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OS X Businesses Operating Systems Software Upgrades Apple Hardware

Run Mac OS X On Non-Apple Hardware, With a Dongle 536

Posted by timothy
from the not-actually-an-imperative-statement dept.
An anonymous reader points out Gizmodo's review of a USB dongle, made by a company called Efix, which allows for an effort-free transformation of a non-Apple computer into one that runs Mac OS X. According to the reviewer, the transformation is perfect (aside from a few quirks he describes as "trivial"); the included screenshots sure make it seem that way, too. The dongle costs $155, and works only on a subset of PC hardware. Non-Apple machines running OS X will no doubt make Apple unhappy, though, so, the reviewer concludes, "it's understandable if you wanna approach this with caution."
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Run Mac OS X On Non-Apple Hardware, With a Dongle

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  • I just ordered one!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zymergy (803632) * on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:31PM (#25155849)
    These things are probably too cool to stay legal (if Apple can ban them somehow)... Someone should add a "hackintosh" /. tag to this thread... http://www.efixusa.net/product_info.php?products_id=28 [efixusa.net]
    They take Paypal and Credit Card and it was $169 + $10 shipping...

    Interestingly, I noticed that their Website appears to be based in England? http://geotool.servehttp.com/?ip=209.25.134.78&host=www.efixusa.net [servehttp.com]
    I wonder if Apple and its vast team of Lawyers are the reason for the offshore hosting and sales site? (I bet it will be shipped from overseas too...)
    Hardware Compatibility List: http://www.efixusa.net/hardware_comp.php [efixusa.net]
    NOTE: The EFiX-USA Ebay Store has no inventory at this time: http://stores.ebay.com/EFiX-USA [ebay.com]
    • by 2nd Post! (213333) <gundbear@pacbe l l .net> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:33PM (#25155871) Homepage

      $155 makes the Apple Premium seem reasonable.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:35PM (#25155899)

        Especially when you factor in the cost of OS X. You're already up to $300, without a computer.

        • And Vista Ultimate cost what? (hint: $278 @ newegg.com)
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            And Vista Ultimate cost what?

            actually, the real cost is in the aggravation and lost productivity time waiting for it to delete files...

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          What you fail to realize is that Zymergy very likely just invested in what will very soon become a collector's item. If they stop making them, there will be only what exists in their warehouse space now. He'll probably be able to resell that thing for at least twice, maybe even 3 times what he paid for it.

          • by Zymergy (803632) *
            Yes, that thought crossed my mind... :) Apple might help promote a collector's market.
            Then again, if these dongles become prevalent and cheaper, I would have a grand old time justifying (my investment) and building another "PC" with the provided shopping list of compatible hardware to have a snappy OSX box... I see it as Win-Win.

            Imagine what "copies" of the (now banned by Apple) iPhone Wi-Fi Tethering 3rd party software 'NetShare' would be selling for on Ebay (if it could be obtained on removable media)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Otter (3800)
          And if you're not a hardware obsessive like the author, you probably don't just happen to have one of the few approved motherboards laying around already.
        • You want iLife with that? $80 more.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dexomn (147950)

        I'd try my hand at the math for comparable hardware again if I were you. =)

        • by MBGMorden (803437) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:52PM (#25156161)

          Actually, Hackintoshes become most attractive when you start talking about NONcomparable hardware. There are some pretty down to Earth configurations that Apple just doesn't consider "cool enough" to make (cue in the Apple zealots who will proclaim that configuration styles used by 95% of PC users are "unnecessary niches").

          I for example want a tower machine. I want something with a consumer-grade desktop CPU - dual or even single core, and just 1 of them - with no monitor strapped onto it, and with a case that has ample drive bays and expansion slots so that I can add storage space and add in a video card as needed.

          In otherwords, I just want a plain-fscking computer. Not a tiny one. Not an all-in-one. Not a multi-thousand $$$$ workstation, and certainly not a laptop. Just a plain old tower. I'd even pay the famed "Apple tax" on the damned thing if it was made to buy. And don't give me the "there's no market for that" line - PC makers are selling the damned things like hotcakes.

