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Apple introduces new iBooks Press Rel
Apple introduced the new iBooks today. With an AGP 2x Radeon card, the new iBook completes a lineup in which every machine can take advantage of the upcoming Quartz Extreme graphics acceleration (in Jaguar). They've also speed bumped the top-of-the-line machine to 700mhz.

Anyone interested in a used G3/500 2001 model? ;-)
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Apple introduces new iBooks | 27 comments | Create New Account
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Quartz Extreme? Are you sure?
Authored by: natenzon on May 20, '02 02:17:10PM

I heard Quartz Extreme needs 32MB on the video board to work.
The new iBooks feature only 16MB.
Am I wrong?



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Quartz Extreme? Are you sure?
Authored by: Guiyon on May 20, '02 02:33:47PM

No, the 32MB is not a requirement. Apple's site says that for Optimal performance you should have 32MB but that it will also run on any AGP Radeon card.



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OS upgrade needs hardware upgrade!?
Authored by: ibook on May 20, '02 03:43:43PM

Apple writes an upgrade to OSX which isn't fully compatible with the current ibook (graphics card). Then it upgrades its current ibook to be compatible with the upgraded OS. Does anyone see something wrong with this? Does anyone else wonder why Apple didn't write Jaguar to be fully compatible with the hardware in ALL recent models? Does anyone else who owns a one month old ibook get the feeling it'll be about as useful for running Jaguar as the G3 powerbook was for running OSX.0/X.1?



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stop the whining!
Authored by: see on May 20, '02 03:51:46PM

jaguar is fully compatible on machines that can't use quartz extreme. quartz extreme requres special hardware, which you don't have in your machine. you think apple shouldn't release quartz extreme just because there is old hardware out there that isn't technically capable of taking advantage of quartz extreme...thats just as stupid as saying "no opengl support should be added to macos because there are graphics cards that cant handle opengl"
you bought a machine with the specs you knew it had and just because apple releases something that works on other hardware doesnt make your machine less usable.



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stop the whining!
Authored by: ibook on May 20, '02 03:57:56PM

Ask an Apple developer whether there are any reasons why QE couldn't have been developed to provide speed increases for ATI RAGE 128 PRO & ULTRA cards. Then ask an Apple business strategist the same question. One will answer no, one will answer yes.



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Umm....NO
Authored by: krove on May 20, '02 04:46:09PM

Umm, this has been debated quite heavily over at the MacNN forums, and the evidence points towards Apple being correct that Quartz Extreme will NOT run on Rage 128s. Now this in not due to the processing power of the Rage 128, but rather the memory (how much and how fast it can be accessed).

1. AGP bus is a must thanks to tremendous improvements in memory bandwidth.
2. 32 MB seems reasonable for a recommended level considering that at 1024 x 768 x 32 bbp, you are talking about a minimum of 3.14 MB (but that's flat - you probably should remember that OS X buffers its windows - moving those windows into memory for compositing, etc).

It does not seem unreasonable that Apple recommends a minimum of 16 MB and recommends 32 MB.

Your argument is silly - you are not entitled to anything AFTER you bought your machine. By your argument, I should demand that DVDs play in my CD player or that I should be able to put a New VW Beetle engine in my '73 Beetle. Sorry, the world doesn't work that way - you bought it knowing full well what it was capable of, and low and behold something newer came out that it just can't handle. I happen to be in the same boat, but hey - no one ever said life was fair.

Kyle



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Umm....NO
Authored by: ibook on May 20, '02 06:39:36PM

>>Your argument is silly - you are not entitled to anything AFTER you bought your machine.

You have a good attitude. If Jaguar was brought out and only worked with dual G4 machines with 1gig ram there would be a lot of people out there who would wish for an attitude like this :)

>>By your argument, I should demand that DVDs play in my CD player or that I should be able to put a New VW Beetle engine in my '73 Beetle.

No. By my argument you should have the right to feel ripped off if you owned a 32x CD-rom for your computer but the new OS only supported 64x.

>>Sorry, the world doesn't work that way - you bought it knowing full well what it was capable of, and low and behold something newer came out that it just can't handle.

Well, maybe you're right. I expected my one month old iBook to be fully supported by Apple for at least 12 months. If that makes me stupid or naive then I'd be very very happy for Apple to tell me. I must add that I never expected my iBook to work as well or as fast as newer models. All I expected was that the best use possible would be made of its hardware -- rather than no use being made of some of its hardware because it isn't the newest model anymore.

