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Beige Box Apple Clone?

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the lawsuit-already-on-the-way dept.

Apple 533

steve.m writes "Finally it looks like I'll be able to get a cheap box to run MacOSX on, but not from Apple! John Fraser is (sort of) getting into the clone business 5 years after Apple shut down their 3 year long 'experiment' in licensing the hardware. Based on off the shelf apple components in a custom pizza box style case with no bolted on display, a barebones 'iBox' will be around 300 USD and require a processor, disk and memory (and the OS). Complete systems (again, without the OS) should start at around 650 USD."

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3rd post! (-1)

thr0d ps1t (641973) | more than 10 years ago | (#5644993)

This thr0d ps1t is brought to you by the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation's Model Thr00 Thr0d Ps1t Generator.

Share and enjoy!

2nd post... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645003)

I hope...

attack of the clones (3, Interesting)

drgroove (631550) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645010)

My first power mac was a umax 600 - its great to see someone picking up the 'mac clone' business again. maybe it will help apple's overall marketshare... and w/ marketshare comes more users, w/ more users comes more software, w/ all of that comes reduced prices & improved performance, etc etc. All good stuff.

hopefully steve jobs won't try to shut him down out of fear that this will siphon sales away from 'proper' macs...

Be an Apple clone.. (0, Flamebait)

Choco-man (256940) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645014)

Isn't that what Dell's trying to do? ;-)

Re:Be an Apple clone.. (-1, Troll)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645055)

Isn't that what Dell's trying to do? ;-)

And quite poorly, as you see, Dells are useful and aren't marked up.

Re:Be an Apple clone.. (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645066)

Isn't that what Dell's trying to do? ;-)

Actually that would be Gateway who are brazenly copying Apple designs and even made commercials that targeted Apple directly (which is a sure sign for any pc manufacturer that you're desperate if you're targeting Apple vs your own).

Re:Be an Apple clone.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645203)

Hmmm... and yet Gateway is the #3 computer manufacturer and Apple is... 6th?? Why bother targeting Apple users when there are so few of them? Apple's designs are cool, that's all. Regardless of their views of Apple vs. PC, most people would agree that Apples designs rock. So what do 97% of computer users who love Apple designs and hate Apple do? They buy a Gateway. Makes sense to me.

interesting.... (1)

MrBallistic (88770) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645015)

since i could easily run a pretty decent server off of an old g4/450 and x, i can see where a bunch of these could come in handy. he's certainly filling a void.... here's hoping that the project actually comes out and doesn't get bogged down in rl or, more likely, foxed.

fingers are crossed.

We'll See (1)

mgs1000 (583340) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645016)

So what are the chances that this will actually make it to market? This reminds me of those companies that made the first real Macintosh laptops by using Mac Plus guts.

Sniff...Sniff...Sniff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645018)

I smell lawsuit! Read the EULA for Mac OS X.

What will you run on it? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645022)

Apparently nobody is aware that Mac OS X CAN'T BE RUN (legally) on non-Apple hardware? It's in the license. So what's the point?

Don't think for a second Apple won't enforce it. That doesn't mean they will shut this guy down, but I'm sure they'll put "if (running_on_dudes_clone) exit()" in their next OS update.

Who do people think Apple is, Red Hat? They don't WANT clones to exist. Heck, Apple developers don't want clones to exist either. That's how Apple has avoided the pains in the ass that Windows has to put up with. You know exactly what machine your software/hardward is plugged into.

I give this guy maybe a year before he goes out of business.

Re:What will you run on it? (5, Informative)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645059)

Had you read the article, he's using Apple motherboards - bought from Apple. You know - "Apple Hardware".

--
Evan

Re:What will you run on it? (-1)

MrBallistic (88770) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645061)

it'll be harder to detect for his hardware, though, if he's using old apple logic boards, cpus, etc. basically, it'll just look like an old g4, i'd think.

clones are bad (2, Insightful)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645072)

A clone market would either a) drive Apple out of business, or b) take away the one unique factor which sets them apart in the industry: vertical integration. Either way, the platform and the entire industry loses big.

