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

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the not-actually-an-imperative-statement dept.

OS X 536

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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I just ordered one!! (4, Interesting)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#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]

Re:I just ordered one!! (5, Insightful)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155871)

$155 makes the Apple Premium seem reasonable.

Re:I just ordered one!! (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25155899)

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

Re:I just ordered one!! (-1, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156121)

I highly doubt anyone is really going to be factoring in the cost of OS X - one of the reasons we don't support hackintoshes in #MacOSX on Freenode.

Re:I just ordered one!! (5, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156287)

you know, i never really understood people's prejudice against mac users until now. but, wow, you're a douche.

helping people set up their hackintoshes would be a great way to expose some PC users to the benefits or advantages of OS X. someone who doesn't want to take the plunge and invest in a $3000 machine could use this dongle to try out the OS before they commit to a full Apple setup.

assuming that any hackintosh users must be pirating OS X is a rather condescending attitude towards PC users, and particular PC users who are interested in OS X.

Re:I just ordered one!! (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156475)

someone who doesn't want to take the plunge and invest in a $3000 machine could use this dongle to try out the OS before they commit to a full Apple setup.

The price of the dongle plus the price of OSX is more than enough to buy a slightly used Mac Mini.

assuming that any hackintosh users must be pirating OS X is a rather condescending attitude towards PC users, and particular PC users who are interested in OS X.

Your right its wrong to assume. But he's right, most hackintoshes are built using pirated software. Deal with it.

helping people set up their hackintoshes would be a great way to expose some PC users to the benefits or advantages of OS X.

Presumably these PC users are already sold on trying OSX given they are working on a hackintosh. And again, if these PC users are willing to shell out a few hundred bucks on dongles and a copy of the OS to try it out, they can buy a slighly used mac mini, or an older ibook. Or shell out just a little bit more and get an new mini.

Re:I just ordered one!! (0, Troll)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156611)

I'm a douche for not supporting a proven unreliable setup? Get real - unless you are running a *very* small subset of hardware, you are going to be installing one of the dozen or so different hacked OSX torrent releases. Oh, and not one single hackintosh user that I have come across in #MacOSX has ever said they are using a boxed copy of the software, the same names always come up - Maxxus, JaS etc etc.

If they want to try it out, then they can buy a second hand Mac - the same as the rest of us had to.

Oh, and your lack of information is showing - there are plenty of brand new Macs on the market for much less than $3000.

Re:I just ordered one!! (0, Troll)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156617)

assuming that any hackintosh users must be pirating OS X is a rather condescending attitude towards PC users, and particular PC users who are interested in OS X.

The statistics don't lie. You help a guy with a hackintosh and 9 times out of 10 he's downloaded OSX from some torrent.

Re:I just ordered one!! (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156129)

And Vista Ultimate cost what? (hint: $278 @ newegg.com)

Re:I just ordered one!! (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156599)

but people just buy vista for the downgrade rights to xp.

so the price of vista premium is moot.

Re:I just ordered one!! (2, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156223)

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.

Re:I just ordered one!! (1)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156467)

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:I just ordered one!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156559)

I see what you did there.

Re:I just ordered one!! (5, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156643)

I see it as Win-Win.

Isn't it more of a Mac-Mac?

(I'm so sorry, but I couldn't resist.)

Re:I just ordered one!! (2, Insightful)

Otter (3800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156283)

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.

Re:I just ordered one!! (1)

code4fun (739014) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156721)

Check out the interview EFI-X [tomshardware.com] . They cater to the enthusiasts who build their own systems and cite that Mac Pros have limited configuration options and these type of users wouldn't buy a Mac in the first place. OTOH, if this plug can be used to run on laptops, this could hurt Apple.

Being able to do software updates sets this apart from the Hackintosh. However, this is a USB device with a unique device ID and can be detected by the operating system. Apple could add checks in its core applications for the presence of this device and disable upon detection. Still, it is a neat general purpose boot device which currently has one application: boot OS X. Since it is programmable, there may be other uses in the future.

Re:I just ordered one!! (3, Interesting)

dexomn (147950) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155901)

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

Re:I just ordered one!! (5, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:I just ordered one!! (1, Funny)

Have Blue (616) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156511)

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.

