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Why Apple should let HP build its workstations

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Ronald LindeboomWhy Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:08:09 am

Please note: I wrote this as a reply to a post below but it's been retweeted and pointed to, so I wanted to give it its own thread.


I had to smile reading the people on the original thread below speculating about the possibility of officially licensed Mac OS on an HP Workstation.

For years, Tim Wilson and I have talked about the idea of HP providing workstations that run the Mac OS. (Not every PC manufacturer, just HP.)

Why HP?

It is why we actively focused on getting them involved at the COW. We believe that when the smoke clears, the most rabid Mac professionals on the planet -- the ones running über-powerful systems that need slots, cards, etc. -- will find themselves dancing with Apple and HP. Either as dual platform shops, or if it goes as we suspect, Apple will license a sole PC vendor to work with. We think that will be HP.

Over the years as Tim Wilson and I have hammered on where the growing "i-focusing" at Apple would take things, Tim said to me one day that "There is now just one true workstation left: HP's Z series, that's it."

It had been years since Apple built a new one. They had killed XServe. They had swept away things like XSan, Shake, FCP, Color and other pro initiatives.

It was not hard to envision an Apple in which they would not want to lose their highest end customers, while simultaneously finding themselves becoming ever increasingly unwilling to directly supply them.

Why? For the very same reasons that had killed all the products mentioned two paragraphs back.

Even if Apple builds a new workstation, the harsh reality is that it will grow increasingly difficult for Apple to focus on a market so ancillary to what the company's focus is.

HP's workstation division is dedicated to serving that market around the world and does it well, always pushing the limits of where things are today.

We believe that it would be a win-win to both camps. Apple users averse to running Windows directly would stay with their OS of choice, while Apple works with a single source whose commitment to building servers is unparalleled -- and whose corporate ethos of quality is akin to Apple's own.

A bonus is that for a change, Mac users would get rid of the goofy OpenGL they've endured for years. The double-and-more cost of high-end video cards would end for Mac users.

When I saw my first HP Z-800 at a press event, I told their VP/GM and the VP Marketing that "it out-Macs my Mac." It was clear that HP had looked at all the best stuff about Apple and had raised the bar when it comes to expectations in a workstation.

Unfortunately, for many users, running Windows is not something they want to do. But even the most dedicated Apple user needing real workstation power would have trouble saying no to a Z-Series HP Workstation running Mac OS.

Now if only the team in Cupertino, California would get on the phone with the people in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Apple is having to look at the proliferation of sites dedicated to the Hacintosh. So, a real joint venture looks to me to be well-timed and one that would be fortuitous to all involved.

Those are some of the thoughts that have been rolling around along with the marbles in my head.

Do with them what you will, they are just thoughts.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm." - Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Michael GissingRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:17:37 am

If Adobe and AVID are quick they could just port to Linux and make OSX just for those that want to run Apple only software. I doubt it is such a big deal given OSX is a Unix variant. I would love an HP workstation with cheap grunty graphics cards, at least six slots and dual boot Linux and WIN.

I feel cheated by Apple and the expensive hardware that I bought just to run their software. I certainly won't be doing that again in a hurry. If and when FCPX becomes useful and the standard then I will have no choice. Until then...


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:44:52 am

[Michael Gissing] "If Adobe and AVID are quick they could just port to Linux and make OSX just for those that want to run Apple only software."

THIS!

Another big liability is Windows 8. Tablet OS on the desktop? Blech! Microsoft is already doing what everyone is afraid Apple may one day do. Linux is the only safe haven. I love and prefer OS X, but if I am a third party software developer like Adobe or Avid I'd be porting my flagship apps to Linux now. Autodesk already has some of its stuff on Linux, and DaVinci grew up there.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:54:56 am

I think it would be a great thing.

It wouldn't be much cheaper as many people have shown in this forum many times (similarly spec'd HP Towers and MacPros don't have a huge price differential).

But wouldn't Apple have to open the OS to more graphics cards? OpenCL and Cuda? Potentially create and optimize new and specialized firmware? I'm asking because I don't know, but do you think Apple would have any interest in this at all? They play their cards close to the chest, this would allow a peek at their hand.

Does this mean they'd have to support HP laptops too? Wouldn't that go against Apples interests? And wouldn't the people who don't want to throw down on a Z series, but want a laptop be pissed at both HP and apple?

Maybe I'm just shell shocked after the June 21st bomb, but there's been enough dissent, I can't imagine trying to create more.

Not sure if Apple would ever do it, or if they are even remotely interested, but I'm sure a lot of people here would be, me being one of them.

As far as porting avid and adobe to Linux, not sure if that makes sense. If professional editors with desktops are a niche, professional editors on Linux are a microorganized version of that niche. Is it worth it for Avid or Adobe?


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Michael GissingRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:07:20 am

[JeremyGarchow]"As far as porting avid and adobe to Linux, not sure if that makes sense. If professional editors with desktops are a niche, professional editors on Linux are a microorganized version of that niche. Is it worth it for Avid or Adobe?"

Port it and they will come. My point is that lots of pros are using a form of Linux anyway with OSX. If Apple remain fixed in their narrow hardware window, then open the game up. There is already a lot of open source software that runs under OSX so there should be little effort in porting the OSX versions to Linux.

Ron's point is it could be good for us and Apple to open the hardware game up but my point is if Apple want to remain exclusive, an alternative to those that don't want to play in WIN land would be a free and easy migrate.

I embraced Linux for my office machine because it acts as a gateway between the web, Mac and Win computers in the facility. I can plug almost any drive format in and there is a ton of great freeware to do all sorts of AV tasks. The latest version of Ubuntu is probably easier to install and navigate than either OSX or WIN7. Robust! Huge dev team, millions of software developers.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:53:44 am

[Michael Gissing] "My point is that lots of pros are using a form of Linux anyway with OSX."

A form of it, yes, but it's different.

[Michael Gissing] "There is already a lot of open source software that runs under OSX so there should be little effort in porting the OSX versions to Linux."

I think you are drastically understating the 'effort' part of the equation.

Apple has been tooling down their open source initiatives as pointed out by Andrew Richards when he linked to this: http://meta.ath0.com/2012/02/05/apples-great-gpl-purge/

Also: http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/335/27716

Not saying a Linux port wouldn't be great, it might be, but it's a really big effort and wouldn't make a whole lot of business sense at this point for avid/adobe.

Does fairlight run on Linux? Why not?

Jeremy


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Michael GissingRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:26:09 am

""Not saying a Linux port wouldn't be great, it might be, but it's a really big effort and wouldn't make a whole lot of business sense at this point for avid/adobe.

Does fairlight run on Linux? Why not?"

Fairlight runs on Win XP and Win 7. They make no attempt to be cross platform and don't need the grunt - hardware or software. I would be happy if they ran their own GUI under DOS but there is no need to push for any change. WIN 7 OS is not a turkey and it handles more than enough RAM for a DAW.

Fairlight also developed their own processor based on FPGA which has so much grunt that the OS, CPU and graphics cards have almost nothing to do except draw the screen and do a bit of VST plugin processing. It is like RED Rocket on steroids for audio.

The rationale behind going Linux for AVID and Adobe would be the cheapest most reliable true grunt boxes would be able to run rings around overpriced and underperforming Mac hardware and graphics. So what's in it for AVID & Adobe? An alternative super reliable OS with the gruntiest workstations at a much more affordable price. Best of both worlds.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:07:26 pm

[Michael Gissing] "An alternative super reliable OS with the gruntiest workstations at a much more affordable price. Best of both worlds."

