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Mac OS X Solutions for Stereographic Applications

pudge posted more than 11 years ago | from the move-over-sgi dept.

OS X 41

SavoWood writes "In a realm which was (IIRC) SGI-only, a new tennant has moved in. It looks like the molecular biologists et al of the world will be able to send their SGIs off to the pasture and forget about the $500/yr. software updates, in favor of running their stereographic applications on Darwin/Mac OS X. A sales rep from Apple just sent me a press release with the link to StereoGraphics, a company that makes stereoscopic visualization products. Now, to send this message into the meat shredder of why you should do everything on SGI and how Darwin is just a playtoy... *GRIN*"

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First post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5305709)

NARF!

A Leap Ahead for Apple (2, Interesting)

blaqsun (643717) | more than 11 years ago | (#5305734)

Never before in the history of comouting has the consumer had so much power and convenience available to him. What only ten years ago was viewed as a super-computing application is now freely offered to anyone with the hardware to support it-- genetic sequencing, video editing, 3D graphics, explosion reproduction. It is in this climate that we must ask ourselves what the next step will be, and where we will allow it to take us.

In 1996, SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics, Inc.) swapped out their home-grown operating system and processor-- IRIX and MIPS, respectively-- for commodity components Linux and IA32. Today, SGI is in the doghouse and fares little better than any other PC vendor. Into the gap left by SGI came Apple, who in 1996 themselves purchased what is arguably the most advanced UNIX in existance: OPENSTEP, aka Mac OS X.

Now with QuickTime 6.1 and Quartz Extreme, is there anything that can stop Apple's juggernaut-lke race to be king of the high-end server market? Only lack of hardware to run their crown jewels on. The Mac is so good at what it does, Apple is pressing Motorola and IBM for PowerPC chips that can meet the exhaustive demands of new high-end customers. The best of both breeds, Apple offers scalable, high-end UNIX to the Fortune 500 clientele as well as ease of use and simplicity to its private consumers. With things going so well, Apple seems to be on an unstoppable rise.

Unstoppable might be a bit much... (1)

Maelikai (118093) | more than 11 years ago | (#5305789)

Unstoppable might be a bit much, but it IS nice to see some of their recent decisions paying off.

The StereoGraphics press release:
http://www.stereographics.com/news_about_us/03news /pr021203b.html

Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (2, Insightful)

torpor (458) | more than 11 years ago | (#5305917)

Never before in the history of comouting has the consumer had so much power and convenience available to him.

Never before? Maybe, but then why do we keep hearing this phrase, year after year ...

Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (2, Insightful)

ZxCv (6138) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306101)

Never before in the history of comouting has the consumer had so much power and convenience available to him.


Never before? Maybe, but then why do we keep hearing this phrase, year after year ...


Because the power available to the consumer grows year after year, making it true year after year?

Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5306209)

>> Never before in the history of comouting has the consumer had so much power and convenience available to him

> ever before? Maybe, but then why do we keep hearing this phrase, year after year ...

Because "writers" can't be bothered to come up with something new every year. The phrase grew old and trite a long time ago.

Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (1)

benwaggoner (513209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306931)

It's Moore's law. Every year is the best year ever for consumers for computers.

All praise Saint Gordon!

Re:Huh? (3, Informative)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306099)

(I realize the above is a troll, but I'm bored at work so I'll bite at it.)

1) SGI has not swapped out Irix and MIPS. They sell Linux/x86 and NT/x86 equipment in addition to Irix and MIPS. If you want the good stuff, you still gotta use Irix.

2) Openstep is NOT a Unix. It's a programming toolkit, just like GTK+ and Cocoa. (heck, Cocoa basically is Openstep.
Even if you were to argue that Nextstep was the most advanced Unix at the time, you would have an uphill battle. Its GUI was the best ever made, but things under the hood weren't as beautiful - I would use a NeXT as a workstation, but never a server.

3) Apple has NOT filled the gap made by SGI. Cheap ass x86 hardware has.

4) Back to OpenStep - OpenStep isn't Mac OS X. Mac OS X's API is based on OpenStep, and they both use a Mach kernel. Virtually everything else is different.

5) What in the @$#@(#@$&@!$@#% does Quicktime have to do with servers?

6) They need higher-end hardware to meet the exhaustive demands Aqua is more like it.

