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AppleTV Becomes OSX Workstation

Hemos posted more than 7 years ago | from the reconstruction dept.

OS X 140

An anonymous reader writes "AppleTVhacks published a full howto install guide with 12 easy steps to turn your AppleTV into a full blown OSX workstation. With a processor emulation, hacker Semthex of hackint0sh.org, managed to get full blown OSX working on a AppleTV. The kernel for this hack is freely available under APSL and opens the legal way to a really cheap Mac Nano. With 300$ difference to the Mac Mini, this is becoming a fairly interesting deal." April Fool's, btw.

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I dont get it? (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571919)

The kernel for this hack is freely available under APSL and opens the legal way to a really cheap Mac Nano. With 300$ difference to the Mac Mini, this is becoming a fairly interesting deal."
and from TFA:

Semthex wrote a processor emulation for the kernel, to sidestep the hardware restrictions that previously disallowed Mac OS X from running on the Apple TV.
Is there something I'm missing? If that's legal, what's to stop me putting a (legal) copy os OS X on any common-or-garden x86 box?

Re:I dont get it? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18571963)

Is there something I'm missing? If that's legal, what's to stop me putting a (legal) copy os OS X on any common-or-garden x86 box?
Nothing.

The problem with this (for me) is that you have to install the Intel version of OS X. As far as I know you can't get the Intel version without buying an Intel Mac (something I don't have). So basically you'll have to wait until Leopard before you can buy an Intel version of OS X.

Re:I dont get it? (4, Funny)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572069)

Or...
You could wait till a disk image of the hacked A.TV shows up on the seedy underbelly of the Internet.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Funny)

Randolpho (628485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574851)

How can the Internet have a seedy underbelly when the whole damn thing is seedy?

Re:I dont get it? (3, Informative)

Jim Hall (2985) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572265)

The problem with this (for me) is that you have to install the Intel version of OS X. As far as I know you can't get the Intel version without buying an Intel Mac (something I don't have). So basically you'll have to wait until Leopard before you can buy an Intel version of OS X.

Apple's store [apple.com] sells MacOSX Tiger for $129.

That said, the cost of Apple TV + MacOSX Tiger is only $170 less than buying a Mac Mini with MacOSX pre-installed. And Apple TV doesn't come with a DVD/CD drive, and it's hard drive is 20GB smaller than the Mac Mini. Hmmm.. I think I know which one I'd buy.

Re:I dont get it? (4, Informative)

catseye (96076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572325)

The retail version of Tiger is 10.4.6, and is PPC only. Apple didn't combine OS X versions into a universal install until 10.4.8. Right now, the only way to install OS X on an Apple Intel machine is with the system disks that come with the computer.

One presumes this would change with Leopard (10.5), which should be the first retail-available install of OS X that would work on Intel or PPC machines.

Re:I dont get it? (3, Insightful)

artaxerxes (94297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572003)

The Apple Mac OS X license extends only to Apple Badged Hardware. So legally the Apple TV is, and your hackintosh is not.

Re:I dont get it? (5, Informative)

Constantine XVI (880691) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572013)

The hack is legal because he just modified the kernel, like the ASPL lets you.
However, note the little bit in the OSX license that says you may only run OSX on Apple hardware. The A.TV is still Apple hardware. Your Dell isin't.

Re:I dont get it? (4, Interesting)

Splab (574204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572067)

You should also note that while they may say that you are only allowed to run it on their hardware you bought the license for the software and you (at least here in Denmark) are pretty much in your own right to do damned well whatever pleases you with said license.

Not quite yet (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572633)

You should also note that while they may say that you are only allowed to run it on their hardware you bought the license for the software and you (at least here in Denmark) are pretty much in your own right to do damned well whatever pleases you with said license.

So far, nobody has bought a retail copy of OSX for Intel - it only comes bundled with hardware "for free", so everybody is running a 'stolen' copy on their non-Apple hardware. This will change when Leopard is released in a couple months and you can walk into any store and plunk down $129 for a boxed copy.

Unless they only sell 'upgrades'....

Re:Not quite yet (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573353)

In quite a few countries, there is no way to legally enforce such bundling. That is, if one buys an Intel Mac with Mac OS X for x86, he can freely install it on his PC, any license clauses preventing that notwithstanding.

Re:Not quite yet (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573851)

'' In quite a few countries, there is no way to legally enforce such bundling. That is, if one buys an Intel Mac with Mac OS X for x86, he can freely install it on his PC, any license clauses preventing that notwithstanding. ''

AFTER removing it from the Macintosh it came on. Otherwise it is a clear case of copyright infringement.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Interesting)

AnyThingButWindows (939158) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572193)

And if you guy buy an apple dial-up modem, and put it on your Hackintosh?
Thats Apple hardware. It doesn't say that % of system has to be be Apple Hardware.
It doesn't say that the machine in question has to be an Apple. It says "Apple Hardware".

So yes. A hackintosh is legal, as long as you have a piece of "Apple Hardware" on it, such as an Apple Keyboard.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Funny)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573125)

doesn't say that % of system has to be be Apple Hardware. It doesn't say that the machine in question has to be an Apple. It says "Apple Hardware".

From what I've read, it doesn't say that either. I believe it was "Apple labeled personal computer" or some such and I believe it does have a legal description of what that refers to.