Yeah, but then they have to support three OSes, and all the variants therein.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:50:43 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Yeah, but then they have to support three OSes, and all the variants therein."

No, they'd drop support for the Mac since obviously Apple is going to kill OS X because they make so much money on iOS toys and because they hate pros and love pulling the rug out from under us.

/sarcasm


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Weston WoodburyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 10, 2012 at 7:35:39 am

"I think you are drastically understating the 'effort' part of the equation."


Really? So, two companies that have hundreds of millions (or billions) of dollars in revenue, can't do what one project is doing open source on basically no funding comparatively, and another project is planning to do after a 30k$ Kickstarter fund? And by that I mean support/port more than 2 platforms--I realize porting something from Linux, to OSX, could possibly be a bit simpler to do. Sorta.

"Avid/Adobe on Linux - unfortunately I can't see that happening. Too much that would need to be tweaked to bring functionality on par with the other OSes, Apple would have to port Quicktime to Linux (and Quicktime is dead) etc. etc."


As already pointed out here, DaVinci and Autodesk both figured it out, and surely their video dept. budgets are substantially less than Adobe's or Avid's.

"Not saying a Linux port wouldn't be great, it might be, but it's a really big effort and wouldn't make a whole lot of business sense at this point for avid/adobe."


There's actually a decent demand, and that's only absolute enthusiasts. No marketing or awareness at all. $1,250,000 in instant sales isn't bad for nobody knowing about it.

Add getting the word out there that it's now supported, onto the scores of professionals hating Windows 8, or those feeling abandoned by Apple but don't like Windows, and I honestly don't think it would take long (given our workflow codecs comes along with it--i.e. davinci, autodesk!) for it to become a workstation standard. Ubuntu is there now; you don't have to be a software geek to figure Linux out anymore. Far from it; I personally think it out-Apple's Apple in a lot of ways in terms of simplistic design and ease of use.

I don't think people realize, particularly creative professionals since that's the market we're discussing, that trying Ubuntu takes like 15-30 minutes. Download, burn, and restart into the full OS, off the CD! I do this all the time for data or system recovery, it's one of the best handyman tools to keep around the workstations just for those times you need it. Let's see Windows and or OS X do anything like that, so easy and hassle free, that you can perhaps try out a new version of the OS or a new OS (for switchers) in 15 minutes, while keeping your current system totally in tact and only like 60 seconds away.

If something like Media Composer or Creative Suite was actually available on Ubuntu, there would be no down side to just giving it a test ride when you have a few hours free, and from there we'd see workstations converting to run Ubuntu full time very rapidly. It's free, no OS licensing to deal with it, and it doesn't require you investing in a bunch of new PC's or whatever. Some of those workstations already have the option of shipping Linux, btw.

In a world where these 2 consumer driven companies are finally figuring how to make devices and platforms that cater toward consumers, I wonder why we're relying on these 2 platforms anyway. As they dive further and further toward mobile computing that makes sense for playing video and checking Facebook... it seems to me that it does make "business sense" to consider developing for something that's been better suited for the work all along.

Just my 2 cents I guess.

Cheers,

- weston
letter arrangements: PP CS5 AE MC MBS GVE FCP


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 10, 2012 at 5:17:31 pm

[Weston Woodbury] "Really? So, two companies that have hundreds of millions (or billions) of dollars in revenue, can't do what one project is doing open source"

Who said they couldn't? What I was referring to is the amount of effort. It would not be easy, that's all.

Let's not forget Lightworks has a pretty substantial hardware ecosystem it sells for real money.

As far as the other you linked to, I'd say Godspeed. I can't use it as my needs go past a DSLR and a zoom recorder.

As I said, NLE on Linux is not a bad idea, but it's not a simple venture as has been posited here.


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Michael GissingRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 10, 2012 at 11:38:04 pm

"As I said, NLE on Linux is not a bad idea, but it's not a simple venture as has been posited here."

I certainly don't think it is simple, but I see it as a good long term strategy as both Apple & Microsoft are chanting the "post PC' mantra and both will be steering their OS developments to mobile devices.

Some of us in post want a machine room based grunt box with a robust OS not an iPad to edit around the pool.


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John HeagyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 11, 2012 at 6:52:02 pm

[Weston Woodbury] "As already pointed out here, DaVinci and Autodesk both figured it out, and surely their video dept. budgets are substantially less than Adobe's or Avid's."

Linux is fine when the software/hardware combo is a single entity and not used for any other apps. It's more of an embedded system mind set that just is not flexible enough to run in concert with other apps. Few people use only Avid or Adobe software on their systems.

DaVinci and AutoDesk are perfect examples of a app/cpu single purpose "box". In both of these examples having other software installed would probably need to be removed before support would begin to help you.


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Michael GissingRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 12, 2012 at 3:20:17 am

[John Heagy]"Linux is fine when the software/hardware combo is a single entity and not used for any other apps. It's more of an embedded system mind set that just is not flexible enough to run in concert with other apps. Few people use only Avid or Adobe software on their systems."

Perhaps you haven't been looking at Linux developments for a while. Yes it is always smart to avoid running to many types of software that may conflict with specialist hardware but Linux is not different to OSX or Windows in that regard. Many people like me have Linux computers based on Ubuntu that have lots of different software running.

In my experience Linux is better at running lots of different software than Windows. It is certainly easier to install and uninstall software in Ubuntu than any OS I have previously used. No need to tidy up registries or constantly repair permissions and preferences. I think you are confusing specialist systems that setup limited Linux kernels designed for one bit of software. I have such a system, Clark COnnect, as my ftp & web server. This is not typical of Linux distributions like Ubuntu however.


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 10, 2012 at 4:42:39 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "Not saying a Linux port wouldn't be great, it might be, but it's a really big effort and wouldn't make a whole lot of business sense at this point for avid/adobe."


I knew of a company that worked in the Open Source community and made some great products, serving companies like Sony Imageworks, Blue Sky, Tippett Studios and many others. They are now gone. Why? The very nature of the Open Source movement is non-commercial -- read: no money in it. It seems that even the biggest and most successful companies are not up for paying for tools in the Linux world.

Big companies like Adobe have tried and failed in that market. Smaller companies such as the one I am referring to (I don't mention their name only because I know how heartbroken they are and don't want to rub salt into the wound) have also failed.

I tried Open Office for Mac, it was a kluge. Same with the GIMP. Neither tool is the equal of its commercial counterpart. Are they good? They are, but there is a reason that the vast majority of people are willing to shell out the money for their commercial counterparts.

The GIMP for Mac has been available for many years now but has failed to catch hold in the market. It has a tiny fraction of the image manipulation market.

I doubt we'll ever see Avid or Adobe running in pure unadulterated Linux. While there are people who relish Open Source as both a concept and a movement (and who now have tools like Lightworks to use), the vast majority of people working for a living using these tools will continue to pony-up the duckets to buy commercial products.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:05:59 am

[Michael Gissing] "My point is that lots of pros are using a form of Linux anyway with OSX. If Apple remain fixed in their narrow hardware window, then open the game up. There is already a lot of open source software that runs under OSX so there should be little effort in porting the OSX versions to Linux. "

OS X and Linux have a common ancestor, but they are not the same species. Different kernels. Pardon the analogy, but it is like humans and chimpanzees. Ports of NLEs may or may not be easy, but given the uncertainty of where Microsoft is going with Windows 8 and where Apple is going with desktops, Linux is a very safe hedge for a software vendor since the things important to workstation users are the same things important to commercial Linux developers. Workstations have a lot more in common with servers than they do with consumer PCs nowadays. The PC might be dying, but the server market is growing.