I'd appreciate it if you could answer one question: This upgraded iBook is out before Jaguar, would you reply the same way you did to me if it turned out that, in the end, this new iBook was not fully supported?



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Umm....NO
Authored by: usfgpm on May 20, '02 07:12:50PM

-----snip----
Well, maybe you're right. I expected my one month old iBook to be fully supported by Apple for at least 12 months. If that makes me stupid or naive then I'd be very very happy for Apple to tell me. I must add that I never expected my iBook to work as well or as fast as newer models. All I expected was that the best use possible would be made of its hardware -- rather than no use being made of some of its hardware because it isn't the newest model anymore.
----snip----

What do you mean by "fully supported?" There are some benefits that only a Dual Processor machine can take advantage of, how does that affect those of us with single processor machines? It doesn't.

Let me put it to you this way: QE is not possible without the bandwidth available with AGP. You did not purchase a machine with AGP. Apple is not ignoring your hardware configuration because you don't have the newest model, they are just coming out with new technology that takes advantage of the AGP bandwidth. You knew your machine didn't have AGP when you bought it, so what is your problem?

The new TiBooks don't have Infrared. If apple comes out with some neat infrared technology next month does that mean that the people who just bought a TiBook should complain like you? No. They chose to buy a machine without that technology, just like you chose to buy a machine without AGP.

Stop whining and realize that Jaguar will run perfectly on your computer. No one has cheated you and your machine is nowhere near obsolete. Get over it.



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Umm....NO
Authored by: ibook on May 20, '02 07:31:55PM

Err, my iBook DOES have an AGP card.
I know the issues with how QE works. As far as I know there really is no reason why an AGP equipped 2001 iBook would not get a speed increase from QE, had QE been written to work with it. A G4 with a non-radeon AGP would probably NOT get a speed increase, but a G3 (even more so if it's the 500MHz model) would -- and even if the speed increase was marginal, load would be taken off the processor.
This is the point I'm trying to make. I don't expect my iBook to do more than it's capable of. All I expect is that the best use is made of the available hardware. I don't expect miracles -- and I don't understand why my expectations seem to be winding people up.

Sorry.



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Umm....NO
Authored by: taikahn on May 21, '02 12:31:02AM

You made an example of QE being obsolete... you talked about a new OS version supporting only a 64x CD as an example of your CD being obsolete. The CD DRIVE IS NOT OBSOLETE... the proper example would be, the new OS can use a 64x but since you have a 32x it only runs at 32x.... that is a big difference from NOT WORKING AT ALL.

You proved your own argument wrong.



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Your iBooks is just fine...
Authored by: marcinjeske on May 21, '02 02:09:58AM

Stop worrying... nobody is taking your iBook away.

1. Quartz Extreme takes advantage of unused hardware when it makes sense to do so... While we've already conjectured that AGP 2X is a limiting factor (to allow enough bandwidth to make QE efficient, I believe another bottleneck is memory. As was pointed out elsewhere, buffering an entire screen (1024 x 768 at 32 depth) takes about 3MB of memory. Now, looking just now at how many screenfuls of windows I have open, I'd estimate 5. Therefore, if QE works the way we think, my system would require approx. 15MB of video memory.

The recommended 32MB provides about 10 screenfuls... pretty decent.
But the 8MB which came in your iBook 2001 could only muster about two and a half. That pretty much makes it pointless, as it would only be useful when switching between a couple of visible windows... quite a minimalist windowing environment. Every performance tweak has trade-offs, and in this case, I think Apple decided that shuttling windows back and forth on the iBook 2001 slower bus, with little to show for, was not worth the effort.

Your iBook is fully supported by Mac OS X. Your hardware simply can't take advantage of some of the improvements. While such a situation is unfortunate, it is a necessary by-product of technological change. New hardware introduces new capabilities which older hardware can't match. And even in situations where newer features could be written for older technology, the benefits gained are so small or even negative, that the effort is a waste.

- Marcin (who is chugging away with Mac OS X on a beige G3, the oldest "fully supported" Mac OS X computer.)



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You are STILL supported
Authored by: krove on May 21, '02 12:40:29PM

No one ever said your machine was not supported. You'll still enjoy the reported increases in "snappiness" without the use of Quartz Extreme.

