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Psystar's Rebel EFI Hackintosh Tool Reviewed, Found Wanting

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the weighed-in-the-balance dept.

Desktops (Apple) 328

CWmike writes "While the world focused on Microsoft's launch of Windows 7, Florida-based Psystar quietly launched Rebel EFI, a software product that should worry Apple a lot more than Microsoft's latest operating system. Rebel EFI allows users to run Apple's flagship operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, on non-Apple hardware. Computerworld test drove the making of a Hackintosh out of a generic PC with the company's new software package and found a product that has a lot of homework still to do. Reviewer Frank Ohlhorst's final analysis: 'Psystar's Rebel EFI (a free trial is available) is an interesting tool, but it is very limited when it comes to the selection of hardware that you can use. The company really needs to create a compatible hardware list and post that on its Web site — and it also needs to create some usable documentation. As it stands right now, you can use Rebel EFI to build a Mac clone, but unless you stick to relatively generic hardware, you will be disappointed.'"

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So in other words... (5, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879379)

As it stands right now, you can use Rebel EFI to build a Mac clone, but unless you stick to relatively generic hardware, you will be disappointed

So in other words an OS made to run and tested only on 6 or 7 different major configurations of computers is going to need some tweaking before it can run on other, untested and unsupported hardware? This is hardly a suprise. Next thing is we're going to have a story saying that iPhone OS doesn't run so great on the G1...

Re:So in other words... (0)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879433)

Yeah, no kidding. Has there ever *been* Intel graphics support for Mac OS X? It's hard enough getting *Linux* to support all the chipsets in a modern laptop, much less an OS designed for a very limited hardware ecosystem.

Of course, not being able to support random, off-the-shelf, cheapo PC hardware largely defeats the purpose of such a tool, so I'm interested in how they plan to work around it. New drivers for the OS or some kind of virtualization layer?

Re:So in other words... (3, Informative)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879451)

A lot of Apple computers use the intel GMA950.

Re:So in other words... (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879647)

They seem to have fallen in love with the nVidia GeForce 9400M for offerings like the Mini and Macbook/Macbook Air, but you're right. I've seen several of them with an Intel GMA 950, and I could swear I've seen a couple with a Intel GMA 4500MHD as well. Many Mac versions of games will list the GMA 950 as the minimum system requirement to play the game... SecondLife and WoW are among them. (I don't really look that hard, just what I've been asked to support. Truth be told, I run a hodgepodge of operating systems/computers, and not one of them is actually a Mac)

Re:So in other words... (2, Informative)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879765)

None have the 4500, but plenty had the X3100.

Re:So in other words... (0, Redundant)

Dog-Cow (21281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879769)

I'm posting this reply from a Macbook running Snow Leopard with GMA950 graphics.

Re:So in other words... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880509)

Thanks for clarifying it, for all these years I was puzzled as to what integrated graphics chipset you were running.

Re:So in other words... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880031)

Sadly, including the MacBook I wrote the above post on. Just not my day today.

Re:So in other words... (1)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879475)

I think it's fairly likely that they'll simply be happy to sell you hardware that is compatible.

Re:So in other words... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879551)

Not that I don't aGree with you, but is Apple's Good hardwarE Really worth the cost anyway?

Re:So in other words... (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879595)

Whilst your point is valid, intel was the wrong target to pick. Linux supports it better than pretty much anything else, and I'm pretty sure a fair number of intel Macs have had intel graphics too.

Re:So in other words... (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879639)

Another way to put it would be to say that Intel supports Linux (this is only a vague impression on my part, but I'm pretty sure I have it right).

Re:So in other words... (4, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879675)

Yes, you do have it right, they release specs and they actively contribute code and developer time, they're a good friend to Linux.

Re:So in other words... (1)

Valdrax (32670) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880005)

Whilst your point is valid, intel was the wrong target to pick. Linux supports it better than pretty much anything else, and I'm pretty sure a fair number of intel Macs have had intel graphics too.

Oh, I wasn't trying to say that I thought Linux has poor support for Intel video (though my experience with Intel audio, particularly headphone jack detection, has been less stellar).

But I was apparently wrong on Macs having Intel video, though. Hell, it turns out that the MacBook I'm using right now has a GMA 950 in it. Egg on my face.