Best,
Andy


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:08:09 am

[Andrew Richards] "Workstations have a lot more in common with servers than they do with consumer PCs nowadays. The PC might be dying, but the server market is growing."


True, Andy.

When HP was momentarily on the chopping block last year, it was NOT because of its workstation division (which was growing around the world and was doing quite well). Servers and workstations are indeed doing well while other markets continue to tank.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Dennis RadekeRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:57:44 am

[Michael Gissing] "Port it and they will come."

We built a version of Premiere for SGI once and I think a version of Photoshop for Linux once. They didn't come.

That idea does not make sense in a world economy with up to the minute information exchange and market studies. As I said recently in another post, anything is possible, but don't hold your breath.

Like Ron and Tim, I have long thought very well of HP and agree that the Z800 is easily a better Mac in case design and overall execution than the current Mac Pro is. I have also thought that licensing OS X to a single vendor would make sense and HP would be on my short list. I also agree that it would be a win-win.

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Alan OkeyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:21:37 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "We built a version of Premiere for SGI once"

I used to use Premiere 4.2 on an SGI O2. Premiere was notorious for crashing at the worst possible moments... As I understand it, it was developed using a translator tool that ported Mac code to IRIX. It did have some cool features that the Mac/PC versions didn't have at the time, such as the ability to create your own 3D transitions that were accelerated in hardware. It also supported the O2's built-in video subsystem and hardware MJPEG encoder/decoder. I cut quite a few projects on that system before I eventually moved to FCP.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:11:45 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "Like Ron and Tim, I have long thought very well of HP and agree that the Z800 is easily a better Mac in case design and overall execution than the current Mac Pro is. I have also thought that licensing OS X to a single vendor would make sense and HP would be on my short list. I also agree that it would be a win-win. "

Licensing OS X might be great for Adobe and HP and pro users, but it is all bad for Apple. There is no upside for them. If Apple doesn't want to play in the workstation market, they will just leave it. What does Apple gain by partnering with HP on workstations? They don't save dev work on OS X, if anything they add significant hassle. They have the best industrial designers in the world, so it isn't like they are short on talent. I just can't see what advantage there is for Apple to hand over the keys to the OS X castle to a competitor, even if it is only for a class of computer Apple isn't interested in selling anymore.

Apple is in a position where they can be in any market they want to be in. They could decide they want to make original content for iTunes and outspend NBCU's entire 2010 production spending with 5% of their cash hoard. If Apple wants OS X on a workstation, they'll make one. If they don't, they won't.

Best,
Andy


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Dennis RadekeRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:21:18 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Licensing OS X might be great for Adobe and HP and pro users, but it is all bad for Apple. There is no upside for them. If Apple doesn't want to play in the workstation market, they will just leave it. What does Apple gain by partnering with HP on workstations? They don't save dev work on OS X, if anything they add significant hassle. They have the best industrial designers in the world, so it isn't like they are short on talent. I just can't see what advantage there is for Apple to hand over the keys to the OS X castle to a competitor, even if it is only for a class of computer Apple isn't interested in selling anymore.

Apple is in a position where they can be in any market they want to be in. They could decide they want to make original content for iTunes and outspend NBCU's entire 2010 production spending with 5% of their cash hoard. If Apple wants OS X on a workstation, they'll make one. If they don't, they won't."


I can't argue this Andrew, which brings you back to the fact that Apple in some cases is going to force some of their customers to move to another platform quite possibly.


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Chris HarlanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:30:15 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "Apple is in a position where they can be in any market they want to be in. They could decide they want to make original content for iTunes and outspend NBCU's entire 2010 production spending with 5% of their cash hoard. If Apple wants OS X on a workstation, they'll make one. If they don't, they won't."

I can't argue this Andrew, which brings you back to the fact that Apple in some cases is going to force some of their customers to move to another platform quite possibly.
"


I agree with this as well. Add to this all the iCloud action that clearly aims to dethrone the PC as the center of the digital hub and replace it with thin client services, and I think you've got a good look at where Apple is going.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:31:18 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "Apple in some cases is going to force some of their customers to move to another platform quite possibly."

Yes, IF they drop the Mac Pro. They haven't played their hand yet, or folded for that matter.

Best,
Andy


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Craig SeemanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:52:22 pm

Personally I'd think they'd have ceased production on the MacPro by now if they were going to kill it.
What would be the financial point of keeping the supply chain working to sell models that haven't been updated since 2010. It can't be selling all that well but they're keeping the chain open and functional for a reason IMHO. And Yes I still see one MacPro on display in each of the NYC Apple stores I've wandered through lately.



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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:21:07 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Yes, IF they drop the Mac Pro. They haven't played their hand yet, or folded for that matter."


I really don't expect much out of Apple even if they do release a new workstation.

For many years now their support for OpenGL and other critical technologies not developed at Apple, has been abysmal. Bad. Junk. Crap. Downright the worst out there. Oh, period. ;o)

No, a new workstation from Apple will not surprise me. But a GOOD new workstation with real expandability supporting current industry leading technologies -- now, THAT that would greatly surprise me.

Someone wrote me today and asked if I really believed that Apple would license OSX to HP. I said, "No. I don't buy that at all -- still I can dream." But what I do believe is that Apple is so strong now that they can afford to let others shore up ancillary niches not supported by their own direct efforts.

This is NOT foreign to Apple's Corporate Ethos, as some believe. It was but not today.

It is the VERY ESSENCE of their huge success in the iTunes Store. They make money on Other People's Work. Those songs and TV shows over there at Itunes are not made by Apple. They belong to someone else.

If you look at the Apps phenomenon, at its base is a huge aggregate of developers who make tools and products that Apple sells. Apple does not make it. If Apple had waited to get a whole bunch of things ready themselves, the revolution would have never happened. 5 or 10 tools wouldn't have done it. But 100s of 1000s and millions will get the job done.

Apple used to build their own machines. Now others do it. Some, direct competitors like Samsung who builds the iPad and yet competes against the Apple iPad with their Android-based Genesis, etc., etc.

I could go on and on with more examples of Apple being more open than many believe but this is already too long.

Apple's new business model is one of far more inclusion than many have noticed. It is social media in business, practiced by people who get that 20th Century business principles will not work in today's global market with interconnected peer-to-peer communities through sites and services like Facebook, Twitter, the COW and others.

I have used Apples since about 1982. I have bought plenty and all the iDevices to boot. Bought them for my employees and have them richly saturated throughout our team. I don't want to move but the day that Apple tells me that they have no interest in my business is the day I will move the company. Not overnight but I will have to move it.

I wonder why a company that works with direct competitors on its Crown Jewels would balk at doing so on products their users need but they do not want to build.

Lastly, in the race to supplant Beta as the standard, VHS won because its creator (Toshiba as I recall, look it up) let others market against them as long as there was the one contracted part which Toshiba alone supplied. Using the same principle, I could see a machine built by HP that served our needs and yet had a card or module that no one else built except Apple. Without it, the machine couldn't run OSX.

It wouldn't be hard to do and Apple is already doing it with the iPad and the iPhone. They are even in court fighting their very own supplier, Samsung, so it's not even like it's a marriage made in heaven. But I could easily see where Apple would keep many more of us years longer by letting HP build the machines we need.

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Gary BettanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:44:47 pm

Ron - I agree with all your thoughts. I'd like to add a kicker that could help Apple & HP with this.

Have the HP Apple Workstations come pre-loaded with the latest ProApps. FCPX, Motion and Compressor. Everyone of them. Regardless of if the end user is going to run Adobe or Avid on it.