So yes. A hackintosh is legal, as long as you have a piece of "Apple Hardware" on it, such as an Apple Keyboard.

Anyone who gets their legal advice free on Slashdot, probably gets what they paid for.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Informative)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572031)

Is there something I'm missing? If that's legal, what's to stop me putting a (legal) copy os OS X on any common-or-garden x86 box?

Two things:

  • 1. The OS X lincense states that you can only run OS X on Apple hardware. Guess what? The AppleTV is Apple hardware!
  • 2. There is no way at this time to buy a boxed copy of OS X x86 at a store, because... they don't sell it in stores! Right now all the boxed copies of OS X are PPC-only. When Leopard comes out, then things should start to get interesting.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572183)

The OS X lincense states that you can only run OS X on Apple hardware. Guess what? The AppleTV is Apple hardware!

Devil's advocate on this one: the license agreement says an Apple-labled computer. If push comes to shove, does Apple consider the AppleTV a computer (aside from the fact that it obviously is - but keep in mind that you can consider nearly anything with a microprocessor a "computer" - the point is does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", or an appliance?).

There is no way at this time to buy a boxed copy of OS X x86 at a store, because... they don't sell it in stores! Right now all the boxed copies of OS X are PPC-only. When Leopard comes out, then things should start to get interesting.

I agree things start to get a little interesting. But a much, much more powerful (and supported!) Mac mini ($599) is still only $171 more. I suppose $171 may be a lot of money to some folks. And at academic pricing on the Mac mini ($579) and Mac OS X ($69), the gulf increases to $240. For some hobbyists and hackers for whom the AppleTV is appropriate hardware AND have the resources to open it, do all the imaging of disks and so on, have another Mac to do all of this at their disposal, etc., it does get somewhat interesting after Leopard comes out...

Re:I dont get it? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572465)


Devil's advocate on this one: the license agreement says an Apple-labled computer. If push comes to shove, does Apple consider the AppleTV a computer (aside from the fact that it obviously is - but keep in mind that you can consider nearly anything with a microprocessor a "computer" - the point is does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", or an appliance?)


Apple isn't free to redefine the meaning of computer at will. Unless there is specific verbage to the contrary in the EULA, then the Apple TV most certainly IS a computer and Apple can't just say "No it isn't!".

Re:I dont get it? (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572539)


Apple isn't free to redefine the meaning of computer at will. Unless there is specific verbage to the contrary in the EULA, then the Apple TV most certainly IS a computer and Apple can't just say "No it isn't!".


The DVR box I lease from my cable company has a CPU, OS, I/O ports, and HDD. It is not a personal computer, in the legal sense of the word. AppleTV, from what I've heard of it, is in the same boat.

You can try and be pendantic and say "it's a computer technically!" and you're right -- but so are (depending on when you bought them) your microwave, toaster, coffee pot, and air conditioner. Neither of which are "personal computers" in any real sense of the word.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572613)

Your DVR and the the Apple TV could be considered by many, many people to be a personal computer, and not just in the technical sense. They both use a visual output device/monitor (a TV is still a monitor), and both have GUI interfaces with an I/O device with which the user interacts.

That is much beside the point though. The technical meaning of a word generally IS the legal meaning. If the EULA mentions that it must be run on an Apple branded computer then if you can find an Apple coffee pot with a CPU and can make OS X run on it, then you are still running it on a computer, and are still within the limits of the contracts. Contracts are not real life - they don't take into account "common sense" or personal interpretations. That's why lawyers make so much money finding loopholes in them, though in this case the loophole is pretty obvious even to the common man.

Re:I dont get it? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572801)

You can try and be pendantic

What, hang around?

Re:I dont get it? (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572533)

I agree things start to get a little interesting. But a much, much more powerful (and supported!) Mac mini ($599) is still only $171 more.

Well, kind of, ignoring the difficulty of getting a licensed copy of Tiger for Intel right now.

For a household that already has Macs, the costs come down. If you already have one Mac, then the cost of an AppleTV with a copy of Leopard will be, assuming Apple's pricing doesn't change, ~$370, because a family pack costs $70 more than a single license. If you have more than one (and five or less, including the AppleTVs), then obviously the AppleTV is effectively a free upgrade.

Which is sad in some ways because it means that this "very low end, entry-point Mac" would only really be available to established Mac users, it couldn't be used by newcomers wanting to see if the Mac is worth it. But it does open the door to there being a very cheap way of adding workstations to an existing network at home.

Funnily enough, I own several Macs. And we are looking for something basic to sit in the living room to browse the web, check email, and access a central iTunes library, with, to replace my aging, and steadily deteriorating Beige G3 in there. The other option is something second hand, like an iLamp, but the pricing on the latter isn't that great and it wouldn't be new. And, damn it, the AppleTV is an extremely desirable size.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572577)

If push comes to shove, does Apple consider the AppleTV a computer

If they don't, they'll end up in very deep trouble, because they aren't following the restrictions (required by law) for audio/video recording devices.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573069)

If they don't, they'll end up in very deep trouble, because they aren't following the restrictions (required by law) for audio/video recording devices.

The AppleTV can record? I thought it was just a player for iTunes videos.

