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Mac OS X Intel Build Addresses Pirating 319

Posted by Zonk
from the arrrr-keep-september-19th-in-mind dept.
aardwolf64 writes "ThinkSecret has an article up detailing information about the newest Mac OS X 10.4.3 builds (which is currently said to fix almost 500 bugs with 10.4.2.) What is more interesting is the release of 10.4.2 (Intel) to developers. Universal binaries built with the new version (and apparently all subsequent versions) will not work on systems running the older version of the OS."
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Mac OS X Intel Build Addresses Pirating

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  • omg (Score:5, Funny)

    by swimmar132 (302744) <{joe} {at} {pinkpucker.net}> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:08PM (#13550954) Homepage
    That's a lot of bugs. And I haven't even noticed any of them. :(
    • I was thinking the same exact thing, talk about perfectionists ;)
    • I found one particular bug in Safari that has been improved with the release of 2.01 but still not completely squashed is certain Javascript buttons not working, at least for me. For example, if I attempt to print a map from Google maps the print button will many times do nothing. I have waited and waited, still nothing. Closing the page and re-opening usually fixes the problem, but sometimes I have to restart Safari. A similar problem I have found is links sometimes fail to change the mouse cursor to a han
  • Patches... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Spy der Mann (805235) <spydermann@slashdot.gmail@com> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:08PM (#13550958) Homepage Journal
    I remember old PC games being sold (illegally) in the streets. The CD included a directory called "crack" which contained some patches.

    I wonder how long before someone hacks into the OS/X code and does this...
    • Re:Patches... (Score:3, Interesting)

      Think Windows XP SP2. I think the situation here is that the API has been "fixed" enough, that older binaries are no longer compatible.
    • I wonder how long before someone hacks into the OS/X code and does this...

      Wouldn't they just have to change something at the assembly-language level and it would be difficult to reverse engineer? Or some incompatability in a core runtime library?
      • If someone wants to run the OS badly enough, there is nothing sufficiently difficult to reverse engineer that it will stop them.
      • Not really... (Score:5, Informative)

        by fprog (552772) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:38PM (#13551265)
        Most cracks are extremely simple, crackers are simply looking for a conditional and unconditional jump instruction, that's it! Then it's all about stepping into the code step by step and having break points.

        if ( !condition ) { error_message(); }

        http://www.unixwiz.net/techtips/x86-jumps.html [unixwiz.net]

        So, one easy way is as simple as by passing the checks by renaming JZ into JNZ, JE into JNE, JO into JNO, or similar when the serial number is checked.

        This way any invalid serial is now actually valid...
        You might have to add a NOP to make the instruction the same length.

        Other serials are simply generated by having the serial key code compare being blindly copied into another program to create a keygen.

        if ( input_key != calculated_key ) { error(); }

        Another way is to run it in debug mode and then see the content of the register having calculated_key.

        The only product scheme which are more difficult to crack is those which they *seems* to be cracked, but fail unexpectively after a period of time which is very far apart the actual "test".
        Days or weeks is a good delay.

        And for products which prevent "debug mode" utilities, well, there exist other products to go around this issue by simply masquerading the WinIce/SoftIce application, so it doesn't get detected and prevented from running in "debug mode".

        That's all I can tell.

        Some of course are encrypted, but even then the code must be "decrypted" before being run so...
        it's still possible to analyze it, just a bit harder.

        In the end, the best way for a product is to be good, useful, have nice manuals and have a proper support at the right price, then the majority of people will buy it, especially if it's bundled with good hardware, since it wouldn't make sense otherwise.
        • Re:Not really... (Score:3, Insightful)

          by mprinkey (1434)
          I remember walking through 6502 assembly looking for those things on my C64. Programmers tried everything in the world to make things difficult. The undocumented instruction(s), self-modifying code, almost random JMPs to odd offsets. Anything to make it hard to disassemble. I was never really that successful at it, but it sure was fun trying. I was 13 and bored.
          • Re:Not really... (Score:3, Informative)

            by Tony Hoyle (11698)
            On the Spectrum they used to use the exact execution time of the instruction as a decryption key (the R register on the Z80). The routines also decrypted themselves as they ran so you couldn't see the whole routine & couldn't (in theory) single step it.