As we all know, if you give an editor a tool, he will use it. Or at least check it out and play with it. The HP workstation becomes a Trojan horse for the ProApps.

Love this thread!!!

Gary

COW members get 5% OFF with Coupon COW5OFF

http://www.videoguys.com 800 323-2325 | We are the video editing and production experts!


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 8:59:22 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] "It wouldn't be hard to do and Apple is already doing it with the iPad and the iPhone. They are even in court fighting their very own supplier, Samsung, so it's not even like it's a marriage made in heaven. But I could easily see where Apple would keep many more of us years longer by letting HP build the machines we need."

Do you think they aren't working like crazy to get away from Samsung as a supplier? And do you think they have any interest in stepping on that rake again? Plus, it isn't even an analogous situation with Samsung. Samsung is huge- they are a semiconductor manufacturer and a consumer electronics marketer. HP is just a marketer. There isn't an HP chip foundry. HP outsources all their manufacturing same as Apple, so there isn't some sort of manufacturing advantage.

So let's forget that Apple has nothing to gain from outsourcing a product they supposedly don't want to make themselves. Let's say they do it. What does an HP Z800 running OS X look like?

  • It still has the same old OpenGL (this is an OS X problem, not a hardware problem)
  • It still has the same limited options for GPUs (if we are assuming EFI instead of BIOS for OS X)
  • It still won't support Blu-Ray drives (not any more than a Mac Pro will today)
  • Same number of PCIe slots, same distribution of PCIe lanes as the Mac Pro today
  • Same number of HDD bays as the Mac Pro today
  • Same number of built-in NICs
  • More RAM slots (12 on the Z vs 8 on the Mac Pro)
  • One additional external 5.25" bay vs today's Mac Pro

That doesn't look so compelling to me. Honestly, what do you get from a Z800 running OS X that you don't get from a Mac Pro? 50% more RAM? A third optical drive bay? I don't get it.

Best,
Andy

Edit: Oops, totally misread the number of PCIe slots. That's 2x16 and 2x8 and 2x4. Those extra two x8 are a big deal.


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Frank GothmannRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:15:47 pm

[Andrew Richards] "
So let's forget that Apple has nothing to gain from outsourcing a product they supposedly don't want to make themselves. Let's say they do it. What does an HP Z800 running OS X look like?

It still has the same old OpenGL (this is an OS X problem, not a hardware problem)
It still has the same limited options for GPUs (if we are assuming EFI instead of BIOS for OS X)
It still won't support Blu-Ray drives (not any more than a Mac Pro will today)
Same number of PCIe slots, same distribution of PCIe lanes as the Mac Pro today
Same number of HDD bays as the Mac Pro today
Same number of built-in NICs
More RAM slots (12 on the Z vs 8 on the Mac Pro)
One additional external 5.25" bay vs today's Mac Pro"


No, no, some issues there:
- MacPros have full support for Blu-ray drives, ie. mount discs in finder, write to discs in finder. You just cannot view BD movies because copy protection scheme isn't implemented in OSX. But as far as using the drives in the same way as you'd use any other blank optical media there is no issue. It is a purely political decission by Apple not to offer Blu-ray drives as a bto option.
- MacPros have four PCIe slots running at 16/8/4/4 lanes.
The z800 has one legacy PCI slots and 6 PCIe slots running at 16/16/8/4/4 so more expansion and faster
- You can add up to 9 internal drives in a z800. There are four at the bottom but are forgetting the expansion bays in the front for which you can get, from HP or elsehwere, hot-swap bays for additional five drives. And there are three of those 5,25 bays, not just one.
In addition to that, you have SATA and SAS headers on the mainboard (plus lots of them), a RAID chip on board including RAID5 as well as HP options for eSATA on USB3.
Of course, with the z820 things are a bit different. Even faster PCIe, USB3 built in etc.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:20:16 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "- MacPros have four PCIe slots running at 16/8/4/4 lanes.
The z800 has one legacy PCI slots and 6 PCIe slots running at 16/16/8/4/4 so more expansion and faster"


Yeah I caught that myself and added an edit to the post while you were responding.

[Frank Gothmann] "- You can add up to 9 internal drives in a z800. There are four at the bottom but are forgetting the expansion bays in the front for which you can get, from HP or elsehwere, hot-swap bays for additional five drives. And there are three of those 5,25 bays, not just one."

I said one additional bay, and that expansion chassis is not listed on the spec sheet I was reading.

[Frank Gothmann] "In addition to that, you have SATA and SAS headers on the mainboard (plus lots of them), a RAID chip on board including RAID5 as well as HP options for eSATA on USB3.
Of course, with the z820 things are a bit different. Even faster PCIe, USB3 built in etc."


Yes, fine, the Z is better workstation hardware owing to the additional slots and drive capacity. I was wrong on that. But I'm not wrong about OS X never being licensed and that it would not benefit Apple.

Best,
Andy


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:25:07 pm

Andrew,

You and I are clearly looking at this from two markedly different vantage points: you are an engineer and I am a marketer. You believe that Apple will release a new workstation and I believe that they will not.

What would a Z800 running OSX give me if it existed? It would give me (as a businessperson running a company) the feeling that I didn't have to change out my whole company. But we are coming up on the year anniversary of last June's culling of the herd, so maybe we are in for another shortly.

We'll see, won't we?

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:44:46 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] "We'll see, won't we?"

We will, very soon. I'd say if we don't have a new Mac Pro come NAB, then you can write it off and make your plans. And if we do get one, you'll have a pretty clear picture of Apple's attitude. If it is an all new form factor like Craig and I have speculated, I think that augurs well for the product having a long tail. If it is another G5 cheese grater with some Thunderbolt ports tacked on, then I'd be inclined to believe that would be the last Mac Pro we'll ever get. Of course, even if there is a new one with an all new design, if it is lacking some key spec that is essential to your business, it won't matter much to you.

Best,
Andy


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John PaleRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:00:13 am

[Jeremy Garchow] "But wouldn't Apple have to open the OS to more graphics cards? OpenCL and Cuda? Potentially create and optimize new and specialized firmware? I'm asking because I don't know, but do you think Apple would have any interest in this at all? They play their cards close to the chest, this would allow a peek at their hand."

The Gamer community has just realized that the latest driver update on Nvidia's site allows pretty much all Nvidia cards (even PC only versions) to work in a Mac. No EFI, so no Mac boot screen, but it works without any hacks at all. Apparently, there is greater support for high end cards in the Mountain Lion Developer Preview, as well.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:05:54 pm

[John Pale] "The Gamer community has just realized that the latest driver update on Nvidia's site allows pretty much all Nvidia cards (even PC only versions) to work in a Mac. No EFI, so no Mac boot screen, but it works without any hacks at all. Apparently, there is greater support for high end cards in the Mountain Lion Developer Preview, as well."

Good to know.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:51:50 pm

More on this here.

Best,
Andy


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Craig SeemanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:32:00 am

HP would probably have to change its position on Thunderbolt. I don't think Apple wants to fracture its own market (ecosystem).



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John HeagyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:02:39 am

Who needs Thunderbolt with 6 PCIe slots.

Thunderbolt is an "on the desk" interface, PCIe is an "under the desk" and "in the rack" interface.

I'd be thrilled with a Z800 running OSX sans Thunderbolt!


