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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Sad Little Boot Camp Op/Ed

TUAW giggles and snorts at the FUD contained within this opinion piece at a college paper:

Macs operate at a lower CPU temperature than PCs. When a Mac starts to emulate a Windows platform completely, the computer must provide additional voltage to provide the computing power. The heat generated from over-clocking the hardware results in faster hardware degradation. If you get enough excess heat, you can start cooking your computer and maybe even dinner while you're at it.

Second, why did you get a Mac? Because you don't possess savvy computer skills or you don't play games. For the first point, installing Boot Camp and getting it to run successfully for all programs requires decent PC computer knowledge. Thus, those who are computer illiterate have had nothing solved. Those who are into the latter point continue on, but gamers should be aware that getting a Mac to run PC games will result in heartache - this I can guarantee. The graphics in many games these days require a level of customization on the computer that Macs cannot provide. Apple calls their lack of customization "computer stability."

Finally, my third point references to the industry. History has shown us that emulating your competition's software means you're losing. Back in the day, IBM made its computers emulate Microsoft Windows just like Apple. IBM's OS division went bankrupt in a few years. This was further facilitated by Microsoft's cutthroat tactics. They altered their own software so IBM couldn't emulate it anymore and it is only fitting that Microsoft will do so again.
-- Boot Camp crashes and burns

Whoa, buddy. The author of this piece, Venkat Pullela, is a senior philosophy major. He should stick to philosophy, because he's an idiot about computers.

#1 - Macs run using the same physics as everyone else, as dictated by the laws of reality. If they run cooler it's because they have better ventilation or tax the CPU less. MacBook Pros, for the record, have gotten a quick reputation for running rather hot. Nobody is going to ruin their stock computer simply by running different software.

#2 - I got a Mac because I was tired of Microsoft's nonsense and OS X finally delived a *nix based OS I could really enjoy. It's also the first OS I've used since my Amiga which allows you to throw whatever level of expertise you desire. You can just do nothing and run everything stock or you can get under the hood and customize the heck out of everything. Windows despises being left alone and hates you for fiddling with it, a fine "rock and hard place" OS if I've ever used one. I love the Mini, but I also have yet to tap into it's full potential as a computer.

And simply put, anyone telling me I got a Mac because I lack computer skills and hate gaming is an idiot.

#3 - Boot Camp, you moron, is not emulation. OS/2 (specifically Warp) tried to "run Windows better than Windows" ... and for the record ... it succeeded for a while. OS/2 had better memory management, better multi-tasking and a hella of a lot better UI. Microsoft, however, had far better marketing capacity and undercut's IBM's efforts. IBM's mistake wasn't emulation, it was ignoring the fact they had a great OS until it was too late.

However - all of that is moot because Boot Camp is not emulation. Boot Camp is merely solid partitioning, installation and bootstrap software. Not entirely unlike software that ships with lots of Windows boxes, just designed for two OS's.

You know, most philosophy majors I knew in college could at least tell an apple apart from an orange. My pledgefather was a philosophy/com sci double who later in life would write A.I. simulations for the military.

I'm hoping Venkat prepares himself for a solid career in the philosophy of "you want fries with that?"

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Jason "Botswana" Cox said...

Weird assertions. Dual booting computers is not anything new, so obviously this guy hasn't a clue as to what the whole Boot Camp thing is all about.

My understanding was that Apple simply made it easier. To be honest, I have been paying much attention to the whole ordeal because dual-booting a computer doesn't seem like that big a deal to me. It really just makes the world scarier for the Dells out there, which is of little concern to me.

Josh said...

Boot Camp is just a simple and easy way of doing what hackers would be doing anyway. AFAIK, it requires some tricks dealing with the Intel chipset and the way Windows boots ... but a group had already worked around it a week or two before BC's beta release.

At the end of the day, though, it's just running Windows on Intel hardware.

So yeah, it's mostly a big deal to Mac users who don't want another box just to run a few Windows proggies. It might be something which makes my next box a MacBook Pro, but possibly not. I already have the CheapBox for running Windows and I can probably upgrade it to be a better gaming rig.

So more likely my next box will be a cheap Mac laptop to replace my rapidly dying cheap Windows laptop.