          So, given that Apple won't make what I want, I built a Hackintosh. Yes, I installed a hacked copy of OS X, so no dongle needed. I think my total investment in this machine is around $650 (and that includes a retail copy of OS X). For that I've got a dual-core 1.8Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, 160GB of hard drive space, and a Geforce 8600GTS video card. And if I need a little more than what any particular component can provide, I'll just swap the part out because the system is upgradeable.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Have Blue (616)
            Actually, you identified the market the most diametrically opposed to Apple's business plan- DIY system builders. Using prebuilt systems to compete with that segment is practically impossible because you have to charge for the labor the customer is willing to do themselves, so Apple isn't ever going to try.
          • by uglyduckling (103926) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:27PM (#25156805) Homepage

            Yes, I've said this on a few forums - this is the fairly large 'niche' that Apple really do need to appeal to. People who want a reasonably spec'ed machine that has decent upgrade potential. The main reason cited by die-hard Mac zealots* is that it would compete with the Mac Pro, but I think if they only released models with dual-core CPUs and one or two free PCIe slots then the high-end graphics/video/audio professionals wouldn't be interested because the video and graphics people want quad- or 8-cores for rendering speed and the audio people want PCI slots for their Pro Tools cards and DSP.

            I've got a Mac Mini and bought it with the highest processor/HD/memory combination available at the time, and still needed to buy an external drive to have a decent amount of storage space. I can't justify a Mac Pro because I'm really only doing don't-quit-your-dayjob home studio stuff. What will happen is in 6-12 months' time I'll buy a first generation Mac Pro second hand when all the real pros are upgrading to 8-core monsters, so Apple will miss out on a sale. If they made a mini-tower I would buy it tomorrow.

            *I'm a Mac fan but not a zealot. I think.

            • by PapayaSF (721268) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:56PM (#25158879) Journal

              The posters above a're absolutely correct, and it's a huge opportunity that Apple is missing. All they need is a cut-down Mac Pro, call it a Mac Pro Mini. One upgradeable CPU, one (not four) hard drive bays, one (not two) optical bays, two (not eight) RAM slots, one slot for a graphics card, maybe one other slot, and a nice set of ports. They can't sell that for $999 and make a profit? Or sell it for $699 and use it to storm the gates of corporate America while they are annoyed about Vista. I think hackers, switchers, and many businesses would be thrilled with a Mac like that.

              I even have a way to make it sexy enough for Steve Jobs: Make it "green"! Put it in a recyclable aluminum case and commit to making motherboard upgrades available for (say) five years.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by cabjf (710106)

            And don't give me the "there's no market for that" line - PC makers are selling the damned things like hotcakes

            And how many people ever actually use that ability to add or swap out components? PC manufacturers make those types of computers because they are the least expensive to build, not because people like to be able to add or change out parts.

            • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:54PM (#25158849) Journal
              Lack of upgradability was what kept me off laptops for so long. Then I realised that when I upgraded, I tended to replace the CPU, which meant replacing the motherboard (new socket) and the RAM (faster), and often the hard disk (why not, while the case is open) and sometimes the case (although ATX becoming standard removed that one). The first PC I built had 5 PCI slots and 2 ISA slots, and a lot of them were full. The last PC I built had only one expansion card sitting in the AGP slot and everything else built in to the motherboard. Now I just use a laptop, and upgrade it roughly every three three years by getting a new one and demoting the old one to some other use. Even among geeks, upgrading a computer has become rare. The low cost of new hardware has meant that it's often not much more expensive to replace the whole machine (and much less effort), and the fact that a lot of people can get by with something like a 1GHz P3 means that it's easy to find a good home for the old one.
          • by drasfr (219085) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <iomedever>> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:01PM (#25157399)

            Yeah, I totally agree with that. Apple just doesn't offer enough hardware options to make it attractive. I mean, comeon, either the mac Mini which sucks as soon as you are looking for something that you want expand. The MacPro? Sure, it is a great platform, but very expensive...

            I built a hackintosh out of a quadcore Q6600, 4GB of Memory, two 500GB drives and a 512MB geforce card. My cost was less than a thousand dollars and it works great (plus a 30" monitor), even better than my Official Macbook Pro. Apple just does NOT provide that kind of configuration for that price. The equivalent config with a MacPro is $2850...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by 2nd Post! (213333)

          You're saying you can build a Mac compatible system from the list of components for less than $450 dollars?

          gigabyte GA-EP35-DS3 for $132
          1GB DDR2 for $25
          Core 2 Duo E2160 1.8GHz $60
          Case+PS $90
          GeForce 7300 GS $70
          SATA DVD+RW $40
          Seagate SATA HDD $40
          EFIX dongle $155
          Total of $612

          Not including shipping+handling+tax of course.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by vux984 (928602)

            1) the dongle isn't required

            2) he said he spent X, that doesn't mean he didn't already have half the parts.