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Craig SeemanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:08:56 am

[John Heagy] "Re: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations"

With Thunderbolt your Video I/O, RAID can travel from any computer to any other computer. Having to tie Video I/O to card inside of each computer is not cost effecting in the era of declining budgets. Unless each computer in a facility is using Video I/O at the same time (possible but a declining situation) having portable attachments is easier on the budget.



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John HeagyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:47:56 pm

[Craig Seeman] "Unless each computer in a facility is using Video I/O at the same time (possible but a declining situation)"

You really want to move storage and broadcast monitoring from edit suite to edit suite? Not me!

A Decklink SDI PCIe is only $295 and shared storage will save time and money in the long run now that Xsan software is free in Lion.

If Apple supports OSX on an HP Z800 without Thunderbolt... I'm eating cake!


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:29:43 am

Hi Craig,

With a deal in hand to be licensed to run OSX on its workstations, I think HP could have its arm twisted to change its position on Thunderbolt.

I know it would sure change mine if I were HP. ;o)

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Craig SeemanRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 7:03:55 am

[Ronald Lindeboom] "I think HP could have its arm twisted to change its position on Thunderbolt."

I think that would be viable. Apple would control what they need to control to minimize "hackenthosism." They don't want MacBookPro, iMacs or Airs cannibalized. An HP OSX device with Thunderbolt wouldn't thwart Apple's Thunderbolt computers that sell well. One would have what one needs in a workstation yet still be able to move certain peripherals back and forth. I'm not sure if HP would be concerned about potential customers choosing MBP or iMacs ver HP portables or all in ones.

Apple would probably have some concern over HP facilitating hackentoshes by minimizing the hacking needed for OSX to run on other HP computers.

If Apple can control certain elements and if HP were more interested in workstations then the rest of their line, it could be a symbiotic relationship. HP makes money on hardware workstations and Apple knows the computers they sell in significant numbers benefit by the halo (HP workstation users buying MBPs for their portable computer use) it might work.

Maybe calling it an HP running OSX might be a marketing concept that bothers people. If one looks at it as Apple outsourcing hardware/case development to a company that already has the supply chain to build it and they develop a mutual acceptable cross brand marketing strategy it might work.

I remember a time when people where concerned that when Apple moved to Intel chips, that a Mac would simply be a PC running OSX. Even Bootcamp cause some "odd" fear that if you could run Windows natively, who would use OSX. So the next step could be to go from "Intel Inside" to "HP Outside" for the workstation, so one could move from OSX portable to OSX all in one to OSX (HP) workstation, to keep Apple's ecosystem intact and give HP an additional growth area in workstation.

And if there were a falling out with HP would Apple move to Lenovo to make workstations?

What would Microsoft do?
There's a lot of "history" with Windows preinstalled on computers and the business practices behind that.



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David Roth WeissRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:14:11 am

[Ronald Lindeboom] "It is why we actively focused on getting them involved at the COW. We believe that when the smoke clears, the most rabid Mac professionals on the planet -- the ones running über-powerful systems that need slots, cards, etc. -- will find themselves dancing with Apple and HP. Either as dual platform shops, or if it goes as we suspect, Apple will license a sole PC vendor to work with. We think that will be HP."

Maybe I'm just dense, but why would Apple bother to remain in the high-end market segment at all? What's really in it for them?

Apple just rolled over on a vast portion of their user base at that end of spectrum, including many substantial enterprise customers. They showed they didn't care about the top 2% on June 21st, why would they care now?


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:23:18 am

[David Roth Weiss] "why would Apple bother to remain in the high-end market segment at all? What's really in it for them?"

What they do care about, David, is their iSales. They know that the Top 2% as you call them are often enterprise clients -- clients that Inc. Magazine recently ran an article about because they are getting Macs into the enterprise by using iPhones and iPads to help get them there. Macs (read: iMacs) are getting into the corporate space because the ones with the power to get them there love their iPhones and their iPads.

While Apple may not care about enterprises with a hundred or two seats of FCP (based on 6/21/11), I will guarantee you that they do care about iSales.

With HP handling units for the highest end customers, Apple could keep all its highest end customers happy without lifting a finger, collecting money while keeping them on iPhones, iPads, iPods and AppleTV -- all in a happy homogenized and integrated OSX/iOS world.


[David Roth Weiss] "Apple just rolled over on a vast portion of their user base at that end of spectrum, including many substantial enterprise customers."


I think you may be exaggerating just a bit, David, calling the numbers a vast portion. It seems like that when you are swimming in the blood of the FCP fishbowl but the numbers Apple is building on with iSales has built the world's most powerful technology juggernaut -- one with its focus clearly on the "Apple Experience."

Apple's greatest achievement in the history of Apple is iOS, not the Mac, not OSX and not FCP. With the Mac, OSX and FCP, Apple was never anything more than a highly creative company with great products and ideas but a small -- and I do mean small -- market share. With iOS, they have become the most successful technology company in the world.

Apple is smart. I think they know that it is going to get tougher and tougher to make any real workstation that matters. It is clear they do not have the heart for it any longer. Working with a single quality vendor to build the kind of behemoth that this market demands, is something that makes sense to me.

But hey, I was saying that Apple should have bought Macromedia long before Adobe did, so what do I know???

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Phil HoppesRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 12:59:20 pm

We will see pigs flying and Rush Limbaugh working in a soup kitchen before Apple licenses OSX outside of Apple. Never, never, never going to happen.

Server market is growing because everyone is moving to cloud and/or off site computing resources. At the enterprise level what they are running is Oracle or SAP or something of that nature. Basically very intensive database applications. On the other end are the gazzilion servers used to pony up Facebook pages et. al. While neither of these are specifically related to the issues of the group on this board, you will all benefit from the momentum that these applications will drive.

I seriously wonder where workstations will be headed. In the past both because of the PC industry and Linux in particular, the previous workstation market completely collapsed and was replaced by PC's. In my previous life working in semiconductors I started on mainframes then switched to Apollo workstations (at 60k a crack), moved on to Sun workstations and finally to Dell/HP PC's and servers running Linux. The death knell for "traditional" workstations was obvious when I did an analysis for a company I worked for that "ONLY BUYS SUN" I was told. At that time for a paltry 250K I could purchase 5 Sun workstations with the combined performance of X or for 25K I could buy 5 Dell rackmount servers with the performance of 2X. Linux and high end PC's killed the custom server market. Apollo who? Sun who? SGI who?

I look at what I'm using for my work today and things become interesting. I do a lot of 3D work and need lots of rendering resources. For the moment I have my own rendering servers as well as a good workstation and my MBP. There are companies that are offering cloud rendering capabilities but for my meager needs the overhead and cost is still too high. I expect that to change. It would not surprise me that in the future a moderately performing desktop with a good high speed connection to cloud resources will be all I need. For my 2 cents what is limiting me now more than anything is not iron it's the horrible upload data rate to the internet. If I had upload/download speeds of 50Mbs at a reasonable cost I could dump all of those noisy, hot, expensive machines right now and just use the cloud when I need it.

From this note the direction. Less on the desktop, more on the web. I would switch to that in a nanosecond if it was available today at a reasonable cost but it's not. That I believe is simply a matter of time however.


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Ronald LindeboomRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:03:44 pm

We do not doubt for the second that as you say "Less on the desktop, more on the web." But just as everyone years ago was saying that video for the web was just around the corner, that corner ended up taking longer than the early adopters wished it would because human nature is pretty consistent -- so it took about a decade longer than many thought it would. (Believing it would get here much faster is what destroyed Media 100, who changed their company focus to the web.)