Re:So in other words... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879665)

Pystar is trying to get around Apple suing them for the "clone" of Snow Leopard. This is supposed to be a "generic" MacOS clone..which seems to me would make it pretty much UNIX BSD. Of course who BSD is owned by many different people in bits and pieces but the distribution is still owned by Cal Berkley. Check out groklaw for details of Pystar vs Apple and the history of UNIX which is part of the SCO vs IBM and SCO vs Novell case about System V Unix code being in Linux. I give Apple about a week before they file suit and seek an injunction blocking this product. Unless this product is truly unique in the code being created from scratch without use of any MacOS driver code or UNIX driver codes I see a ton of lawsuits coming.

Re:So in other words... (4, Informative)

camperslo (704715) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880189)

Pystar is trying to get around Apple suing them for the "clone" of Snow Leopard. This is supposed to be a "generic" MacOS clone..which seems to me would make it pretty much UNIX BSD.

Not sure how that got modded up... it's entirely wrong. While the hardware Pystar has sold might be called a clone (it's just PC hardware with known-compatible chips), they are NOT providing a clone as an alternative to OS X. The OS X that is installed is the actual retail version. They're loading some things to allow it to install (emulating the Mac EFI, IIRC), and providing some drivers/patches to get some hardware to work.

Re:So in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880269)

>> I see a ton of lawsuits coming.

Or, from your post, it looks like you hope a ton of lawsuits from your beloved company - Apple.

[sigh] (4, Informative)

Space cowboy (13680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880323)

OSX uses the xnu kernel (a derivative of Mach). It is not based on BSD, and only provides a BSD userland to make things easier for developers/users. Xnu is open-source.

Having said that, a huge chunk of the user-visible runtime is not open-source, and Apple maintain an actively protective stance over it. I agree with the lawsuits comment...

Simon.

Athiests as a Majority (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879385)

This is what it would be like, if the majority of people were athiests.

ATHIEST KID: Mom, I'm going to go fuck a hooker.
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, son.
ATHIEST KID: Afterwards, I'm going to go smoke pot with my friends, since it's "not addictive."
ATHIEST MOM: Okay, come home soon!

The athiest kid leaves the room. The father comes home from work several minutes later.

ATHIEST DAD: Hey!
ATHIEST MOM: Hi, honey! I'm pregnant again. I guess I'll just get another abortion, since "fetuses don't count as human life."
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, get as many abortions as you want!
ATHIEST MOM: Oh, and don't go in the bedroom.
ATHIEST DAD: Why not?
ATHIEST MOM: There are two gay men fucking eachother in there.
ATHIEST DAD: Why are they here?
ATHIEST MOM: I wanted to watch them do it for awhile. They just aren't finished yet.
ATHIEST DAD: Okay, that's fine with me!

Suddenly, their neighbor runs into the house.

ATHIEST NEIGHBOR: Come quick, there's a Christian outside!
ATHIEST MOM: We'll be right there!

The athiest couple quickly put on a pair of black robes and hoods. They then exit the house, and run into the street, where a Christian is nailed to a large, wooden X. He is being burned alive. A crowd of athiests stand around him, all wearing black robes and hoods.

RANDOM ATHIEST: Damn you, Christian! We hate you! We claim to be tolerant of all religions. But we really hate your's! That's because we athiests are hypocritical like that! Die, Christian!

THE END

Scary, isn't it?

Re:Athiests as a Majority (-1, Offtopic)

Fizzl (209397) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879411)

what is this i dont even

Re:Athiests as a Majority (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879705)

Sir. You are not supposed to drink the bong water.

Re:Athiests as a Majority (1, Insightful)

porl (932021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879993)

you have made a very strong point, but not the point i think you wanted to make. congratulations, you ignorant moron.

Re:Athiests as a Majority (1, Interesting)

obarthelemy (160321) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880535)

Does that Christian university STILL have that course that gives credit for Christian postings on "difficult" websites ? Do they have an integrated kindergarten ?