Re:Huh? (1)

rampant mac (561036) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306224)

Even if you were to argue that Nextstep was the most advanced Unix at the time, you would have an uphill battle. Its GUI was the best ever made, but things under the hood weren't as beautiful"

I beg to differ... NeXT had the best GUI [for Unix]? You should really try taking a look at Mac OS X [apple.com] .

Re:Huh? (1)

Green Light (32766) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306915)

5) What in the @$#@(#@$&@!$@#% does Quicktime have to do with servers?
Streaming QuickTime content has a lot to do with servers (serving the media, that is).

Re:Huh? (1)

root 66 (72128) | more than 11 years ago | (#5308084)

Just to clarify: 'OpenStep' was the API. 'OPENSTEP' was the implementation (aka the OS).
OPENSTEP is a UNIX the same as NeXTStep was a UNIX and Mac OS X is a UNIX or Solaris is a UNIX...

Re:Huh? (1)

macmurph (622189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5315929)

1) Regardless of the OPENSTEP discussion, Apple is on the list of vendors that support the single Unix specification. OS X is a UNIX variant just like Linux or BSD... I dont see any harm in being a variant.

Platform Vendors Supporting the Single UNIX Specification [unix-systems.org]

2) I would argue that Apple has taken over some SGI market share. Personally, I use Maya 4.5 on OS X. I used to use Softimage on an SGI. (The Irix user experience is a lot more buggy than OS X BTW).

3) Quicktime is server software, therefore I would say that it has something to do with servers.

Quicktime Streaming Server [apple.com]

4) Yes, Apple will always need higher-end hardware...There will never be a time when people say "Damn this hardware is just too fast for me".

Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306311)

Geesh dude - you sound like a sports caster. "Juggernaut-like"??? Quicktime and quartz extreme!?!?! These don't even RUN on high-end servers! High end servers don't even have monitors! This has gotta be a troll - who the &*(#* mod'd it up?

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306353)

It sounds oddly like the *BSD troll. There's something surreal about hearing a freaking Operating System described in such breathy, urgent prose. It feels almost.... dirty.....

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5306359)

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5307229)

little ac... Apple doesn't sell a high-end server. High end servers don't fit in 1u rackmounts. High end servers take several racks all to themselves.

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5317560)

Right. Next you'll be telling me that you can't make a high-end notebook only one inch thick.

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5318565)

Yeesh. The xserve has, what, 2 processors? A Sunfire 15K has 106! http://www.sun.com/servers/highend/sunfire15k/inde x.xml Sorry dude, but the xserve is at best a low-end server. Hurry along, you'll be late for school.

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (1)

tuxedobob (582913) | more than 11 years ago | (#5322208)

That's all well and good, but one of those with only 16 processors will cost you $1,252,330. That's the cost of about 330 dual processor Xserves. Surely those Xserves can be clustered somehow.

Re:Howard Coselle Does Tech? (2, Insightful)

Fished (574624) | more than 11 years ago | (#5322335)

Surely those Xserves can be clustered somehow.
So far as I know, there are no commercially available clustering solutions for OS X. Beowulf would probably work with some porting, but that's not really suitable for most server applications. Certainly, there is nothing like Sun Clustering or Veritas Cluster Server.

Now, if Apple wanted that market, they could probably do some really intriguing things using the Mach foundations of OSX (much as IBM did using the Mach foundations of AIX.) But "could" and "have" are very different things. Further, if Apple wants to be taken as a high-end server vendor, they will also have to develop high-end professional services. Sorry, but much as I love my powerbook, Apple just aren't there yet.

Drinkin Kool Aid - Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (2)

jrock01 (630171) | more than 11 years ago | (#5307114)

I'm down with Apple as much as the next guy, but your drinkin some serious "infinite loop" kool-aid... They make great products for sure, but they have alot to figure out before they are going to "take over the world" like your suggesting here. Regards...and thanks for the public service announcement....JROCK

Re:Drinkin Kool Aid - Re:A Leap Ahead for Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5315681)

I am a big Apple fan myself, but I have no idea what this guy is on.

Finally (3, Funny)

halepark (578694) | more than 11 years ago | (#5305761)

...stereographic nipples for the masses!

