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Prodigal Mac: It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Which Apple is going to show up in the next twelve months?
I doubt Apple is going to switch over to an x86 architecture, but the 2 gHz+ processors IBM recently (and somewhat quietly) announced apparently sport some AltiVec-esque instructions, and are looking more and more like the G5 to me every day. I really hope so, because it's painfully obvious that Moto hasn't given a damn about the desktop G4 chip market for a very, very, very long time, and it's time they were put out to pasture.

Also, it wasn't even a week after the new towers' release when the first benchmarks surfaced, and they were very disappointing indeed. What's the point of putting DDR RAM in a box when it's going to add almost no performance increase? C'mon, Apple. Surely you could put a little more oomph into whatever in there is holding up traffic. Suddenly, the new G4s were looking a mite long in the tooth to me. The last several tower revisions have all had "stopgap measure" written all over them, and the trend is a little frightening.

OK, so what else is wrong? In a word, Microsoft. Like many of you, I flipped a gigantic proverbial bird at Microsoft's Mac BU when their head honcho, Kevin Browne, chose the eve of the Macworld Expo to relieve himself all over Apple's Mac OS X rollout efforts. Surely, Mr. Browne, the fact that a full copy of Office v.X will run you close to 500 bones has no bearing on your perceived woes. I took it as a challenge. We don't need no stinking Microsoft!!! Surely we all can get by without any Microsoft software on our Macs. But while the vast majority of creative users can easily leave MS behind like so much roadkill, continued development of Office and IE on Mac OS X is absolutely vital to continued Mac acceptance in all kinds of business situations. Let's face it: many creative folks would rather assume greeting duties at the local Wal Mart than be forced into switching to Windows, but sometimes it's really hard to make the case for corporate IT purchasers to agree to bring ANY Macs into the fold. A motivated Microsoft developing good (and, more importantly, compatible) software for OS X goes a long way toward making a lot of Mac folks' lives easier, regardless of whether they use MS software or not. In any event, even since Microsoft's big OS X whinefest, they have announced that MSN will be coming to Mac OS X, so I have no idea what they're thinking over there for long-term Mac development. The Apple/MS catfight should be a good one--but what catfight isn't, when you get right down to it?

So anyway, depending on how you look at things, Apple is either flying high, scraping the bottom, or doing some amazing swoops in between the two extremes. Whichever way the scales choose to even themselves out, at the very least it will be interesting to watch everything unfold.

Kevin Schmitt has been a working with just about every aspect of digital media since before anyone really knew what to call it. An award-winning animator, artist, and multimedia producer, he is currently the head (and only) honcho of Kevin Schmitt Digital Design, located in the enormously bustling megalopolis of Charlottesville, Va. Whether you're looking to hire a digital artist for your next project or just wanting to give him the business about his latest musings, he can be reached at [email protected]. He's ready to believe you!

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Though the fame, riches, and notoriety of being a DMN contributor are both tantalizing and substantial, Kevin Schmitt still stubbornly insists on continuing his work as the Director of Interactive Services at EFX Media, a production house located just outside of Washington, D.C. Feel free to follow his updates and contact him through Twitter if you have something to share - he's ready to believe you!
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