Re:I dont get it? (1)

evilviper (135110) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573829)

The AppleTV can record?

Copying an audio/video file between devices is "recording"

Re:I dont get it? (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572907)

Devil's advocate on this one: the license agreement says an Apple-labled computer

And similarly, I'll be fine when I try to install MacOS on a PC with Apple sticker ;)

Re:I dont get it? (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574415)

Devil's advocate on this one: the license agreement says an Apple-labled computer

And similarly, I'll be fine when I try to install MacOS on a PC with Apple sticker ;)
Actually, the term could easily be interpreted as a computer labeled by Apple, not by the end user or third party. Earlier versions of that license agreement though had different language which had that loophole (something like "hardware displaying the Apple logo" I think), so I interpret the change of language is intended to close that loophole.

I think GS/OS might be old enough to have the original form of that restriction, but I haven't had luck finding a copy of its agreement yet.

Re:I dont get it? (2, Insightful)

Firehed (942385) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573097)

And is violating a EULA suddenly illegal? Once I buy the software, I believe I'm legally entitled to do whatever the fuck I want with it, short of uploading it to somewhere that would allow for it to be pirated. I think the most that happens is that I'm no longer entitled to some amount of support through Apple. We always laugh about things like Vista's virtualization EULA clause, but we'll follow Apple's to the letter?

Your latter point is certainly valid, but like you said, that'll almost certainly change with Leopard's release.

Don't play dumb. (4, Interesting)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572121)

People have jumped through a lot of hoops to attempt to justify to themselves running the hacked Mac OS X on non-Apple systems, coming up with ridiculous sophistries like "What if I have an Intel iMac, but want to only run Linux on it, and then want to use that same OS X license on my Gateway laptop???"

...

AppleTV is an interesting case, because it is an "Apple-labeled" product, which is what the Mac OS X license agreement [apple.com] stipulates. And that's the key.

The license agreement specifies that Mac OS X can only be run on an Apple-labeled computer. And that is Apple's right. Now, you can ignore it, or ignore legal frameworks that may (or may not) enforce license agreements within certain countries/jurisdictions, and so on, but that's why running Mac OS X on non-Apple hardware is "illegal". There are NO prohibitions to doing things like hacking the kernel, etc. It's open source, and you can do with it what you wish regardless.

But there are still some interesting considerations:

- There is no way to legally get a standalone, retail copy of Mac OS X (Intel) for AppleTV, unless you make arguments about transferring an abandoned license from another Intel-based Mac. (And no, there is no conventional Mac OS X license that comes with AppleTV, either explicitly or implicitly.)

- Technically, you could purchase and run Mac OS X Server 10.4.x (Universal) and legally run it on AppleTV - there would be no prohibitions to this.

- Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) will be the first version of Mac OS X to have a legally purchasable standalone retail Intel version (actually, Leopard will be Universal).

But there are some other things to think about:

- Even when Leopard ships, at retail pricing, it's still $299 + $129 for AppleTV + Mac OS X. It's $171 more for a much more capable Mac mini. However, $171 may be enough to get people to consider this.

- This will really be interesting if Leopard can run unmodified on AppleTV (i.e., without a hacked kernel).

- This will still be relegated to the hobbyist/experimenter/hacker crowd, as you need to disassemble AppleTV in order to do this, image drives, have another Mac handy, and so on, not to mention that the warranty is likely void while OS X is installed on the machine (which of course is reversible, etc.)

So while this is all very interesting, please consider the fact that there are no legal ways to get Mac OS X for it currently.

This post is obviously not for people who think EULAs are BS, or that since it's an Apple product "it's okay", or that since it has some stripped down OS X on it already, "it's okay" to also install OS X from their friend's iMac, etc.

I'm simply raising the legitimate concerns surrounding licensing on AppleTV, some of which get interesting with Leopard since it is, indeed, and Apple-labeled computer, and Leopard will be available standalone.

There are also no prohibitions on using a modified kernel, but one very interesting question might be, does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", since that is what the Mac OS X license agreement explicitly states?

Re:Don't play dumb. (3, Insightful)

knewter (62953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572311)

I'm always so upset when I read about stuff like this. If a paint manufacturer put a label on the paint can seal that was 'accepted upon opening' that stated that you couldn't use the paint except on PaintCo Brand Wood, would we call 'pirate' painters criminals or would we all just laugh in unison at PaintCo for misunderstanding freedom?

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572403)

The point is that right now, there is NO way to buy Mac OS X (Intel) separately at all, license agreement or not.

If people want to make ridiculous arguments like "what if I just dropped four grand on a Mac Pro, but now suddenly only want to run Windows Vista on it, but I still want to use the OS X license on my Sony Vaio," more power to them. They can make their own moral/ethical determinations. If they want to ask if it's "legal", the answer in many jurisdictions is still, "probably not", because of what the EULA says.

The other consideration is that Apple is a hardware company and prices Mac OS X accordingly. They're also the ones who put hundreds of thousands of manhours and billions of dollars, collectively, into R&D and support of the product. If there are legal frameworks that allow them to specify that Mac OS X is intended only to be used on Apple computers, they're within their rights to use such frameworks, and you're certainly within your own personal rights to choose to ignore them.