            For example, I have a spare 500GB sata hard drive (RMA replacement, but I bought a new one right away because I couldn't wait for the RMA to ship), DVDRW, video card (6600GT), 1GB DDR2 RAM, case and power supply all just sitting in my office. I'd JUST need a suitable mobo and cpu. So it would cost me $192 + OSX ($103.99 at amazon) so my cost for a hackintosh would be $296 give or take.

      • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:05PM (#25156377)

        There is no Apple Premium. There is shortage in variety in Apple Hardware choices. Apples Cost just as much as near Identical System (You need to include all the specs including weight and dimensions). However most people don't need all those specs only a subset of them. Thus can get a system elsewhere for cheaper as they do not need to spend extra to get the 17" screen and a Fast CPU with a lot of RAM, because they don't care that it is 1" thick and doesn't need Firewire, Lighted keyboard... However if you compare a System that has the exact same specs as the Mac (or very close) you find the prices are about the same +/- $100.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:50PM (#25157215)

          There is no Apple Premium.

          yes there is. you can do all sorts of comparions (when I've done them the Apple device, Mac or iPod, always comes out more expensive) but there is a different kind of proof -- theres been plenty of financial reports (including Apples own) stating that they have a significantly higher profit margin on their hardware than competitors. where do you think that is coming from?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by im_thatoneguy (819432)

          Which is a premium.

          "Ferrari doesn't have a premium, they just sell more expensive cars. If you compare them to similarly spec'ed cars you'll find they're about the same price +/- $5000"

          I build $800 blazing fast workstations: QuadCore, 8GB of Ram and just under top of the line video card along with a 500GB Raid 0 for storage.

          You say "no premium" I say I can get a superb workstation for less money.

        • by Eil (82413) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:15PM (#25159133) Homepage Journal

          No Apple premium, you say? +/-$100 you say?

          I was shopping for a laptop recently and decided that the MacBook Pro was the kind of laptop I was looking for, except it seemed a bit spendy. Next in line was the well-known ThinkPad which has a reputation for being rugged, well-built, and reliable, just like the MacBook Pro. So I compared the two online as closely as possible. I used the standard 15" MacBook as a reference and customized the ThinkPad accordingly because the reverse is much more difficult. Here's what I found.

          Both Laptops have:

          Screen physical dimension: 15"
          CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.5GHz
          Memory: 2GB (2x 1G)
          HDD: 250GB SATA, 5400rpm
          Optical drive: 8x dual-layer recordable DVD
          Wifi: 802.11n
          Bluetooth: Yes
          Ethernet: Gigabit
          Battery life: About 5hrs

          Macbook Pro

          Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 8600M GT with 256MB of GDDR3 SDRAM
          Weight: 5.4 pounds
          Thickness: 1"
          Display: 1440 x 900 pixels
          Keyboard illumination: backlight
          Operating system: OS X
          Pointing device: Multi-touch trackpad
          Webcam: Yes
          Video output: DVI
          USB: 2 ports
          Firewire: 1x 400 port, 1x 800 port
          Expansion cards: 1x ExpressCard
          Audio In: optical, line, microphone
          Audio Out: optical, line, speakers
          Card reader: No
          Fingerprint reader: No
          Price: $2499

          ThinkPad T61

          Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M (128MB)
          Weight: 5.0 lbs
          Thickness 1.2"
          Display: 1680x1050
          Keyboard illumination: Overhead LED
          Operating system: Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium (default)
          Pointing device: Trackpad and trackpoint with buttons for each
          Webcam: No
          Video output: VGA
          USB: 3 Ports
          Firewire: 1x 400 port
          Expansion cards: 1x PC Card, 1x ExpressCard
          Audio in: line, microphone
          Audio out: headphones, speakers
          Card reader: 4 in 1
          Fingerprint Reader: Yes
          Price: $1208

          If you look just at computing power, the two are identical except that the MacBook Pro has a beefier graphics chipset. The rest of the advantages are mainly to do with better multimedia capabilities. (Except, curiously, screen resolution.) This could be worth more than double the cost of the ThinkPad if that's the kind of work you do. As a far more casual user and part-time hacker, I appreciated some of the more mundane enhancements that the ThinkPad offers at a much more attractive price: More ports, gizmos, and buttons.