Re:clones are bad (1)

Flabby Boohoo (606425) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645109)

Exactly! That is what IBM said all along, and look what happened! The entire PC market is non-existant!

Re:clones are bad (2, Insightful)

feldsteins (313201) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645210)

The entire PC market is non-existant!

No, it just sucks! Heh. C'mon you asked for that one. :)

Seriously, though. Apple will no longer control the platform from hardware to OS to some key applications. The fact that they DO have this control gives them the ability to provide a super slick experience to users. It also allows them to do things like firewire/imovie/idvd. Suddenly they took a previously high-end arcane technology (digital video editing) and put it on the shelf all friendly and prettified for anyone with ~$1200. Even less now!

Clones will kill that ability. And, make no mistake, it IS that ability that is keeping Apple in business after all these years. Those who don't understand this don't understand Apple's business.

Apple is going to have to abandon PPC anyway (1)

MichaelPenne (605299) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645278)

The speed just isn't coming from IBM/Moto to compete with Intel/AMD.

So fighting this seems kind of moot, as Apple needs to migrate OS X to x86 architecture real soon now.

Re:What will you run on it? (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645087)

Apparently nobody is aware that Mac OS X CAN'T BE RUN (legally) on non-Apple hardware? It's in the license. So what's the point?

But it basically is Apple hardware. It's an Apple motherboard so how would/could it know that someone pieced it together vs being put together in the factory. He's just taking used Apple parts and repackaging it, not really a "clone" per say.

Re:What will you run on it? (1)

koan (80826) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645099)

Which is why Apple is only 3% of the market and M$ owns. I think it's a good thing for apple. They are short sighted if what you say is true.

Re:What will you run on it? (2, Insightful)

FatRatBastard (7583) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645101)

Apparently nobody is aware that Mac OS X CAN'T BE RUN (legally) on non-Apple hardware?

Apparently you're not aware that he is using Apple hardware. Apple motherboards to be precise.

Now, I'm not saying this guy's going to have a booming business: Apple may go after him for using the iBox name or try to cut off his motherboard supply, but others have done this before (Marathon Computers springs to mind).

Even if Apple does cut off his motherboard supply he may still eek out a niche business selling the enclosures (i.e. "add your own motherboard")

Re:What will you run on it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645121)

Who do people think Apple is, Red Hat? They don't WANT clones to exist. Heck, Apple developers don't want clones to exist either.

Hmmm...sounds like a monopoly to me. And this makes Apple less evil than MS how?

Re:What will you run on it? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645142)

Read the fucking article, twat face.

Re:What will you run on it? (4, Interesting)

prwood (7060) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645149)

I guess I missed that part of the license. I purchased a copy of Mac OS X, and using Ryan Rempel's XPostFacto [macsales.com] utility, I was able to install it on my UMAX SuperMac Clone. There are quite a few people running Mac OS X on non-Apple systems. I don't think Apple is going to come after people who are legally purchasing a copy of Mac OS X. This guy can certainly purchase a copy of Mac OS X and include it with each machine he sells. What he won't be able to do is get Apple to include an OEM version of Mac OS X.

Ryan has worked to make sure that XPostFacto can help you install Mac OS X with each release... currently you can install Mac OS X 10.2 pretty easily.

Re:What will you run on it? (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645188)

"Apparently nobody is aware that Mac OS X CAN'T BE RUN (legally) on non-Apple hardware? It's in the license. So what's the point?"

What if the license also says that you can't use the OS on Sundays and when there is a full moon? My point is that so-called "licenses" aren't worth the bumps they occupy on the CDROM.

I bought a piece of software in a box at a store. The substance of the transaction was that of a retail transaction. The only restriction on the product that I will honor is the copyright, which means I have no right to distribute copies.

AFAIK, there have been no court cases where a EULA on a retail product has been upheld. Until then, I'll freely thumb my nose at anyone that thinks they can restrict what I due with my private property that has been bought and paid for.