Or, if we are about the open source, (5, Informative)

James_Duncan8181 (588316) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879391)

http://chameleon.osx86.hu/ [osx86.hu]
The same, but FOSS. Some even suggest the same codebase, but I of course would never be cynical enough to suggest that or that running strings on both if someone had a spare moment might be interesting.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879437)

What is it with unethically derivative commercial tools for running OSX on PCs? Back in the PPC days, there was the whole CherryOS [wikipedia.org] thing, that turned out to be a straight rip-off of pearPC. And now this.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879539)

Because Apple uses dubious means to prevent people from running OSX on computers they don't bless. There's always going to be a market for it as long as Apple refuses to allow for people to just install on whatever hardware they want.

As for unethical, it's not unethical in the least unless you're stealing the code directly. It's hypocritical beyond belief whenever somebody says that it's unethical to use Apple software in a way that Apple doesn't approve. Makes me wonder what that makes anybody that runs software based heavily on designs lifted from elsewhere.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (4, Insightful)

zn0k (1082797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879561)

He's talking about Psystar being unethical in - potentially - taking an open and free tool that does the same thing and re-branding it and charging for it without giving credit.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (2, Insightful)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879781)

But we already knew that psystar was unethical in taking a semi-open operating system and boot loader, and copying it without a license.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879917)

When you buy a Psystar mac clone you're buying a valid license of OSX, you're just not buying the mac hardware.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (4, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880047)

The catch here is that Apple's Mac OS X license forbids installation on anything but a "Macintosh Brand Computer", hence when you install snow leopard you are violating its license. That's the main sticking point. Not that I like stupid tie-downs in licenses like that, but the law looks to be on Apple's side. Pystar themselves may not be violating the license, but they're blatantly assisting and encouraging their customers to do so. Should make for an entertaining battle...

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880201)

Those kind of licenses aren't valid in the UK (and parts of the EU I think). You cant impose conditions after the point of sale.

Couldn't they also get around that by supplying any piece of apple hardware that has a processor.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (0, Troll)

philipgar (595691) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880153)

Are they buying a full valid license of OSX? Does apple even sell full version of their OS that don't come bundled with their hardware? Buying snow leopard upgrades for $29.99 and installing that on a new machine doesn't sound like it makes it legal to me...

Phil

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880257)

from my understanding, They were buying licenses.Apple didn't like it and sued. So round 2, they are supplying a tool that allows you to install Mac software, but are not supplying the Mac software.And Apple will sue.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (2, Informative)

srh2o (442608) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880563)

Yeah damn those Compaq guys...err Psystar

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (5, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879599)

As for unethical, it's not unethical in the least unless you're stealing the code directly

Which is basically what CherryOS was doing. They took the PearPC code, slapped a CherryOS logo on it and distributed/sold it.

It's hypocritical beyond belief whenever somebody says that it's unethical to use Apple software in a way that Apple doesn't approve. Makes me wonder what that makes anybody that runs software based heavily on designs lifted from elsewhere.

I don't think you understand what he was saying. He wasn't saying that it was unethical to use this to run Mac OS X but rather it seems to be heavily borrowed from a F/OSS project much as how CherryOS basically took PearPC and changed it to make it look like a different product. That is unethical.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (3, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879911)

Do you really hear yourself? Apple could care less if Joe User comes in, buys OS X [apple.com] , and makes a hackintosh. They do care when some business comes in, takes their intellectual property, packages it in competing hardware, and sells it as their own. I'm also sure they do have a problem with folks who go out and download it via Torrent. Psystar can't even prove that they bought OS X. They 'lost' their receipts. Funny thing that...

There is nothing 'dubious' about it. Apple owns OS X. They can license it to whoever they choose. You may not like it, but that doesn't make what Psystar is doing right. If someone else tries to make profit off of Apples product without license from Apple, then Apple is absolutely within their rights to prevent it.

Think you can do it better, than purchase something Like NeXT and design your own with your own time and money and then Open Source your result.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880073)

Do you really hear yourself? Apple could care less if Joe User comes in, buys OS X [apple.com] , and makes a hackintosh.

Actually, Apple has a big problem with that. Apple sells computers and iPods. Everything else they sell, including Mac OS X, is centered around selling more computers and iPods/iPhones. Some of it is arguably sold at a loss. (c'mon, snow leopard for $29? bundling OS X Server Unlimited with a mac mini for $999?)

