Apple said to have axed Atom support from OS X 10.6.2
Hackintosh netbook builders worried by lone blogger's claim
Apple has axed support for Intel's Atom processor from the as-yet-unreleased Mac OS X 10.6.2, it has been claimed. If true, the move will hinder anyone keen to create a micro Mac laptop from any of the many netbooks on sale today.
The claim comes from a blogger called Stell who posts on matters pertinent to the hackintosh community and author of an hackinosh OS installer tool called EP45-UD3P.
Says Stell: "In the current developer build of 10.6.2, Apple appears to have changed around a lot of CPU-related information. One of the effects of this is Apple killing off Intel’s Atom chip."
It's not at all clear from that what Apple might have done to "kill off" the Atom chip, which is designed to be as fully x86-compatible as any of the Core 2 Duo processors a lot of genuine Intel-based Macs are based on. Presumably, Apple has used the CPU ID to spot what the OS is being booted on and stop the process if it detects an Atom CPU.
Whether this has been done intentionally to stop netbook hackintosh builders - who can still use 10.6.1 - or cloners like Psystar, or is even an unintentional byproduct of another 10.6.2 feature, isn't known. Nor is it known if other Intel CPUs have also been shoved out in the cold.
Perhaps Apple has decided that an End-User Licence Agreement that forbids the installation of Mac OS X on any computer that doesn't carry an Apple label - you can see our Apple-labelled Sony Vaio one here, courtesy of Apple's own stickers - isn't strong enough to put off the small DIY clone community or those interested in cloning for profit.
It's all a bit sledgehammer-to-crack-a-nut, of course, since, especially as far as the hackintosh community goes. We doubt Apple is losing serious sales numbers as a result of these folk. Indeed, it's surely better for Apple to sell a copy of Mac OS X than have one of these guys run Linux or Windows on a machine Apple's going to make no money out of one way or the other. But perhaps it simply sees these hackers as the thin edge of a wedge, especially if it gets as easy as creating a hackintosh is these days.
Or Stell may simply have got his or her wires crossed. So far there has been no third-party corroboration the claim. ®
BeefStirFry has a point
If you wanted to buy a desktop, you'd want it to be reasonably cheap, and reasonably capable, and reasonably expandable. (I'm thinking a core2 duo/quad/i5 box not a frickin' xeon).
With Apple, what do you have?
Mac Pro... or ...
Shitty iMacs... WTF ... I never could understand this... All the _DISADVANTAGES_ of a _LAPTOP_ and _DESKTOP_ combined into one 'sexy' package. Puh-leeez......
Mac Mini? Cute, yes. Cheaper, very portable, like a brick, can chuck it in a corner and use it as server. Ultimately slightly better than an imac, but still... not what I would consider a desktop.
Why do Apple have such a gap in their product line?
@BeefStirFry - if you are really looking at salving your conscience, just buy an OS X install. I believe you can find Apple stickers, stick it on your computer and there you are, heh. If you already are running a 'real' OSX I think you're feeling guilty for nothing :P
"Now I have the equivalent of a MacPro (Q6600 Quadcore Processor, 4Gb RAM, ATI HD4850), but at the cost of less than a Mac Mini."
I guess you have never looked inside a Mac.
Nope the MacPro costs that kind of money because it users server quad Xeons and ECC parity RAM all more expensive than your toy computer. I guess you have never looked inside a Mac.
@Giles Jones, @Mark Dowling
The netbook hackintosh community is a bit different from the wider hackintosh community. One key thing is that it is based on installing from a genuine OSX install disc. It doesn't rely on installing from hacked, p2p versions of OSX, but instead simulates the EFI environment so that it can be installed from standard OSX install discs. This is somwehat pragmatic (since it makes updates and maintenance easier) but is also a moral choice by the main developers. The installation guides emphasise this, as do discussions in the forums.
As for whinging when something doesn't work, that doesn't happen. Everyone recognises that this is an installation which can causes problems (although surprisingly few). And any discussions around problems take place in that context.
Many of the people using netbook hackintoshes actually own other macs too (I own three myself) but like the netbook for various reasons. Personally, I like the form factor and that's why I use one. Apple aren't losing a sale from me, because they don't make the machine that I'm after (i.e. an Apple netbook). In fact, they are gaining a sale of OSX from me (well, two actually ... first Leopard, then Snow Leopard).
Or maybe ...
Or maybe it's just about generating publicity. Rumours are good for doing that.
Apple fanbois will buy Apple, the rest of us ( Linux and Windows fanbois ) will simply wonder why anyone wants to run OSX at all. So while the minority of poverty-struck OSX fanbois who cannot afford Apple hardware bitch, everyone else looks-on bemused, Apple get a heap of free publicity.
Hackintosh fanbois need to wake up and realise Apple has no love for them, the rest of us don't really care. Apple has little love for anyone but Apple fanbois.
Correction Apples have always been PCs (personal computers) as opposed to mini comps, main frames etc it's just most people don't actually know any real computing history anymore. Hackers do not attack comuter systems they are crackers and the ones who used to attack phone systems phreakers. Pendant over.
Personally I couldn't give a flying as I use GNU/Linux and FreeBSD