As a corollary to this line of thought, I tend not to think of the GPL as "license," but rather the author's public declaration to grant *additional freedoms* on the use of his program, above and beyond what copyright law typically provides for.

Re:What will you run on it? (-1, Flamebait)

slyxter (609602) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645233)

I thought the whole reason people bought Macs was for the artsy fartsy cases. Exactly what value does a plain box Mac have?

Re:What will you run on it? (2, Informative)

w1r3sp33d (593084) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645254)

Yellow Dog Linux, thanks.

Re:What will you run on it? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645257)

1. RTFA (Read the friendly article)
2. Comprehend
3. Post

watch me rape your girlfriend (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645023)

it will be fun!

You can't get away with this...I'll tell you why (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645122)

God can track your identity through you're ip address.And he doesn't need a warrant.He's kickin ass and taking names...And your's was just added to the list..HAHAHA Feel the wrath.Nice knowing ya buddy...

Spare Parts (4, Insightful)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645027)

He's using spare parts manufactured by Apple and sold to repair shops. Why do I have a funny feeling that there's language in the repair parts purchase agreement that prohibits them from being used in just this fashion? IANAL, and IANAACT, but that would be the obvious way to prevent this.

Re:Spare Parts (5, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645075)

Aye, but, IIRC, EULAs can't be applied to physical property. If you want to buy a Ford F150 and chop it down into the shape of a giant shoe, it's yours to do with as you please.

--
Evan

Re:Spare Parts (3, Insightful)

Ponty (15710) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645145)

No, but contracts can. If Apple has a contract with a spare parts reseller that tells them that they can't resell for certain uses, then they (Apple) can go after the source of the parts.

Re:Spare Parts (1)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645173)

kinda takes the sole out of the car, eh?

Re:Spare Parts (1)

Xpilot (117961) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645287)

If you want to buy a Ford F150 and chop it down into the shape of a giant shoe, it's yours to do with as you please. Ah, a vague Hitchhiker's guide reference :) Am I right?

iBox? (5, Funny)

UncleBiggims (526644) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645028)

I can already see Mike Tyson in the Switch ad:

"I was looking at this lolita sight and all of a sudden beep... beep... beep. I was like, bummer. It was a good sight.

I'm Mike Tyson and iBox."

Re:iBox? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645115)

Site. It's a web site.

Yup (2, Funny)

nath_o_brien (608347) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645029)

I claim full responsibility for this development - after all, I spent £2500+ on a powerbook last week (which I really can't afford but you know, mmm, titanium...) so of course a cheaper option is going to be just around the corner...

In other news... (4, Funny)

mrpuffypants (444598) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645035)

In other news the iBox company mysteriously dissapeared after being sued in over 300 different lawsuits by an entity described as "a powerful fruit-based technology company" ...film at 11

Re:In other news... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645083)

you had that quote wrong.
how can you possibly describe apple as "powerful"

might as well describe Bill Gates as "making ends meet"

Re:In other news... (1)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645163)

I guess at that point, it would be called the iBoxed... :^)

Doesn't sound that special (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645038)

He's building computers using spare parts boards for other systems. So I'm not sure what you are gaining over a regular Mac. Sounds like the DIY Mac using e-bay article that was posted a while back on Slashdot.

Re:Doesn't sound that special (2, Informative)

nath_o_brien (608347) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645068)

So I'm not sure what you are gaining over a regular Mac

What you are gaining? Not having to spend all the cash you'd pay for an Apple for a start...

Re:Doesn't sound that special (1)

CaptainStormfield (444795) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645282)

I'm not sure what you are gaining over a regular Mac

Since he's charging about $300 (and assuming you can scrounge up spare memory and hard discs from your junk closet), I'd say your "gaining" about a thousand dollars!

Seriously, I would love something like this. There's no way I'd drop a grand or more to try out OSX. But $300 + prince of processor and OS is much more tempting. . .

What an understatement! (4, Interesting)

Quass (320289) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645041)

"I think he would be wise to talk to a patent attorney before he does anything else,"

Apple isn't exactly known for their kindness to "clone" makers..

