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Re: G4 power Mac and OS X

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  • Subject: [mg26945] Re: [mg26891] G4 power Mac and OS X
  • From: "Gareth J. Russell" <russell at>
  • Date: Sat, 27 Jan 2001 20:00:11 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


There is a difference between a 'G4 version' and an 'OS X' version.

Mathematica (4.0) already runs fine on the OS X public beta in Classic mode
-- I have used it extensively that way. This means, of course, that it does
not get the advantages of OS X. I expect it will still work in the first
proper release.

Wolfram have just announced that they are developing a version that will run
natively in OS X, although there is no timeframe. They don't say whether
this will be a 'Carbonised' version of the existing code, or a
newly-developed Cocoa application. I strongly suspect a Carbon version,
because switching to Cocoa is a much bigger job. Version 5 perhaps? Either
way though, Mathematica will get all the unix-like advantages of OS X.

As for a 'G4 version', the question is whether the code will take advantage
of the Altivec processing units that are part of the G4 (in the Classic OS
or OS X). These can speed up certain functions by a factor of around 10.
But, I would bet no particular optimization for this in the first OS X
release, again because they probably want to get a stable version out the
door first.

Even in the worst case (Carbon version, no Altivec optimization),
Mathematica on Mac OS X will be a great combination!


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