Exactly. (5, Funny)

dstar (34869) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156679)

That's why Dell went under years ago, before they'd ever even really gotten started.

Re:I just ordered one!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156581)

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

And they suck. Power consumption. Bulk. Heat. Exploding capacitors. Not to mention fans, fans, fans, fans.

Buy a Mac. You'll like it.

Re:I just ordered one!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156593)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't a Mac Pro give you that? You've got the basic hardware, and the case, and a CPU - and enough slots to tweak what you'd like.

Re:I just ordered one!! (2, Interesting)

2nd Post! (213333) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156229)

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:I just ordered one!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156491)

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.

scratch the efix dongle from that list. no need for it to build a hackintosh.

Re:I just ordered one!! (2, Interesting)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156619)

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.

Re:I just ordered one!! (4, Informative)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

what is it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25155933)

Anyone know what exactly the device does?

Re:I just ordered one!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156197)

"These things are probably too cool to stay legal"

What makes you believe these things are legal now? I seriously doubt Apple has authorized any user or third party to copy Mac OS X onto a non-Apple computer. If that's the case, the only use for the dongle is to commit copyright infringement, which is illegal, and aiding copyright infringement by manufacturing and selling the dongles would also be illegal.

IANAL

Fear the fruit! (4, Interesting)

Eg0Death (1282452) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Fear the fruit! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156335)

Who cares.

This will show the MacPhags(tm) that they are NOT, in fact, unique and that they are, in fact, stupid for shelling out so damn much money for an image(and a homosexual one at that).

Now the MacPhags(tm) will have to try something new, such as meth-addled homosexual barebacking. What? That was alerady part of the MacPhag(tm) package? Damn, looks like there's nothing left for the MacPhags(tm)!

Re:Fear the fruit! (3, Interesting)

sidb (530400) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156551)

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.

finally i can eat apple (1)

Max4400 (1154375) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155919)

so, finally i can eat apple on my PC. i always wanted to try apple OS and ovoid its overpriced hardware specially here in India. Anyway, most of our application will not work on apple, so it doesn't make much sense!

Mac vs. PC (5, Funny)

CopaceticOpus (965603) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Mac vs. PC (4, Funny)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156347)

that says Dongle--with an "LE."

Re:Mac vs. PC (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156797)

well they could always do a commercial about churros in a shoe store with a famous comedian and a little butt wiggle from the 3rd richest person in the world.

but people still wouldn't buy vista, clearly if there is a $160 add on to make a PC a mac, then microsoft is doing something wrong.

Weird turnabout (0, Flamebait)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155939)

I find it a bit weird that so many people bitch a blue streak all day long about how much "Apple sucks"until they have a chance to run OS X on a PC. Then it's like "kewl dewd, I can't wait to do that!". What's up with that?

Re:Weird turnabout (0)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156029)

I find it a bit weird that so many people bitch a blue streak all day long about how much "Apple sucks"until they have a chance to run OS X on a PC. Then it's like "kewl dewd, I can't wait to do that!". What's up with that?

There are like 11 posts as I write this. How can you say "so many people" here? Or are you just pre-judging the /. crowd because it's fashionable? Ooh, look at all the rabid fanbois. What's up with that?

Re:Weird turnabout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156057)

Probably went by the summary and the article it links to.

Re:Weird turnabout (5, Insightful)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156045)

News flash.. multiple people have multiple opinions on various topics!

In other words, it's not generally the same individuals making both of those claims.

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156071)

I find it a bit weird that so many people bitch a blue streak all day long about how much "Apple sucks"until they have a chance to run OS X on a PC. Then it's like "kewl dewd, I can't wait to do that!". What's up with that?

Possibly it's different people?

Several possibilities (2, Insightful)

vecctor (935163) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156097)

1. You could be talking about two groups of people and so the people that say "Apple sucks" are not the same people saying they would try this.

2. The reasons they are saying "Apple sucks" could be related to any number of things Apple does, most of which have nothing to do with the quality of their OS. There are lots of those.

For an example of #2, if one were to lambaste Apple because their computers are overpriced, or they don't sell one within a particular price range, that person would not be a hypocrite for using this dongle (in fact, exactly the opposite - since they could put OSX on a cheap, high-spec PC).

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156125)

Just because you like OSX doesn't mean you have to like their hardware.