Spare parts price (3, Insightful)

VDM (231643) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645042)

Will the price of spare parts remain the same if they are used (eventually in large quantities) for building iBoxes?

The free market has some laws.

Bye!

Non-Apple-tax boxes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645044)

May it be (if it finds it's legal way to the market) a new possibility for having linux-boxes without "OS-tax"?

Uh huh... (5, Interesting)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645047)

"But I want to get Apple's full support. I want to make sure I'm on the up and up. I'm an Apple supporter. It's not something I want to clash with them about. I want to make sure what I'm doing is legal."

How is creating a low cost box that will cut into Apple's hardware sales (where they make the MAJORITY of their revenue) "supporting" Apple?

Sure sounds like "clashing" to me.

Re:Uh huh... (1)

Mister Black (265849) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645114)

But he's not selling new, high end Macs. He's reselling old Apple parts.

Re:Uh huh... (5, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645242)

How is creating a low cost box that will cut into Apple's hardware sales (where they make the MAJORITY of their revenue) "supporting" Apple?

I'm not entirely sure about this. Apple releases a $100+ OS upgrade which most Mac users buy every 2 years or so. The hardware upgrade cycle for a Mac is 4-6 years (twice as long as for a Pc, don't ask me why), so software sales just from the OS are a big chunk of Apple's income, add in other Mac apps, and the percentage goes up.

Another key source of income for Apple is their AppleCare package, which gives minimum-hastle repairs / replacements to people who break thier Macs. This would not be availible to iBox users, so would help to differentiate the Apple brand.

If this guy can sell to the 'I want a Mac, but can't afford one' crowd, but not poach many of Apple's potential customers, then this will provide Apple with a small amount of extra income from OS and component sales, and a potentailly large market share increase, which will benefit Apple hugely.

I know people still using 604 and early G3 based Macs, who can't afford to upgrade to a new Mac. Do you think Apple would rather that they were using a Windows box, or a non-Apple built Mac?

If Apple can still supply inovative machines with a higher build quality, then there will be a place for them, and if they control the OS, they control the platform (How relevant is IBM, how relevant is MS?). Apple will have to work hard to offer something that this guy doesn't, but I suspect that they could.

Of course they'll probably sue him out of existence, but hey, I can hope.

For myself, I can say that if these boxen were availible today, then I would be a Mac user. Since they are not, I am still a PC user. If I were a Mac user, then my next box, or possibly the one after that would be a genuine Apple box because, let's face it, they're so much more cool than the iPizza.

Which reminds me, my pizza dough has probably finished rising now, so I shall stop rambling and go and turn it into food. Mmmm, pizza....

brand confusion (5, Insightful)

pcp_ip (612017) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645049)

the name "ibox" is going to get him in trouble.

apple legal is going to go after him for creating brand confusion and misleading the consumer into thinking the "ibox" is an apple product.

I wish him luck, but I bet he's going to get squashed by apple legal.

Re:brand confusion (-1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645286)

the name "ibox" is going to get him in trouble.

Hmmm...perhaps he can call it Xbox?

Oh, yeah...

Patent how to plug one bit into another???! (1)

FyRE666 (263011) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645052)

From the article:

Dickson also cautioned Fraser to be careful not to infringe any patents. Even if Fraser uses Apple parts, Dickson said the company may hold patents governing how they are put together. The patents may not even be held by Apple, but by another PC manufacturer, Dickson said.

How on Earth could a patent be granted for this? I mean, how many ways could you plug a CPU into a motherboard, or a PCI card into a PCI slot? Ridiculous...

Re:Patent how to plug one bit into another???! (0, Funny)

FueledByRamen (581784) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645102)

I can think of at least 4 different ways to plug a Socket CPU in, or 2 different ways to insert a slot CPU or PCI card. However, as most first-time computer builders quickly learn, only one way will result in a working system...

Re:Patent how to plug one bit into another???! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645274)

You're infringing on my patent of pedantic and sarcastic remarks to rhetorical questions!
See you in court...