So yes, they really do care about people building hackintoshes. Some may say they're taking too big of a step as it is to make it hard to do. I say they're being surprisingly lax about it. But then again part of Apple's image is trying to stay akin to Google's "do no evil", and they probably feel they're pushing it about as hard as they can get away with without doing significant damage to that.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (2, Insightful)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880115)

Can you name a single instance where Apple has prosecuted someone for making a hackintosh in their home?

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (0)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880289)

>> takes their intellectual property

Wait, BSD? Apple owns it?? When did that happen?

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880383)

Was that supposed to be clever? Apple owns OS X. No one claimed they owned BSD. OS X was developed, marketed, and sold by Apple. It is not BSD, although it has it's roots in BSD. NeXT was based on FreeBSD and NetBSD. OS X was derived from NeXT.

Think you could do better? It's perfectly legal to take open source, package it, and sell it if the license allows. Take the path that Apple did. Of course you'd need developers, tons of money, and then more cash to market it. They own OS X. Any arguments to the contrary are just slight of hand.

Psystar didn't do that. They took a product owned by someone else and sold it as their own. Hell, they are doing the same thing to the OSX86 community and all their work. I find it curious that people will try to defend Psystar when they are turning their thumbs at the very same open source community.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880497)

Do you really hear yourself? Apple could care less if Joe User comes in, buys OS X , and makes a hackintosh.

They would go after them if they could.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880347)

http://chameleon.osx86.hu/ [osx86.hu]

The same, but FOSS. Some even suggest the same codebase, but I of course would never be cynical enough to suggest that or that running strings on both if someone had a spare moment might be interesting.

It actually sounds more like a rebadged Boot132 [wikipedia.org] to me. Possibly with Chameleon for a bootloader.

Re:Or, if we are about the open source, (1, Troll)

dr00g911 (531736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880461)

I'll come out and suggest the same codebase and be shocked if it wasn't a straight up PC-EFI 9 or the latest Chameleon + EFI combo. All Pystar has done is slap their own branding on existing OSX86 tools since the beginning.

They're more than kinda shady and I feel really sorry for folks who bought one of their insta-hackintoshes and didn't have the technical know-how to compile drivers / hack efi strings etc to keep their "Mac" running properly.

Moral of the story: if you're gonna do it, build one yourself so you can learn how to support your own build.

Pystar's gonna get sued into oblivion soon, and good riddance.

You're kidding me (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879417)

Apple didn't take the time to write drivers and support hardware that it doesn't use? No way.

The problem... (3, Insightful)

mattventura (1408229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879421)

...is that it turns it into a cat-and-mouse game. Just like the Apple vs Palm USB issue. Apple will find a way to prevent OS X from running on this, and people will have a system where any software update could brick their computer. Then the Psystar team will find a way around that. Rinse, repeat. So I can either ignore upgrades, use a different OS, or actually buy a Mac. Sounds like some great choices.

Re:The problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879823)

Use a different OS sounds like the right choice for most people. Whether it is Linux, FreeBSD, Windows, or some other - none of them try to lock you into specific hardware choices like Mac OS. For those that really want or need Mac OS - buy a Mac instead of trying to build a CheapinTosh.

Re:The problem... (2, Interesting)

armanox (826486) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880589)

Well, not in the consumer market at least. If you remember NeXTSTEP, IRIX, AIX, HP-UX, among others, that only ran on certain hardware. And Windows locks you into x86 based computers.

Virtualization (4, Interesting)

corychristison (951993) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879457)

I am waiting for the ability to run it ala VirtualBox or Vmware Player/Workstation.

I don't have any use for my Mac mini other than checking some web design comparability with Safari under OSX (Win port does not like WINE). I can run XP under VirtualBox no problems but the Win Port of Safari isn't exactly the same anyway.

I don't like having yet another piece of hardware I don't even need sitting around. I already have two desktops, 2 laptop, media center pc and my homebuilt router (ITX board w/ dual Gb lan + gb switch + wifi card running pfSense).

Perhaps this Rebel product will lead the way into running OSX under virtualized hardware?

Re:Virtualization (2, Informative)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879555)

Don't count on it. The problem with virtualization is that it requires the virtualized OS to be as cooperative to the whole affair as possible, since it needs to be fooled into thinking it has unfettered access to the system, which in many ways is much harder than just getting the OS to run natively on the hardware. Windows and Linux are becoming more virtualization-friendly every day since their developers have realized that their operating systems are being virtualized on a regular basis, but since there is no Apple-approved way to virtualize OS X, it would be a fairly trivial matter for them to make it as unfriendly to virtualize as possible. If that doesn't sound like such a big deal, consider how many strange bugs there are in VMs where the virtualized operating system is TRYING to make it as easier on the VM.