I personally believe that in a day not far away we will see -- for example sake -- no more Adobe Creative Suite boxes. We'll log onto Adobe Cloud to use their software. Software companies for years have been trying to enforce EULAs that the courts have over-turned time and again, and not only does the cloud rid them of piracy issues but also ends the argument -- the software's theirs and we'll all pay for the time we use it.

I also personally believe that one day not far away, Apple will realize that they are selling an experience and that they now have such a huge warchest of monies to burn, that they can afford to partner with "controllable" vendors that can help sell that experience into markets that Apple no longer wishes to directly support themselves.

Yes, I could be wrong. I've called some wrong shots like everyone has. But I've also nailed quite a number of things over the years too. I'd love to see an HP workstation running the Mac OS. It would be an interesting turn of events, wouldn't it?

Best regards,

Ronald Lindeboom
CEO, Creative COW LLC
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
A 2011 FOLIO: 40 honoree as one of the 40 most influential publishers in America
http://www.creativecow.net


Creativity is a process wherein the student and the teacher are located in the same individual.

"Incompetence has never prevented me from plunging in with enthusiasm."
- Woody Allen

"Be who you are and say what you feel because those that matter, don't mind -- and those that mind, don't matter." - Dr. Seuss


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Phil HoppesRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:44:42 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] " they can afford to partner with "controllable" vendors"

The question is why? When iOS approaches 85% to 95% of your revenue you kill off all of your OSX devices by making A10 16x Core iMac's and Mac Air's. Apple will then have killed Intel CPU's in all of their devices so they have more control over the architecture. With Annobit's acquisition they are on a roadmap to completely eliminate hard drives from their boxes so the only thing left in a vertical integration is display technology. With +$100B in the bank I don't see that as a problem.

So why in the world would you continue to put resources in development of an OS that you no longer make platforms for? Which actually rings a bell... of course HP would buy it. Can you say Palm OS?


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Steve ConnorRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 2:50:20 pm

[Phil Hoppes] "The question is why? When iOS approaches 85% to 95% of your revenue you kill off all of your OSX devices by making A10 16x Core iMac's and Mac Air's. Apple will then have killed Intel CPU's in all of their devices so they have more control over the architecture. With Annobit's acquisition they are on a roadmap to completely eliminate hard drives from their boxes so the only thing left in a vertical integration is display technology. With +$100B in the bank I don't see that as a problem.

So why in the world would you continue to put resources in development of an OS that you no longer make platforms for? Which actually rings a bell... of course HP would buy it. Can you say Palm OS?
"


Or maybe the other way round? Apple are winning the war in the consumer sector why not open up a second front in the enterprise sector?

I know it's not likely, but that's a large amount of money they are sitting on.

Steve Connor
"FCPX Agitator"
Adrenalin Television


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:47:38 am

[Ronald Lindeboom] "It had been years since Apple built a new one. They had killed XServe. They had swept away things like XSan, Shake, FCP, Color and other pro initiatives."

It had been years since Intel updated their dual CPU Xeon line. There wasn't anything to build a new Mac Pro around since 2010. The new E5 Xeons only came out yesterday.

Also, Xsan is not gone. It is included in every copy of Lion. For free.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "It was not hard to envision an Apple in which they would not want to lose their highest end customers, while simultaneously finding themselves becoming ever increasingly unwilling to directly supply them.

Why? For the very same reasons that had killed all the products mentioned two paragraphs back."


If Apple kills off the Mac Pro, there will simply not be a workstation-class Mac anymore. Period. Apple will never license OS X. It doesn't make any sense for them to license it. What's in it for Apple? They don't make any significant money on OS X, it is just the thing that sells Macs. Also, why would they want to help a competitor? HP is also in the consumer PC space (for now).

I love OS X. I'll be very sad if there is no more Mac Pro. But I've already gone through the much worse (for me) loss of the Xserve. I had this crazy hope before it came out that Apple might allow in the EULA for Lion Server installation on non-Apple hardware, even if only as a VM. Or maybe they'd have Oracle build OS X Servers... No. And looking back, of course they wouldn't. Because there isn't anything in it for Apple. OS X exists to sell Macs. That's it.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "We believe that it would be a win-win to both camps. Apple users averse to running Windows directly would stay with their OS of choice, while Apple works with a single source whose commitment to building servers is unparalleled -- and whose corporate ethos of quality is akin to Apple's own."

It would be a huge win for HP, that's for sure. But it wouldn't do anything for Apple besides dilute their brand and create a massive distraction for the OS X development teams. It ain't gonna happen.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "A bonus is that for a change, Mac users would get rid of the goofy OpenGL they've endured for years. The double-and-more cost of high-end video cards would end for Mac users."

I'm not sure what you mean. OpenGL is a technology used in OS X, it isn't hardware. The video card gap is caused by the different firmware platforms used by Apple (EFI) and the rest of the PC industry (BIOS). Intel's Sandy Bridge controllers ship standard with EFI, so the GPU OEMs may need to start shipping cards that are EFI-aware, and thus Mac Pro friendly.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "Unfortunately, for many users, running Windows is not something they want to do. But even the most dedicated Apple user needing real workstation power would have trouble saying no to a Z-Series HP Workstation running Mac OS."

Unfortunately, this will never happen.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "Now if only the team in Cupertino, California would get on the phone with the people in Fort Collins, Colorado."

Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

[Ronald Lindeboom] "Apple is having to look at the proliferation of sites dedicated to the Hacintosh. So, a real joint venture looks to me to be well-timed and one that would be fortuitous to all involved."

Fortuitous for everyone but Apple.

There is a big shift happening in the wake of the iPad. It is the future of general purpose computing. Microsoft is betting big on tablets, so big that Windows 8 is shoehorning a touch UI onto the desktop. Everyone assumes Apple is going to abandon OS X because they make such a large percentage of their money from iOS. But Apple just doubled down on OS X with Mountain Lion, saying they would be aiming for an annual release cycle for OS X, just like the one they have been keeping with iOS.

Whether or not there is another Mac Pro coming, right now, today, Apple looks like the commercial OS vendor that will be sticking with a desktop UI for conventional PCs while Microsoft thinks it can merge it all into one thing. I've tried Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Metro looks like it would be a great tablet UI, but it doesn't make sense on the desktop.

What the workstation market needs to come to grips with is that the age of hardware overlap may be ending, and soon. For a few decades now, desktop PCs have been the mass market computers and the workstations. With relatively minor differences, the tower under an accountant's desk has been largely the same tech as the tower in an edit suite. That might not be at all the case in a few years.

Best,
Andy


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John PaleRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:43:46 am

Well, at least Ron doesn't think I'm nuts.

:)


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Frank GothmannRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:32:27 am

I also don't think Apple will ever licence its OS again. It's just not in their DNA plus they'd have to modify OSX to really use all features of a z800.
There are guides out there of people who have turned a z800 into a hackintosh but some features don't work (they also don't work on a MacPro with Bootcamp).
I had a Umax clone back in the days, it was a much better machine than Apple's own offerings. They wouldn't want to repeat that negative perception again.

I guess I am different from the rest here because, frankly, don't care too much anymore about what Apple does and doesn't do. Windows works more than just fine for me, it's rock solid on the HPs, all the apps are there and running at their full potential so I wouldn't even install it if X was an option for the HPs. Actually I have less fuss with the HPs than with my MacPros, and that's on a machine with 2 video io cards, Raid card, 10GB Ethernet nic, different NLEs and a trial for Edius plus lots of other utilities, drivers, apps installed and hardware connected.
So, If Apple is in the post pc era I happily pursue my post Apple era.

