The Haus

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Byte Macintosh Review

There's a reprint of Byte's review of the original Macintosh (here's a MirrorDot mirror until the Slashdotting subsides) from August of 1984. It's an interesting look at the days when a mouse and a GUI were really new concepts for personal computer usage. Another thing to note is how painfully expensive it was. A Mac with one floppy and 128K RAM went for $2500. That's expensive today to say nothing of 21 years ago. Still, it's a nice trip down memory lane for me and a good history lesson for you young whippersnappers out there.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Xbox 360 and PS3 CPUs: Blech

Anandtech is at it again. They posted an article talking further about the Xbox 360 and PS3 CPUs. In Anand's eyes (and in the eyes of the developers they talked to) the CPUs on both consoles leave a lot to be desired. The simple answer there is one of cost. You can't slap the latest Intel or AMD chip in there and expect to sell the console for $299. It's one thing to take a loss of $100 or so. It's another thing entirely when the CPU will cost far more than the entire console will sell for. We probably won't know the final story on these CPUs until the second generation of games for both consoles is out.

MS, Xbox 360, and HD DVD

Bill Gates made a strange comment about the future of the Xbox 360 and HD DVD. Here's what he said:

"The initial shipments of Xbox 360 will be based on today's DVD format," Gates confirmed. "We are looking at whether future versions of Xbox 360 will incorporate an additional capability of an HD DVD player or something else."

There's something just not right about this. The whole point of a console is so that you don't have multiple hardware configurations to deal with. I can only picture one of two scenarios:

  1. Bill Gates has lost it. I tend to doubt this theory. While he is many things, he is not stupid.
  2. He is lying to try to derail Blu-Ray and to cover over what many view as a deficiency in the Xbox 360.

The big winner is #2. It would be exactly like Microsoft to promise (or at least hint at) some wonderful future technology that only they will be able to bring when their competition is offering something technologically superior right now. Adding an HD DVD player later would be silly since most game manufacturers are going to go for the lowest common denominator. It would allow the Xbox 360 to play these theoretical HD DVD discs, but who would buy a whole new Xbox 360 just for that?

As an aside, the end of that article has something that is false or at least very unclear. It says:

Although Blu-ray Disc can technology hold more data per disc than HD DVD, the lower manufacturing costs and compatibility with the current DVD format makes HD DVD more consumer-friendly.

Manufacturing costs mean nothing except to early adopters. By the time the technology is mainstream, manufacturing techniques have improved enough to drop the price dramatically. Also Blu-Ray drives can play back regular DVDs and CDs so I'm not sure what the "compatibility" thing is all about.

Past Two Days' News

Recent Headlines

January 5, 2015: It Returns!
August 10, 2007: SCO SUCKS IT DOWN!
July 5, 2007: Slackware 12.0 Released
May 20, 2007: PhpBB 3.0 RC 1 Released
February 2, 2007: DOOM3 1.31 Patch

January 27, 2007: Join the World Community Grid
January 17, 2007: Flash Player 9 for Linux
December 30, 2006: Darkness over Daggerford 1.2
December 19, 2006: Pocket Tunes 4.0 Released
December 9, 2006: WRT54G 1.01.1 Firmware OK with Linux/Mac

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