Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Machine speculation, redux

A couple of recent articles about Intel's new quad-core Core 2 offering coming early (in late 2006 rather than early 2007) from SFGate and the Washington Post reminded me that I didn't really act upon my previous machine speculation.

I had posited there was an outside chance that they'd update the laptop line for WWDC '06. It was much more likely that they'd release an Intel desktop, and they did. (I had given it a release date of December +/- 6 months, so it definitely came in on the early side.) Nonetheless, I was (and am) holding out for the low energy versions to get put into the machines for better battery life (and less cooking of the lap), and hoping that they'd be able to cram in a second two-core processor in. Well, with the announcement that availability of quad-core chips this year, with low energy versions "early next year", I might get (effectively) both. Unfortunately, since there's usually some lag time between chip availability and adoption, I may end up waiting another nine months until they could get put in the MacBook line. Ultimately, this comes down to when Apple updates the line and what they're going to do with it. I've got my fingers crossed.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Not just licking my wounds

I should have known better. I'm not particularly thin-skinned, but every time I end up going to an Apple conference, instead of being able to purely enjoy the new technology (and at WWDC, the camaraderie of other Mac developers), I find myself plucking daggers out of my (well, Microsoft's) back.

Yes, I know that the Reality Distortion Field is going to promise great things on the platform. But, having never been to a PDC or TechEd, do the Windows conferences heap the same load of scorn on alternative OSes (and by inference, developers on and for that OS)? I'm sure there are cross-platform developers who are just itching for the new technology who think, "Yeah, yeah, now tell us what's cool about your stuff!" There are probably such Mac stalwarts that don't care a whit about what Microsoft is doing or would rather not hear the name mentioned in their presence, and referring to "Redmond"1 repeatedly is just as bad.2

In any case, having been to WWDC 2003, and having had access to other MacBU folks' DVDs for '04 and live streaming for '05, I didn't get as much out of it as one of my new coworkers, who was roughly introduced to the society surrounding the technology. Instead, I enjoyed talking to several Apple developers working on the technology areas of my interest (mostly security-related), and put bugs in their ear about future directions. Secondly, I did not just throw away all those Microsoft daggers–omitting the ones that were purely spiteful, there were still several that complained of real problems in MacBU products that I was able to give feedback to the team about, not all of which were known issues.

The reason I've been quiet recently is not that I'm licking my wounds from WWDC, but that I'm diving headfirst into a bunch of new-to-me technology. Although my coworkers have some good insight about what sections of the technology have analogs to what I had been doing previously, it is still a little like drinking from a firehose. I hope to spend the next few months coming up to speed, and then when the product specs settle down and we can go public about it all, have some more technical blog entries about what I'm actually doing here in CoreCLR.
1 A quick search of software companies in Redmond, Washington turns up quite a number of results. Perhaps they're repeatedly referring to WildTangent? No? Maybe Hipsoft? Crick Software? Something tells me they're just afraid of mentioning Microsoft, in case it increases Microsoft brand recognition to their own detriment.
2 I've often wondered what purpose it serves to mock Windows at these conferences. I don't think it's going to dissuade Windows developers from developing for Windows OSes. Is it dissuading current Mac developers from leaving the platform? Or is it just patting them on the back for having made "the right choice" of OSes? Hmm.