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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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  • Hardware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bob McCown (8411) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:02PM (#13944043)
    Anyone know if this will run on regular Intel based hardware, or only a Mac-specified one?
  • Re:Hardware (Score:3, Interesting)

    by MindStalker (22827) <mindstalker@gmDALIail.com minus painter> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:12PM (#13944151) Journal
    A special chip TPM chip will be required, these chips are being put into most new intel motherboards. Question is will these motherboards only be available from Apple or will it be licensed out.
  • Re:Don't know, but (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Golias (176380) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:22PM (#13944271)
    it really seems funny to me how all Intels bashers (aka. Mac fans) suddenly became Intel enthusiasts

    There were Intel Bashers because Pentium technology (the P4 in particular) was pathetic compared to AMD and PPC offerings of the time.

    Some of these people are becoming Intel cheerleaders because 1) Intel managed to surpass the performance of the G5, and has closed the gap a bit on AMD. 2) Early reports of the chips expected to come out of Intel around Q3 of next year are remarkable.

    "Mac fans" are actually rather split on the subject. Those who acknowledged that PC's were generally faster machines most of the time for most tasks could not be happier with the Intel switch. Those who rambled endlessly about "the Megahertz myth" (even after x86 chips were clearly lapping the G5) are still sore about it, and hoping that Jobs will change his mind about dropping PPC sometime between now and 2007.
  • Re:Hardware (Score:1, Interesting)

    by dbialac (320955) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:23PM (#13944291)
    Fortunately for the masses, Steve just shot his strategy in the foot here. With PPC, they could always justify that an Intel box couldn't run it. However now they are locking the OS to their hardware. Thanks to IBM, DOJ, the Supreme Court and the many other fine organizations who have established through case law again and again that tying software to your hardware when it could otherwise run on any other hardware is illegal. All we need is one brave soul to sue Steve.
  • Re:Don't know, but (Score:3, Interesting)

    by l0ungeb0y (442022) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:23PM (#13944292) Homepage Journal
    "it really seems funny to me how all Intels bashers (aka. Mac fans) suddenly became Intel enthusiasts"

    While that may be true for some, I for one think the Intel move is shaping up to be a huge mistake. While I was at first willing to accept that transition, the more I see in regards to Intels recent failures, the more I don't like the shape of things to come in Apples future.

    It's quite unfortunate that Apple chose not to go with the Cell and that IBM couldn't be bothered to deliver a laptop capable G5 in a reasonable timeframe.

    Personally, I look forward to seeing the benchmarks between G5's and x86 Macs.
    As I expect a rather sad and painfully ironic day. Where we see year old hardware outperforming the new gear when it comes to Apples core market... photo and video professionals.

    What I have to ask is, why Intel?
    At only 3% marketshare, I think AMD would have been quite capable of meeting their supply requirements.

    If anything good comes from the Intel changeover in the immediate future, it will be the resurrection of the PowerBook, which has been left out in the cold to die thanks to IBM and their empty promises.
  • Final Cut? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bobalu (1921) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:23PM (#13944297)
    Anyone know what the status of the iLife apps is?

    Final Cut Pro?

    I'd love to cut my DVD encoding time down but I can't justify getting a new G5 for the 6-10 months we'll be waiting for the new CPUs.

  • Re:"article"???? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rob_squared (821479) <rob.rob-squared@com> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:28PM (#13944351)
    I think over the years it has been pointed out many times that its exactly that risk that can shut up the normal reporter, but not the blogger. The mistake here is thinking that one type of media must replace the other. But that's not true.

    Letters exist even with email.
    Radio exists with tv.
    Journalism can exist with blogs.

  • Re:Hardware (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @03:59PM (#13944680)
    Thanks to IBM, DOJ, the Supreme Court and the many other fine organizations who have established through case law again and again that tying software to your hardware when it could otherwise run on any other hardware is illegal.
    Care to cite any cases on that?
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:02PM (#13944715)
    This is why, sooner or later, "Trusted" machines will only be able to run signed applications. Good luck getting a certificate for your hacked binary....
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:07PM (#13944759)
    What's with all the allusions? Are we really talking about something else, metaphorically? I hate when Slashdot goes all literary in the middle of a perfectly down to earth conversation.
  • Re:Fine by me (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 03, 2005 @04:16PM (#13944861)
    Enjoy fixing your Pontiac, then, while I'm driving my Lexus.
    In the world of materialism, the best things in life aren't free (or cheap).