  • Fear the fruit! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Eg0Death (1282452) * on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:34PM (#25155877)
    I don't expect Apple to be happy about this. Will the company's location in Europe keep the Fruity lwyers at bay? I find it interesting that the reviewer's $800 rig outperformed the Apple $2000 rig.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sidb (530400)
      The $800 rig had four times the RAM of the $2000 one, plus who knows what other differences. And the test results were mixed anyway. My thought on seeing those performance graphs was that it was irresponsible of the reviewer to include them unless he intentionally wanted to provoke a pointless flamewar.
      • Uh... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Shivetya (243324)

        I am not sure whose side you were taking there.

        It had four times the ram and was $1200 less?

        So, can you clarify?

        I am very sure any enthusiast can build a far better machine at a substantially lower price, provided something as easy as plugging in a dongle was all it took to fool OS X

  • Mac vs. PC (Score:5, Funny)

    by CopaceticOpus (965603) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:37PM (#25155923)

    Perhaps this will inspire a new "I'm a Mac, I'm a PC" commercial, with the PC donning a strap-on.

    Or not.

  • Intel Only (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Gazzonyx (982402) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:39PM (#25155945)
    Bah, no worky for AMD. This is Gigabyte mobo and Intel friendly only, which is understandable since most do-it-yourselfers will probably have a setup like this. Still AMD support would be nice.
  • by Hatta (162192) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:39PM (#25155951) Journal

    I was under the impression that you could already run OS X on a PC as long as the hardware was supported. What exactly does this thing do that you can't do already?

    • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:42PM (#25156011)

      You still need a custom hacked Kernel to do it, this removes that need. Even hackintosh's need a custom DVD, this will install with an off the shelf Leopard DVD.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        You still need a custom hacked Kernel to do it, this removes that need. Even hackintosh's need a custom DVD, this will install with an off the shelf Leopard DVD.

        Not anymore. this is pretty much just a boot-132 [insanelymac.com] live cd, on a very overpriced usb flashdrive. I redid my hackintosh this way a few weeks back installed straight off my retail dvd, loading only extra kexts for unofficially supported hardware (and of course dsmos and disabler) off the boot cd..

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      This dongle probably emulates apple EFI to allow installation of a retail copy of Leopard rather than a hacked one.

      Their supported hardware list is pretty restrictive...

      • Their supported hardware list is pretty restrictive...

        My sentiments exactly. I'd install this in a jiffy if it worked with my Asus motherboard. And ATi HD4850. It's a shame apple dropped ATi hardware like hotcakes.

    • by Piranhaa (672441)

      nothing at all. It just makes installing OSX that much easier. A friend of mine who has installed OSX on non-Apple hardware says it can be a bitch (unless you know what you're doing) to install the OS and the EFI emulator, bootloader, etc. This just takes away all the extra work and makes it very straight forward as if you were installing it directly on an Apple machine. I'm sure it's only a matter of time until people image these things and start booting off their own USB keys to install OSX.

      • by lysergic.acid (845423) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:20PM (#25156633) Homepage

        that's interesting, i've never used a USB dongle before, though i've come across certain video-editing programs that support special hardware dongles that are supposed to enable advanced features.

        how exactly does a USB dongle work? is it just a software program that is executed from a USB key fob? certainly it can't be so simple as to just copying the data from the dongle and putting it onto another generic USB drive can it?

        i would imagine that the USB dongle would have to have special hardware with the program saved on some kind of firmware. i'm not too familiar with the capabilities of the USB interface, so i don't know if that might be a vital part of how this dongle works. but if you can reverse engineer the dongle and boot up the image from any old USB key, then you could just as easily make bootable DVDs.

  • 28 days later... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by halcyon1234 (834388) <halcyon1234@hotmail.com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:44PM (#25156043) Journal
    ... after everyone who would steal money from The Great Apple has bought one of these, The Great Apple pushes a manditory OSX upgrade. The upgrade just happens to break functionality with the dongle.