Re:Weird turnabout (5, Funny)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156127)

Once there was a fox. Not a firefox, just a regular fox. As he was walking by the orchard, he spied some apples. They looked lickably delicious, but out of reach. He tried jumping, he tried climbing, he tried shaking the tree, but they were out of reach, so, as he walked away, he told himself, "they were probably sour.". Then he raped a penguin.

Re:Weird turnabout (3, Funny)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156543)

And this your honor, is why Grand Theft Auto is bad !

Re:Weird turnabout (1, Interesting)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156249)

That's because people:

-- don't like how Apple's hardware is always more expensive, even though it's older than what's available for the PC

-- don't like how Apple locks customers in to using said hardware

-- but do like the software, because it's powerful, "just works" is harder than PC software to mess up and is fun to use.

In the fine /. tradition of using car analogies, it's like finding the car of your dreams except it only runs on biodiesel, which is not available in your community, and is right-hand drive only (and you're in North America.) Then, you discover, that you can run it on normal diesel and right-hand drives are legal after all.

I really stretched the hell out of that, didn't I.

Re:Weird turnabout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156365)

I really stretched the hell out of that, didn't I.

There's a "your mom" joke there, but I am not touching it.

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

Jabbrwokk (1015725) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156731)

Why is this modded troll? I pointed out a few things people don't like about Apple, and one thing they really do like. Then I used a car analogy. It's classic Slashdot and I thought I was fair.

For the record I use Apple computers every day and like them a lot. This post was created on a Mac.

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

drfireman (101623) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156355)

Companies can suck and still produce products you'd like to use. I don't particularly like Apple (or Microsoft), but I do have reasons to want to run OSX (and Windows). One of the reasons I don't like Apple is because they make it difficult for me to support their platform, specifically by making it difficult to run on third-party or (more important to me) virtual hardware. I understand why, but understanding doesn't make me like them. There are lots of other reasons to dislike Apple, of course (e.g., their promotion of DRM-encrusted music), and very few of them are inconsistent with wanting to run OSX on the hardware of your choice. So for me, Apple does suck, and I'd still be pretty happy if I could run their OS more conveniently.

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156405)

I find it a bit weird that so many people bitch a blue streak all day long about how much "Apple sucks"until they have a chance to run OS X on a PC. Then it's like "kewl dewd, I can't wait to do that!". What's up with that?

Apple sells very expensive hardware. Previously when it was all PowerPC they could justify this by saying "Well you can't compare the PowerPC to a x86 chip it's just not the same and you just don't get it!" Now that they're using Intel chips it's much easier to point out how much the hardware is being marked up for two similarly equipped computers.

Plus they have a complete lack of choice, you can either have some cookie cutter mac mini, an imac, or a customizable (in the sense that you can replace the video card or install some other PCI cards) Mac Pro for the low low price of $2,300...

Oh you don't want a quad core intel xeon system? Well go with the imac... Oh you want something a little more powerful than an imac without the cost of the Mac Pro? Sucks for you...

The only reason I actually own a mac is because I want to use some of the software you can only use on a Mac (really it's only aperture, lightroom just doesn't do it for me.) I ended up buying a MacBook Pro for $2,200 but I could have an equally powerful PC for $1,500. Unfortunately the PC won't nicely run Mac OS X and I'm not really in the mood to try and shoehorn the software onto a PC, so instead I go with the mac.

It's not a terrible computer, in fact I think it's a great computer, it has great software on it but the lack of hardware choices are what kill it.

Re:Weird turnabout (4, Insightful)

PDHoss (141657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156493)

Because for all their high-and-mighty pontificating about "freedom" and "rights" and "DRM" and whatever, most people just like to get stuff for free/cheap.

Would Apple or the RIAA or Sony or whoever all of a sudden one day say "It's illegal to copy and share our stuff, but we promise never to come after you," you can bet your ass that the threads ranting about "my rights!" would dry up lickety-split. Because for the overwhelming majority of folks, it's not about the principle of the thing -- it's about you getting in the way of me getting stuff for free.

Sad, but true for all except a limited number of genuinely-involved purists.

Re:Weird turnabout (1)

pyrr (1170465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156745)

Try these (among other explanations):

  • Maybe they just like to make the Baby Steve Jobs cry.
  • It's like, totally sticking-it-to-The-Man when you get the software to work on platforms they don't want you to run it on, even if you just gave them a fistful of cash.
  • It's a hack, so it HAS to be cool!