Consider, though, that one major selling point for Mac OS X is its ease of use and how well things are seamlessly integrated with hardware, That's one of the reasons why people like, and want, Mac OS X. When it's all of a sudden run on random commodity hardware, that predictability quickly goes away. That may be Microsoft's model, but it's not Apple's. Mac OS X is also be priced under the assumption that it will be installed on existing Apple hardware.

You're certainly welcome to ignore all of this, but if you do, Mac OS X and the beloved PaintCo paint - which is presumably much better than the alternatives, thus why it's desirable - may not continue to be around. (Yes, that's an extreme argument, but it's no more extreme than your analogy is a stretch.)

Re:Don't play dumb. (0, Troll)

knewter (62953) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572691)

This is why I personally would prefer that everyone laugh at the PaintCo for assuming they'd agree to the ridiculous demands and just go buy Linux. At some point, computers must become raw commodities the way lumber is a raw commodity. I worry that this 'just good enough' subservience to these companies and conglomerations will continue.

As it stands though, I would personally advocate anyone that has legally obtained the digital media to stick it wherever you please. I understand that this is 'technically' illegal, but I'm not sympathetic. I've bought many tens of copies of Windows XP over the years. I've lost the media and licenses, because they didn't matter to me. Then WGA came along and screwed me over, a legitimate, loyal repeat customer. I've been running linux pretty much exclusively on all my machines since then (back then, I had at least a COUPLE of windows machines...now, none).

The Licensing Agreements are handed down from on high. We're forced into accepting them by the places we work ("we only use MS Office! Get Windows!"). There is no discussion or debate, this is simply the way things must be if you want to take advantage of society's growing mastery of electron tunneling. All hardware is about to be dictated by agreements between these, our OS-representatives, and the media industry. Better to get better OS-representatives.

Re:Don't play dumb. (2, Funny)

TuringTest (533084) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573607)

This is why I personally would prefer that everyone laugh at the PaintCo for assuming they'd agree to the ridiculous demands and just go buy Linux.

Yes, but does Linux run in wood fences?

Re:Don't play dumb. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18574687)

This is why I personally would prefer that everyone laugh at the PaintCo for assuming they'd agree to the ridiculous demands and just go buy Linux.


Linux is good for a lot of things, but it makes a terrible substitute for paint.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573887)

right now apple has no mid-range head less mac so people may want to make there own with a hacked mac os.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574943)

The point is that right now, there is NO way to buy Mac OS X (Intel) separately at all, license agreement or not.
You could be a Leopard beta tester. Tiger betas were bundled with beta hardware, but I don't think Leopard betas come with hardware.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573281)

If a paint manufacturer put a label on the paint can seal that was 'accepted upon opening' that stated that you couldn't use the paint except on PaintCo Brand Wood, would we call 'pirate' painters criminals or would we all just laugh in unison at PaintCo for misunderstanding freedom?

For your analogy to be be consistent with the current market, some other company would have to have a monopoly on paint and have tied that paint monopoly to other markets. All wood would ship pre-painted with that other paint company's paint and a significant part of your lumber purchase price would go to paying that other paint company.

What Apple is doing is playing by the rules of the game. EULAs are generally accepted as valid in the computer industry. Thus Apple uses the EULA as a way to cement their hardware/software bundle. Without a bundle of this sort, Apple dies because MS's monopoly kills them. I'm all for invalidating EULAs via the courts, but I have no illusions that it will change any practical concerns. Apple will still need to cement their bundle, so they will go one of two routes. Either they will tie them with hardware enabled DRM and online checks or they will simply stop selling their OS as a stand alone product at all and include a "subscription" to OS X with every computer while raising their prices to cover that, or requiring a yearly payment or whatever. In any case, it won't stop OS X from being bundled with hardware. The only real way to to that in the long term is to break MS's monopoly. Unless that monopoly becomes significantly weaker or is broken altogether, OS X and Macs will be bundled or Apple will be forced out of the personal computer and desktop OS business.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574895)

If a paint manufacturer put a label on the paint can seal that was 'accepted upon opening' that stated that you couldn't use the paint except on PaintCo Brand Wood...
Punching a hole in the can and attaching a spout to transfer the contents to another container doesn't break the labeled seal.

BTW, the clauses that say you can't modify the software are part of the license agreement. Though they tend to survive termination of the agreement in perpetuity, they aren't binding until you agree to them.

It helps if there are no technological protections (per the DMCA) against alteration of the program, the agreement, or the code presenting the agreement, or other seals you had to break to get to that point that had such agreements attached.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

Heliode (856187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572349)

In theory, it might be possible to install OSX without having to open the case, thus avoiding waranty issues; the Apple TV can be made to boot from the USB port: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTgC_dmp8vE [youtube.com]
Projects are already underway that aim to create something you can put on a USB thumbdrive and boot the Apple TV with, while automatically enabling SSH for you. Once this is done you could make the USB port functional for regular use (which has already been done with a hex edit hack, allowing you to connect mice/keyboards/external dvd drives: http://youtube.com/watch?v=SWQnQie6vo0 [youtube.com] )

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572461)

I'm not saying opening it voids the warranty.