    Tell me that won't happen.

    • Good point, more than likely this mandatory upgrade will break the dongle's functionality. And, the mandatory update just might include code to protect future attempts at dongles.
    • Ahh, the Iphone approach raises its ugly head.
    • by mugnyte (203225)

      No sure if its really "stealing money". I mean, this still allows users to buy/use the official OSX DVD.

      This splits the hardware/software delineation deep into Apple's territory. But they're headed in that direction anyways. If I were Apple, I'd never officially support this because of the nightmare of vendors matching for a software-only solution (think about Microsoft's world).

      But as Apple would I let people spend list price for my OS and never call about support issues? You be

    • by smoker2 (750216)
      Steal money ? The cash for the OSX install disc doesn't count then ?
    • Reading their site, it looks like you can install firmware upgrades... I imagine when you control the boot environment, any attempt to soft-patch the OS won't remain fullproof. If it can be programmed, it can be hacked, right? The only option I see is some TPM implementation

      http://www.efi-x.com/index.php?language=english [efi-x.com]

      Personally, I hope Apple keeps to their closed platform, as it would put a hard squeeze on Linux if OS X were available on any machine. The chances of this happening are so low that I'm not

      • by Americano (920576)

        Personally, I hope Apple keeps to their closed platform, as it would put a hard squeeze on Linux if OS X were available on any machine. The chances of this happening are so low that I'm not even worried about it. Apple won't pick the fight if there's an even slight chance they could lose.

        On the one hand, you admit that Apple being available on any hardware would put a squeeze on Linux... on the other hand, you claim that Apple wouldn't do so because they're terrified they might lose to Linux. Frankly, I

  • Stubborn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wowsers (1151731) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:45PM (#25156061) Journal

    If Apple pushed their OS more, they could start to worry Microsoft more, just as Linux already worries Microsoft (that's not a troll statement). Apple could also do that other thing that companies usually do to exist - make more money.

    • Re:Stubborn (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mstahl (701501) <marrrrrk@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:56PM (#25156215) Homepage Journal

      Apple doesn't want their OS to run on generic hardware because then they can't make it nearly as stable as it is on Mac hardware. That Mac OS has fewer hardware compatibility issues is kind of a no-brainer that way. Windows, being made to work with 3rd-party drivers on generic hardware, really does not have that advantage.

      If I were Apple I'd probably choose inaction for a while. It wouldn't do to encourage this sort of thing because I could dilute the perceived user experience of owning a mac if it became less stable on generic hardware (which it almost certainly would). It also wouldn't do to discourage it right off the bat because this does have the potential to convert over some windows users if they can safely try it out.

      The bottom line, though, is that these users didn't pay Apple for the hardware, so Apple will barely make any money off this.

  • Awesome (Score:3, Insightful)

    by speedingant (1121329) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:51PM (#25156147)
    I've been an avid Apple fanboy all my life, but if this works, then I might be building my own machine. AKA, the model Apple never offered us.
  • Why bother? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Uniquitous (1037394) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:54PM (#25156201)
    Seriously, as a guy with Linux, Windows, and Mac boxes in his house, I question the worth of putting OS X on anything besides an apple box. I use OS X on my Mini because that's what is there, and because I've got enough in the iTunes share to make it a pain to migrate. I've found OS X to be pretty, but clunky as all hell, and inexplicable in its wi-fi behavior. Many's the time I've eyed the mini with an Ubuntu DVD in my hand.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Apple Acolyte (517892)
      Clunky as hell is a very subjective judgment. I find my productivity drops considerably in Windows compared to OS X. As for why one would want to use OS X on regular PC hardware, it's mainly due to the fact that Apple has for some time refused to cater to the normal desktop consumer/prosumer with a midrange Mac tower. The entry level price of Apple's towers was reasonable back in the G4 era. It rose with the introduction of the G5. And with the Mac Pro, it rose even more. The Mac Pro is positioned only as a
  • by Sockatume (732728) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @02:59PM (#25156269)
    It actually connects to a USB header on the motherboard, which is good (no breaking it off or unplugging it by accident) and bad (not usable if your USB headers are crowded by other components or the case).
  • by cculianu (183926) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:02PM (#25156317) Homepage

    Umm.. you can already run OSX on PC hardware *without* no stinkin' dongle!