Newer machines will be able to take advantage of this new technology. Get over it. You can't expect Apple to grandfather in every customer they have: the platform wouldn't go anywhere, as we'd be stuck waiting for everyone to catch up (which would of course never happen). The line had to be drawn somewhere (in this case they had no choice - the technology deemed that ONLY AGP 2x and great and 16MB and greater cards would be supported).

If it makes you feel better, I have seen that a plist exists to control which cards will and will not run QE. Try turning it on in your iBook and see where it gets you. Probably nowhere because this is not a conspiracy of planned obsolesence.



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You are STILL supported
Authored by: radfordr on May 21, '02 04:20:00PM

I had an iBook on order when Steve Jobs made the Quartz announcement. I would not have bought if I had known but still had to take delivery of a machine after finding out that Apple was not optimizing its operating system for machines they were then delivering.

I have no problem with Apple making improvements but I do when Apple ships machines that are already obsolete. Let us see an upgrade kit, either from Apple or a third party, that doesn't void the warrantee so that we can get a current machine.



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You are STILL supported
Authored by: krove on May 21, '02 07:03:01PM

Jaguar isn't even released yet! Until then, the "Apple shouldn't ship obsolete" argument is bunk.



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You are STILL supported
Authored by: marcinjeske on May 22, '02 04:06:21AM

Apple is optimizing Mac OS X for your machine.

Your iBook just won't be able to take advantage of all the optimizations in Mac OS X.

If Apple optimizes something for AltiVec... the iBook does not benefit. If Apple creates a PCI card that makes running Carbon Apps faster... you are out of luck.

Please be clear on this... the features in Mac OS X (including optimization) whichan iBook can use are a subset of all features. At the speed technology is moving, any new computer will always be missing the latest technology...



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stop the whining!
Authored by: Guiyon on May 24, '02 02:35:40PM
Ask an Apple developer whether there are any reasons why QE couldn't have been developed to provide speed increases for ATI RAGE 128 PRO & ULTRA cards. Then ask an Apple business strategist the same question. One will answer no, one will answer yes.

The answer would be no to both. The Rage128's issue is not with bandwidth as it is with the PCI video cards. The issue is with the GPU itself. One of the requirements for QE is to have support for textures that can be sizes other than powers of 2. The Rage128 series does not have this functionality, thus cannot be used for acceleration. The ATI Tech I talked with also mentioned that they did attempt to get a PCI compatible version of QE running but because of bandwidth issues and a general lack of features compared to agp it was slower than using the CPU alone.

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stop the whining!
Authored by: ibook on May 20, '02 06:45:50PM

Would it be fair for me to be a bit miffed if my iBook worked slower under Jaguar than under OSX.1?

Would people tell me to stop whining if my DVD player didn't work under Jaguar?

I'm interested in the expectations of Apple's loyal customers.



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stop the whining!
Authored by: marcinjeske on May 21, '02 02:32:35AM
Authored by: ibook


Would it be fair for me to be a bit miffed if my iBook worked slower under Jaguar than under OSX.1?


Would people tell me to stop whining if my DVD player didn't work under Jaguar?


I'm interested in the expectations of Apple's loyal customers.



These are all fair questions.


I'll reference the doctor's credo of "Do no harm." All other things being equal, a computer should perform the same tasks at the same speed or better after an OS upgrade. In other words, we should lose neither features nor speed.


Having said that, I should clarify that there will be times when it is in the best interests of customers as a whole to remove a feature or make it run slower.


1. Features which are impeding the progress of the OS as a whole. Believe it or not, in theory, the Mac OS' original symmetric multitasking is more efficient than Mac OS X's preemptive multitasking. But, like communism, practice has shown otherwise. That "feature" was removed... at much pain, and although a Mac OS X computer should feel "snappier" (well, once they fix a whole bunch of things), it fundamentally will not give as much performance to your applications.


2. Features which have obsolesced or been little used. We all miss OpenDoc and it's sidekick CyberDog (well, some of us do), and QuickDraw GX ellicits emotion in a few. Remember PowerTalk? These technologies all went to the grave years before Steve Jobs stuck Mac OS 9 in a coffin. The Mac lost features. But few people cared... because they hadn't caught on in the market.


