August 23, 2000 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Schadenfreude is such a wonderful word; too bad English doesn't have any equivalent. If it's scrolled down, look for August 22 with headline G4e still stumbling, competition massing . Critical quote inside.
posted by Steven Den Beste (21 comments total)
"According to Motorola sources, morale among the PowerPC team there has never been lower. The savior of the G4, the "V'Ger" project, has nearly completed the G4e/G4+ processor -- but manufacturing yields are not only bad, they're worse than the existing G4s. A few chips running at up to 900MHz have been salvaged from the lot, but according to sources, the average yields are "not substantially higher than zero" for chips running at better than 500MHz. Granted, the G4e offers increased performance at the same clock rate compared to the original G4, but part of its original design was intended to increase clock rates by sacrificing IPC -- the number of Instructions that can be processed Per Clock cycle -- gains. Thusly, a 500MHz G4e is only about 25% faster than a 500MHz G4. And given that most G4es presently either don't work at all or only operate reliably up to about 400MHz, Motorola has its work cut out for it."

I know it's wrong, but after all the shit I've been handed by Mac zealots over the years, it's nice to see them get their come-uppance. The ultimate irony would be if they switched to using the Pentium. That would make it perfect.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:44 AM on August 23, 2000

That would make it suck.

erm... add "even more" to the end of that, if you really need your Holy War fix.

The x86 architecture blows, it's hopelessly archaic. I want to see Transmeta power the Mac, that would make it perfect.
posted by cCranium at 11:52 AM on August 23, 2000

Not to be tangential... but I'm a word-hound, and am aching to know what "Schadenfreude" means (not to mention how it relates to the link).

Care to enlighten us (or atleast me)?
posted by silusGROK at 12:04 PM on August 23, 2000

Schadenfreude is a german word that loosely translates to "taking delight in the failure of others."

As most knowledge I've gained, I first heard it defined on the Simpsons:


At dinner, Homer gloats that Ned's business is a flop.

Lisa: Dad, do you know what Schadenfreude is?
Homer: No, I do not know what shaden-frawde is. [sarcasm] Please tell me, because I'm dying to know.
Lisa: It's a German term for `shameful joy', taking pleasure in the suffering of others.
Homer: Oh, come on Lisa. I'm just glad to see him fall flat on his butt! [getting mad]
He's usually all happy and comfortable, and surrounded by loved ones, and it makes me feel... What's the opposite of that shameful joy thing of yours?
Lisa: [nastily] Sour grapes.
Homer: Boy, those Germans have a word for everything!
-- Selbstverstaendlich! "When Flanders Failed"

posted by mathowie at 12:20 PM on August 23, 2000

Uh, not to jump to soundly on your superiority soapbox - you probably don't know this, being one of those slow Win-doze(tm) types - but the site you copped this from is hardly anything like a "reputable news" source... In fact, the veracity of the info there has been called into question on quite a few occasions and a well-known (to Mac web people...) prank recently involved a completely invented "rumor" that showed up on that site unaltered within hours. You're gonna need a whole salt cellar instead of just a grain if you're gonna take any news about the G4 chips from there...
posted by m.polo at 12:22 PM on August 23, 2000

The x86 architecture blows, it's hopelessly archaic

So what? As long as they can keep making it faster, what's the worry? RISC isn't all that better in practice. Intel's chips aren't even really based on x86 anymore anyway. Current Pentiums are really just big x86 emulators sitting on a RISC-ish core. VLIW architectures (such as IA-64) will change all that. Maybe. ;)
posted by daveadams at 1:14 PM on August 23, 2000

too bad English doesn't have any equivalent

How about "schadenfreude"?
posted by daveadams at 1:16 PM on August 23, 2000

Last Fall's G4 debacle certainly lends verisimilitude to the idea that Moto's G4 group is having problems.

Anyway, we shall see what we shall see, won't we? In the mean time, if you'd like a much more reputable source, try this.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:24 PM on August 23, 2000

So what? As long as they can keep making it faster, what's the worry?

True, good point.

But hey, if Apple should have to change chips, why bother going with something so old tech? Apples CoolTech focus (which started with the iMac) may as well continue with a new chip.
posted by cCranium at 1:30 PM on August 23, 2000

I must confess something: I despise the Mac because the most zealotrous Mac zealot I've ever known tried his best to destroy my career at one particular company and damned near succeeded -- BECAUSE of his Mac.

