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Intel Mac OS X Catches Up With Older Brother 672

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the yes-have-some dept.
RetrogradeMotion writes "Apple is now one step closer to the Intel transition. According to the OSx86 Project, a recently leaked installation DVD of Mac OS X 10.4.3 reveals that the Intel version is in sync with the PowerPC version - the two are now identical. Initially, "OSx86" was substantially behind its PPC counterpart, but the recent update makes it ready for the public. The article also notes that Apple has continued to learn from hackers' efforts to crack the operating system and has greatly strengthened the TPM protections."
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Intel Mac OS X Catches Up With Older Brother

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  • "article"???? (Score:4, Informative)

    by winkydink (650484) * <sv.dude@gmail.com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:03PM (#13944045) Homepage Journal
    It's a posting in a blog, which is a far cry from an "article".
  • by dduardo (592868) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:05PM (#13944074)
    "The article also notes that Apple has continued to learn from hackers' efforts to crack the operating system and has greatly strengthened the TPM protections."

    TPM protections = OSX locked to Apple hardware
  • Re:Hardware (Score:3, Informative)

    by happyemoticon (543015) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:06PM (#13944081) Homepage
    I'll restrain myself from saying RTFP, but they said right on the top that they've strengthened their protections against hackers. However, without the knowledge that the main thing the hackers are trying to accomplish is putting OS X on generic intel hardware, you wouldn't know that the answer is no, it won't run on regular intel hardware.
  • Re:Hardware (Score:2, Informative)

    by beisbol (173766) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:10PM (#13944136)
    it will supposedly only run on Apple-made Intel hardware. you won't be able to buy a cheap PC from wal-mart and simply install os X on it, at least not unless you hack the thing apart first. see this faq [macworld.com] for a quick introduction
  • Re:Hardware (Score:3, Informative)

    by UTPinky (472296) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:12PM (#13944159) Homepage
    Not special processors... they are using TPM to "ensure" this. TPM is implemented on the mother board.
  • Sure (Score:3, Informative)

    by bobalu (1921) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:15PM (#13944191)
    Fork over $1500 and they'll give you (er, LEASE you) a full development kit and compatible hardware.

    http://developer.apple.com/ [apple.com]

    http://developer.apple.com/membership/promo.html [apple.com]
  • by RUFFyamahaRYDER (887557) <slashdot&kelsdomain,com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:21PM (#13944267) Homepage
    I think it stands for Trusted Platform Module [wikipedia.org]. Basically, the software does a check on the hardware to see if it's genuine or not.
  • Re:Advice (Score:4, Informative)

    by Duncan3 (10537) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:22PM (#13944275) Homepage
    Um, no.

    Either ppc or x86 machines can produce FAT^H^H^Huniversal binraries.
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:26PM (#13944317)
    TPM protections = OSX locked to Apple hardware

    Anyone who has any allusions about cracking this scheme might be in for a surprise. After thoroughly reading the TPM spec [trustedcom...ggroup.org], I think that if the OS is looking for TPM_Owner = Apple's Value and doesn't find it, it ain't gonna run.

    Changing TPM_Owner isn't exactly trivial, as you have to set the value during manufacturing.

  • by 99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:26PM (#13944331)

    I want an OS that I can multi-boot MS-Windows and Linux on that runs on commodity hardware.

    Apple has said they will not try to prevent other OS's from booting on intel boxes they sell. As for commodity hardware, well that will depend, I suspect Apple boxes will, as usual, implement lots of hardware that does not yet work in Windows. Apple will prevent OS X from running on hardware they don't sell, since the OS and all the other software they produce is a loss-leader to sell hardware and they would be losing money developing the OS and all the free applications and selling it at current market prices. Also it would put them in direct competition with MS, whose illegal contracts make business pretty much impossible. Four superior OS's (to Windows) have already died trying to sell into that market.

    Otherwise, "Mac OSX on TPM'd Intel" is just another way of saying "Mac OSX on a proprieTary PlatforM." Not interested.

    That will probably be your opinion of Apple boxes. They will run OSX , Linux, and the BSDs just fine, but Windows is anyone's guess. Windows will probably run fine in emulation ala VMWare and the like, and their will probably be some sort of WINE like way to run Windows programs, but I would not count on MS letting it boot out of the box. Of course Apple's PPC platform was technically even more open and runs Linux and the BSDs as well. It was even produced by multiple Vendors without reverse engineering (unlike x86). So when you say , "proprieTary PlatforM" I assume you really mean "platform that runs Windows."