At this very moment (3, Interesting)

Sophrosyne (630428) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645065)

... a group of lawyers in Cupertino, CA. have gathered together and are finializing their cease and desist letter.
I guess in a couple of days we'll be reading about how this guy is no longer making these.
Good-Luck John Fraser, you're going to need it!

It will never happen (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645069)

Apple only builds enough motherboards for use as warranty replacements and for existing owners who have fried theirs. Apple will certainly put a stop to this guy.

Attack of the Clones 2 (1)

Professor Bluebird (529952) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645070)

I bet this will end up like the failed Mac clones from a few years back.

Bring your own CPU (1)

sexysasian (592552) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645073)

....So... he's not providing the CPU? What's the fucking point then? Is it even possible to remove the CPU out of a Mac, and if so, what's the point? Or will we have to buy 3rd-party CPU cards. Lame.

Re:Bring your own CPU (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645165)

....So... he's not providing the CPU? What's the fucking point then? Is it even possible to remove the CPU out of a Mac, and if so, what's the point? Or will we have to buy 3rd-party CPU cards. Lame.

Yes, you can remove/replace the cpu. Several different manufacturers (like PowerLogix) make replacement cpus (obstensibly to upgrade your existing Mac) so you can choose the cpu that fit's your price/performance goals. Of course you can always purchase "stock" cpu's off of ebay.

Re:Bring your own CPU (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645267)

he's not providing the CPU? What's the fucking point then?

From the article:

Fraser will build full-featured configurations to customers' specifications. A fully loaded iBox will cost between $650 and $2,000, depending on the speed of the chip, the size of the hard drive and other features. He plans to offer configurations with dual processors, just as Apple does in its current line of PowerMacs.

So, yes, he will supply CPUs, but if you can get PPCs direct from Motorola / IBM, or a reseller cheaper, then you can plug your own one in.

What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run OSX (1)

Chris Croome (24340) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645074)

Fraser will be the first third party to make a Mac since Apple shut down its three-year experiment in clone licensing in 1997

http://www.wired.com/news/mac/0,2125,58310,00.ht ml

What about things like the Terrasoft briQ [terrasoftsolutions.com] ? That runs YellowDog [yellowdoglinux.com] and can't they run OSX? It is a PPC after all... but I don't have one so I dunno...

Re:What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645151)

That's right, you don't know. Mac OS will only boot on a system if it contains Apple's copyrighted bootloader. And guess what - Apple won't let you put it on the computers that you make.

Re:What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run (2, Insightful)

Havokmon (89874) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645161)

What about things like the Terrasoft briQ [terrasoftsolutions.com]? That runs YellowDog [yellowdoglinux.com] and can't they run OSX? It is a PPC after all...

The article states the motherboards from Apple have the Apple ROMS that allows OS X to boot. I would assume the Terrasoft boards don't contain an Apple ROM chip.

Re:What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run (4, Interesting)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645228)

Apple's ROMs have always been the key reason that their machine hasn't been cloned.

I've always wondered why they don't use the same technique that the original BIOS cloners used to make a working IBM clone BIOS that was 100% legal.

I don't remember the specifics on the technique, but it involved two completely seperate groups of engineers within the same company who had strictly limited contact with eachother governing how one group reverse-engineered the BIOS, and how the other group created a new BIOS based solely on descriptions of how it operated, without having any specific copyright information that the first group had access to.

I remember being somewhat fascinated when I originally heard about it. Of course now, it's probably illegal due to the DMCA (which probably would've killed the PC revolution had it been on the books 20 years ago).

Re:What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645187)

no apple firmware means no apple os running. you need an apple firmware to run an apple os.

Re:What about Terrasoft? Can't their machines run (1)

nattt (568106) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645194)

The briq is actually from www.totalimpact.com

I use 60 or so of them as a renderfarm for 3d graphics and they're great.

Uh .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645082)

$250 to $350 for a case, MB, and PS.....

DAMN! that thing better be the schweetest MoBo evar! and a 1000 watt PS with 30 HD power connectors!