            Of course I knew off by heard all the timings of every instruction :)
        • While this is definitely an informative post (and should remain modded so), it seems to give the impression you are suggesting that cracking won't work for OSX because it's not just a "simple" matter of decompiling / debug stepping through the raw assembler code.

          Of course it's harder to do this at the OS/kernel level, although for those who know what they're doing it's really no more (or less) difficult than cracking games.

          And actually many games these days come with highly HIGHLY sophisticated anti-piracy
        • True (Score:3, Interesting)

          by aepervius (535155)
          An example of this (an old one albeit) was my first (cough) crack way back in time. I had bought ultima 5 but the disk (5 1/4) stopped working after a while. So I learnt assembly and did use debug to see why my game stopped working. After a short loading phase it went and XOR'd a small subset of instruction with number increasing by 3 (3,6,9 etc...) then if I recall correctly (it was waaaay long ago) it exchanged the interrupt 3 (the trace call interrupt) with a jump instruction and jumped right into the st
    • by matt me (850665) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:13PM (#13551016)
      You remember buying crack illegally from the streets... and now your posting on Slashdot. Drugs are a slippery slope :p
    • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:31PM (#13551756) Homepage
      I remember old PC games being sold (illegally) in the streets. The CD included a directory called "crack" which contained some patches. I wonder how long before someone hacks into the OS/X code and does this...

      Maybe never. The consumer hardware that ultimately ships may only partly resemble PC compatible hardware. Using Intel CPUs and PCI chipsets does not mean you have a PC compatible motherboard. The current hack only works because Apple is using an off-the-shelf Intel PC motherboard. Apple has quite a bit of experience designing their own motherboards, they could easily redo their current custom design, or redo an Intel reference design, and ship something that does not use PC compatible parts and Mac OS X can be coded to only support those parts. Think interrupt controllers, DMA controllers, etc. The real cost savings comes from using Intel CPUs and PCI chipsets, not from having Intel design your motherboard.

      Remember, Apple only said they would do nothing to stop Windows from running on their hardware. That does not mean the version of Windows you have today will run, they may merely mean they would not prevent MS from doing a version of Windows for Apple hardware.
      • Gah! There is nothing stopping Microsoft from releasing a version of Windows that will run on PPC Macs of today. Why is this made such a big deal with the Intel transition?

        One of the reasons that I switched over to the Mac was that I was fed up with the legacy crap on the PC. I mean, It's been over 20 years; you think we could do something about that memory area between 640k and 1M. Maybe we could replace those interrupt controllers to ones that don't have to cascade off of each other.

        My only hope is th
  • Correction (Score:2, Informative)

    by mysqlrocks (783488)

    Mac OS X 10.4.3 build 8F23 includes about 75 new bug fixes to the OS, fast bringing the total number of specific improvements the update will deliver to nearly 500.

    Looks like 75 bugs and 500 improvements.
  • by DogcowX (888899) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:09PM (#13550966)
    The hackers will be making it sing like Sinatra.
  • by hattig (47930) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:09PM (#13550971) Journal
    Is that really so surprising? That a company will act to protect its products from people who are blatantly pirating it and enacting workarounds to bypass whatever security might have been present to ensure it only worked on developer workstations?

    Oh no, your pirated pre-release software can't be upgraded! Teh horror!
    • by ihatewinXP (638000) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:19PM (#13551065)
      I flipped on this issue so fast that my head is still spinning. Aside from having the iPod and a huge cash reserve to keep them afloat I am honestly worried that piracy will crush the mac platform on intel.

      And in all honesty I want my platform to continue living - I need Apple to stay proftiable in the computer business because I want to continue to buy their computers. Sadly this means that I now support any kind of gestapo like tactic that they use to keep the OS locked to their hardware.

      Hopefully they can find a middle ground but the past few years have taught me that technology cannot build a wall that technology cannot also knock down - it will be a long uphill battle - I hope the FSB on the new powerbooks is worth it.
      • I am honestly worried that piracy will crush the mac platform on intel.

        You mean like the same way it crushed Microsoft, the music industry and the movie industry?

        Even with crappy products they succeed.

        In that case sign me up for Apple stock.