  • by AuMatar (183847) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:31PM (#13944386)
    Two methods

    1)Hack the OS on the installation disk, so the hacked version is installed. THis is probably the easiest method.
    2)Hack the hardware so it lies.

  • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:41PM (#13944491)
    The G5, at least, isn't that efficient. I just bought a brand new PowerMac G5 (dual core 2.3GHz). It's certainly a fast machine, but for almost everything I do, its slower than the 2.2Ghz dual-core Athlon X2 that's sitting next to it. For compiling code, it's about 70% as fast as the X2 system. For SciMark, it ranges from 95% as fast (for the small in-cache dataset), to 80% as fast (for the large in-memory dataset). For nbench,if you leave out one really awful score that's probably the result of a bad compiler optimization, its about 80% as fast. These were all done with GCC 4.0, of course. The 970MP SPEC benchmarks suggest that if I used XLC (and EkoPath on the X2 to be fair), I could probably get it to be 90% as fast in integer as the X2 and 25% faster in floating-point, but considering those scores is entirely an act of intellectual mastrubation, since most stuff on OS X is compiled with GCC or CodeWarrior anyway.

    Of course, I love the machine to death, because of OS X, but the way I see it, Apple is going to gain a good deal of performance by moving to x86.
  • by hyperstation (185147) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:41PM (#13944495)
    it's TPS report, you jackhole.
  • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:52PM (#13944602)
    The point is that the 5% of your peripherals that are supported are very common. Looking at the Intel HCL, I know I could easily dig up several of those cards (lying around the house). Most onboard AC/97 soundcards seem to be supported, which is what is used on the Mac anyway. The only sticky point is video (only Intel 900GMA cards are accelerated), and perhaps SATA (nForce4 SATA isn't supported, most PATA controllers are). Firewire and USB are standard EHCI and OCHI, so that's all good. What more does your average user have?
  • by goMac2500 (741295) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:01PM (#13944694)
    Actually, no. The PPC version is also 32 bits. It just has the ability to run 64 bit applications and address more than 2 gigs of memory per application. The OS itself is not compiled for 64 bit.
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:01PM (#13944696)
    2)Hack the hardware so it lies.
    Dude. I don't think you get it.

    You can't change the TPM_Owner value in a TPM. The value is set during manufacturing. You have to BE the owner to CHANGE the owner. It's on a level of permission at least two levels away from userland.

    Perhaps you can hack the OS so that it doesn't look for that value in hardware, but if Apple can do a reasonably good job of burying that check in the kernel and having the TPM verify the kernel's boot process itself, you won't be able to do that either.

    For the same reason, installing the OS on a GenuineApple(TM) machine's disk and installing that disk into a computer that does not have Apple's TPM_Owner value won't work.
  • by vought (160908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:05PM (#13944741)
    Chances are the TPM check will be part of the Install program and not the OSx86 itself.

    No, it's part of the kernel - and has been since the first developer versions were sent into the wild. Fooling the installer would be easier, but still far from trivial if it's relying on the TPM to authenticate the machine's origin.

    Look, I'm not saying it can't or won't ever be hacked, but from what I've learned about TPM, it's going to be a LOT tougher than anyone here is thinking.

    Put another way: how much is your time worth? If you want to crack TPM protection on OS X x86 for the glory, then it doesn't matter; if you want to avoid paying another two hundred bucks for an x86 Mac, it'll never be worth it - I think that at least in the near term, getting around this is going to involve some soldering.
  • by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:06PM (#13944744)
    Of course they can't and don't expect to. Their goal is to make sure it does not effect profits. People will always hack and pirate and Apple can't stop them. Their goal is to make it hard enough that most people won't bother and so that 99.9% of users would rather use a Apple system than deal with hacking another system to sort of work. Heck people ran Mac OS in emulators on x86 hardware years and years ago. It just was never enough to make any difference in the marketplace. Do you think Apple cares if 500 hackers get OS X sort of running on commodity boxes? Hell no, these people would probably never have bought a legitimate copy anyway and even if they would have it is not worth the effort to lock the system down more just to sell 500 more copies. Anyone who thinks more than a tiny percentage of the market will be running a hacked version is quite mistaken.