    Well, that is, if you don't mind pirating software. There are several hacked copies of the OSX Tiger and Leopard install DVDs floating about that allow you to install OSX on any reasonably modern PC. Google around for 'leo4all' or 'ideneb'. YMMV.

    Also: http://www.osx86project.org/ [osx86project.org] has tons of resources on how to run a 'hackintosh'.

    There are also some VMWare 'appliances' -- that is -- virtual machines with OSX already pre-installed on the vmdk files. You just dl them and use vmplayer or vmware workstation and you got yourself OSX inside a VM.

    People have been runing OSX on PC hardware for a while now. So, given that -- how is this exciting at all? It isn't even any more legal than just dling pirated/hacked OSX install DVDs. The way I see it -- there is no advantage to paying $150 to break the law with a stinkin' dongle, when you can download a 4GB DVD torrent and get OSX for free. Both are equally illegal and violate Apple's EULA or whatever.

    So how is this new/newsworthy/even mildly exciting?

    • by againjj (1132651) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:19PM (#25156609)

      People have been runing OSX on PC hardware for a while now. So, given that -- how is this exciting at all?

      Because, with other methods, you need hacks, and updates require more hacks. The idea here is that you can use a virgin install of OS X and it Just Works.

      It isn't even any more legal than just dling pirated/hacked OSX install DVDs. The way I see it -- there is no advantage to paying $150 to break the law with a stinkin' dongle, when you can download a 4GB DVD torrent and get OSX for free. Both are equally illegal and violate Apple's EULA or whatever.

      They are not "equally illegal". In your case, you are downloading copies of software (copyright infringement), and also the software has been reverse engineered and hacked (which might violate something). Then, in both cases, you violate the EULA with the installation (which isn't illegal). So, actually, buying the "stinkin' dongle" doesn't break the law, though violating the EULA will allow Apple to sue, provided the EULA is legal and enforceable.

    • by ya really (1257084) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @04:54PM (#25158119)

      Who says you cant just go out and buy a copy of OSX and modify and run it via hackintosh? All that is needed to get around the install is to emulate the EFI on boot and there's a program out now that does that thanks to some reverse engineering by someone in the hackintosh community. With that you can even run the Apple update. This also works on AMD CPUs as well. Might have some problems running things that use PCI slots, but certain soundcards do have drivers out there. Honestly, I don't give a rat's butt what Mr. Jobs thinks (and his "oh no, you have to buy my overpriced [now pc hardware other than the EFI mobos Intel makes for them] hardware to run my OS). I should be able to do with the software once I purchase it at full price, so long as I am not distributing my copy to everyone else.

      For more information, check out this site [insanelymac.com]. Their faq will tell you the basics and they also have a list of hardware people have sucessfully installed OSX with here [insanelymac.com] as well as a list of sound card drivers for pci if you do a search.

  • by CerebusUS (21051) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:07PM (#25156401)

    They want me to put credit card information into a standard HTTP page? I'm absolutely SURE I trust them not to do something stupid like store that information unencrypted in a database.

    FAIL.

  • I'm actually surprised that Apple hasn't marketed something like this. I mean, sure there was the mac mini. But If I wanted to try OSX with as little risk as possible, a "demo dongle" would be a lot less involved and probably cheaper from Apple due to their economies of scale.
  • by mr_zorg (259994) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:16PM (#25156563)
    Putting aside the issue of whether EULAs are moral or enforceable, this is from Apple's Leopard EULA:

    This License allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so.

    One could argue that in order to test such a product, they must have installed OS X, which requires them to "accept" this EULA which they promptly violated by installing on a PC. Then, apparently, to sell the device ALSO violates the EULA they "accepted". So, they're doubly screwed. If the EULA were to be held up in court, Apple most certainly COULD stop these guys.

    Of course, that's just my opinion, I'm no lawyer...

    • One could argue that in order to test such a product, they must have installed OS X, which requires them to "accept" this EULA which they promptly violated by installing on a PC.

      But what if they bought a Mac Pro and then replaced the guts with other components? Is the resulting computer still Apple-labeled? What if they have an Apple logo sticker that they stick on the case? Is that Apple-labeled?