Is Apple doing this at the moment? Probably not. Would they if they saw OS X virtualization becoming widespread against their will? Of course no one can say for sure, but I don't think anyone would put it past them either.

Re:Virtualization (1)

Durandal64 (658649) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880181)

... but since there is no Apple-approved way to virtualize OS X...

Wrong [vmware.com] .

Re:Virtualization (4, Informative)

snuf23 (182335) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880399)

From your link:

"As you can imagine, the VMware Fusion team was pretty excited when Apple modified their licensing to allow Mac OS X Leopard Server to run in a virtual machine on Apple hardware."

So in order to run an OS X VM you need to run it on a Mac. Somehow I don't think that would help the original poster get rid of his Mac Mini.

Re:Virtualization (2, Informative)

rfuilrez (1213562) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879569)

http://pcwizcomputer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=45 [pcwizcomputer.com] You can give that link a try. pcwiz does some good stuff within the OSx86 community. I'm not sure if he's gotten Snow Leopard running, but I've seen Leopard running inside VMware. There's also a VMWare image you might still be able to find on torrent sites, so you don't have to actually do the install. Not sure if it's still around though.

Re:Virtualization (2, Informative)

Rebelgecko (893016) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879579)

I believe more recentish version of VMWare can virtualize Mac OSX

Re:Virtualization (4, Informative)

ya really (1257084) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879617)

I am waiting for the ability to run it ala VirtualBox or Vmware Player/Workstation.

It's been done for ages:
http://pcwizcomputer.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=75&Itemid=45 [pcwizcomputer.com]
It says 10.5.2, but it works with at least the last version of leopard from my knowledge.

Re:Virtualization (2, Interesting)

callinyouin (1138469) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880043)

I can also confirm this works, although not well.
As soon as you give the OS a fair amount of filesystem activity (ie decompressing, installing etc.), it locks up. Vmware complains about something related to filesystem activity/read&write/something (can't remember, really), and the only option is to turn the virtual machine off at this point.
This is only my experience, of course. I have only tested this on Linux with host filesystems reiserfs and ext[3,4], and have not used a dedicated hard drive, only seperate partitions.
It's probably worth noting that it was also under Arch Linux, which requires a certain "hack" for installing VMware (Vmware requires sysv init scripts, Arch uses BSD-style).

Re:Virtualization (4, Informative)

MtHuurne (602934) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879635)

You can run a virtual Mac in qemu using the "-M mac" option.

Re:Virtualization (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879777)

> You can run a virtual Mac in qemu using the "-M mac" option.

I have heard this before. Is this an out of tree patchset? On Fedora 11 I get this:

$ qemu -M help
Supported machines are:
pc Standard PC (default)
isapc ISA-only PC

I'd love to explore OS X a bit, but the price tag to get in the gate and look around is just to much unless you have already drank the Kool-Aid. The mini at $599 is sort of a joke and everything else goes over the 1K line.

Re:Virtualization (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879905)

Why don't you just go down to the Apple store and ask to shown around. It's what all those macs are sitting there for.

Re:Virtualization (2, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879989)

> Why don't you just go down to the Apple store and ask to shown around.
> It's what all those macs are sitting there for.

1. Using Mapquest's estimate, the closest Apple store is 2:56 away.

2. A half hour playing with a demo unit isn't likely to be very helpful. Especially compared to a few hours with a VM.

3. Even if I didn't like OS X enough to want to drink the Kool-Aid, a VM version would, as others pointed out, allow an occasional use to test compatibility. That would be enough to spend $130 on, but not $600 plus a KVM and all that other crap to support a whole physical PC.

Re:Virtualization (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880067)

Kool-Aid? What does that have to do with...

OH, I get it, it's a reference to the Jonestown massacre! How clever! You've pointed out how similar MacHeads are to a suicide cult!

http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Business/images/jonestown-massacre.jpg
^ Look at them, enjoying those backlit keyboards. It's with the extra scratch.