      • I think Apple will do just fine, so long as they start addressing the gaps in their hardware lineup.

        Personally, I have zero interest in buying a cheap beige box to run OS X. I'm running an old iBook G3, which I intend to keep until the new turd sandwich [xciv.org] PowerBooks are out.

        However, I want a Mac tablet. And since Steve Jobs is apparently religiously opposed to Apple selling tablet computers, I might have to buy from another company and run hacked OS X to get what I want.
      • So, if I understand you correctly, your desire for apple computers means that you will endorse any kind of DRM (hardware, software) scheme that apple decides to enforce?

        Some people value freedom, other people value branding (and as I understand it, with the switch to x86 what you'll be paying for is the brand name; not the quality hardware).

        I don't know what RMS's thoughts on this one are, but I have a feeling I'd agree more with them than I do with yours.
      • by MoonBuggy (611105) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:35PM (#13551229) Journal
        That's an interesting counterpoint to what I was thinking actually. While I fully support the whole "It's their OS, they don't have a monopoly, it's still beta, they can do what they like" idea, I was under the impression that Intel piracy could actually be good for them (something I want, since I, like you, want to continue using Apple's products). For now I'll ignore the debate of whether they could maintain their quality of software over a wider range of hardware or not.

        If Apple released a generic version of OSX86, MS would jump up and crush them with all the marketers, lawyers and assasins in it's arsenal, so that's a bad plan. With OSX86 only on Apple hardware, nothing will change - MS don't care, you and I will still use it, everyone else will use Windows. With people pirating the OS, however, MS still won't react since they have nothing to react against, you and I still buy Apple products, but some of those Windows users try and like MacOS. After a while one of two things happens: they go out and buy a Mac, or Apple decides it's "unofficial" installed userbase is large enough for them to deploy a generic OS and still survive Microsoft's retaliation. End result: more tasty Apple goodness but with the advantages of PC or Mac hardware too. Maybe not the perfect plan, but plausible nonetheless.
        • That's a very well thought out comment, and I agree. One thing I think a little bit differently than you is that even if Apple released an OS for x86 that was competing with M$, they would still be successful. Microsoft can't stop them - people already know it, and while Microsoft might actually have to *gasp* innovate or lower prices to compete, Apple will still definitely have their nitch, and maybe some more.
        • by SeaFox (739806) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:28PM (#13551734)
          That's an interesting counterpoint to what I was thinking actually. While I fully support the whole "It's their OS, they don't have a monopoly, it's still beta, they can do what they like" idea, I was under the impression that Intel piracy could actually be good for them (something I want, since I, like you, want to continue using Apple's products). For now I'll ignore the debate of whether they could maintain their quality of software over a wider range of hardware or not.

          It's true that Apple could benefit from some piracy on the generic vanilla PC side, but this would do little for the long run. There are many people who would love to run OSX and could care less what the PC it's running on looked like or the build quality. If Apple lets the situation get out of control it will put it's hardware business (which is Apple's real business, despite what people keep trying to claim about the iTMS and OSX upgrades) in jeopardy.

          Also, Apple has an image as a serious company to maintain for their shareholders. They may want a little piracy to get word-of-mouth, first-hit-free publicity in the Wintel world. But if they stand idley by and become complacent about the piracy/hacking of OSX86 their shareholders are going to wonder how much Apple is working to protect it's core hardware business and their stock investments. Apple may be making a mint off iPod sales, but Macintosh sales are still the company's bread and butter. Apple has to show it's commited to a business plan in it's switch to Intel and not being blaise with the company I.P.
          • by IntlHarvester (11985) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @12:41AM (#13554206) Journal
            If Apple lets the situation get out of control it will put it's hardware business in jeopardy.

            Apple's hardware business is already in jeopardy -- PC margins are extremely low and getting lower. The $100 PC is only a matter of a couple years away. Bill Gates is even predicting that PC hardware will be given away for free with software or services.

            I think Apple's move to Intel really is not predicated on performance or watts (Macs sell just fine without them), but survival in a profit-free hardware market. When HP and a few other vendors crater, Jobs will come out of this with millions of OS X/.Mac/iTunes subscriptions and looking like a genius.
            • by SeaFox (739806) on Wednesday September 14, 2005 @03:49AM (#13555035)
              Apple's hardware business is already in jeopardy -- PC margins are extremely low and getting lower.