    That analogy would work if Linux wasn't as good or better than OS X for those who want a UNIX-like desktop. Of course the GP did mention he'd be dual-booting with Windows, so the analogy works in that case.

    I own a Mac and thing OS X is overrated. It's really good compared to Windows, but only has an edge on Linux in a few areas. Personally, OS X's UNIX support is pretty weak. The Fink repository is crap compared to Debian. The X server doesn't quite integrate with the rest of the OS X GUI. Any true UNIX power-user would prefer Linux to OS X. I do anyhow. Garage Band kicks ass, though.
  • by akhomerun (893103) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:16PM (#13945465)
    what suddenly gives you the right to decide that you should be allowed to run their OS on any hardware?

    do you sue companies that won't allow you to unlock the processing potential of fancy touch screen cash registers, palm pilots that can't run Windows Mobile, or a watch that doesn't allow you to change it's OS? do you sue palm pilot because they refuse to allow you to buy Palm OS and run it on any machine you please? or the cash register manufacterer for not selling you their cash register OS for normal PCs?

    no, because it's absurd. why is it absurd? because these companies depend on hardware sales. just like apple. this is not illegal to the slightest bit, and you can't prove it in court for the following reasons:

    the fact is that apple doesn't want to license their OS for any hardware but their own. whether it's Intel, IBM, or Motorola, it's no different. Intel does NOT have a monopoly on the market, as Intel does not hold even close to 100% marketshare of the PC microprocessor market.

    Apple has broken no law whatsoever in this regard, and the fact is that by restricting what type of hardware customers can use with OS X, apple can do a number of things that are GOOD for the consumer:

    1. integrated hardware/software means there are less drivers to deal with, more plug and play is easily achievable
    2. more features can be added to the computers without adding 3rd party programs. Things like the sudden motion sensor and the scrolling trackpad can be integrated in the OS. The OS can have custom versions that are optimized for their particular model.
    3. tech support doesn't have to deal with thousands of different parts in beige box PCs, which saves the consumer time on the phone with Apple's tech support representatives. in court, apple could argue that this makes their tech support cheaper than the competition (which it is in many cases).
    4. Lowering the hardware confusion makes documentation easier, and reduces to a small extent crashes/bugs/problems. Any bugs/crashes/problems can be detected faster when you know exactly what parts are in the computer and how they interact.
    5. Also in respect to #4, reduction of these general problems increases the quality of the product. reducing crash/bug/problem downtime makes for a more valuable, satisfying product.
    6. i'm guessing security is easier, too. knowing what hardware is in the computer means knowing exactly where and how information can leave and enter the computer.
  • by dissonant2005 (907516) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:30PM (#13945572)
    I'm more curious if the proprietary Apple machines will be able to dual boot into XP, or Longhorn, or Linux...
  • Re:not possible (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ObligatoryUserName (126027) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @05:53PM (#13945785) Journal
    Wrong illustration:...

    That's the thing that's pissing me off! Comments like that! :) It's not the wrong illustration if you are looking at things from the viewpoint of manufacturer->customer. It boils down to the same difference - loss of income. People get caught up in the absence of molecules and say that it's confusing. Think in terms of transactions, not in terms of boxes.

    Honestly, while IP laws are more complex than real property laws, the morality of the thing never has been. The only thing that makes it grey is that so many people choose to ignore the rules that it's become mainstream.

    Years ago people said "oh hey, no big deal downloading NES ROMs, there's no way you can buy those games anyway". Now that Nintendo's selling those games as GBA titles, and talking about offering them for sale via the Revolution Console is it suddenly wrong to download the ROMS - or was it wrong all along for someone to presume that they had the right to copy in the first place.

    It's a separate issue from Fair Use (which is actualy pretty strict) and how the DMCA restricts Fair Use. The DMCA isn't the only reaction to this trend of unauthorised copying.

    A couple years back I talked to someone from a Chinese video game firm who told me that if they couldn't find an American market for their games they would have to close up shop. There was no money to be made in China because everything was pirated. Likewise EA has said that the only reason they sell games into China is to "prime the market" for the days when money can be made there - right now they say they lose money doing a Chinese localization. World of Warcraft follows the software as a service model and they can actually make money in China. Those are a few examples of what happens when pirating goes long-term mainstream; I have to say, I don't like it.
  • by SEE (7681) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @09:21PM (#13947179) Homepage
    The kernel? Wonderful. Just compile, from the Darwin source, a kernel that doesn't include it. Run the rest of the OS on that kernel.

    Or run the OS under an emulator, figure out what's making the TPM request, and develop an always-return-true patch from the machine code. Somewhat harder, yes, but there's an entire army of people out there who do this sort of thing.