I'm saying that the warranty is effectively void while Mac OS X is installed on it: Mac OS X is not supported in any way, shape, or form on AppleTV; so, if you need warranty service, it's obviously not going to be able to be serviced by Apple if it doesn't even have its own OS on it, will it? Even if the problem is not OS related, Apple still will likely need to test/boot/etc. the unit, and I can't imagine a scenario where Apple would be amenable to stock Mac OS X being on it, in the context of warranty service. So the point is that AppleTV's own OS would need to be restored to it for service.

Not a big deal for those who want to do this; just something to consider, and yet another element that will keep putting Mac OS X on AppleTVs well out of the mainstream and limited to hacker/hobbyist circles, along with my other points.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572791)

Mac OS X is not supported in any way, shape, or form on AppleTV
Yes it is. The AppleTV comes with a pretty complete OS X install, including things like WebKit, but missing a few applications. I haven't R'd TFA, but from what I've seen turning it into a full OS X box is pretty much a matter of telling Launchd not to launch the AppleTV application. Of course, it's an OS X box with a slow CPU, hardly any RAM, and no optical drive...

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572879)

I'm well aware of what AppleTV is running.

Apple does not consider that to be Mac OS X, the product, period.

"Mac OS X" is not supported on AppleTV. The fact that it is running a custom Mac OS X variant is irrelevant. It is an appliance, and "Mac OS X", in the form we know it on conventional desktop computers is not supported from an end-user technical, support, legal, or business perspective on AppleTV.

Now, knowing that the AppleTV is essentially running Mac OS X gives us some comfort that AppleTV is indeed basically a little Mac, and being able to run a slightly modified full Mac OS X installation on it proves it. It also bodes well for the future of this little hobbyist/experimenter area. Which is what it will remain, because "Mac OS X" is not supported on AppleTV.

Being able to do something != supported

"Support" doesn't just mean it's possible in the context of talking about what a vendor does and doesn't support.

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572441)

There is no way to legally get a standalone, retail copy of Mac OS X (Intel) for AppleTV

What if I bought a family pack [apple.com] of licenses to tiger from Apple?

Re:Don't play dumb. (2, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572529)

Yeah, this is another common thing people bring up.

While it may get you around your own personal moral qualms (and isn't a bad argument, frankly), Mac OS X 10.4.x (Intel) and Mac OS X 10.4.x (PowerPC) are simply not the same product, and you can't juggle licenses between them. Your family pack license is for Mac OS X 10.4.x (PowerPC) only.

There already is standing precedent for this: Mac OS X Server 10.4.x (PowerPC) and Mac OS X Server 10.4.7 (Universal) are not the same product, and have different part numbers, and the license for the former does not entitle you to the latter: it is a separate product that must be repurchased.

Let me reiterate I don't think the argument is fundamentally a bad one! I'm sure that people with family packs will feel they're well within the "spirit" of things if they then pirate or otherwise obtain Mac OS X 10.4.x (Intel) for their AppleTV.

The only product I can see, right now, today, that could theoretically be purchased and run legally on AppleTV is Mac OS X Server 10.4.7 (Universal). In the future, of course, Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard) gets added to the mix.

The final question, though, still stands: if legal push came to shove, would Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", since that's what the license agreement specifies? It's exactly that kind of legal gray area, lack of support, and the fact that it currently requires using a hacked kernel (making OS updates difficult, etc.), that will keep this to the hobbyist/hacker/experimenter crowd, and out of any kind of mainstream/business/institutional applications.

I will agree it's very interesting, though: AppleTV's basically just a little Mac!

Re:Don't play dumb... but this is not a computer (2, Insightful)

ashwinds (743227) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572703)

"The license agreement specifies that Mac OS X can only be run on an Apple-labeled computer. " What if Apple says its not a Computer?

Uh, hello? (1)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572785)

The license agreement specifies that Mac OS X can only be run on an Apple-labeled computer. " What if Apple says its not a Computer?

That's why the last sentence of my post says:

[...] one very interesting question might be, does Apple consider AppleTV a "computer", since that is what the Mac OS X license agreement explicitly states?

I know slashdot folks don't read the articles, but are we now also not reading the posts we reply to?

Re:Uh, hello? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573625)

If legal push comes to legal shove, it really doesn't matter if Apple considers it a computer, it matters if a court thinks it's a computer(and I would think that the court would base their decision on whether a typical person would reasonable consider it a computer...).

Re:Uh, hello? (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574059)

'' If legal push comes to legal shove, it really doesn't matter if Apple considers it a computer, it matters if a court thinks it's a computer(and I would think that the court would base their decision on whether a typical person would reasonable consider it a computer...). ''

No, what really matters is whether Apple would take you to court or not. If you are taken to court, it will cost you lots of money, whether you are right or not, as long as Apple wasn't acting completely unreasonable in taking you to court. (And saying that the Apple TV is not a computer may be right or wrong, but it is not unreasonable. )

But I'm quite sure if thousand hackers install MacOS X on thousand MacTVs then Apple doesn't care very much. And if a few people make MacOS X run on a Dell, and fix it every time Software Update has been running, they still don't care. I'm sure they would go after anyone who sold AppleTVs with MacOS X installed, or Dells with MacOS X installed.

Re:Uh, hello? (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574287)

It's the type of situation that lends itself to getting outside legal support, there are plenty of people who understand the benefits of a broad definition of what a computer is and would fight arbitrary limitations.

Your second point is right on.