Seems doomed from the start?!?

Cheap hardware? (1)

sketerpot (454020) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645089)

I believe that this still requires some imporatant bits of hardware, and I only know of one place to get the processor (I'm probably just ignorant): Motorola. Are there lots of different choices for places to get the hardware? Can you plug in dirt cheap PC parts? Could this help people who want to run a mac but don't want to pay the hardware premium?

Where can you get the hardware for this? And, somewhat less importantly, can you do case mods on these things?

Re:Cheap hardware? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645280)

Yes, they're call processor upgrades. After apple switched to the ubiquitous ZIF socket a processor upgrade is basically just a bare chip.

Several 3rd party companies offer these to current Mac owners, and would obvisouly work in this machine even if you didn't have a processor in it. Now, what they're not telling you is that you're paying $650 for a motherboard and case. That's outrageous! A shuttle case is only $330 for the newest p4 model and a full-sized Antec case with brand-name (Intel, Asus, etc) motherboard would only set you bad about $360 at very worst.

Linux use? (1)

w42w42 (538630) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645091)

To those in the know re Power PC hardware, what is the performance of a system like this compared to an x86 box, relative to price?

Would it be worthwhile to use as a Linux box?

Re:Linux use? (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645138)

To those in the know re Power PC hardware, what is the performance of a system like this compared to an x86 box, relative to price? Would it be worthwhile to use as a Linux box?

Basically the same as the original Mac that the mobo's are based from and the speed of the cpu that's in there. So overall probably not quite as good as a pc in the same price range, and maybe slightly worse if you put Linux on it depending on how optimized the PPC/Mac version of Linux is (haven't used it, so don't know).

What about VMWare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#5645093)

So I'm a little fuzzy on this whole required-hardware thing...How come I cant get OSX to run in VMware or some other emulator for Linux or Windows? I don't see why we have to buy any extra hardware just to run OS X.

If darwin runs on X86 (and it does), what is stopping people from porting the rest of the components? Is it the license? Closed Source?

Re:What about VMWare? (2, Informative)

Ponty (15710) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645260)

Only the lower parts of the OS are open source. As a result, the other parts are binary form only and that is compiled for PPC.

Apple's business model (2, Interesting)

IgD (232964) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645094)

What is so bad about clones? I don't believe there is any money to be made from hardware sales. The profit margin is too small. Apple should follow in Microsoft's footsteps and make an OS only. They should allow the hardware manufacturers to worry about the chips and motherboards. Can you imagine if Apple released an version of their OS that could run on standard Intel/AMD chips? They would be competing head to head with Microsoft for market share. Apple's market share right now is so small there is no way it could shrink. I think if the cost of entry (expensive, slow proprietary Apple brand hardware) for switching to Apple's OS was cheap, many more people would be willing to give it a shot.

Re:Apple's business model (4, Insightful)

Stonehand (71085) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645207)

Apple's profit margins for hardware might be a bit higher than usual precisely because there AREN'T any Mac cloners out in force. If you want to use Mac OS X, you need to deal with Apple.

In addition, there are probably more Apple loyalists than there are loyalists to any particular PC brand, given how commoditized and cutthroat the PC platform is (well, for desktops anyway).

Re:Apple's business model (4, Informative)

Millennium (2451) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645230)

I don't believe there is any money to be made from hardware sales. The profit margin is too small.
Apple's margins on its machines averaged 28% across all lines last quarter. Highest margins in the industry by an absurd degree. They seem to be doing fairly well with that.

Re:Apple's business model (1)

Molt (116343) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645236)

Err.. last time I looked Apple was a hardware company. They simply have their own OS to run on their hardware.


OS X is simply a unique selling point that Apple relies upon to shift more of their machines, it's not their main business.

Design (1)

EinarH (583836) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645095)

Well, I'm no expert on design exactly. But to me it looks pretty decent [2khappyware.com]
It looks like they managed to make it look like..original..

