Awhile back I blogged about Mac OS X offering newer Mac owners the opportunity to finally download a full set of their Boot Camp drivers, right off the web. Unfortunately, as I noted, older Mac owners were just given a generic error.
Lion appears to have fixed that. But, it also brought something really cool along as well.
When I tested the download drivers feature of the Boot Camp Assistant, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the drivers successfully downloaded. Even better, they actually worked! But, one thing did irk me, which was how long it took to extract and complete downloading.
I presumed that at, 500 MB, Apple could be testing some new compression algorithms. And, it looks like I was correct. Apple appears to be testing out some optimization techniques that rival what has been seen in other download managers. These consume large amounts of computing resources, in order to save a few megabytes per download.
The cool bit in all of this is that Apple appears to be using OpenCL to handle the decompression. I was able to monitor it ticking away as the Boot Camp Assistant ran.
This could mean future implications for delivering Apple Software Updates as well as just general computing. As Apple builds OpenCL experience, you can expect that Apple’s own suite of apps will begin taking advantage of this technology on a baseline performance level.