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Editorial: 1,100 votes of thanks
The recent news that Apple sold
1,100 dual-processor 2GHz G5 computersto Virginia Tech University
caused a flurry of news and rumor reports, and a number of angry posts by individuals who had ordered the computers on the first day they were offered for sale, and felt they deserved priority.
I sympathize with those who will have to wait for their new Macs, but I applaud Apple for recognizing the greater common good of all Mac users by getting those computers into an environment that symbolizes the next “great wave” of technology: distributed computing.
While Virginia Tech’s supercomputer project is described as a cluster, it is really another component of grid computing, an arena that
has been described as “the battleground
where the benefits and shortcomings of open source and proprietary software development are finally revealed.” Last year IBM’s vice-president of Linux emerging technologies said that the technology has the power to “make computing as accessible as electricity or telephone service.” And his company has announced it will “Grid-enable” its entire product line.
And whose chips will be powering Power Macs in the forthcoming years? Yep, IBM’s. And whose software technology will be powering Power Macs in the forthcoming years? Yep, NeXT’s.
Well, not entirely, but
Apple’s Advanced Computation Group
(AACG) is building on the legacy of NeXT’s much-loved clustering application, “Zilla,” which was the heart of an app that won a ComputerWorld-Smithsonian National Science Prize in 1991 as a “community supercomputer.” And AACG’s Research Team has also developed algorithms to exploit Velocity Engine technology to accelerate operations for a host of applications, from graphics to biocomputation. A
couple posts by “npch”
at Slashdot, written for laypeople, offer an insider’s look at grids.
Suffice it to say, Microsoft understands the importance: the company “sees the Grid, like it does many open-source projects, as an “ecosystem” where Microsoft technology can also flourish.” Last year it provided $1 million worth of funding and support to the
to develop a version of its Toolkit for Windows XP.
The Alliance is an open source organization at the hub of developing the fundamental technologies needed to build computational grids, and its services are written in Java. If you’re familiar with
Microsoft’s battles with Sun Microsystems
over Java, you understand why it might want its own grid platform.
What about Apple? Fortunately for it and the rest of us,
has ported the
to Mac OS X, but describes it as “still very much a work in progress.” It has also deployed a modestly-sized Apple Xserve cluster at Texas A&M University. Which isn’t very close to Virginia, but that will change — and 1,100 proud Mac users can say they played their part.
Apple products rate ‘cool’ with youth
Two research firms report that this summer Apple became one of America’s coolest companies in youth-marketing, spurred by “extremely well-designed products,” like the iMac and iPod. Wired News reports the latter is the No. 2 “must have” item for the back-to-school season (right after new shoes), according to a survey of 20,000 Net-connected correspondents done by L.A.-based youth marketing/research firm Look-Look.
Apple sells 7 percent of U.S. laptops in second quarter
Unix users to be ‘major beneficiaries’ of Panther
Power Mac G5: OS X Server 10.2 Not Supported
Apple-Buzzle legal imbroglio continues
Jobs at top, Ballmer at bottom of CEO approval ratings
SanDisk reader accepts all media card formats
SanDisk Corp.. introduced the USB 2.0 ImageMate 8-in-1 card reader with four slots that accept all industry-standard storage cards, including CompactFlash Type I and II cards, SmartMedia, SD cards, MultiMediaCards, Memory Sticks, Memory Stick PRO and xD-Picture Cards. The four slots can be used simultaneously to transfer data between individual cards and/or your Mac. The unit has a suggested retail price of US$39.99 and comes with a docking station.
Fastest DVD media in short supply
Porsche designs new line of LaCie drives
Three new Pentax digital cameras due next month
Minolta-QMS intros magicolor 3300 color laser printer
Trans Intl. boosts 17-inch iMac memory to 2GB
Rogue Amoeba updates Audio Hijack, Detour
Rogue Amoeba has updated Audio Hijack, its US$16 tool for recording audio on a Mac, to version 2.0, and Detour, the $12 application for controlling where your audio is going, to version 1.1. Audio Hijack 2.0 sports a new interface, improved timed recording, a built-in Excitifer effect for improving audio quality, and a toolbar with built-in level meters. Detour allows you to send audio to different output devices on an application-specific basis.
Toast Titanium 6 shipping
FirstClass Server 7.1 for Mac OS X available
Omni Group updates OmniOutliner, OmniDiskSweeper
New software suite bundled with Pro Tools systems
Otto Matic re-released as shareware
Around the Web
Forrester: Downloads, streaming replacing DVDs, CDs
A new report from market research firm Forrester Research Inc. states that 20 percent of Americans participate in some form of music downloading activity, and half of those admit to buying fewer CDs. The report says that in five years’ time, a third of all music sales will come from download channels like the iTunes Music Store. The report also indicates that almost 15 percent of the movie rental business will come from on-demand movie services.
IBM Squashes Worms
Linux Set to Break Through in Consumer Electronics
Homeland Security ‘should avoid Microsoft’
Windows Office 2003 locks down documents
Laptop Fuel Cells — Ready for Takeoff?