With a dual CPU capable MB this could become a winner

Possibilities (1)

bastardadmin (660086) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645097)

Well, if he can it without being mired down in court for the next decade more power to him.
There is definitely a market for this - after spending a few years selling and configuring Windows Networks for customers I can see a serious market for something a powerful and easy to use as OS X.
Especially considering his price range is very attractive for small to medium businesses.
Mind you, it wouldn't be yielding the same volume post-install support that windows does.

Caught the Vapors (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645105)

Fun idea, but it's a big premature to write a big article about.

Re:Caught the Typos (1)

blunte (183182) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645148)

It's also a bit premature ;)

Going into this blind... (5, Insightful)

class_A (324713) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645108)

Good luck to you sir, but I think you need to open your eyes. Just because you're an Apple fan and a "hobbyist" doesn't mean they won't severely fuck you over.



"I always wanted to build Macs," said Fraser, who runs a part-time PC customization business, 2khappyware. "But I want to get Apple's full support. I want to make sure I'm on the up and up. I'm an Apple supporter. It's not something I want to clash with them about. I want to make sure what I'm doing is legal."

Apple does not want anyone else making a box to run Mac OS X. If you're using Apple spare parts, I would imagine that supply route can and will be cut very quickly.

Fantastic! (1)

Jacer (574383) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645112)

I'm a graphics design major, and well, I've got a windows box with photoshop, and a linux box with the gimp, but I've always wanted a mac, iMac or other, to do some photo and video editing on, the labs have annoying hours, and I don't like leaving the dorm!

looks really professional (2, Informative)

asv108 (141455) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645119)

Take a look at the website [2khappyware.com] , besides the illustration this thing looks really suspect. The archive of the site [archive.org] doesn't help either. I have no doubt that someone can build a box with spare parts, but manufacturing it and selling is a whole other story. Journalists will print anything if it will sell. Especially Wired journalists who are willing to write an article about anything as long as it involves a mac.

You gotta wonder (1)

Enrico Pulatzo (536675) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645127)

what kinds of Terms of Service Apple requires repair shops to sign up for to keep them from doing the same thing. If parts are that cheap (and this guy is actually not in breach of contract), you can be sure that Apple will revise its TOS pretty soon.

Nice hardware (2, Interesting)

odie_q (130040) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645133)

I have always liked Apple's hardware. The only reason I use a PC as my primary workstation is because of the price. If this works out, actual Apple hardware will be available at affordable prices, which would be really nice.

Perhaps the legal issue could be avoided by not including the Apple ROM. There are several non-Macintosh operating systems that run happily on that hardware, and I would probably be running one of those in any case (Not because I don't like OSX, but because I can't afford it). Those who want to run MacOS could obtain the ROMs from certified Apple dealers.

this should have been posted yesterday (4, Funny)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645137)

This kid has about a zero chance of succeeding. I'm not even sure why he deserves this much press coverage. It sounds like a story from The Onion.com.
Local Boy Discusses Cool Idea with Friends
Local boy has great idea to make his own macs. "Sure, it's been tried before but failed miserably due to Apple's licensing restrictions, but it sure would be cool to try," he says. "Just think of all the press coverage I'd get! It's guaranteed to make the frontpage at Slashdot. Maybe I'll even get some venture capitalists to invest mass amounts of money that I'll launder to a swiss bank account before succumbing to legal pressure and declaring bankrupcy. I can't go wrong!"

Misleading title (4, Informative)

binaryDigit (557647) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645181)

This is not really a Mac "clone". It's simply using used Mac parts and repackaging them. It's not like the PC market where you can build a NEW and current pc. Hardly a beige box like clone. People have been doing this for years, I have a repackaged Mac SE (it's in a rack mount case) from way back when.

TINAA (5, Insightful)

Hanzie (16075) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645182)

John Fraser, if you read this, I would sure as heck not call this thing the i-box! Let everybody else call it that, but not you.

Apple will jump hard on you for that. It's going to be very difficult to convince a judge that you're not trying to fit this in with the i-mac and the i-book. In fact, I'd say it will be impossible.

The only way to win this lawsuit is to have deeper legal pockets than Apple. Don't try.