How bout those turtlenecked, smug Apple Store shoppers? Bunch of suicide bombers if you ask me.

But seriously, fuck you.

Re:Virtualization (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880219)

Boy you mac fags are whiny.

Re:Virtualization (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880473)

1. Using Mapquest's estimate, the closest Apple store is 2:56 away.

Is there a Best Buy nearby? They have most of the apple product line on display...

As for #2 and #3, sounds like a weak argument for not shelling out the cash. If you don't think it's worth the $600 then don't buy it. You don't need a KVM if it's only for occasional use. Just unplug your mouse and keyboard from your PC and use it on the mini, and do the reverse when you're finished.

Re:Virtualization (1)

ctmurray (1475885) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880035)

Where they are serving all the good Kool-Aide (TM).

Re:Virtualization (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879709)

done it: http://quantumg.net/tigeronvmware.php [quantumg.net] deleted the image shortly after.. yawn.

Maybe if there was some place I could go to get up-to-date torrents of vmware images I might care, for the novelty.

Re:Virtualization (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879767)

Couldn't you just use another webkit browser like Chromium, Konqueror, Epiphany or Midori? The only difference I'm aware of is the horrible font rendering on Macs (and old versions of Safari on Windows), but that shouldn't affect the layout.

Apple should be concerned... (3, Insightful)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879477)

Although I am all for the proliferation of decent software, Apple should be considerably nervous about these kinds of offerings. Right now the support loop for hardware is fairly closed; the amount of variables they must take into consideration when providing tech-support is fairly small considering they control the hardware side of things so tightly.

On the same token, it seems these days a lot of add-on hardware is Mac compatible, hard drives, memory, video cards, sound cards, the list goes on...so this leads me a conclusion of Apple putting more bullets in its feet as the list of upgrades and add-ons for Apple machines grows; they lose that hardware control variable.

This leads to the next conclusion, at what point does outfitting a machine with tons of non-factory-spec hardware separate it from a ground up build? If it is just the motherboard, then they are facing a conundrum.

Again, IANAMU, does Apple's support coverage encompass machines with things like user-added memory & videocards? If it does, then eventually they might as well just allow individuals to purchase OEM copies for their build, seeing as their support loop must scale to additional interoperability anyways.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879545)

The only Mac you can replace anything but the hard drive and RAM in is the Mac Pro. There's no interoperability issues with hard drives and RAM as long as the same kind is installed - one SATA drive is like the next. In the Mac Pro, only some video and sound cards are supported.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879603)

Gotcha, thanks for the clarification.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879817)

Why given Apples continued success with their current plan do you think you know more than an Apple board of directors? What you are saying must be patently false because they are still raking it in hand over fist and producing and supporting just the hardware they wish to run their software.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879877)

As long as Apple doesn't say a word in favor of this stuff (thereby making it mainstream and accepted), they can refuse to support OSX on other hardware and take only a minor PR hit - if you're a hack(intosh)er, it's expected that you do things yourself.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (1)

spopepro (1302967) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880565)

That is the interesting thing about Psystar: they don't provide anything that a moderately tech-savvy user can't do themselves. I found the process of using Chameleon + Retail DVD easier than many linux installs. Psystar is specifically targeting a crowd that doesn't want, and probably doesn't know how, to do it themselves.

I suspect this is part of the reason of the hackintosh crowd hating on Psystar. Aside from the probably illegally used code, it is likely that Psystar customers will cause noise with apple, resulting in some sort of crackdown. Most of us just hope things stay quiet and under the radar.

Re:Apple should be concerned... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879979)

Outside of video and audio production folks who may put in some 3rd party hardware, but this day in age, it seems to all be firewire or usb based products. Most people I know using macs have laptops or iMacs. I just replaced my last PowerMac with an iMac. Outside of RAM, I don't see myself upgrading anything.

Torrent for the registered version? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879537)

I mean really, should I feel badly about pirating something that already breaks the rules?

Re:Torrent for the registered version? (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879887)

Yes, you insensitive clod

Re:Torrent for the registered version? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880119)

Why? I mean, I take the opposite approach -- that you should never pay money to someone else for pirated goods. It's bad enough to rip-off the original producer (especially if you aren't doing it to "try before you buy") but to pay someone else who wants to make a living helping rip-off the original producer? That crosses a line for me.