    Or, say, run the OS under a virtualizer (a Mac-on-Linux for x86, say), trap the TPM call, and return a lie in software.

    Is it worthwhile for me to do it? No. But just one person has to do it, and then file-sharing programs will spread it. Those who want to run OS X on non-Apple hardware are going to be able to do it, because somebody's going to make it easy for them. And if it takes more than six months from commercial release, I'll be shocked.
  • by mrchaotica (681592) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @09:57PM (#13947360)
    The thing I don't understand is why Apple doesn't just switch the laptops and the Mac Mini to Pentium M, and leave the iMac and PowerMac on the G5. Developers are going to have to compile for both ISAs anyway, so why not just use the best CPU for the job all the time?
  • by BeBoxer (14448) on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:43PM (#13947566)
    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.

    Actually, it will be trivial to pull the check out. The underground community has literally decades of experience removing that stuff. The hardware isn't going to do anything to prevent a cracked version of MacOS from running. After all, we aren't even talking about Apple hardware, remember? All it's going to take is running the OS in an emulator and having it break every time it tries to access the TPM chip. Look at what it's doing, and what it wants for a value, and replace whatever part is easiest. No need to crack any crypto or anything.

    What Apple will be able to do if they like is detect such a hacked OS if it tries to connect to their Update Server. That's exactly the type of thing remote attestation is for. But they won't be able to keep people from modifying the OS to run on commodity PC hardware.
  • "Older Brother"?? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Clith (5063) <rae@tnir.org> on Thursday November 03, 2005 @10:45PM (#13947574) Homepage Journal
    The NeXT code base has been on Intel a *lot* longer than PowerPC (since 1993 [apple.com])!

    The real "older brother" might be NeXT on 68k.

  • by seebs (15766) on Friday November 04, 2005 @02:55AM (#13948486) Homepage
    No, it fucking isn't time for a class action suit every time someone mildly inconveniences you or fails to blow you just the way you like it.

    NO DAMAGES. They are not damaging you. They are not breaking your toys, they are not promising you something other than what they sell, they are not stealing anything from you. You have NO DAMAGES. You are unharmed. They are not legally obliged to make you maximally happy.

    If Apple promised that everyone who bought OS X could run it on commodity hardware, then reneged and said "no, wait, our hardware only", you might have a basis for a lawsuit.

    I have been involved in a couple of class action lawsuits, such as a lawsuit against Allied Telesyn for sending junk faxes, or a lawsuit I have going with a local mortgage lender where they appear to be on the hook for about $12.5 million in liability. These cases are based on actual damage done to people, not on companies not making me happy enough or running themselves the way I'd like them to.

    I would like it if everyone whose first response to a distant rumor that a future product will not be what you want to buy is to declare that it is "time for a class action" would just STFU and stop being such whiners. If you don't like the product, don't buy it. Congratulations, you have managed to avoid being damaged and you have no need to waste your time going to court over the damages you were able to avoid by NOT EVEN DOING A DAMN THING.
  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Friday November 04, 2005 @05:23AM (#13948802)
    Apple wasn't going to have completed the Intel transition till 2007 anyway, so it's not like the timing is a huge problem. The dual-core PA Semi chip is supposed to be out first, 3Q06;

    Yeah, assuming absolutely no delays, and part of that plan is to scale down to a new 65 nm process, and new processes are always fraught with delays. It's like a freaking law of nature.

    The PowerPC road is littered with the bloated corpses of aggressive young companies that were going to come in and shoot the moon with fantastic new advances; history is not on PA Semi's side. Freescale's got a magic new G4 that was due months and months ago. Remember Exponential Technologies and their revolutionary x704? Neither does anyone else, but in 1996 the tech world was enchanted with its promises of a new PowerPC (shipping in 12 months!) that was going to run circles around everything else. Good thing Apple didn't bet on their success.

    And what's Apple supposed to do? Sit around with the portable lineup stagnant for another 18 months because of the vapourware promises of a startup with no experience delivering to a company as big as Apple? That sounds like a winning business plan to you? Betting the farm on a fringe player's completely unsubstantiated promises is suicide.

    No, Apple's making the smart move: putting themselves where all the competition is. Now they don't have to worry about keeping up with the Joneses because they are the Joneses. Apple will finally have two suppliers driving each other in the same market space, which is a luxury they haven't had since the early days of the PowerPC. Hell, all reports are that the current x86 Mac dev boxes already kick the living shit out of the G5 lineup, speedwise.

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