              When you hear analysts saying this (which is where you're obviously getting it from) they aren't talking about Personal Computer makers, they mean PC makers, as in the Windows and Linux variety. Why are margins so thin? Well, look at their prices! Except for the Mac mini, Apple isn't even trying to compete with them on the only metric they really use - price and performance "figures".

              There's a reason Apple and Dell have continued to pull in healthy profits over the tech bust. Dell has volume to make up for it's cut-throat pricing, and Apple has the fact they actually price their products with decent profit margins and aren't having to battle directly with the cheap PC makers (the question of what operating system a machine runs means both have markets they don't have to worry about the other horning in on).

              I think Apple's move to Intel really is not predicated on performance or watts (Macs sell just fine without them), but survival in a profit-free hardware market.

              I think a lot of it is brand recognition. By moving to the chips "everybody else is using" it makes marketing the machine a lot easier speedwise. Consumers know the Intel brand and while they know IBM, they don't know IBM as a microprocessor maker, but as the PC company that (no longer exists and) made the Aptiva a little over a decade ago. Nobody will ask "Well how does this compare to that Pentium 4 3Ghz?" like they did with the PowerPC chips when they're looking at a Macintel.

              When HP and a few other vendors crater...

              HP wont crater because of poor profits from not being able to limbo as low as Dell. They're going down for the same reason lots of great companies go down. They stopped being a company and started being a corporation. Which meant bean counters were given too much power and a line of great products started having corners cut on them. The company profits off it's old reputation as a maker of quality printers and PC's for awhile and one day people start waking up and realizing the printer they bought is really just a... (how did that poster in the scanner recommendation story put it? oh yes) a flimsy ink cartridge holder.

              Jobs will come out of this with millions of OS X/.Mac/iTunes subscriptions and looking like a genius.

              1) Apple doesn't make much of anything off iTunes, and I don't see them adopting a subscription model given their current formula is working so well.

              2) I don't see .Mac lasting a lot longer without a major overhaul and more services, and I say that as a .Mac member. Many of the users seem to be old iTools users who want to keep their email address and are holding out on the idea things will get beefed up or the sub price will drop eventually. Many Apple Stores are having trouble meeting addon sales goals (which makes me feel sorry for the sales reps this is effecting) of .Mac boxes for Mac purchases.

              3) There wont be much market for OSX subscriptions if piracy of it isn't curbed. Apple can't claim that it wants to make sure OSX86 runs on Macs only and never take steps to break piracy/hacking down. Apple's changing of the Intel developer build OSX in this latest version is simply their action speaking louder than their words, which is why it's garnering such attention.
      • Sadly this means that I now support any kind of gestapo like tactic that they use to keep the OS locked to their hardware

        As a institutional buyer. Mac OSX on unsupported x86 Intel hardware doesn't appeal to me. I want to call someone who is accountable if something doesn't work. Who tests out the possible drivers, hardware, software all are working smoothly. Not start childish finger pointing that I've experience from other vendors and wasting my time. I'm glad as a system administrator I don't have to d

        • I want to call someone who is accountable if something doesn't work.

          sadly that doesnt seem to be apple. look at what it took to get apple to address the ipod and ibook fiascos: class action lawsuits.

          apple forum admins are vigilant and close/delete complaint threads on the support forums, actions which directly which led to the class action lawsuits. and it doesn't look like they will be changing their behavior any time soon.

          if you are looking for support, you won't find it with apple. ibm or hp or sun wou
          • by saha (615847) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:17PM (#13551605)
            ibm or hp or sun would be a far, far better choice

            HP??? You are kidding right. They make great printers but I don't think HP support or the quality of their computers are good at all. We used to have a contract with HP and now they are out

            Consumer Report June 2003: Desktop computers Readers report, surveying 39,000 readers
            Shows Apple with the highest ratings for Repairs. Followed in order by Dell, HP, IBM ...etc. Then for Technical Support it was Apple, Dell, Gateway, Sony, HP...etc.

