How Old Apps Will Run on New Macs

Apple has joined forces with a start-up to ease the transition between PowerPC and Intel microprocessors

3 min read

15 June 2005--Apple Computer Inc.'s recently revealed switch from PowerPC processors to Intel microchips led naturally to the question: will software written for the PowerPC, made by IBM and Freescale Semiconductor, run on the new Intel-driven Macintosh computers due out in 2006? Yes, thanks to a program called a translator, which transforms instructions meant for one chip into instructions that another chip can understand.

Apple has made such a switch before--changing from the Motorola 68k processor to the PowerPC in 1994�and a translator made it seem easy from the user's perspective. Constructing a suitable translator "was very expensive for Apple and very painful internally, from what I understand, but very seamless from the user's point of view," says Doug Burger, an associate professor at University of Texas at Austin who is an expert on software and hardware interaction.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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