Name it something else like: TINAA. It stands for This Is Not An Apple. It sounds good to me, though I haven't researched the IP issues. A quick Google only turned up Finish and apparently one proper name.

Good luck!

White box Apples (1)

rf0 (159958) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645184)

If they are do end up selling these then I would really like to get one. I've always like the MacOS and as some things like the aqua skin for enlightenment however the price of apple macs has always been a bit out of my league.

One of those things that is on my wish list

Rus

In a related story (-1, Offtopic)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645186)

Seymore Butts is (sort of) getting into the auto business. His new design is based on the Lada [washington.edu] "a sturdy, proven design", spouts Seymore, who's dual stigmatism, and constant beer consumption has made for many false starts in his new one-man car company.

Off the shelf WWII components in a hap-hazard box style chassis, a barebones 'Butt-Mobile' will be around 300 USD and require a motor, seats and wheels. Complete systems should start at around 650 USD.

Why aren't Apple making something like this? (1)

henben (578800) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645196)

OK, I can see why Apple want to limit the number of hardware configurations possible, so they wouldn't ship it barebones - but why don't they make an entry level, pizza-box Mac that you can plug into commodity monitors?

Sure- (1)

IWantMoreSpamPlease (571972) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645202)

From the article: ...Apple is notoriously protective of its intellectual property, and has not hesitated to go after hardware manufacturers, software publishers and websites for infringement...

The iBox will go over at Apple, Inc. like a snowball in Hell.

Expansion slot for Pizza (1)

zgwortz962 (641208) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645206)

And there will be a large expansion slot on the front where you insert your pizza, and it is cooked by the heat from those *very* warm Apple motherboards.

OWC support... (1)

noblee (97688) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645217)

Other World Computing is one of the bigger Apple resellers and their support is quite interesting. In a lot of ways, Apple is going to have a hard time attacking him just because one of their closest allies is supporting him (though I do think he is going to need a new name--iProduct is just too close to Apple names to not cause "brand confusion"). Of course, this could be interesting--either Jobs & Co. do a Bush and ruin relations with all their allies and friends, or they allow it to go ahead and only cripple it behind the scenes. I am betting they just manage to get the supply costs to skyrocket and make the eMac/iMac more competitive with his soon-to-be higher priced box. But that is just a prediction. Maybe they will realize that if his box is well made, it could help them win market share in the low-cost category.

Of course, the ideal situation is for Apple to let him exist and just use him as the bargain basement entree into Apple-land. That way, Apple can continue to make super-high quality boxes and let him eek out a profit as the Walmart PC of the Apple world.

huh (1)

BigBir3d (454486) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645220)

sounds kinda like Amiga... use the Mac hardware, but do it right...

shnifty!

Funny and legal issues (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645253)

Read this sentence a couple of times. Apple-made motherboards preloaded with Macintosh ROMs -- the vital piece of hardware-cum-software that makes a Mac a Mac.

At least I though it was funny. But seriously, someone already mentioned that OSX is not licensed to run on something other than a Mac, but I would believe that the ROMs are even more protected.

April Fools was yesterday (nt) (1)

cinorhc (547310) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645259)

no text

This guy is asking to be sued (1)

psxndc (105904) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645268)

Fraser hasn't yet contacted Apple, and the company didn't respond to requests for comment

Fraser, look dude, you announce to the world (Wired) that you're going to repackage Mac parts, call your machine an iBox, and you haven't contacted Apple about it?? Are you stoned?

psxndc

nothing much really (1)

Raven42rac (448205) | more than 10 years ago | (#5645289)

Sounds like a good idea, why should Apple not be subjected to the same competition that the PC world has faced for years? I just do not understand why only Apple sells their stuff, it would maybe encourage them to put out even better products than they already produce, maybe cheaper. The more people that have Macs the better if i were Apple. That is what you call an "Installed user base" to pitch your next batch of products to, maybe if Macs were cheaper, then more people would own them. Personally I am eyeing the 12" Powerbook with the Superdrive, only 2000 USD. :)
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