Better to play dumb than be dumb (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18573295)

This post is obviously not for people who think EULAs are BS, or that since it's an Apple product "it's okay", or that since it has some stripped down OS X on it already, "it's okay" to also install OS X from their friend's iMac, etc.

You should have put that warning at the beginning so I wouldn't have to read your rambling, asinine post. But since I did, maybe you can cite me a single case which upheld a click-through EULA "agreement" in a court of law.

Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18573981)

Subject says it all

Re:F*ck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18574979)

Brilliant rebuttal! Have you considered a career as a lawyer?

Re:Don't play dumb. (1)

jhfry (829244) | more than 7 years ago | (#18575331)

it's $171 more for a much more capable Mac mini /quote

The Mac mini is more capable... but lacks a few things that the aTV has. Most notably is HDMI and component video output. Add that to the cost of the mini in your example.

There is no way anyone will by the aTV to use for desktop use, but for connecting to their TV as the frontend for mythtv server it's perfect!

omgponies !!!! (1)

hummassa (157160) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572551)

Has anyone taken a good look at the (now /.ed) URI for TFA???

www.appletvhacks.net/ 2007/04/01 /mac-os-x-running-on-apple-tv/

Come on...

Yes, it's a Hoax. (2, Informative)

sakusha (441986) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574011)

You are correct, it's a hoax. It's not even a very convincing hoax. The Dell monitor he used has two inputs so he could easily switch between video sources, and there's obviously a second Mac nearby since it's running other software from another system before the demo. Notice how the video cuts off part of the Mac screen (like the Dock) when he launches apps. And everybody knows how easy it is to fake the contents of the System Profiler screen. More evidence: notice how there are two disk drives mounted on the AppleTV.

What day is it again? (4, Funny)

crazyjeremy (857410) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571925)

It is April 2nd now right? *pinches self* Weird... this all seems so real. He even posted videos!

Re:What day is it again? (3, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572049)

True, I don't think it's real either. The thing is: if you manage to do such a hack on or around Fools Day, I'd wait a few days before releasing the information. That way you're less likely to be considered a fake.

Many of the comments on that page were made on April 1st, including the one where the guy claims it's not an April Fools joke. I'm not buying it.

Re:What day is it again? (2, Interesting)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572319)

The thing is, the AppleTV does actually run Mac OS X, just with some unnecessary components removed and the Finder replaced by a FrontRow type application. So it can't be that hard, in theory at least, to run the real thing.

At worst, it may be that the components that are encumbered by DRM in the regular Intel version of Tiger (Dock.app and Finder.app IIRC, they're tied to the "Don't steal Mac OS X" kernel extension) will not work on the AppleTV version. That presents a challenge to hackers, but as there have been versions without that crippling in the past, I can't see it being a permanent issue.

So if this is an April Fools, it's about on the same level as "Linus has just released Linux 2.6.22" or "Microsoft is preparing a service pack for Vista".

Re:What day is it again? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572443)

True, I expect that the AppleTV will be hacked sometime in the future... What I criticize is the day of announcement. If you have such a thing at hand, why not wait two days and come over with full credibility?

Just my opinion...

Re:What day is it again? (1)

Lars T. (470328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574917)

True, I expect that the AppleTV will be hacked sometime in the future... What I criticize is the day of announcement. If you have such a thing at hand, why not wait two days and come over with full credibility?

Just my opinion...

Well, maybe Apple delayed the AppleTV so all the hacks would be written off as April fool's?

Great progress so far. (4, Interesting)

FauxReal (653820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571947)

They've gone quite far in a short amount of time opening up the hardware to more use. Now if they can get it to dual boot OSX and the ATV version. Or better yet some sorta mashup retaining the ATV interface so you can browse samba shares and stream any media format you want via the remote. A better (more informational/snazzy looking) music player would be nice too.

Hopefully Apple won't try too hard to prevent this from happening in future revisions of the hardware. Though I doubt the content providers are all that excited about the news. But then again... the amount of hacked ATVs vs. every other multimedia capable device is rater insignificant.

I'm sure this will be a hit with the I need a pretty little file server on a shelf crowd.

Re:Great progress so far. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572093)

Jesus Christ On Big Purple Butt Plug. Can we fucking stop it with the "mashup" shit? Most. Annoying. Web 2.0. Buzzword. Evar.

Re:Great progress so far. (3, Interesting)

Heliode (856187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572269)

There are already projects underway to add all sorts of functionality to the Apple TV. Check http://www.awkwardtv.org/ [awkwardtv.org] , esp. the wiki: http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Main_Page [awkwardtv.org]
The patchstick project (enabling SSH without opening the case) and ATVfiles (play divx movies on the file system, and files not in the iTunes library) look particularly interesting.

I've been keeping a close eye on this from the beginning and I find it amazing how quickly they are figuring things out. It almost looks like this thing was made to be hacked. This thing might even replace Xbox Media Center one day.

what processor? (1)

dropadrop (1057046) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571959)

What processor does the Apple-TV ship with? Pentium -m or Core Solo? Seems like apache crashed on the linked site already.

Re:what processor? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572015)

I think it's a pentium M @ 1ghz w/ 2mb cache running on a 400mhz fsb w/ 256mb ram.