    I agree, I have seen OS.X for Intel installed and running on a random PC laptop (and that was an older OS.X version with less security) and the problem isn't just the effort involved in cracking OS.X and getting it to work. It is the fact that once you have it installed and working all sorts of hardware, from a simple USB key to the display card and the CD/DVD recorder, don't work 100%, some programs won't work and what does work is often unstable. All in all you have to pour more effort into installing a hacked OS.X and keeping it going on a random PC (and it's not a given that your random PC will work very well enough for OS.X to even boot) as you would getting Linux to work and keeping it working (and Linux at least is practically guaranteed to boot on your random PC and likely to work better). So why bother?
  • by be-fan (61476) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:11PM (#13944791)
    Wow. You managed to regurgitate something without actually understanding it. There is no way the OS would be able to run 64-bit applications without being compiled for 64-bits. On Tiger (different from Panther), which can run 64-bit apps, the kernel is compiled as 64-bit code. Then, there are two versions of a couple of the libraries (System and Accelerate), one 32-bit and one 64-bit. What's missing is 64-bit versions of stuff like Quartz or Cocoa, which means that 64-bit apps are basically limited to the command line.
  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:08PM (#13945391)
    On Tiger (different from Panther), which can run 64-bit apps, the kernel is compiled as 64-bit code.

    Wrong:

    $ sw_vers
    ProductName: Mac OS X
    ProductVersion: 10.4.3
    BuildVersion: 8F46
    $ file /mach_kernel
    /mach_kernel: Mach-O executable ppc

    Not "ppc64", just "ppc", and not "Mach-O 64-bit", just "Mach-O", unlike libSystem:

    $ file /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib
    /usr/lib/libSystem.B.d ylib: Mach-O fat file with 2 architectures
    /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib (for architecture ppc64): Mach-O 64-bit dynamically linked shared library ppc64
    /usr/lib/libSystem.B.dylib (for architecture ppc): Mach-O dynamically linked shared library ppc

    You don't need a kernel built in 64-bit mode to run 64-bit binaries in userland. If you think you do, you've made an incorrect assumption somewhere.

  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:56PM (#13945820) Homepage
    Mac OS X v10.4 Tiger: Developer Overview. [apple.com] "...there is only one version of the kernel for all Apple hardware." (Which must be 32-bit in order to run on older hardware.)

    64-Bit Transition Guide. [apple.com] "Because 64-bit applications will be supported using a 32-bit kernel, this 64-bit support will have no impact on most device driver or kernel extension writers."

  • by Wesley Felter (138342) <wesley@felter.org> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:03PM (#13945879) Homepage
    You mean EFI. But as long as the Darwin bootloader is open source you can just modify it to do whatever you want. (For example, I think MOL uses a modified bootloader so that they don't have to fully emulate Open Firmware. Likewise I think ExPostFacto has a modified bootloader.) If the kernel is still talking to EFI after it's booted, then things could get tricky.
  • Not limited (Score:3, Informative)

    by SuperKendall (25149) * on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:04PM (#13945889)
    Incorrect that 64-bit apps have to be limited to the command line. Just that the GUI has to run 32-bit code and the backend of the app can run as 64-bit code. Apple claims this is a better way to go as the GUI does not really need to be 64-bit anyway, so it's more efficient.
  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:21PM (#13946050)
    Sure will be fun playing with the BIOS on that thing, since that's the only thing it'll boot into in your config. Let's continue, shall we?

    Full copy of Windows XP Pro (for closer feature equivalence) - $135 OEM from NewEgg. We're up to $985.

    Now, I'm a developer, and Apple ships their full RAD development environment with every Mac sold. I'm going to need the same for my new Windows box, so throw on a copy of Visual Studio Pro - A whopping $700 from NewEgg. Now it's costing $1685 and we haven't even started talking about the iLife equivalents...

    Cheapness is largely a matter of expected use.
  • by admdrew (782761) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:23PM (#13946065) Homepage
    Heh.. yeah, and the motherboard I had quoted didn't support DDR2 either... just wanted to throw out the price. :)
  • Re:TPM (Score:3, Informative)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @06:36PM (#13946163) Homepage Journal
    ``1) "The harder they work on keeping people from using it, the less effort they can put in making it good"

    And why would that be? There's this little thing called "hiring". They can actually have people work on both concepts.''

    There is a finite amount of effort they can invest in their OS. They don't have infinite money, and even if they did, they couldn't hire infinitely many developers.

    ``2) "this says that Linux is going to improve compared to OS X,"

    Uhuh. Linux - the powerhouse of well designed UIs.''

    I wasn't arguing that.

    ``3) "they will fail to attract as many hackers as they could"

    Why would they *want* to attract more hackers? As far as the infrastructure goes, they're using BSD - so infrastructure stuff runs just fine. As far as the UI goes - as soon as there are OSS projects with a decent UI, we can talk about this again. Not happening so far.''

    There is always room for improvement. One of the major reasons I switched to Linux is that fork is horrendously slow on OS X. More hackers means more people to fix issues like that one. However, I wasn't thinking about the OS per se, I was more concerned with applications. Applications developed on Linux don't always port easily to OS X, and if OS X doesn't have enough mindshare among the people who write these applications, they will fall behind in application support.