3. Adding good features which slow down older features. Spell checking is an excellent example. Standard text entry in Mac OS X will be slower... because Apple has enabled live spellchecking in every text area. We are paying a price, but the utility is excellent. I get annoyed now when an application isn't using the standard text fields (for instance, as I type this is Mozilla) because I've gotten used to having the computer correct my spelling.


-Marcin

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OS upgrade needs hardware upgrade!?
Authored by: scaryfish on May 20, '02 05:03:45PM
*running OS X on an original 300 mHz iBook*

Ha! At least your graphics card works at all.

Mind you, I'm not complaining. X is so much more stable that I save more time from not having to restart than I loose from slow performance.

=)
<><

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OS upgrade needs hardware upgrade!?
Authored by: dahlenu on May 21, '02 09:04:57AM

Jaguar is compatible with all machines. I can't understand why some people complain about Jaguar taking advantage of special hardware, if it's there. Besides, having bought an iBook, you have already sacrificed AltiVec; should Apple stop making iTunes using AltiVec just because some users don't have a G4?



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Quartz Extreme on prior hardware
Authored by: pecosbill on May 20, '02 05:12:11PM

I think everyone should take a chill pill until Jaguar (Jagwyre if you're a Register fan) is released. Then, evaluate how your hardware does. Yes, Apple has said that the optimal memory is 32M but less will still work.

AGP is the most important (and if my feeble memory is working, minimum 2x speed) as that will permit overflow from VRAM into main RAM if needed. Apple's spec sheet on the iBook 500/600 (dual usb & late 2001) states that the video interface is AGP 2x. Unfortunately, there's only 8M VRAM. The nail in the coffin for iBooks is it's a Rage chipset which Apple has stated Radeon is minimum. Still, if you like the way X runs on your iBook now, you'll still have that when Jagwyre is released.



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well
Authored by: crarko on May 20, '02 06:52:22PM

I bet we could all calm down a bit here and not start wanging on each other.

Potential fact 1: Jaguar will run on all iBooks;
Potential fact 2: Jaguar will run better on the new iBooks;
Potential fact 3: Jaguar will run still better on the next generation of iBooks after that.

Potential conclusion: software runs better on newer, faster hardware
Potential surprise about this conclusion: well, I\'m not.

There are some good discussions on xlr8yourmac, including some by ATI folks, about how Q.E. happened to work out his way. Worth the read, if you don\'t mind hunting a bit for it.



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well
Authored by: holo on May 20, '02 08:58:54PM

jaguar runs on my powerbook g3 pismo 400Mhz just fine. only downfall so far has been battery life is decreased yet again, but it IS just the dev seed..



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iBook not for the extreme user
Authored by: eagle_eyes on May 20, '02 07:25:57PM

The ulimate response to all the iBook complaints is that the machine is not even designed for the high end user. It is designed for people who want nothing more then a fancy word processor, email and a few games. If you are looking for the real power and machine then you need to stick to the PowerBooks and towers (ie the pro line). This is both a marketing stance, and to help keep prices down on the low end stuff.

Buy cheap,
get cheap.

Isn't this why we use macs anyway? We put in a little more money so that we can get the good parts...

btw I have an iMac 233 with 128mb (we started out with 64mb, but wanted to run classic) of ram that runs OS X without a hitch. I would love to see any PC of similar generation run XP with such ease.



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MB surpassing MB
Authored by: marcinjeske on May 21, '02 02:48:46AM

It's really scary to think about how fast memory and storage is moving.

My first Mac, a Mac SE:
20 MB HD, 256K RAM, VRAM?, no cache?
Later, the iMac:
4 GB HD, 32 MB RAM, 2 MB VRAM, 512K cache
Now, we are quickly approaching another level of magnitude in memory... many Macs are shipping with 32 MB of VRAM and a MB of cache...

I just find it fascinating how the specs shift, and how very soon now, RAM which we now count in hundreds of MB, will be counted in GB, and hard drives (which I though were huge at 6 GB) are being sold in hundreds.

We've come a long way.



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battery life?
Authored by: mrjosh on May 21, '02 03:45:31AM

All this Jaguar QE stuff is hooey to me -- I can't be the only ibook owner whose main desire in 10.2 is increased battery life. I'm tired of getting a meaningless 2 1/2 hours out of my supposedly 5 hour battery.

Does anyone know if Apple plans to address this problem at any point? It has really impacted the value of my computer.... It is really my only quibble with OS X too.



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battery life?
Authored by: Fraki on May 21, '02 10:35:05AM