Re:what processor? (1)

bazorg (911295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572165)

That should be reason enough for Apple not caring too much about people trying to use this box as a computer. with 256MB soldered to the mainboard, it's like a testdrive for a Mini or iMac. unless they're selling it at a loss.

Re:what processor? (1)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572417)

http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Parts [awkwardtv.org]

Processor
1.0GHz Intel Pentium M-based "Crofton" CPU, based on SSE2 Dothan model # 7645A966 0159

Link is broken. NT (1)

CmdrPorno (115048) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571971)

NT

Website almost unreadable (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#18571983)

Trying to RTFA, but dark gray text on a black background?!?!? Why stop there? Why not #010101 on #000000?

Oh, and the site is now dead.

Re:Website almost unreadable (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572061)

Trying to RTFA, but dark gray text on a black background?!?!? Why stop there? Why not #010101 on #000000?

The only thing more pathetic than a PC user is a PC user trying to be a Mac user. We have a name for you people: switcheurs.

There's a good reason for your vexation at a design that assumes the Mac's brighter gamma curve: You don't speak its language. Remember that the Mac was designed by artists [atspace.com] , for artists [atspace.com] , be they poets [atspace.com] , musicians [atspace.com] , or avant-garde mathematicians [atspace.com] . A shiny new Mac can introduce your frathouse hovel to a modicum of good taste, but it can't make Mac users out of dweebs [atspace.com] and squares [atspace.com] like you.

So don't force what doesn't come naturally. You'll be much happier if you stick to an OS that suits your personality. And you'll be doing the rest of us a favor, too; you leave Macs to Mac users, and we'll leave beige to you.

Re:Website almost unreadable (1)

Agret (752467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572185)

Sounds like your browser was unable to load the CSS file due to the site being under slashdot load.

Clearly they saw /. coming (1, Redundant)

jimicus (737525) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572001)

The first link is no longer there, it's a 404.

Anyone get a mirror up?

This could be... (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572009)

...a great thing for Apples market share, considering they now have something out there at a dell like price point. If they truly get the geeks, then everyone else will eventually follow.

April Fools (0, Redundant)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572037)

It was posted on April 1st. On April 2nd it was slashdotted.

The webpage doesn't exist and the home page is an Apache webserver running on CentOS (linux). What are the chances?

Re:April Fools (0, Redundant)

tsalaroth (798327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572281)

The site itself wasn't an april fools joke, it actually existed and had several articles. I'm guessing the slashdotting led to a server crash, and perhaps they pointed the DNS to a new host prematurely (ie, haven't set up the Apache server)?

Re:April Fools (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572509)

The webpage doesn't exist and the home page is an Apache webserver running on CentOS (linux). What are the chances?


What hardware is it running? What kind of pipe does it have? No matter what OS you're on, you're still limited by other factors. Just because a website is running Apache on CentOS, or even Apache on OpenBSD, it doesn't necessarily mean that it won't crash or become overburdened.

Re:April Fools (1)

DiamondGeezer (872237) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574325)

What I was actually thinking of was: why isn't the site hosted on Apple hardware?

Hehe (1)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572133)

Wait a visit from Apple's hounds^H^H^H^H^H lawyers.

1/2 the price, less than 1/2 the performance (4, Informative)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572191)

the 600 dollar mac mini comes with a core duo 1.66 Ghz processor (maybe soon even a core 2 duo)... so how exactly is turning a 300 dollar machine with less than 1/3 the speed make sense economically? especially since you'll still have to somehow acquire OSX by some means.

granted the apple tv is tiny and cool, but if you're looking for a super cheap PC, you might as well go ahead and grab a mini for a little extra for the total package. Besides I'm sure you can find them for 500 bucks or so since they've been around for so long...

"GHz per dollar" is a bad metric (2, Insightful)

MarkByers (770551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572363)

> so how exactly is turning a 300 dollar machine with less than 1/3 the speed make sense economically?

Because sometimes speed doesn't matter. Most desktop applications are not processor bound any more. Processor speed is not the only thing to consider when buying a computer. Sure, it's worth considering, but you make it sound like it is the only factor to consider when buying a computer.

> Besides I'm sure you can find them for 500 bucks or so since they've been around for so long...

Why are you comparing the price of buying a brand new Apple TV to buying a second-hand Mac Mini. You are comparing Apples and err.. older Apples. If you are going to state the price of both, either give the new price of both, or the second-hand price of both.

I think for the vast majority of ordinary users, getting a Mac Mini is worth the extra cost, but this would still a pretty cool hack if you don't need the extra computing power and you want to save some money. (Though it is probably an April Fool's joke).

No SlashRating©? (0, Offtopic)

What the Frag (951841) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572237)

Posting April fools a day late deserves a rating of at least 4.2 points.

You Fai7 It (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572383)

Oh I get it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18572473)

Oh I see, so the Apple Mac OS X license extends only to Apple Bagdad hardware?

$300 + the price of a compatible tv (1)

cmstar (521171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572575)

This is a great hack and it's nice we can get a cheap(er) Mini-like machine. However, this thing only has component and hdmi interfaces. Not everyone owns a tv with these connections. I consider myself a geek and tech-lover, but I only have composite(rca) on all my tv's. Unless there is an ultra cheap convertor box somewhere, this isn't that great a deal. http://www.giftmonkey.com/?r=2484 [giftmonkey.com]

Why bother? The AppleTV is WUSSY.... (-1, Troll)

nweaver (113078) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572629)

INcluding the OS liscence, its only $170 less...

