First of all, I am a PC and an Apple user; I'm on a PC right now.
On addressing the story concerning Apple being prone to hackers - of course Symantec is going to say this. I don't have evidence that suggests
Symantec actually manufactures viruses and outsources hackers, but I wouldn't be suprised... somebody with the last name of McAffe was in the order
of the Skull and Bones during the mid 80's. It's also worth mentioning that Windows purposefully will never make itself secure; here is why...
Right now, I'm working at a nationally known computer store. I sell PC's and Apples, and everybody who wants a new computer is paranoid about
contracting a virus. They say "My old computer has a worm. It's a Dell from about two years ago, and it's just running real slow. I downloaded some
program off the internet to check for viruses, and it said that I didn't have any. So who knows what it is... I just want a new computer."
A lot of people don't know the difference between "viruses" and "spyware"; it seems that most of what these people have is spyware when they
claim to have viruses. People don't know how to get spyware off their two-year old computer, so they go out and buy a new one. I'm dead serious; I
can't tell you how many cases like this I've had.
Sometimes I suggest that they go home and download Spybot S&D or upgrade to XP Pro, but most of these people just want a new computer anyway, and this
is when I suggest Apple.
As for hackers using OSX as a platform... I've never heard about that. What I have heard, is speculation that most hackers are current/former
employees/programmers for Microsoft or other PC-based software developers; speculation, yes, but it makes sense. Also, I think Apple is offering a
reward to the person who can hack their website - I've heard this at work, but I'm not sure. This doesn't say that this testament of security
carries over to their [Apple's] products, but it just shows how high of a priority security is to them.
Now I'm going to address the hard-core PC people who have this nutty hatred for Apple computers.
Steve Jobs loaned the Macintosh's GUI code (not written by Jobs, but by a guy who recently died- I forget his name) to Bill Gates, as Gates was
working on a word processor that he wanted to release as software for the Mac. But Gates and some others reverse-engineered the code, and changed some
things around so that they could come up with a GUI'd OS for the IBM DOS-based platform, which wasn't very consumer-savvy.
-Meanwhile Linus Torvald creates the first kernel for Linux-
So look at it this way - Microsoft evolved because of Apple - todays PC's are user-friendly (meaning they have a Graphical User Interface) because of
Apple invention; as you read this, it might get to surreal to think that you're interfacing thru Windows, but that over twenty years ago, Apple
released the technology nearly a decade before Windows 3.1 became readily available to the public.
"It's a UNIX system - I know this!"
It's also too bad that the rest of America didn't understand the young charachter Lex in Jurassic Park when she said this, because then everybody
would have been like "Wow - the Jurassic Park computers are Apple's" - which they literally were, as Apples were the backbone of the film's
ground-breaking computer animation. From here, Apple computers would be at the forefront of changing the production standards of the film industry -
and forever changing the way we watch movies (along with Silicon Graphics, also based on UNIX - Maker of Maya; the special effects program used for
productions like Lord of the Rings). Now Apple's have become an all-in-one solution for indi film makers and videographers. The highly respected
Final Cut Pro (written by the same people who write Adobe Premiere) has become an industry standard for professional Digital Video/High Def/Film
Currently, the PowerPC G5 chip is running Apple's line of Power PC's - a 64 bit chip running on a 32 bit OS, but still able to run 64 bit programs.
Once OSX Tiger comes out (soon), it will be 64 bit, and backwards compatible with 32 bit applications. 16GB of RAM should be available on
Tiger-equipped dual-chip PowerPC G5 desktops, and 8GB on the next-gen iMac's. Go to the Apple website to read more about Tiger.
The thing about Apple's is that they last longer than most PC's; largely because of user ignorance on the PC side - but there is no doubt that
Apple's are built better than their comparable PC counterparts. All you have to do is open up the side panel of the PowerMac G5 to see this.
They not only last longer physically, but they are built to handle the future. For example, the new Tiger OS will be shipping with H.264 compression
capability - basically, this is the next generation DVD codec for High Def. video that will be stored on Blu-Ray DVD's or HDDVD's.
If you think that Apple's are only good for video and graphics, you are mistaken. Apple was the first to integrate Gigabit ethernet support on their
computers - from iMacs to PowerBooks. That's 1000Mb per second transfer speed across a capable network. It is bocoming more of a reality to
businesses that UNIX-based and open-source servers will better serve their network.
By utilizing fast ethernet speeds and XGrid technology, a network of 64-bit computers will be able to share processing power, not just data. IBM's
"On Demand" business is based on open source technology which can also use Grid - the same as XGrid.
Now for the bad news...
If you die-hard Mac-lovers only use them because you think that Microsoft aims to take over the world, or that Microsoft has a contract with the
government to spy on Window's users, read this from the Apple website:
"When the Hypersonic Missile Technology (HMT) team at COLSA Corporation and the U.S. Army need to model hypersonic flight on a computer system,
they’ll no longer have to wait two months to get results.
"The HMT team, headed by senior scientist Dr. John Medeiros, now has access to one of the world’s largest and most powerful computers: a
supercluster of 1,566 64-bit, dual-processor Apple Xserve G5 servers.
"Called MACH5 — an acronym for Multiple Advanced Computers for Hypersonics — the Apple cluster “gives us more than 60 times the computational
power of our current production machine,” says Medeiros. What used to take two months can now be done in a day.
"Medeiros and the COLSA team chose the Xserve-based supercluster to model the complex aero-thermodynamics of hypersonic flight for the Research,
Development and Engineering Command (RDECOM) of the U.S. Army at nearby Redstone Arsenal. Working with the COLSA team, Drs. Billy Walker and Kevin
Kennedy of RDECOM conduct leading-edge analysis of hypersonic flight for a number of important military programs.
"At its peak, the supercluster can exceed 25 teraflops — calculating more than 25 trillion floating-point operations per second. By comparison, the
world’s fastest computer — NEC’s $350 million Earth Simulator — runs at a peak speed of 40 teraflops. A single person using a hand-held
calculator — without pausing to eat or sleep — would need more than two million years to calculate what the Apple supercluster can calculate in a
You PC lover's, however, will be getting your 64-bits in the next version of Windows, now known as Windows eXPedition (official release name).
Windows does have 64-bit OS versions - 2003 Server, and the upcoming XP Pro x64. Examining the Microsoft website, they do not seem to have a readily
accessable page dedicated to eXP, so the release date is uncertain at this point - and Microsoft doesn't want potential buyers stumbling across the
future on their own website... they would rather have them buy a computer now, unbeknownst to the 64 bit dilemma.
The 64-bit PC
At work, we asked our Intel rep what will happen to the Windows customers stuck with 32-bit chips who want to upgrade to the new 64-bit version of
Windows (eXP). "Umm... they don't know right now." Because Microsoft enjoys making as much money as possible, they will choose not to make their
new OS backwards-compatible with 32-bit applications. It'll be interesting to see, though, how fast spyware is developed for the 64-bit platforms.