    Also, things like Reiser4, Xen, User Mode Linux, FUSE, etc. etc. are all interesting projects that work with Linux because that's what the hackers who work on these projects use, and they don't work with OS X, because the hackers don't use that.

    ``4) "I already switched from OS X to Linux because I find it technically superior"

    Surprise message of the day - nobody cares about technical superiority.''

    That's obviously false. I switched because I care. There are others like me. Many people switch from Windows to Linux because they find it superior. Others have switched from Linux to FreeBSD, or from HP-UX to Solaris - there are plenty of examples.

    ``What it's all about is that it's easy to use. And since most people consider configuring kernels or drivers not part of they want to do, Linux isn't easy to use. It might be for you. It isn't for me.''

    There is no need to configure kernels or drivers to use Linux. Every time I see someone write that, it makes me angry. It just plain isn't true, and you're stating it as if it were a fact. Sure, there are certain things you can achieve by building a custom kernel, but just to use Linux, there is absolutely no need to bother.

    ``Because I *really* don't want to run XConfig and figure out PS2 mouse intricacies and resolve interrupt conflicts when I have actual work to do.''

    If you have to do all these things, you have some seriously crappy hardware. If you want to see how user friendly Linux can be, take Ubuntu for a spin on almost any half-decent hardware. It has very good autodetection, leaving you with few questions to answer (like the country you're in, the timezone, what username you'd like to use, that sort of stuff). Of course, it doesn't work with all hardware, but I'm confident that it supports a whole lot more hardware out of the box than OS X, and maybe even Windows.
  • by hkb (777908) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:01PM (#13946368)
    No, it is true. I don't know where you are getting your information from, but I'm getting them from my eyes and the following URL:

    http://developer.apple.com/documentation/Darwin/Co nceptual/64bitPorting/index.html#//apple_ref/doc/u id/TP40001064 [apple.com]

    Wherein it is stated (amongst other things):

    Because 64-bit applications will be supported using a 32-bit kernel, this 64-bit support will have no impact on most device driver or kernel extension writers.
  • by gsnedders (928327) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:11PM (#13946436) Homepage
    Where's the OS? Where's your movie editing software? Your photo management software? Your DVD creating software? Music creation software? Quicken 2006? 2006 World Book? Developer IDE? Bluetooth 2.0+EDR?
  • by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:21PM (#13946496) Journal
    Er, where the hell are you finding 160G SATA drives for $60 and DL 8x DVD burners for $50? Try *doubling* the prices on those and you'll be reflecting reality, at least where I live.

    $50 for a case and PSU? Not only is that going to be ugly as sin, but you're going to need a more powerful PSU if you decide that you want your homebuilt PC to, you know, turn on.

    Basically, you've listed a bunch of bargain-basement components, at prices below anything I've seen at Fry's, and are telling me that this is equivalent to an iMac. Except it's much uglier, built with substantially shittier components, and has no OS (unless you install Linux or steal a copy of Windows). And no software. Oh, and you forgot the webcam and a good set of speakers, and a microphone.

    Add in those components, and then add a 20% 'reality factor' to reflect the price that this stuff will actually cost (shipping, rebates that never show up), and you're right up there with the iMac.
  • by JohnBaleshiski (785383) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @07:23PM (#13946514) Homepage
    > I give the hackers a week, if not more than a
    > month, to find a way around it and release the
    > unprotected ISO on the P2P networks.

    You underestimate hackers. OSX 10.4.3 is already distributed, and yes, TPM has been cracked. And it probably was as trivial as changing a JE/JZ instruction to an unconditional JMP. I'd be surprised if they didn't have this check in my locations, install and OS though. THere are probably a few checks that are still there but have not yet been triggered.

    I give hackers about a day to break 10.4.4 when it comes out. Apple is really wasting their time.
  • by toddestan (632714) on Friday November 04, 2005 @12:09PM (#13951163)
    Do you pay a price premium for most Macs? Yep. Is it anywhere 2x the price of a "comparable" PC. Nope.

    You can buy a complete PC system for $400 easily. The cheapest complete Apple system is the eMac at $800. And the $400 PC is going to kick the crap out of the eMac. Or take a typical $1000 AMD box from a vender like Compaq. A $1000 AMD box is going to be 64bit, so the comparable Mac is going to be the Powermac G5, starting out at $2000. And that $1000 AMD box is going to be faster, have more memory (at least 1GB), use less power, and be more expandable than the $2000 Powermac. It all depends on how you play the "build the comparable..." game.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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