            Now in June 2005. Consumer Reports Tech support: Desktops & laptops survey shows for Dekstops it was Apple, Dell, Gateway, HP, Sony ...etc. And for laptops Apple, IBM, Toshiba, Dell, Gateway, HP ...etc.

            Based on my own experiences the data above is more or less correct, although I've felt Dell slide in the past two years. Dell used to have better support, but lacked testing their products thoroughly sometimes when the slap together components from five different suppliers. Which brings me to the issue of finger pointing.

            We've had to fight PC manufacturers many times when our computers don't work, when the sound card driver causes a BSOD, PNY graphics board genlock doesn't work, when the OEM isn't able to control the OS enough to fix problems. Its frustrating as a customer. As for Sun we've had good experience with them so far. Although one black mark I can recall is for their flagship enterprise servers where having major problems two year ago. Sun traced the problem to memory chips from IBM and tried to differ the blame on IBM. Sun's corporate customers where unimpressed and just wanted the damn enterprise servers fixed. So even Sun can have issues, but less so in my experience.

            The Apple software/hardware solution tends to work better and there are less people for them to blame, so I don't get the run around as a customer. They provide the whole solution and the buck stops with them when I have a problem, unlike other vendors that make me run around.

            If Apple does come up with products that don't honor the warranty, which I have not experienced yet. I'm glad that those lawyers are out there to keep the company "honest" when there are legitimate issues with the product. However, your recommendation hasn't convinced me I would experience less problems from another vendor and the data I provided above speaks to that fact.

            • i was talking about HP and IBM and Sun in terms of non-pc support, eg unix servers. which all three companies sell. their support is very generally excellent.

              apple's lack of support and bad attitude toward end users is well known, apple's support went into the shitter bigtime in the mid 90's and never recovered.
              • by saha (615847) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @08:47PM (#13552911)
                i was talking about HP and IBM and Sun in terms of non-pc support, eg unix servers. which all three companies sell. their support is very generally excellent

                Wait. You're comparing Apple's consumer products to HP, IBM and Sun non-PC big iron Unix enterprise support? i.e. These companies more expensive custom RISC hardware \ flavor of Unix support with their much more expensive service contract compared to Apple's standard consumer AppleCare Protection Plan(APP) ? Isn't that a tad bit unfair or am I the only one here?

                If you're going to do that sort of comparison with big iron Unix enterprise system, then you should be comparing

                • Xserve, Xserve RAID and XSan along with
                • AppleCare Premium Service and Support plan with AppleCare Service Parts Kit for Xserve
                • with any Mac OS X Server Software Support: level Select \ Preferred \ Alliance
                compared to solutions from Sun, HP and IBM. I think your earlier post on Apple support been not as good, was certainly not comparing two alike products. If fact you are comparing two different markets altogether.

                I happen to be quite pleased with SGI when it comes to their servers with NUMALink and ccNUMA single image systems. In fact they are the best I've come across, but we are phasing out SGI because their hardware is too expensive and even though their support and response times are excellent. SGI's service contracts cost way too much. So if you are comparing similar Unix enterprise vendors to Apple's consumer level products and service + support you have to ask how much are you paying for your premium Unix enterprise support? I'm baffled by your comparison.

                apple's support went into the shitter bigtime in the mid 90's and never recovered

                I do not think you have been using Apple hardware since the mid-90's and your evaluation would be 10 years old. My experiences with Apple, Wintel, SGI, Sun, HP hardware is current, since I run all the systems to this very day. Now if you have real data to show Apple's enterprise service support is poor, then you have an argument. However, since Apple's recent foray into the server market is still too early. I doubt you would have any real numbers to show that their support and service is poor compared to the other Unix vendors.

                To reiterate my point. I feel Apple's consumer support is quite good and as for their enterprise server market its too soon to tell. Comparing Apple consumer iBooks and iPods (as you did) to Sun Solaris, HP-UX and IBM AIX workstations is ridiculous in my opinion.

      • by Sagarian (519668) <smiller@alu[ ]it.edu ['m.m' in gap]> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:49PM (#13551369)
        or do you think those 20, 40, and 60 GB iPods out there are all full of iTunes bought at 99 cents each?
      • > Sadly this means that I now support any kind of gestapo like tactic that they use to keep the OS locked to their hardware.