So, no. I wouldn't pay for this any more than I'd pay for a bootleg CD or an anti-copy protection tool.

What about Apple Lawsuit vs Psystar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879653)

Reviewer forgot to mention that the main reason for Psystar to release the software at this point in time is because they are a sinking ship due to pending
litigation in 2 separate states.

Groklaw reference ::

http://www.groklaw.net/article.php?story=20091024213209193

What I Find Interesting... (1, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879655)

...is that Psystar is still around.

All the previous predictions were that Apple would sue them into a hole so deep, the Salvation Army would be sending them their beans with a shotgun.

Yet here they are, still going strong, apparently?

Good for them.

Re:What I Find Interesting... (4, Insightful)

minsk (805035) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879729)

Aside from the detail that Apple is busy [groklaw.net] suing them into a deep hole...

Welcome to legal systems. Whether or not you think justice is being rendered, the rendering takes time.

Re:What I Find Interesting... (1)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879873)

The corpse won't die until the sundown after the suit actually gets into court apparently, Psystar's lawyers are great at delays so far.

Re:What I Find Interesting... (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880603)

The conspiracy theory is that Psystar is funded by "other companies." Even Apple has claimed [groklaw.net] this in their complaint against them in court :

"18. On information and belief, persons other than Psystar are involved in Psystar’s unlawful and improper activities described in this Amended Complaint. The true names or capacities, whether individual, corporate, or otherwise, of these persons are unknown to Apple. Consequently they are referred to herein as John Does 1 through 10 (collectively the “John Doe Defendants”). On information and belief, the John Doe Defendants are various individuals and/or corporations who have infringed Apple’s intellectual property rights, breached or induced the breach of Apple’s license agreements and violated state and common law unfair competition laws."

I don't think I have to spell out who the usual suspects are.

That's brave (1)

Rik Rohl (1399705) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879757)

Cue Apple suing Computerworld in 3, 2, 1...

Anyone try this in a VM? (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879783)

Loading Mac OS X into a VM is always a challenge. I haven't looked into it for more than a year and I hope there are improvements, but I'm not holding my breath.

non-Apple hardware? (0, Troll)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879825)

Since when is it "apple hardware" all a mac is, is just a pc parts in a flashy case with the apple logo stamped on it. they use intel processor and intel chipset.

Re:non-Apple hardware? (1, Informative)

sbeckstead (555647) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879861)

Wrong, it is specified, inspected and tested Apple approved PC parts on a scratch designed motherboard with their timings and their layout. The Intel Chipset may indeed have been used but so what, maybe in their inspection process the pick and choose the ones that have the best characteristics (unlikely but possible) and perhaps they have other quality control bits that make it a bit better than the average PC parts.

Really? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879937)

Maybe they put unicorns and fairy dust into it, too, but I doubt it.

A Mac is just a fancy PC with a pre-set hardware spec. If it was really some bizarre, proprietary hardware configuration then Windows and Linux wouldn't run on it. And the fact that you can run virtual OSX on a non-Mac if you don't care about unsupported hardware just reinforces that.

Re:Really? (2, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880571)

The special sauce is in the firmware. Apple are using a custom EFI firmware (which even supports wireless and bluetooth right in the boot menu) in their machines while I've never even seen a PC which uses EFI instead of BIOS, let alone one that boots from custom built firmware. Windows and Linux boot through EFI's BIOS emulation IIRC. Also the motherboards ARE custom made versions using established intel chipsets, they need to be custom made to fit the shape of the iMacs and Mini's.

Re:non-Apple hardware? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880233)

Haha, yeah right. Apple hardware performs no better than regular PC hardware. In fact it's worse in some cases and from personal experience I would say it's also more unreliable.

Re:non-Apple hardware? (1, Flamebait)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880295)

Yeah, maybe! Or maybe it's Dell that hand-picks all the choicest x86 components off the assembly line and passes the rubbish onto Apple. I mean, we are talking pure wishful thinking and speculation here.

Re:non-Apple hardware? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880313)

Now I know why any and every apple thread converts /. into digg. It's because of fanbois like you, you moron!

Re:non-Apple hardware? (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879901)

OSX is designed only for Apple hardware, without regard (the more cynical among us say negative regard) for other hardware. Installing OSX on hardware it's not designed for is quite an achievement, even if 90% of it is the same as "normal" hardware.