  • It sounds cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by Orion Blastar (457579) <orionblastar&gmail,com> on Thursday September 25, 2008 @03:26PM (#25156783) Homepage Journal

    but that iDeneb project [ihackintosh.net] is way cheaper as it does not require a dongle.

    Others have found a way to hack their BIOS to use the Apple OEM ID and do their own EFI to run Mac OSX to fool OSX to think it is running on a real Apple Macintosh. The nice thing about EEPROMS is that you can flash update them easily, and anyone who knows machine language can hack their own BIOS file into one that can easily pass for an Apple Macintosh BIOS.

    As for people like me, we don't even need a dongle to make our Intel PC turn into an Amiga [sourceforge.net] that is even cooler than an Apple Macintosh running OSX, and has a much lower memory footprint so it runs faster than OSX, and has an interface and look and feel like OSX or Vista, but is 100% free, 100% open source, and 100% legal.

    For those who want to pirate OSX, get real, get AROS instead and support AROS developers to develop more AROS drivers and software. Why settle for a monopoly from Microsoft or Apple, when you can be free and use a non-monopoly OS that will run on almost any PC, Mac, Amiga, MIPS, PowerPC, etc system on the market?

    You want an alternative to Windows? Wait until ReactOS [reactos.org] is done. It will run Windows applications. If you want an alternative to Windows that does not run Windows programs get HaikuOS [haiku-os.org] when it is ready as it is a free and open source BeOS operating system. Once OSFree is finished [osfree.org] it will be a free OS/2 open source OS, but I heard they will make it run under Linux to run OS/2 applications. Support your favorite free open source operating system instead of pirating OSX. Who cares enough about bloatware to pirate OSX or Vista, they are both bloated and buggy! If you want a free OS, get a free open source OS as I listed above when they are finished and out of beta testing. If you can't wait join in their beta program and give them feedback on how to fix it, or join the developers to help them get done faster.

    Boycott Vista and OSX, and get Linux instead and install a Macintosh skin [interfacelift.com] on Linux instead of pirating OSX.

    • Re:It sounds cool (Score:4, Interesting)

      by ChrisA90278 (905188) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:43PM (#25158701)

      "Boycott Vista and OSX, and get Linux instead and install a Macintosh skin [interfacelift.com] on Linux instead of pirating OSX."

      OK so I do that. Now how do I run Aperture, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro on my Linux system? Yes those pprograms are the reason I have a Mac.

      The reason one buys an OS is so they can run software. If the OS can't run the software you need it's usless.

      That said. I'm typing this on a Linux system. I write software for Linux/Solaris but all of the creative digital content type stuff is done on mac OS X.

      I've been a UNIX fan and user both at work and at home from long ago, i had UNIX before there was a thing called "Microsoft Windows". But I feel right at home on Mac OS X. It's the best desktop UNIX system out there. Solaris is the best server OS out there.

  • Many of the most recent Apple commercials emphasize how easy it is to "switch" from PC to Apple. You can even bring in your old computer, and they'll transfer your hard drive contents!

    This is another bridge to help people make the switch. Apple loyalists will still buy Apple hardware. Most of them are scared of any homebuilt computers, and want to trust a large company to build and support their computer. This dongle is only going to be bought by the cheapskates, people who would have never come to

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by falconwolf (725481)

      Apple should be happy to lose a few hardware sales in order to secure their place in software.

      Been there, done that, Apple lost money when they allowed Mac clones [wikipedia.org].

      Falcon

  • by ChrisA90278 (905188) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @05:36PM (#25158639)

    This "dongel" is simple a USB flash drive. In the instructions the users is told to set up the BIOS to boot off the dongle. Inside the flash drive is a bootable EFI emulator. If some one wanted to run Mac OS X on their PC why not simply burn the same EFI emulator onto a CD-ROM and boot off the CD?

    The dongle is for people who don't know who to set up the CDROM themselves.

  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Thursday September 25, 2008 @06:30PM (#25159343)

    If this kind of effort were to go into fixing all the problems with Linux, making Linux capable of running every application from every platform ever concieved, we could install a Mac Skin and tell Apple and MS to eat OSX and Windows.

    Seriously. Why waste your time with the futile. At least with Linux you have a chance of survival.

"In the face of entropy and nothingness, you kind of have to pretend it's not there if you want to keep writing good code." -- Karl Lehenbauer

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