        Actually you could do the opposite. You could demand Apple work with MS to get a version of windows running on their Macs for people who want to dual-boot. If those people end up never using OSX, then Apple still made a sale. This gestapo crap is short-sighted.

        If Apple wants to make it past its tiny niche, they need to open up the platform somewhat. Ideally, the Macs should be abl
        • You could demand Apple work with MS to get a version of windows running on their Macs for people who want to dual-boot. If those people end up never using OSX, then Apple still made a sale. This gestapo crap is short-sighted.

          You can also sit in front of water oak and demand that you won't cut it down and use it to build your dream home unless it changes into a live oak.

          I'll bet the tree won't change, and even if your house does get built, it'll be from water oak, not live oak.

      • Apple needs to learn that it can't control and sell hardware, OS, and software at the same time, because it will be working against the market all the time, not with it.
      • IF WE COULD!!!!!

        I know that many many folks from the bowels if irc to slashdot to warez would gladly pay $200-300 for OSX if it could run on their beige boxen in which they have already sunk ~$3,000! Apples tower lineup is OK (although it desperartely lacks on the low end and the mac mini is a joke), and assuming the price stays the same upon the intel switch, but who wants to sink $2000 base into a new tower when you already have one...or a bakers dozen...

      • actually, nothing has changed from the ppc-only mac.

        there were lots of non-apple ppc computers but certainly, there was little to no damage done to apple financially. and then the only real protection they had was the "EULA".

        frankly, since people keep saying apple is a services company, they will face no threat from non-apple branded hardware running osx. you cannot get the mac "Experience" using unapproved hardware running a broken and hacked osx lacking drivers for most devices.

        it's a smokescreen. as the
    • Well I agree to your comment with one question in my mind...

      just imagine if MS did such thing or even less and imagine the comments...

      BTW strangely I'd be happy if they made a DRM based electronical OS X release (downloadable) after paying needless, stupid amounts to Fedex (or any courier).
       
  • what's new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jsutton1027w (757650) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:13PM (#13551015) Homepage
    I'm sure when Rhapsody (the Pre-OSX betas just after the NeXT takeover) was being developed, that some of the same types of incompatibilities were there.

    Think about it though, most apps from 10.3 don't work properly in 10.2, but that doesn't mean it's apple's way of keeping pirates away. Since all these X86 versions are beta quality anyway, they're probably working on a much faster development mode, and things break easier.

    Then again, they could be doing it on purpose, in which case they have the right, since it's their OS. ;)
    • Re:what's new? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rosyna (80334)
      Agreed, there is absolutely no reason for them to keep binary compatibility. Especially since all the people that have legal access to the DevKit can't release any of their stuff to consumers yet and are actively working on getting their application working on the Mactels so a simple recompile to them means nothing.
    • They were! (Score:3, Interesting)

      by itomato (91092)
      The system changed so much between Developer Releases that Apps for DR1 would not run on DR2, etc.

      Major updates underneath between releases.

      HOWEVER - this was when they were fleshing out the base of the OS. New libraries, new coding practices, new releases of major components that were incompatible with prior versions.

      You could still coax some NeXTSTEP and OPENSTEP apps to run, though. I imagine it's the same. Some Cocoa apps will run, some won't.

      Is anything being done for straight ports of old X86 OPENS
  • Not that uncommon (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tono (38883) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:13PM (#13551020) Homepage
    Since this is still not a publicly released Operating System available to buy, I'm not all that surprised they're taking care of this sort of thing now. There's no reason for them to care about the old versions of the Operating System if it is not available to the general public. Once the Operating System is actually available to buy this sort of thing will stop, but they want their developers to be using the most recent version available to give them the newest target. I don't really see a problem with this.
  • by blackmonday (607916) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:15PM (#13551030) Homepage
    In case you were wondering whether Apple wanted everyone to pirate OS X onto their Dell and HP systems (for mindshare!), now you have your answer.