Intel Only (3, Interesting)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Intel Only (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156141)

Uh, I'm sure Apple will get right on that. I mean, why not support computer setups your OS isn't designed to work on? The reason this is Intel only is because Apple is Intel only, and this motherboard happens to be close enough to what they're using.

Re:Intel Only (1)

Gazzonyx (982402) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156425)

Yeah, but it's still x86 architecture. The registers are the same, disregarding extensions such as SSE, etc.

Re:Intel Only (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156531)

The CPU ID is different, the chipsets are different (can't get an Intel chipset for an AMD processor), etc. x86 covers a lot of ground, including a lot of embedded systems that look nothing like PCs.

Apple builds to one hardware configuration, which is all-Intel. They don't bother writing their software to support anything else, so you can't do trivial hacks to make it work. You can certainly do non-trivial hacks (like writing your own drivers), but it's silly to expect it to work out of the box just because you plug in a dongle.

Why is this needed? (4, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155951)

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?

Re:Why is this needed? (5, Informative)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Why is this needed? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156163)

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.

Wrong.
No hacked kernel needed.

It is just a hw layer that adds EFI to the exiting PC box. Nothing more.
With compatible hw, leopard can install and run smoothly.
There can be some issues with sleep, shutdown and restart, indeed.

I would say that this is a fantastic and cheap way to try Apple O.S. (a fantastic O.S. I must add...) for a while before buying a real mac.
I appreciate such efforts.

Re:Why is this needed? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156017)

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...

Re:Why is this needed? (1)

bishiraver (707931) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156395)

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.

Re:Why is this needed? (0)

komische_amerikaner (1365847) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156065)

My guess is that you can install the Dongle and run the OS/X from the Dongle, instead of partitioning and dual-booting. Not only that, but portability of an OS from Old Machine to New Machine would be kinda nice...although storage of files when Dongle is installed would be local only?

Re:Why is this needed? (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156101)

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.

Re:Why is this needed? (3, Interesting)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156633)

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.

The Future of Efix's Dongles... (1, Funny)

uberlinuxguy (586546) | more than 5 years ago | (#25155991)

Hello Efix,
My name is *High Powered Apple Lawyer* This piece of papers says we now own your souls. Would everyone please line up on this platform and proceed down the plank into the meat grinder.

Sincerely,
Apple.

(The following day a new 'security update' is released to Mac OS X rendering the dongles useless.)

28 days later... (3, Insightful)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156043)

... 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.

Re:28 days later... (1)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156217)

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.

Re:28 days later... (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156263)

Ahh, the Iphone approach raises its ugly head.

Re:28 days later... (1)

sesshomaru (173381) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156367)

I'm not sure which I'd be more upset about if I woke up from a coma, the Infected or the fact that my PC couldn't run OSX anymore!

Re:28 days later... (1)

mugnyte (203225) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156541)

  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 betcha!

Re:28 days later... (1)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156589)

Steal money ? The cash for the OSX install disc doesn't count then ?

Firmware Updates (1)

copponex (13876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156613)

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 even worried about it. Apple won't pick the fight if there's an even slight chance they could lose.

Yeah but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156047)

Yeah but does it run Linux?

Stubborn (2, Interesting)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156061)

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 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156111)

Like many other posters on Slashdot, you Just Don't Get It.

Apple doesn't make money on their software. OS X, iTunes Music Store, Final Cut Pro, etc -- all of this things are sold on a razor-slim profit margin. They serve as a reason to buy Apple's hardware, which is where the real money is. If OS X worked on commodity hardware, nobody would buy Apple hardware, and that's why you will never see OS X on commodity hardware.

Re:the real money (1)

Migraineman (632203) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156495)

Eh? (If I'm missing sarcasm here, I'll pre-apologize.)

Apple makes buckets of money on the software. COGS is minimal, where the COGS on hardware is pretty substantial. You can download apps, eliminating the physical media. Very profitable. Consider this too - you buy one computer, but buy many applications to run on it. The hardware is the enabler for the software purchases. It's kinda like machine tools - you'll buy a mill or a lathe, then spend 3x that amount tooling up to use the machine.