Windows 8 doesn't bother me. Metro on a Desktop machine is stupid and I'd rather not have it but it's one click on a tile and I am on the windows desktop as it used to be. Under the hood, there a are things that I actually like and welcome very much (new ribbon functionality in the explorer, new modern file system) plus early reports indicate no compatibility issues with apps and hardware that works with Win7. Plus I can always just continue using Win7 for years to come as I am not shut out by a hardware vendor to just use a specific OS version.

Avid/Adobe on Linux - unfortunately I can't see that happening. Too much that would need to be tweaked to bring functionality on par with the other OSes, Apple would have to port Quicktime to Linux (and Quicktime is dead) etc. etc.


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Tim WilsonRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:00:20 pm

[Ronald Lindeboom] "With a deal in hand to be licensed to run OSX on its workstations, I think HP could have its arm twisted to change its position on Thunderbolt."

I doubt it....but it wouldn't matter. You can buy a Thunderbolt adapter for $150 today.

Yeah, yeah, I get the convenience of having it on the motherboard. , I also get why people are loathe to think about expanding their Macs -- it's a pain, and there's so little room to grow that it would be silly to think about wasting one of those opportunities on low-grade I/O.

The Z workstations, though, have a ton of expansion options, and it's all done without. No tools - not for swapping out motherboards, power supplies, RAM or anything else, including opening the box. Sure as sh^t not for something as simple as adding Thunderbolt.


Andrew Richards: Tablet OS on the desktop? Blech!

Tell that to iOS, my friend. LOL (Yes, literally, actually laughing out loud.)

The point isn't a tablet OS on the desktop for either company. The point is to have one iOS everywhere. Or, perhaps more accurately, getting rid of the current notion of an OS altogether.

FWIW, I think the "who developed it first" notion is nonsense. Computer stuff is like beer, bread, and color TV -- different variations of it sprung up at more or less the same time around the world, because the same dynamics were feeding it.

But you can find examples of Microsoft showing touch interfaces before the turn of the century. I have no doubt that Apple was working on it. On a trip to Japan in 1992, I met a guy at Hitachi who was working on gestural interfaces.

Feel free to barf on the idea of squishy interfaces, but no company has a monopoly on them, and no computationally inclined dude will be able to avoid them for more than a few more months -- a year, tops.

Unless you're one of those crazy-ass luddites who doesn't upgrade anything until there's a clearly demonstrable NEED to. But what fun is that? Where would the COW be if everyone was prudent?

Mac OS on HP is never going to happen of course, for reasons almost too numerous to name....but it would also be no fun to limit our speculation to things that might conceivably happen, and what fun is THAT? Where would this forum be if everyone was reasonable?

LOL-ing again.

Tim Wilson
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine




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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:07:53 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I doubt it....but it wouldn't matter. You can buy a Thunderbolt adapter for $150 today."

Where? Who makes it? Have a link?

[Tim Wilson] "Tell that to iOS, my friend. LOL (Yes, literally, actually laughing out loud.)"

iOS is only distributed on touch devices. Have you got it running on a desktop?

[Tim Wilson] "The point isn't a tablet OS on the desktop for either company. The point is to have one iOS everywhere. Or, perhaps more accurately, getting rid of the current notion of an OS altogether."

Is it? What do you base that statement on? Apple has demonstrated commitment to two parallel OSes (i.e. Mountain Lion, committing to an annual rev cycle for OS X). Microsoft is the one trying to cram it all into one package with Windows 8. The desktop is a second class citizen. Windows 8 always seems to want me in Metro.

Best,
Andy


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Tim WilsonRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:25:02 pm

[Andrew Richards] "[Tim Wilson] "I doubt it....but it wouldn't matter. You can buy a Thunderbolt adapter for $150 today."

Where? Who makes it? Have a link?"


I found 4 of 'em in less time than it took me to type this sentence. Prices start at $100. My recommendation: Matrox MXO2, which has lots of other dandy features. More than $100, but more than worth it. :-)


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:39:17 pm

[Tim Wilson] "I found 4 of 'em in less time than it took me to type this sentence. Prices start at $100. My recommendation: Matrox MXO2, which has lots of other dandy features. More than $100, but more than worth it. :-)"

I thought you were referring to some kind of Thunderbolt PCIe card for adding the interface to a PC that doesn't have it on the motherboard.

From your previous post:

[Tim Wilson] "Yeah, yeah, I get the convenience of having it on the motherboard. , I also get why people are loathe to think about expanding their Macs -- it's a pain, and there's so little room to grow that it would be silly to think about wasting one of those opportunities on low-grade I/O.

The Z workstations, though, have a ton of expansion options, and it's all done without. No tools - not for swapping out motherboards, power supplies, RAM or anything else, including opening the box. Sure as sh^t not for something as simple as adding Thunderbolt."


That is not what the MXO2 is. And to my knowledge there are no Thunderbolt PCIe cards. Intel said when they launched the technology last year that the Thunderbolt controller needed direct access to the PCH and thus could not be added as a card.

Best,
Andy


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 3:45:22 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Metro on a Desktop machine is stupid and I'd rather not have it but it's one click on a tile and I am on the windows desktop as it used to be."

But with no Start Menu, you are slammed right back into Metro to do anything, though I suppose you can just saturate your task bar with the software you use most of the time and try to avoid the Start Screen.

[Frank Gothmann] "Avid/Adobe on Linux - unfortunately I can't see that happening. Too much that would need to be tweaked to bring functionality on par with the other OSes, Apple would have to port Quicktime to Linux (and Quicktime is dead) etc. etc."

Do you mean tweaking of Linux or tweaking of the apps? Neither Adobe nor Avid rely on QuickTime. They both have their own playback engines. Pro Res would be out though.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:13:33 pm

[Andrew Richards] "They both have their own playback engines. Pro Res would be out though."

I thought ffmpeg takes care of that, sorta?


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:16:07 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I thought ffmpeg takes care of that, sorta?"

Does it? For who?

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:16:41 pm

Linux and Windows.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:17:59 pm

Here's an awesome YouTube movie of it.

Don't blink.







Jeremy


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:19:12 pm

Yeah, it can be used to support play back and transcode for a bunch of formats, but I don't think Avid's playback engine or Adobe's Mercury Engine rely on it to do what they do within the respective NLEs.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:20:53 pm

[Andrew Richards] "but I don't think Avid's playback engine or Adobe's Mercury Engine rely on it to do what they do within the respective NLEs."

You mean on a theoretical Linux port?

Well, no.

Another reason that it's not going to happen anytime soon.

But, decoding (and encoding) ProRes is possible on Linux.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:38:14 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "You mean on a theoretical Linux port?

Well, no.

Another reason that it's not going to happen anytime soon."


ffmpeg isn't an OS API, it is an open source reverse-engineered codec processing framework. It does include an API, libavcodec. ffmpeg is also available for OS X, by the way. I don't know if it is used by any NLE on any platform (unless you count Cinelerra).

Adobe in particular with Mercury Engine and it's reliance on NVIDIA is in an easier position to port (I imagine), since it is calling NVIDIA APIs and NVIDIA certainly supports Linux. It is the fact that Avid and Adobe do not rely on an OS vendor for playback and media processing that makes them good candidates for porting.

Best,
Andy


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Frank GothmannRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:39:30 pm

[Andrew Richards] "But with no Start Menu, you are slammed right back into Metro to do anything, though I suppose you can just saturate your task bar with the software you use most of the time and try to avoid the Start Screen.
"


Well, the new start menu is metro, I'd just get rid of all the social networking crap, live tiles etc. and have all the app shortcuts there. It's actually not bad from a navigational point of view; it just looks goofy. A bit like launchpad, but fully customizable with regards to ordering, layout, color etc. But, frankly, I don't mind as long as it runs my stuff and it runs it well.


