A Match Made In Heaven (8/1/03)

Well, the issue of Pixar's chosen computing platform has been an ongoing plot thread for ages, now, but things are starting to take a turn for the inevitable. If you've followed the saga of Steve's other company and its desperate search to find a platform with which it can finally settle down with a house and a white picket fence and 2.4 computer-animated kids running around in the yard, you know that a few years back it relied on vast oceans of SGI and Sun UNIX systems to squeeze out its award-winning films, but in 2001 made a hefty switch to Linux workstations on the desktop-- which was itself a case of changing horses in mid-stream, since the studio was reportedly already in the process of switching to Windows NT. (Pause here for the involuntary shudder.) Talk about looking for love in all the wrong places...

Now it's two years later, and apparently even the infamous "render farms" have been redecorated; out went the Sun systems and in came the Linux servers, much to the chagrin of Macfolk who couldn't figure out why Xserves weren't in the picture. However, Pixar finally seems to be warming up to the idea of getting a little cozier with Mac OS X; MacRumors cites "a number of independent reports" that claim that while the render farms will stick with Linux for the time being (not terribly surprising, since Pixar just shelled out $1.8 million for its new servers less than six months ago), the advent of the Power Mac G5 may finally push Macs onto Pixarian desktops to run "internal applications and previsualization software."

So it looks to us like Pixar was just waiting for the G5 before it took the plunge-- and with G5-based Xserves obviously in the cards in the not-too-distant future, is it so out of the question that the company might call in Steve's employee discount to redo the server farms yet again? After all, Pixar is porting RenderMan to Mac OS X, and demonstrated a beta at SIGGRAPH last week. And since the 2.0 GHz G5 outperforms the 2.8 GHz Xeons in Pixar's "new" Intel servers (witness the nifty photo in this MacRumors forum post), what's $2 million for a stack of Xserves to a company that lives or dies by rendering speed? Heck, Finding Nemo alone has brought in over $313 million so far; surely by the time G5 Xserves hit the market, it'll be time to splurge a little.

In the meantime, the switch at the desktop level seems to be a lock; Pixar is already looking for a Mac OS X Migration Contractor. If you meet the required qualifications and Emeryville isn't too far out of your way, maybe you should consider applying. We've been assured that being a green spherical monster with one giant eye isn't actually a prerequisite for the position (although we bet it couldn't hurt).

SceneLink (4115)
And Now For A Word From Our Sponsors

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases


The above scene was taken from the 8/1/03 episode:

August 1, 2003: Apple works overtime to stuff as much Microsoft compatibility into Panther as is humanly possible. Meanwhile, Pixar starts making the move to Mac OS X, and the Department of Homeland Security warns us all again that Windows will be the downfall of our nation...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 4114: 10.3: Plays Well With Others (8/1/03)   We know the signs have been there for a while, now, but it still just seems so odd to us: Apple is finally targeting big business, albeit in a less obvious (and probably less doomed) manner than that ill-fated mid-nineties "Power Macintosh: The Business Macintosh" campaign...

  • 4116: We Feel Safer And Safer (8/1/03)   Oh, here's a nice way to close out the week. Remember a couple of weeks ago when we pointed out the cruel yet oh-so-delectable irony of the Department of Homeland Security having signed a five-year, $90 million contract to outfit 140,000 government computers with Microsoft software-- known far and wide as the least secure software ever produced?...

Or view the entire episode as originally broadcast...

Vote Early, Vote Often!
Why did you tune in to this '90s relic of a soap opera?
Nostalgia is the next best thing to feeling alive
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I just woke up; what did I miss?
I'm trying to pretend the last 20 years never happened
I mean, if it worked for Friends, why not?
I came here looking for a receptacle in which to place the cremated remains of my deceased Java applets (think about it)

(1188 votes)

As an Amazon Associate, AtAT earns from qualifying purchases

DISCLAIMER: AtAT was not a news site any more than Inside Edition was a "real" news show. We made Dawson's Creek look like 60 Minutes. We engaged in rampant guesswork, wild speculation, and pure fabrication for the entertainment of our viewers. Sure, everything here was "inspired by actual events," but so was Amityville II: The Possession. So lighten up.

Site best viewed with a sense of humor. AtAT is not responsible for lost or stolen articles. Keep hands inside car at all times. The drinking of beverages while watching AtAT is strongly discouraged; AtAT is not responsible for damage, discomfort, or staining caused by spit-takes or "nosers."

Everything you see here that isn't attributed to other parties is copyright ©,1997-2023 J. Miller and may not be reproduced or rebroadcast without his explicit consent (or possibly the express written consent of Major League Baseball, but we doubt it).