Which platform?

Tim Cutts Zoology tjrc1 at mole.bio.cam.ac.uk
Thu Jun 27 01:44:58 EST 1996

In article <Scott.Delinger-2606961158400001 at sherlockholmes.chem.ualberta.ca>,
Scott Delinger <Scott.Delinger at ualberta.ca> wrote:
>In article <31C977BB.1AA7 at ibex.ca>, Achim Recktenwald <achim at ibex.ca> wrote:
>>The Mac might be easier to use, but you pay ~2x as much as for the same
>power on an IBM-clone.
>Absolute rot. I have a Mac on my desk, for $3000 that the equivalent PC
>would cost at least $5000. I think you forgot to put a 3 in the
>denominator of your ~2x (~2x/3).

I think you are both exaggerating.  The Macintosh's price performance
ratio used to be dreadful, and the original poster just doesn't
realise that is changed.  But to say that Macs now offer better price
performance than PCs is also just not true, at least in the UK.

The principal reason for this is that most Mac software is still
written for the 68k processor, which is equivalant to trying to run
CP/M software on an MS-DOS machine.  It's needless crippling.  Apple
need to dump *all* 68k based products, if they haven't done so since
the last time I checked.

They also need to play catch-up in the operating system market.  Note
I am *not* talking about the user interface, which is still a market
leader, but what's under the hood, so to speak.  What difference does
it make if you have a whizz-bang 90MHz PowerPC processor when the
operating system won't let it do anything if you're formatting a disk
or operating your scanner?  This is the reason my crummy old 486DX-33
running Windows NT feels so much faster than my PowerMac 7200; as soon
as I start *any* job, be it running another program, formatting a
disk, or anything else, I can do something else immediately.  No more
hourglasses (or little watches, in Macspeak).  I find Macs very
frustrating these days - that little watch drives me crazy!

The point is that although the Mac hardware is undoubtedly very fast,
the lack of pre-emptive multitasking can prevent the user from really
making use of that speed.  Roll on Apple's new operating system - is
it Copland or Gershwin?  I can't remember which.


More information about the Bio-soft mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net