[Andrew Richards] "Do you mean tweaking of Linux or tweaking of the apps? Neither Adobe nor Avid rely on QuickTime. They both have their own playback engines. Pro Res would be out though.
"


No, the apps. Avid doesn't rely on QT internally, but you need to output your content at a certain point and that is pretty much QT in Avid. No avi wrapper for DnxHD, only QT. Reference files rely on QT etc. etc.
Same for Premiere. Neither DnxHD, Prores or Cineform exist on Linux so unless you want to export as uncompressed and up your storage space bigtime its a problem.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:48:07 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Avid doesn't rely on QT internally, but you need to output your content at a certain point and that is pretty much QT in Avid. No avi wrapper for DnxHD, only QT. Reference files rely on QT etc. etc. Same for Premiere. Neither DnxHD, Prores or Cineform exist on Linux so unless you want to export as uncompressed and up your storage space bigtime its a problem."

What about MXF? I thought that was Avid's native DNxHD container these days. DaVinci supports DNxHD on Linux. FFmpeg can be called upon to encode and convert almost anything, including DNxHD (which is open source).

I don't think the barriers are that high.

Best,
Andy


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Frank GothmannRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 4:55:00 pm

[Andrew Richards] "What about MXF? I thought that was Avid's native DNxHD container these days. DaVinci supports DNxHD on Linux. FFmpeg can be called upon to encode and convert almost anything, including DNxHD (which is open source)."

Yes, but Avid doesn't use MXF for its deliverables. You cannot export DnxHD MXF files from an Avid to work with most other applications, only QT. What would make sense though is to allow DnxHD in an avi wrapper, just like Cineform, so that would avoid QT on Linux (and on Windows).


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:19:13 pm

[Frank Gothmann] "Yes, but Avid doesn't use MXF for its deliverables. You cannot export DnxHD MXF files from an Avid to work with most other applications, only QT. What would make sense though is to allow DnxHD in an avi wrapper, just like Cineform, so that would avoid QT on Linux (and on Windows)."

AVI and QuickTime are the only way out of Avid? Sounds like Avid has some legacy container baggage to shed. Just allow export to MXF. This is exactly the kind of thing MXF was designed for- platform agnostic media exchange.

Best,
Andy


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:21:38 pm

[Andrew Richards] "AVI and QuickTime are the only way out of Avid? Sounds like Avid has some legacy container baggage to shed. Just allow export to MXF. This is exactly the kind of thing MXF was designed for- platform agnostic media exchange."

I lobbied a long time ago back around June 21st for this and practically got my head cut off.

Avid could go a long way to really push MXF in to a real world option for Mac.

Jeremy


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 5:24:00 pm

[Jeremy Garchow] "I lobbied a long time ago back around June 21st for this and practically got my head cut off."

That's what you get in this business for suggesting changing a workflow. New technology is great but we'll be damned if we have to break a habit to use it!

Best,
Andy


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Frank GothmannRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:02:20 pm

Well, I agree with you on this 100 per cent. I love Avid's editing toolset but the export functions need a serious overhaul.


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John HeagyRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:13:13 pm

[Andrew Richards] "Apple will never license OS X. It doesn't make any sense for them to license it. What's in it for Apple?"

How about investing 101: Diversify!

Apple should not put all it's eggs in the consumer space and rely solely on the "mob mentality" which can turn on a dime.

Apple stayed afloat serving the pro user and, given their wealth, wouldn't put much of a dent in there current "fight to the death with google war chest" to continue serving them.


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 6:57:43 pm

[John Heagy] "Apple should not put all it's eggs in the consumer space and rely solely on the "mob mentality" which can turn on a dime.

Apple stayed afloat serving the pro user and, given their wealth, wouldn't put much of a dent in there current "fight to the death with google war chest" to continue serving them.
"


This is an excellent argument in favor of Apple continuing to produce the Mac Pro. It does not however support the idea that Apple would benefit at all from outsourcing workstations to their biggest rival in the PC space.

Best,
Andy


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Don WalkerRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:14:57 pm

[Andrew Richards] "This is an excellent argument in favor of Apple continuing to produce the Mac Pro. It does not however support the idea that Apple would benefit at all from outsourcing workstations to their biggest rival in the PC space."

Anybody here been in the business long enough to remember the Ampex label on a SONY BVW-75 Betacam SP deck. Never understood that one either.

don walker
texarkana, texas

John 3:16


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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 9:15:55 pm

[Don Walker] "Anybody here been in the business long enough to remember the Ampex label on a SONY BVW-75 Betacam SP deck. Never understood that one either."

It's got Sony guts, man!

Best,
Andy


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Andrew KimeryRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:10:03 pm

I would be very surprised to see Apple do this because they are a hardware company. Everything they do is to sell a piece of hardware. Want Lion for $29? You have to buy a Mac to run it. Want Shake at a wicked discount or a $30k color grading app added to the FCP Suite at no extra charge (old examples, I know)? No problem, just buy a Mac to run them. What access to iTunes and the iTunes store on Mac or Windows OS? No sweat, just buy one of our iDevices.

It's why other companies have trouble competing because very few of them offer compelling hardware and compelling software/content. That's why I think Amazon could be the closest competitor if they can smooth out some of the wrinkles w/the Fire. Apple doesn't necessarily need it's services to make money because they want you to get hooked on their hardware. While Amazon doesn't necessarily need to make money selling hardware 'cause they want you to hooked on their services.

Bit of a tangent I know, but I don't see how partnering with HP fits into Apple's MO.

Sure, we would love it 'cause it could be the best of both worlds. But why would Apple love it?


-Andrew

2.9 GHz 8-core (4,1), FCP 7.0.3, 10.6.6
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (7.9.5)



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Andrew RichardsRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:12:54 pm

[Andrew Kimery] "Sure, we would love it 'cause it could be the best of both worlds. But why would Apple love it?"

Bingo.

Best,
Andy


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Richard HerdRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 8, 2012 at 10:52:43 pm

I accepted a position teaching Digital Media Arts to High School Kids, at a charter school for at risk youth. Wow, do they have some great stories to tell.

Last night was the Career and Technology Educator's Annual Budget proposal meeting, where all the district CTE teachers pitch their needs.

The teacher who presented before me teaches computer coding. She wanted Apple desktops because her students want to learn to make iPad apps.

I presented on cameras and computers: 3 Canon XA10HDs and 5 i5 iMacs with FCPX.


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T MathaiRe: Why Apple should let HP build its workstations
by on Mar 10, 2012 at 7:10:48 pm

What we call a workstation today may not be what we call a workstation by the end of the decade.

For our immediate needs, it would be nice to have a big tower with lots of space, if our needs today require using high end speciallized add ons that don't come standard.

It's possible to see that maybe by the end of the decade, the workstation could be the size of 2 or 3 Mac Minis stacked up. Think the original Apple Cube size, but light years faster.

We're getting faster I/O, higher capacity storage, and more powerful chips that use less power. It's very conceivable that our future workstation doesn't need to be opened much if at all.

It depends on the needs of content creators too. A lot of them may be using high end iMacs or MacBook Pros because they don't have the need for large workstations. Others need the large workstations because they require additional hardware.

HP released the Z1 all in one workstation, and I wouldn't be surprised if that becomes popular with content creators. I've taken a look at one opened up, and it's very modular. I've requested the screen be replaceable when they decide to make the Z2.


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