Apple has no desire to run their OS on any machine slapped together from parts. They're interested in providing a user experience, and in order to control the quality level, they need to control the platform. I can envision them having better financials if they could be strictly a software shop running on someone else's configuration-controlled hardware.

Re:Stubborn (3, Interesting)

mstahl (701501) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156215)

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.

Re:Stubborn (1)

JohnnyKrisma (593145) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156485)

So how would you "push their OS" more? Those damned Mac vs PC ads are everywhere, their market share has been going up for a couple years now, and Microsoft just put out ads directly attacking their ads. If you don't think Microsoft is worried, you're a fool. If Macs get some traction in IT circles, then you'll see MS really shit a brick.

Just need a test system (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156091)

I just wish that someone could just VM an OSX image. I don't need it directly for myself, but friends have IT questions that I help them with from time to time, and I'm unable to do so without anything to play with.

Any recommendations? If I install FreeBSD, would I get a sandbox to learn where to click to set up shares? This stuff is so easy on Linux and Windows because I know exactly where to go.

Re:Just need a test system (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156369)

There are VMWare images floating around online you can download that have os x installed on them.

Awesome (3, Insightful)

speedingant (1121329) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (0, Flamebait)

abakus (1338209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156181)

Why should PC users bother paying for the ability to run an inferior OS?

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156251)

Inferior to what, exactly?

Re:Why bother? (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156499)

Inferior to what, exactly?

Inferior to whatever answer will enrage you the most! You took the bait, so now give him the flames.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156341)

Why should PC users bother paying for the ability to run an inferior OS?

Why should they? You're right. There's no need to. They already *are*

Why bother? (4, Insightful)

Uniquitous (1037394) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Why bother? (1)

MattBD (1157291) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156415)

While I agree with you about OS X compared to Linux (I especially hate the installer, it's not a patch on apt-get), it would be handy for dual-booting if you want to do something that's Mac-specific (such as port an application to it), or wanted to test websites in various browsers on different operating systems, without having to buy a new computer.

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156659)

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 workstation and priced accordingly. The iMac is supposed to serve the midrange, but many sophisticated buyers don't care for the iMac's AIO form factor. If Apple were to come out with a midrange tower again, there would be much less of a desire and demand for OS X on normal PCs.

Not quite a USB dongle (4, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 5 years ago | (#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).

Uhhh.. You can already do this without the dongle (5, Insightful)

cculianu (183926) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156317)

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?

Re:Uhhh.. You can already do this without the dong (4, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Their website is STILL not using SSL (5, Informative)

CerebusUS (21051) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Slashdot violate Apple's NDA (0, Flamebait)

ilovesymbian (1341639) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156427)

Slashdot violated Apple's NDA by revealing too much info about Apple, so Slashdot's Apple SDK license will be canceled without further notice.

Ahem, Apple will not allow the Apple section Slashdot anymore. :-/

hmmm (1)

thatskinnyguy (1129515) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156445)

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.

Expensive dongle is expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156465)

That's stupid, why would you waste $155 when you could do it without a dongle for free?

I think it's a hoax (1)

removebeforeflight (1370605) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156523)

I sure as hell will not be the first person to order one of these things. Their site is pretty shady looking. I encourage you to spend some time checking it out. If you ordered one of these and it worked please post here and tell us about it! ADVthanksANCE

Let us not forget: Apple-labeled (2, Informative)

mr_zorg (259994) | more than 5 years ago | (#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...

I don't think it hurts Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25156573)

toys like these only makes OSX more popular!!

He said "dongle", huh huh... (1)

zukezuke (1353779) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156691)

It's juvenile and immature, but it still cracks me up that these devices are called DONGLES. What jokester invented that name anyways? I can hardly read or say that word to people or in the store without laughing or at least cracking a smile. "Where do you guys keep your dongles?" "Do you have a dongle for (insert your hardware need)"

It sounds cool (5, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156783)

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.

Legal Implications (1)

rift321 (1358397) | more than 5 years ago | (#25156801)

For those of us not 100% familiar with the technical and legal aspects of how Apple is able to allow the installation of its OS on only Apple machines, could someone educate me? I also want to know the measures Apple can/will take from a software standpoint to prevent this in the future. What's keeping them from modifying OSX to search for "banned" connected components and prevent booting?
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