I'm in crunch mode again to finish the text of the second edition of Internet Starter Kit for Macintosh, so if you could send TidBITS-related mail to Tonya at <email@example.com>, I'd appreciate it. And, if you're developing an Macintosh Internet program, plan on releasing an update in the next few weeks, and would like me to mention it in the second edition, please send me email and we'll talk. Thanks! [ACE]
Macintosh Updates Updated -- We just released a new version of the Macintosh Updates database (with all the formats in the same archive, along with a text-only file) and I've uploaded to all the usual places. It contains a number of changes from the previous version (TidBITS #223), and continues to be a must-have. [ACE]
Source Code on CD -- Celestin Company recently released Apprentice, a $35 CD that offers an assortment of programmers' utilities and approximately 450 MB of source code. The source code comes from over 200 Mac developers (with permission, of course) and most of it is in C, C++, and Pascal, though it comes with small amounts of code from a variety of languages. For the new programmer, Apprentice includes shell programs that provide a program framework for new programs, and for MPW users, Apprentice has various libraries, tools, languages, and utilities. The CD also has tips, technical specifications, and a compendium of information from comp.sys.mac.programmer digest.
Celestin Company -- 206/385-3767 -- 206/385 3586 (fax) -- <firstname.lastname@example.org> [TJE]
Performas are moving into the higher-education retail channels, just to confuse matters when you're buying a Macintosh. This means that colleges and universities can now compete with Big Bob's Computer and Vegetable Warehouse (our motto, "Buy a Performa, get a rutabaga free!"). The move also raises the question of what happens to the LC line, most, if not all, of which are identical to Performa models. [ACE]
Brian Bezanson <email@example.com> writes:
As a Mac developer whose current product, Jet Stream Color Image Server, runs on SGI hardware (from the "Purple" Indigos and the Indigo 2 to the Indy machines), I can tell you they don't compare to Power Macs in price/performance.
The Indigo 2 that Mr. Showker saw (TidBITS #227) was probably the standard SGI Indigo 2 demo machine that has a 2 GB Barracuda hard drive, 128 MB to 256 MB of RAM, and is running minimal system software. A bare Indigo 2 machine starts in the $15,000 range. Add $3,000 for the 2 GB drive (SGI charges more), $10,000 for 128 MB of RAM, and $6,000 for a monitor with 24-bit graphics and Mr. Showker's "All for a few dollars more than a dressed-out Power Mac" starts at $33,000. A Power Mac 8100 has faster Specmarks, starts at around $5,000 and with an added $2,000 for the Barracuda drive and $4,000 for the RAM, you're at $11,000 for a machine that can do more when the truly native version of Photoshop 3 arrives. [And then there's the fact that SGI Photoshop is reportedly two to three times more expensive than Photoshop for the Macintosh. -Adam]
I have yet to see SGI Photoshop run at even Quadra speeds on our Indigo 2 and Indy machines when they are networked in our standard work environment. I was at Macworld in January where SGI was showing how the Indy at $4,995 was better than a Quadra. The folks from Corel were saying why they weren't doing development for the Mac anymore and why you should buy the Indy with their program. I then asked the Corel demonstrator the minimum machine required, and he said an Indy ($5,000), 2 GB hard drive ($3,000), 96 MB of RAM ($8,000), and 24-bit video ($3,000 to $4,000 for a new monitor and $2,000 to $3,000 for a 24-bit video card). The machine recommended to run CorelDraw for SGI cost over $22,000!
In case you're wondering, why do we use the SGI? Because for price/performance it is the fastest Unix workstation out there. We know the machines needed to run our software cost our customers $20,000 to $30,000, but we also have the fastest Adobe PostScript Level 2 RIP available and they view that as the price for speed and stability. My goal is to move to a PowerPC 604/620-based Mac running System 8 (Copland) in two years so we can get the pre-emptive multitasking and memory protection we get on the SGI along with the price/performance of a Power Mac.