  • by Soong (7225) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:15PM (#13551031) Homepage Journal
    I was reading some publicly available Apple documentation on the transition to intel style chips, and they included a note that as of June they hadn't finalized their application-binary-interface (ABI) specification for MacOS X on intel. So, maybe it just means they changed the spec and now there's an incompatibility. It would be something most developers would never see, totally taken care of by the compiler, and a make clean and a recompile necessarily fixes everything.
  • Current Binaries (Score:3, Interesting)

    by kagaku (774787) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:16PM (#13551036)
    Will binaries built using the currently available builds of OSX and Xcode work on future versions of x86 OSX? I can understand newer builds not working on older versions of the operating system, but is the same true of the reverse?
    • Well, Apple might have changed some of the APIs and the way your program interfaces with OS X now wont work. Just like Cisco's VPN when going from .3 to .4, it just breaks compatablility with some programs but not with others. Your milage may very on how deep into the OS your Program goes.
    • Yes, binaries built with 10.4.1/intel still work on 10.4.2/intel. However, that's not really something that anyone should concern themselves with. Everyone who legitimately has access to the intel version of OS X also has access to the latest OS upgrade for it, for free. So there are no excuses for not using the latest version to build applications.

      I haven't looked into it at all, but I'd guess that the dynamic loader has had new features added (or maybe just implemented, since there's no guarantee that 1

  • Or not? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GraWil (571101) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:21PM (#13551087)
    Well, the poster has one take on this, but perhaps the current release is incompatible because Apple has changed the compiler and some of the dynamic libraries? Perhaps this was not to specifically address pirating, but to fix bugs and to otherwise optimize the system. The OS X 86 project page has a slightly more informed discussion [osx86project.org].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:26PM (#13551141)
    This gives a clear indication that apple is (as expected) not going to let it's new intel OS run on non apple hardware. Does apple have the means to stop (legal use anyways) typical beige box users from using a virtual server to run OS X though?
    Perhaps with proprietary hardware that the OS relies on in some way which would have to be emmulated in a typical intel pc?
    • It will probably be stated in the license agreement that it is to be run on authorized Apple hardware only. It will probably also not be too long, however, until said hardware is emulated and the peasants will rejoice :-) Imagine pearpc but *much* faster since most instructions will be run natively rather than emulated.
  • by jht (5006) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:30PM (#13551174) Homepage Journal
    Who among us in their right mind didn't expect this possibility? The whole idea of these utterly generic Intel PowerMacs were for them to be cheap development preview systems. ADC members who wanted to test and develop ahead of time could either build Universal Binaries on PPC (and cross their fingers), or actually buy one of these and test while the OS is being ported and finalized.

    The point here being, these are not production Intel Macs! Why would you expect to have everything Just Work (which, of course, is the whole reason many folks buy Macs in the first place) - heck, you can only get one of these systems if you're an ADC member! Remember, Apple said that OS X would not work on a generic Intel PC, only on Apple's gear. So now it's starting to come true? Wah!

    As for the breakage between 10.4.1 Intel and 10.4.2 Intel - Get used to it - this may well happen a few more times before live product ships next year. I don't think any legit developers are worried about it. Only the pirates. Right now is the "build, test, and learn" phase, anyhow.
    • Uhm, they may be "generic" PowerMacs, but they're not exactly just slopped together, either.

      And they're perfectly usable as day to day systems, you just need to reboot them every few days due to some memory leaks that slow things down slowly over time.
  • Piracy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by chowhound (136628) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @05:32PM (#13551199) Homepage
    Currently Apple requires NO serial number, registration, or any other verification to load OS X. People trade Jaguar, Panther & Tiger disk images on filesharing networks and they burn great. The same disks or legit copies can be used to load onto multiple machines on the same network. "Upgrades" bought from Apple require no previous version's SN to install, and cost the same as a brand new copy.

    The big question is, does this new policy signal a change?I hope not, I appreciate Apple's laid back policy. Right now I'm trying to determine which flavor works best on my near-obsolete G3/333 "Lombard" Powerbook. It's convenient to be able to try out different options before I license a copy.
    • Currently Apple requires NO serial number, registration, or any other verification to load OS X.

      Well, aside from the $499 to $2999 hardware dongle that you've already purchased, you are correct.

      What's more, it appears that Apple's policy hasn't changed one whit - so long as you spring for the $499 to $2999 Intel hardware dongle, you can install without repercussion.
      • Re:Piracy (Score:3, Interesting)

        Well, aside from the $499 to $2999 hardware dongle that you've already purchased, you are correct.

