The Sandy Bridge Hackintosh
Run Mac OS X on Intel's new Core i
My challenge from Reg Hardware: build a PC, install Mac OS X on it, and explain how you can do it too.
Today's Macs use standard Intel-type components. A key difference from Windows is that Mac OS X loads though a boot mechanism known as EFI (Extensible Firmware Interface). Some obscure Apple-proprietary concoction, no doubt? Far from it. EFI, now officially called UEFI - the 'U' stands for 'universal' - is an open standard, originally devised by Intel as a replacement for the ageing Bios boot system.
Unlike the 16-bit Bios, EFI can be 32- or 64-bit, and is much more flexible. In particular, with suitable hardware, you can tweak EFI to persuade a Mac OS X installer that it's installing onto a Mac. A generic Intel machine on which you're running the Mac operating system has become known as a "Hackintosh".
A Hackintosh, yesterday
So What Needs Hacking?
Pioneer Hackintoshers had to hack the official Mac operating system. These days it's easier: you just buy the standard Snow Leopard installation disk from the Apple Store, and rely on EFI to set up the hardware environment and install the necessary kexts.
Kexts, or "kernel extensions", are the Mac world's equivalent of Windows' drivers. They connect intimately with the operating system kernel - the processing centre of the operating system - to allow it to handle hardware components like the Ethernet port, the sound sub-system and so on.
The open source community has become pretty good at developing EFI tweaks and kext modifications to make Mac OS X feel at home with a wide variety of hardware. Recently these core coders have been joined by others who have set themselves the task of presenting all this to the end user in friendly, problem-free packages.
Bottom line: today it's a breeze to build your own Hackintosh, or adapt existing hardware to run the latest version of Mac OS X, Snow Leopard.
Next page: Across the Sandy Bridge
"You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-branded computer..."
One could "agree" to anything in an EULA - like "agreeing" to only install Apple Software while performing un-anaesthetised self-circumcision, and it thankfully it wouldn't make a blind bit of difference to the legal status of the software. If an EULA were to have the legal status of a contract, it would for one thing have to comply with contract law and that means, among other things, that you can't just throw in arbitrary conditions to the detriment of one party.
There's a reason why these things never really get tested in court - when they got slapped down as is only right and proper, companies wouldn't be able to continue the pretence that they actually are contracts.
I suspect anyway, that non-commercial hackintoshing provides a net benefit to Apple through people upgrading to real machines, so it's win-win situation as-is.
Convinced this is perfectly legal
I'm not legally qualified, but am convinced this is perfectly lawful. You have bought a piece of software. Whatever anyone says, the transaction is a sale just as much as the purchase of a book or chisel or CD is a sale. The seller wants to restrict what you do with it after you have bought it. I don't believe any UK court is going to uphold this.
In the first place its going to fall foul of consumer protection legislation which restricts what conditions you can impose in cases where the balance of power between consumer and supplier is heavily in favour of the company - which in this case it is.
Second, you have not consented to the restrictions, nor had them made clear to you, before purchase of the product.
Third, post-sale restrictions on use which do not originate from public interest concerns are not generally enforceable. If its a matter of forbidding any but the supplier to refill a certain kind of fuel tank, and there is a genuine health and safety issue, it will probably be enforceable. If its just XYZ saying you shall not play this CD on players made by ABC, no way.
Basically, they have sold you a copy. What you do with it is up to you. They have not sold you 'the software' any more than a bookseller has sold you 'the book'. What they have sold you is one copy. If you want to read this copy in the bath, that's up to you.
This article is full of win
What's happened to El Reg?
It's like you guys have just improved like a quantum leap just this past week or so with great stuff (Lester's Sci Fi thing, the < 100 quid ebay thing, this... oh wait, we need more playmobil though)
Keep it up!