Stereographics and games (4, Interesting)

spooje (582773) | more than 11 years ago | (#5305773)

At RIT's computer graphics design program we've been playing around with stereoscopic images for about a year now. At first I was skeptical about intentionally giving people headaches (it's like focusing on those 3D paintings at the mall) but man you get some great results! At the moment I'm working on a 3D tank game in Director 3D and combining it with sterographic monitors (we have 2 IBMs with the monitors and stereo cameras). I haven't quite gotten it to work correctly, but man these games take on a whole new dynamic with an extra dimension! Since I'm about to graduate I've been kind of bummed I won't have the equipment to play with anymore, but now that there's a mac version I think I'll definately plunk down the cash to continue working. It may not be widely adapted yet, but in a few years some sort of real 3D with creep into most higher end games.

A Unique Darwin Application? (2, Interesting)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306113)

I am not trying to troll but.... I respect darwin as a distro and realize that Apple only gains by having it so. But aside from a few hardcore programmers it doesnt seem like it will ever become anykind of an everyday use system. To me it seems that apple has darwin opensource for 2 reasons: to give kernel hackers something to do (which benefits apple) and PR (which benefits apple). Ok back to the original post (and my point) is there anything built for darwin and not for OSX? will there ever be any reason to ::sigh:: when you see the apple logo at startup the first time only to uninstall it and run darwin with a open window manager (remind you of any other old procedure)?

Re:A Unique Darwin Application? (4, Informative)

mkiwi (585287) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306378)

Darwin is actually what Mac OS X users to do its dirty work. Darwin is the collective name of the Mach-O kernel and BSD4.4.

The kernel controls everything and the bsd layer is essential for software development. Without the BSD layer, the mac could not compile regular unix software or compile any software made in project builder.

What you refer to as "Mac OS X" is actually the quartz rendering layer and an application called the finder.

The point is that Darwin and Quartz make an incredible combination, making application development really nice. Someone could add a library that did the same work as Quartz's, but there's absolutely nothing that can compete with Quartz's rendering capabilities.

There's no comperable product on the Windows or the UNIX/Linux side, but anything built on a plain-old darwin system can have a regular kde/windowmaker/gtk/etc. with standard xfree86 libraries and headers.

Apple's new X11 server can replace the stardard Aqua window manager, if you know how. If you don't know how, you have no business even touching that functionality.

Another point: darwin can be run in its purest, UNIX form with xfree86. Startup will display the standard logging that anyone would see in a Linux system instead of the Apple logo. This can be done even if Mac OS X is installed, if you know how. Again, if you don't know how, you probably have no business complaining about Mac OS X.

Darwin w/ KDE can, and has been done successfully, on many systems, including my system. However, if one has the hardware to use Mac OS X and all its assorted components, what is the point of using software than isn't nearly as nice as Mac OS X?

Re:A Unique Darwin Application? (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5321684)



To me it seems that apple has darwin opensource for 2 reasons: to give kernel hackers something to do (which benefits apple) and PR (which benefits apple).

The purpose of Darwin is to make life easier for people writing drivers and other OS-level software for Mac OS X. In the old days, it was a major pain to go though the legal process to get access to OS source.

-jcr

Hurray for everybody! (4, Funny)

Nathan Ramella (629875) | more than 11 years ago | (#5306421)

I guess the nine people who use this are so estatic they're busy getting price lists for switching to Apples rather than posting their adulation...

Re:Hurray for everybody! (2)

Jerm (58306) | more than 11 years ago | (#5308836)

Heh. Why I thought anyone on apple /. would actually have a useful comment about this is beyond me. As someone who uses stereo hardware for crystallography and may have to set up a structural biology lab in the (hopefully) near future, it is nice to see another major hurdle overcome. The other major hurdle is of course getting the authors of the programs to incorporate stereo support for their applications. Luckily most of the "bread and butter" apps have already been ported over. In the x-ray crystallography lab I am in we have an equal number of SGI Octanes and Macs, in the future this duality will hopefully be unnecesary, freeing up funds so that everyone can have their own (Mac OS X) workstation.

its software, not glasses thats missing (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5306506)

Actually there have been stereo glasses available some time. More than one company has offered this. For example genomix.fr was a company that made a molecular graphics software for OS X. it went bust (I fergit the other company's s name right now) the problem has been that software like pymol, and divers for the video systems have not supported them.

Re:its software, not glasses thats missing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5308720)

Did you actually type 'fergit'? Wow...

