as Marklar, but was never officially acknowledge due to secrecy. When Steve said every version of OS X was recompiled for Intel, was this just dramatics or actual behind the scenes strategy? Because this seemed to have been a one man, experimental project; on home machines that he suggested to his program manager at Apple; and wasn't something of interest to Apple until higher level folks such as Bertrand Serlet, Steve Jobs saw a fully working system running it.

    Also, there is not much detail as to whether this was the 'when you see it, you want to lick it' Aqua based OS X or maybe a proof of concept command line/verbose loading OS X on x86 hardware. What is known though, that the project was certainly legitimized around 'Jaguar', especially the story of how much lock down went into it. I do believe what was initially skunkworks, became a full team compiling Panther (and Tiger which we got to saw and use) on Intel.

    What would be interesting is, if it were possible to get ahold of those 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 and 10.3 releases of OS X on Intel. I am thinking of contacting Kim Scheinberg for more information and Craig Federighi if he would be willing to give me copies to play with.
     
  2. bmac89 macrumors 65816

    bmac89

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    #2
    I can't see why a company like Apple who keeps everything so locked down would want to give anybody "copies to play with..." but it's certainly worth a try! They don't even let you download the previous version of OSX unless you already 'purchased' it in the app store.
     
  3. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

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    #3
    Reading the comments on that Quora Thread, I am likely anticipating too much. There were likely no 10.0, 10.1, 10.2 Intel versions. What existed was a functional system that made it possible to bring up the window server.
     
  4. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #4
    Whatever did exist, you can be assured that Apple would never distribute it publicly.
     
  5. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

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    #5
    Actually, they did, its called OpenStep 4.2, Rhapsody and the early OS X Developer Previews. OS X on Intel diverged inside Apple after 10.0 PowerPC version was released, as a skunkworks project. It never had features like the Aqua interface until around late 2002 to 2003 and even then, it probably was terribly buggy, but functional.
     
  6. chrfr macrumors 604

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    #6
    Sure, but Apple isn't going to send you a copy of an unreleased version of OS X that runs on Intel. OpenStep and Rhapsody are a long way from OS X as it was released.
     
  7. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

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    #7
    Reading further, I probably wouldn't want it anyway. I was probably believing Steve's story of every major version being compiled for Intel. That was just probably persuasion at play. I could probably believe Panther and early crude copy of Jaguar version or Intel.
     
  8. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

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    Feb 20, 2009
    #8
    From the time OS X was first released, there were rumors that Apple was co-developing an Intel-based version (as well as the PPC standard version).

    And they were, of course.

    That's why, when Apple announced the switch to Intel CPUs, they had product ready for the market in such short order...
     
  9. Mr. Dee thread starter macrumors 68000

    Mr. Dee

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    #9
    Based on the Quora thread, yes, it was in development, but not as Aqua based OS X you got on PowerPC.
     
  10. dogslobber macrumors 68030

    dogslobber

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    Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
    #10
    What's the big deal about Aqua being PowerPC only? It's all source code which is compilable by the toolchain that doesn't discriminate between UI code and OS code. There's no reason to believe if the base OS could be compiled and booted on Intel for early OS releases that Aqua wouldn't too. As to getting older versions of the OS, you will certainly find the old source code on their internal servers but it's just so old that they wouldn't bother building it nowadays. OS images will likely have been deleted a long time ago given Apple probably is an eat-your-own-dog-food type company. i.e. they internally test latest and greatest OS X themselves.
     

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