Re:non-Apple hardware? (2, Funny)

lwsimon (724555) | more than 4 years ago | (#29879939)

You have to give them credit for their attention to detail on the case design.

OS X on Mini 9 (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29879845)

I got Dell Mini 9 last spring but it was almost unusable with WinXP due to the screen resolution and sluggishness of Windows on Atom CPU. Later I installed Mac OS X 10.5.7 and then 10.5.8 with EFI and it completely changed usability problems I had with the netbook. And no, I didn't copy that floppy but rather bought Leopard DVD from Apple.
This is an intermediate solution because I'm still waiting for a netbook or a 4x iPhone-type panel from Apple. Once I put my hands on it I will certainly sell this Dell.

Re:OS X on Mini 9 (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880227)

And how did you know it would even work? Or is your money not that important?

Re:OS X on Mini 9 (1)

E IS mC(Square) (721736) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880317)

>> Or is your money not that important?

Redundant question. He said he bought Leopard, didn't he?

Re:OS X on Mini 9 (4, Interesting)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880311)

I'm running Leopard (and Solaris) on an Acer Aspire One and it's amazing how well it runs on what's really the lowest of the low end especially when there's no chance of squeezing decent performance out of MS' latest offerings on the same hardware. Apple's definitely doing something right with their OS.

Re:OS X on Mini 9 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29880341)

I got Dell Mini 9 last spring but it was almost unusable with WinXP due to the screen resolution and sluggishness of Windows on Atom CPU. Later I installed Mac OS X 10.5.7 and then 10.5.8 with EFI and it completely changed usability problems I had with the netbook. And no, I didn't copy that floppy but rather bought Leopard DVD from Apple.
This is an intermediate solution because I'm still waiting for a netbook or a 4x iPhone-type panel from Apple. Once I put my hands on it I will certainly sell this Dell.

"ZOMG! My blender wasn't working well, until I installed Mac OS X, now I also can use it as a karaoke machine!"

So your Mac OS improved your screen resolution?
Seriously, I don't think you're talking about issues with the OS, but the bloated systems Dell and other manufacturers sell, and the awful anti-virus software that requires at least 2 cores.
Don't mix the two things.

OS with a kill switch? No thanks. (2, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880107)

Better the devil you know... I'm unhappy enough about Microsoft's kill switches, and I'm still on Windows 2000. There's no way I'd trust a crack that replaces Apple's copy protection with one containing a kill switch like this:

"Rebel EFI is free to try and download, though it will have limited hardware functionality and a run-time of two hours."

Certainly not one by a company that's already stated they can't keep track of their own paperwork.

USB DVD not supported ? (1)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880129)

I have just tried the Rebel EFI boot CD and so far not luck in booting from a USB DVD Burner on a Core 2 Duo.

My guess and from some reading it seems to require a standard SATA (is IDE supported ?) DVD drive...

Re:USB DVD not supported ? (2, Informative)

fredc97 (963879) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880241)

I just got an email back from Psystar support, unfortunately they don't answer my question on USB CD and their Wiki does not cover the subject either:

Hello,

The RebelEFI Hardware Compatibility List (HCL) can be found at http://wiki.psystar.com/ [psystar.com] . Here you will be able to find information regarding your hardware. If your device/computer is not listed please send a complete report of what is not working to support@psystar.com. Please include: Computer Model, Motherboard, CPU, Video Card and Order Number if you have already purchased. You may also download a trail copy at http://cdn.psystar.com/rebelefi_latest.iso [psystar.com] . Updates to RebelEFI including change log will be posted both on http://wiki.psystar.com/ [psystar.com] and http://community.psystar.com./ [community.psystar.com] Hardware still not working? Don't get discouraged. Psystar is actively adding more hardware support to RebelEFI.

No threat at all (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#29880575)

Psystar quietly launched Rebel EFI, a software product that should worry Apple a lot more than Microsoft's latest operating system. Rebel EFI allows users to run Apple's flagship operating system, Mac OS X Snow Leopard, on non-Apple hardware.

The Hackintosh is a system-builder project for the geek.

The only thing that can hurt Apple is competition from the OEM and retail giants.

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