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Re: Purple Boxes vs. Native Signal Processing

At 8:58 pm 8/15/95, Timothy C. May wrote:

>The trend is away from having two chips when one will suffice. Thus, the
>Macintosh 840av and 660av had a Motorola 68040 _and_ a Motorola 56000 DSP
>Pushing DSP functions into the CPU can be taken too far. Apple, for
>example, had/has a "Geo Modem," or something like this, which does modem
>funtions in the CPU of some machines. Last I heard it was stuck at being
>too slow, with no software updates, and effectively is being abandoned.

My apologies if this is being too compulsive but for reasons of accuracy it should be pointed out that the DSP in the Mac 660av and also the 840av is the AT&T 3210. The other point I'd make is more a matter of opinion. The Geopod and associated software has been excellent and revisions have just recently been released by Apple and Cypress Research. The phone capability is particularly well designed. This is in marked contrast to the demo program called ApplePhone which was mistakenly treated as an attempt at a finished product when it was just intended as a technology demonstration. It took an unusually long time for MegaPhone, the finished product from Cypress Research, to finally appear. As far as speed is concerned there is impatience about the 14,400 bps limit and that remains the major shortcoming. But even that may be corrected by Apple before too much longer. Personally, I'm more than willing to accept the tradeoff in order to have the tight integration of the three capabilities (data, fax and phone). I still have a funky NuBus card from SuperMac (with three RJ11 connectors and an RS232 connector that was designed to combine these capabilities, it was a prototype) sitting in a drawer while my Quadra and PowerMac are smoothly providing the services. The next step will be to integrate PGPFone with the other three functions so that one could handle data, fax, phone, and secure phone all with the same phone line and without requiring a rocket scientist to set up and use it.

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