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RE: Macintel [was Microsoft Word format screw-up---Help!]

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OK, now I am resisting the urge to go out and get a MacBook Pro.  If/when I
learn that I can also run Windoze (i.e. at least dual boot it) on it (and
thus my structural applications), then that will be my new laptop when I am
ready (which is not too far off).

Scott
Adrian, MI

-----Original Message-----
From: Christopher Wright [mailto:chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com]
Sent: Sunday, December 18, 2005 3:04 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Macintel [was Microsoft Word format screw-up---Help!]



On Dec 18, 2005, at 1:15 PM, Scott Maxwell wrote:

> I am not sure if
> Chris was implying that maybe such programs could run on a Macintel
> computer with in the Mac OS, but it seemed that was his implication.
That was the intent. My knowledge is second-hand, but authoritative.
Mac users can already use Virtual PC to run Wintel apps with current
machinery. Virtual PC is an emulator and slow--reasonably reliable, but
nothing you'd want to run AutoCAD or FEA with. It's fine for a lot of
those little dippy apps, that companies use as excuses to mandate PC
only. At the moment most popular office software is platform
independent. Vertical market software like CAD and FEA use is stuck in
the '80's in a sort of COBOL-flavored time stasis.

At the moment Mac and Windows apps differ both in machine language and
OS control, which makes emulation slow and never optimum. With Intel
guts and the Mac OS, machine language of the app is the same, but the
operating system differs, so the emulation gets that much easier. The
issue as I understand it is to come up with a scheme to make Mac OS
control look like Windows instructions to the machine language
processing. It's like the current emulation only without the overhead
of translating the machine language as well.

The other issue is the fact that there's a full scale UNIX OS
underlying OS X, which should also be the case for Intel-based Macs.
The general opinion is that practically anything that runs in UNIX,
especially BSD UNIX, compiles for the Mac with little difficulty.
There's a fair amount of good scientific software for the Mac,
sometimes straight UNIX apps, sometimes UNIX apps with an OS X wrapper.
Noran Engineering is writing a version of NASTRAN for the Mac and there
are already plenty of good CAD apps from the one-holer desktop variety
to fancy stuff like Ashlar CAD apps which are as good as anything in
the Windoze world and better than most.

As for market share, I believe that's a function of corporate inertia
and the enormous clout that IT people have in directing machinery
purchases. That's the case with most of the firms I do business with,
and engineering users usually end up at the brown end of the stick.
When you spend a lot of time dealing with network issues and bugs and
viruses, you get like Winnie-the-Pooh coming down the stairs
bump-bump-bump on the back of his head, with Christopher Robin dragging
him by one foot. Pooh sometimes imagines that there's a better way, if
only he could stop bumping for a moment and start thinking about it.
Thus it is with Wintel users.

Christopher Wright P.E. |"They couldn't hit an elephant at
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com   | this distance" (last words of Gen.
.......................................| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania
1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw/


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