He had the only Mac in the entire company; everyone else had PCs. When we were trying to select software development tools, this severely restricted our ability to choose applicationss since they had to work on both platforms. I suggested that he also get a PC so he could be compatible with everyone else -- and he decided I had to die. He started telling false stories to the managers about me and what I was doing, and before he was through I had to transfer from engineering to manufacturing just to get away from him and because he'd managed to completely destroy my reputation in Engineering. And all so that he could keep using his Mac and not have to soil himself with a PC next to it.

I literally never spoke to him again. Not one word. But that is the only revenge I allowed myself.

So I confess that my schadenfreude is not for all Mac users everywhere, but for one particular Mac user in Massachusetts. All the rest of you may be innocent victims, but HE deserves this, and worse.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 1:47 PM on August 23, 2000

Ouch. Having been the only Mac user in a company of PC guys - and having suggested myself that they give me a PC so they wouldn't have to use dual development platforms - I can imagine the situation... Come to think of it, I used to live in Massachusetts... Hey, wait a minute... No, couldn'ta been...

Seriously, the PowerPC group does appear to be in its death throes, even if you did get the original news from a flaky source. My hope is that Apple takes Mac OS X and ports it over to something like Alpha, or better yet, helps Transmeta push out into the forefront.
posted by m.polo at 2:12 PM on August 23, 2000

Okay, I agree that the entire Motorola PPC team deserves to be hung, drawn, quartered, and then posthumously fired for designing themselves into a corner, and that just maybe Apple oughta switch to IBM's PPCs (or possibly even a whole new architecture--no better time to do it than now, seeing as they can transition hardware and software simultaneously) The whole G4 thing has been a cock-up ever since the Great MHz Drop.

But on the other hand, I completely fail to see how this means that Apple itself is dying. This is Motorola which is failing here, not Apple. And I don't see how the switch to another processor architecture (should it happen) would somehow 'prove' that Apple sucks, or for that matter satisfy your twisted revenge fantasy. It's the OS that people like and advocate most--the PPC/Pentium wars are only a sideline.
posted by darukaru at 3:08 PM on August 23, 2000

I don't recall saying that Apple itself is dying. But it does mean that they're basically condemned to selling second-rate computers for at least a year and a half, until such time as Moto finally gets its act together, assuming they ever do, unless they change CPUs again. Part of the problem is, I think, that the particular group working on CPUs for Apple at Moto has been getting the second string; I think Moto is more concerned for use of the PPC in embedded apps and that's where they've got their best engineers working. I think it's been obvious for quite a while that Motorola's enthusiasm for this has been waning, and IBM kissed Apple off completely a couple of years ago.

The serious link I posted above shows that the x86 architecture is already outperforming the PPC (on HONEST benchmarks, not on the contrived ones Mac folk love to cite) and that the difference between them is accelerating at the bleeding edge, due primarily to the fact that Moto can't deliver, and that AMD and Intel are fighting tooth and nail. It also concludes that for most users this doesn't matter.

As to my "revenge", it means that my "friend" gets to run on a slow computer for a couple of years when faster computers are readily available -- if only he were willing to soil himself.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:55 PM on August 23, 2000

Matt (darukaru), would you please send me private email so I can send you some opinions that I don't care to post here? My email address is
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:58 PM on August 23, 2000

Getting back to the German, schadenfreude is a construction of two words, "schaden" and "freude". Shade means either damage or sorrow depending on the circumstances. If someone says, I heard your family got wiped out by a flying elk--schade, it carries the sense of "sorry to hear it" or "too bad". Freude on the other hand, means joy as in: but it looks like the elk is going to live and not only live but appear in a ton of endorsements--so eine Freude (what a joy)! Knowing this ought to whet our appetite for another equally useful word, namely, "schande" which is probably more appropriate to this thread.

posted by leo at 7:40 PM on August 23, 2000

Just an observation from the cross-platform front lines, Steven: faster processors don't make faster computers all on their own and even you have to admit that the sheer performance of Windows is not much better than embarrassing. Out here in the real world, the simple fact remains that for many graphics and media-intensive applications, the performance of NT is demonstrably slower than the performance of a high end Mac OS machine. I know you don't believe it and I accept that; this argument has been going on for too many years for me to even have a glimmer of hope that you'd learn to believe something you don't want to believe. G4... Pentium... two-hamsters-in-a-wire-wheel... makes no nevermind to me what's inside the damned box. What matters is how quickly it renders, how fast I can regain control after moving a 30MB graphic across the screen, not how many places you can calculate pi to while it's simultaneously doing some other idiotic magazine test you want to put it through to test the speed of the processor.
posted by m.polo at 7:53 PM on August 23, 2000