        For all practical purposes, the average consumer cannot buy a PC without paying for a copy of Windows. Current versions of Windows require not only a serial number, but an internet connection, and they call home whenever you change your hardware. That says to me, "We're going to assume you're a criminal and greatly inconvenience you because of that assumption." Apple, on the other hand, works from the assu

    • Now I've gotta update Urban Dictionary to include:

      "license a copy": phrase, slang for burning pirated software to DVD for longterm storage
  • by caluml (551744) <slashdot&spamgoeshere,calum,org> on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @06:31PM (#13551759) Homepage
    Wonder how much innovation will be sacrificed by pulling developers and stuff off creating great new features, and putting them to work creating copy proof/crack proof install media.
    Give it 5 years, and they could have 95% people trying blindly, Microsoft style to stop piracy, and have given up making the OS better in the first place.
  • Jeez, guys, come on. This is a geek site. You'd expect more of a clue.

    It has been the case for quite a while that a Mac OS X application built against a particular set of headers and stub libs will only run against those libs or newer. This means that if you build against the 10.3.9 headers (either by building against the system headers under 10.3.9 or against the 10.3.9 SDK), your code will not run in 10.3.8.

    It has also been the case that the XCode install provided by Apple only provides SDK for the newest
    • No, it's not (Score:5, Informative)

      by alanQuatermain (840239) on Tuesday September 13, 2005 @11:55PM (#13553994) Homepage
      It has been the case for quite a while that a Mac OS X application built against a particular set of headers and stub libs will only run against those libs or newer. This means that if you build against the 10.3.9 headers (either by building against the system headers under 10.3.9 or against the 10.3.9 SDK), your code will not run in 10.3.8.

      Incorrect.

      The dynamic linker in OS X makes the actual location of functions & other symbols in a linked library irrelevant, since the addresses are computed at run time by the dynamic loader -- the compiler inserts a 'stub' routine and a dummy address. The dummy address is first initialised to the address of a compiled-in function called _dyld_stub_binding_helper, which calls the relevant dyld library APIs to find the real function. The real address is then written over the dummy address, so future invocations will jump straight to the target routine.

      I compile apps on OS X 10.4. Most things I compile using gcc 3.3 (because gcc 4.0 auto-links against a library that isn't present in 10.2.x), but I've never had the slightest problem running an app on an earlier version of the operating system. Unless I actually attempt to use a symbol that actually isn't there, nothing goes wrong.

      Also, OS X has had weak-linking since 10.2. That means that the stub binding routine can happily return a symbol address of zero, meaning that I can link against somelib.dylib, including somefunc() which only exists in 10.4 & later, and -- at runtime -- I can simply do if (somefunc != 0) to see if the function is available. On 10.4, the function will be there. On earlier systems, the symbol value will just be zero.

      Y'know, you should actually read the links you post, for instance, on the page you linked [apple.com] you'll find this useful nugget of information:

      • You can build a target for a range of operating system versions, so that it can still launch in older versions, but can take advantage of features in newer ones. This allows you to deliver software that provides new value to customers who have upgraded to a new system version, but still runs for those who haven't.

      ...you seem to imply that you're a programmer, so I'd recommend looking at <AvailabilityMacros.h> for further enlightenment.

      So no, this isn't "just how Xcode works". Xcode (read: gcc & dyld) work in precisely the opposite way, and for a good reason. What's really happening is that some part of the binary file format has been changed, implemented, or created for the benefit of the Mach-O/dyld runtime.

      Maybe it's something new for the Intel machines; maybe it's something that has been available for PPC, but just wasn't implemented in the Intel build of OS X 10.4.1; maybe the latest Intel build of dyld has some performance enhancements which are mirrored by a slight re-ordering of the data/text section format & flags. It doesn't really matter, since even now-- and this seems to be an important yet frequently ignored point so I'll make it very clear --

      OS X for Intel is NOT FINISHED YET

      Apple can and will make changes. That's part of the reason why folks like me have Developer Transition Kits. So we & they can find things that don't work so well, and would do better if they were changed slightly. This is just work in progress, and things can be changed, removed, added. It's Just Normal.

      -Q

Chemist who falls in acid is absorbed in work.

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