Glasses for 1/10th the price (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5308869)

yep that bit of slang was deliberate. not sure why. I think I was just riduculing my own lazyness in not doing a google serach to find the name of the other companies making lcd glasses for the mac. by the way those glasses sell for about 150$ not $1500 dollars that crystal-eyes is asking for theirs. the other cool product that unnamed comany makes is adpaters for LCD projectors that turn them into 3-D movie/game/presentation projectors using ordinary (passive) poslarized glasses. pretty slick. wish I could remember their name.

Stereoscopic rectum (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5306990)

Dear Apple,

I am a homosexual. I bought an Apple computer because of its well earned reputation for being "the" gay computer. Since I have become an Apple owner, I have been exposed to a whole new world of gay friends. It is really a pleasure to meet and compute with other homos such as myself. I plan on using my new Apple computer as a way to entice and recruit young schoolboys into the homosexual lifestyle; it would be so helpful if you could produce more software which would appeal to young boys. Thanks in advance.

with much gayness,

Father Randy "Pudge" O'Day, S.J.

Apple willingly complies ... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5307008)

Dear Father O'Day:

Thanks for your letter. Being Catholic myself, I know exactly what you're talking about! It has always been our plan here at Apple Computer Inc to revolutionize personal computing with our high-quality and highly gay products.

I'm happy to answer your letter by letting you know that YES we will be releasing an entire hLife ("homo-life") software line. You'll be able to recognize it in stores by the small stylized logo depicting a large cock entering a tight anus with an Apple logo on it. ("Suddenly it all comes together" indeed!).

Anyway, I hope you and other members of our community will join us on our mission, and purchase the exciting new hLife boxed set. Only the boxed set comes with translucent cock rings!

Sincerely,

Harry Rodman
Vice-president
Homosexual Liaison Services
Apple Computer, Inc.

Implications of Stereo support for the Mac (2, Interesting)

Greg Couch (544551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5307041)

I would love to see that press release. It doesn't appear to be on the Apple website yet.

I'm really curious how Apple is going to price stereo support. Currently, NVidia and ATI make you buy the workstation version of their video cards, a $800 to $1500 card, instead of a $200 to $400 consumer card, if you want a stereo connector with driver support. If Apple sells stereo at a small premimum, then that reduces the market for the high-margin workstation cards. Not clear if NVidia or ATI will let them or continue to sell to Apple.

Another interesting aspect to this is that Apple writes its own drivers for NVidia and ATI chips and right now Apple has the buggiest OpenGL drivers out there (i.e., my molecular graphics application can crash Mac OS X doing legal OpenGL, -- works fine on Linux and Windows with similar chips, and on SGIs). There are tricky aspects to adding stereo support to the drivers if you want the stereo drawing to be in a window with the GUI drawn normally (with Aqua in mono). I hope the Apple driver team is up to the task!

Re:Implications of Stereo support for the Mac (1)

paradesign (561561) | more than 11 years ago | (#5307321)

i think that we are going to see more graphics hardware and driver support for the mac. Esp. since Alias Wavefront's Maya runs natively. From what ive been hearing its runs very well on newer Macs, and has become a fairly popular hardware choice for Maya users. There are also a number of other 3D packages on OSX, Lightwave and Cinema 4D spring to mind immediately. Macs have only recently become a good choice for 3d graphics professionals, especially since they probably have to use them for other parts of their workflow.

What im getting at is, i wonder how long it will be until we start to see developer boards (read Quadro and Fire GL and Wildcat) released for the Mac. Im sure hardware support is a reason that most 3d packages dont have a mac port.

but maybe the real reason im bitter is i have to use a PC to run AW Studiotools, when Maya runs in OSX... grumble... grumble...

Re:Implications of Stereo support for the Mac (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5322036)

Quadro, Fire GL, and Wildcat drivers are being built in to OS 10.3. Start drooling now...

Re:Implications of Stereo support for the Mac (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 11 years ago | (#5322162)

my molecular graphics application can crash Mac OS X doing legal OpenGL

You've filed a bug report at bugreporter.apple.com, I hope?

-jcr

Re:Implications of Stereo support for the Mac (1)

Greg Couch (544551) | more than 11 years ago | (#5329083)

Yes we have filed the bug. It is taking longer than I expected to fix iy, but maybe I have unrealistic expectations.

I request tabbed browsing for Safari (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5307718)

Make it so Steve Jobs.

Tab^H^H^H^H^H^Hbbed browsing. Repeat after me.
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