I have always pinned network guys dislike for mac's on the fact that they are chatty little boxes that require the difficult to manage appletalk over their networks. I heard that OSX will be ditching Appletalk, and become terse IP loving machines that would finally be loved by all. Now I don't know what to think. Doesn't this boil down to the right tool for the right job? I sure as hell would not waste a Mac on a secretary, nor would I give a designer who provides files for an engraver a PC. If I were queer for clock speed I would be pushing Silicon Graphics machines. The simple truth is that for the professional design crowd the Mac is the machine. The software is portable, and long lived. The back end people work best with files created on these machines. It would cost too much to retool machines, proceedure, and software/fonts at this point. They are easy to use. QuarkXpress owns publishing, it doesn't matter if Adobe has the better publishing program. The same is true for the hardware.
Myself, I am sick of faster and faster hardware. I wish hardware production would level off all together, and stable, small, compatible software would become the field where the competitions were held.
I am very tired, I might be spouting garbage.
posted by thirteen at 10:27 PM on August 23, 2000

I agree with thirteen-most of the people I know who wet their pants over higher clock speeds are no different than the guys I knew in High School who spent all their time and money customizing their cars.
All you really need to do is get where you want to go.
Actually, I think Motorola's problems might good for Apple. OSX AND a new chip would open whole new worlds of possibilities.
I'm agnostic in the holy wars, I use Macs at work (pushing 48MB files) and a dual 500Mhz processor box I had a friend build for me at home.
I can get my work done on either machine...and to condemn a machine, a company and a whole damn community due to the actions of one person?
That's so...silly.
posted by black8 at 4:32 AM on August 24, 2000

Myself, I am sick of faster and faster hardware. I wish hardware production would level off all together, and stable, small, compatible software would become the field where the competitions were held.

But that's boring and silly!! If hardware didn't get faster and faster (and smaller and cheaper at the same time), we wouldn't have laptops, PalmPilots, 75GB hard drives, The Matrix, Photoshop, the Internet, Metafilter, or Unreal Tournament! I mean, really, how much could you realistically accomplish on an circa-1984 80286 with 640k? Even with the most efficient software? I think hardware should keep getting better and cheaper as fast as it can.

Seems to me that the only reason to complain that hardware is getting so much better all the time is that you feel like you got screwed out of the faster stuff. That's your problem, not the geeks who love the tech. Besides, shouldn't it actually make you happy? If you can "get where you want to go" for half the price you could last year, isn't that a good thing? So you don't need a 1.4GHz Pentium 4. Buy something cheaper.
posted by daveadams at 1:42 PM on August 24, 2000

PS - I'm not arguing against small, efficient, compatible software, but my point is that without ever-better hardware, we can't hope for much. Imagine if hardware production had leveled off 10 years ago. At the time, we thought we were doing pretty well with PC tech. But think of the things that have come since! Think of what will come in the next 10 years thanks to faster and cheaper hardware!
posted by daveadams at 1:44 PM on August 24, 2000

My current computer is Hundreds of times faster than my first. My applications are thousands of of times larger, and yet the actual gains I feel are not huge. Microsoft word used to come on a single floppy, and was a superior product to the greedy disk hogging monster that ships today. We will NEVER have enough computing power is we don't have efficient code. Maybe I should say I want every drop of power squeezed out of a chip before it is rendered obsolete. Imagine how fast your 500mhz computer would run software that was made to scream through 33mhz. I can imagine 10 years from now you will need a 20 terabyte ram drive to run basicaly the same apps you run today, how much will you really gain from better hardware that could not be achieved through better code.
I am not complaining about my tech getting screwed, I have every computer I have ever owned networked and performing some useful function in my house. My tired rant was not based on my wallet, and besides, I ALWAYS have the fastest stuff. I am glad the hardware is cheap, I would not be able to afford to run my crap software if it were not. Are you saying I sould go for the glitz, and give up on a desire for quality? More is not always better, 500 million calculations per second is a lot, I would rather it be celebrated instead of muddied up and made slow. How long before the 500 mhz machine is the interns computer?
And yes, I do think we could have the things you mentioned with the PC's of 10 years ago, I do think the internet could run on 040 chips. I have hopes for Nanotech and fastter smaller whatevers, I just think we would be better off walking throught the door, instead of pounding our way through the wall. I did say that I was tired.
posted by thirteen at 2:55 PM on August 24, 2000

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