It can't drive a 1080p signal (the Mac Mini can)

It has a weak processor (1 GHz Pentium M is the speculation)

It has weak memory (256 MB)

It has no DVD drive

And you don't get warantee support.

Frankly, I'd not bother with an AppleTV at all: just get a Mac Mini instead even if you are just using it as a media center.

Re:Why bother? The Answer (0, Redundant)

kanweg (771128) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572797)

Because it is fun.

Bert

Re:Why bother? The AppleTV is WUSSY.... (1)

timchampion (940519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18575427)

Because the Mini can't output 1080i over YPbPr Component Video. Many early HDTV adopters, like myself, are stuck with TVs that can't take ANY progressive scan inputs, and have no DVI, HDMI, or any other modern connector. My Zenith C34W23 falls into that catagory.

Call Me Crazy but...... (2, Interesting)

tecker (793737) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572647)

Would this not be an amazing MythTV frontend [mythtv.org] Albeit low in power it could probably with some things added or the optimizations do HD content and would work wonders for SD content with no troubles.

An important addendum applies to all of you wishing to use HDTV with a PCHDTV card. Playback of HDTV is *very* computationally intensive, and requires a Pentium class processor of at least 1.3GHz or equivalent in conjunction with a graphics card with accelerated drivers, according to the documents at http://www.pchdtv.com./ [www.pchdtv.com] Pretty much any system built in the last two years with an nVidia graphics card will be fine.
{emphasis mine}. All the geeks out there looking for some way to get things working and not have the big silent or loud slimline pc for watching tv.

If this thing could do HD content with MythTV then it beats the pants off of the Hacked Xbox because the XB isnt know for HD ablities. I would think that people would be rejoicing to know that a small silent machine has been potentially identified for MythFrontending.

And while the main page Mirrordot page is all there [mirrordot.org] .

Re:Call Me Crazy but...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18573937)

It would work as a mythtv backend if you got a USB TV tuner hooked up!

FINALLY someone gets it! (2, Interesting)

BLKMGK (34057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574811)

You hit the nail on the head! This is the PERFECT Myth front-end and with a USB tuner maybe even a full on box. the problem I see with Myth right now is getting the damned thing configured for whatever silly hardware you dug out of your closet or buying all new hardware to match some recipe and then still finding out you have to swing a dead cat to get it running! XBMC on the old XBOX works great for a reason and that reaosn is that the damned platform is dead nutz STANDARD. Now per haps MythTV would work better on a Mini snice it's a good bit more powerful but this box is TINY, made to hook right to a TV, comes with a remote, and is low power. What's not to like?

To be honest running the aTV Os on a Mini has actually been more interesting to me than OSX on the aTV because what I want is a capable HTPC type thing that can play MY content just like XBMC has been doing for me forever. Where XBMC falls down is the old 733mhz Celeron and 256meg of RAM in the old XBOX. 1080HD content need not apply, especially since the video drivers aren't accelerated on that box :-( sadly the aTV doesn't look like it's going to be quite capable of 1080 either, if I'm proven wrong I'll buy one. For now though I've just bought an XBOX 360 that has turned out to have ancient firmware on it and am going to be priming it to boot Linux here soon. That platform looks even better for Myth but I think it's a far longer road before anyone gets there - right now it's not even sound capable :-( Whichever gets done I'm there, neither box exactly breaks the bank here...

Point being? (1)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 7 years ago | (#18572745)

I am personally looking forward to being able to use PhotoShop on my iPhone when it eventually comes out and has been hacked to death.

HA! (1)

blake3737 (839993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18573873)

The best thing is how many people commented about the price of a mac mini vs the price of an apple tv that got hacked, but they didn't even take the time to read the whole original post.

April fools? No we have them every month here at slashdot!!!!!!

MythTV? (4, Interesting)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574019)

Anyone know if you can run MythTV under OSX? This thing would make a great myth frontend.

Re:MythTV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18574767)

Why bother when you can just run Linux. [awkwardtv.org]

Re:MythTV? (2, Informative)

corychristison (951993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18574783)

I, personally, am waiting for the hackers to produce step by step instructions to install some flavour of GNU/Linux on it. Gentoo would be my personal choice, but really anything would be good. Since they have already made it possible to install Gentoo on 'full' Mac's, so I think it would be the best choice, since it is a lot easier to install. After one person installs it, then they could just push a disk image out on a torrent for everyone to enjoy.

Anyway, my reasoning for wanting to install Linux on it: Mostly it's small footprint. There is very limited amount of RAM in it.. and Linux, i think, would utilize the least. Thus leaving more RAM and processing power for running video's, etc.

Also, since it is so low powered, it would be great as a system to run all night to download torrents, etc. It has a decent sized drive, enough to download a DVD or two. ;-)

Re:MythTV? -- working on it (3, Informative)

mk500 (652220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18575469)

I'm working on getting MythFrontend running. That was actually the main driver behind me getting this working, as I'm a big MythTV user. My main backend has 500GB and 2 HDTV tuners. I'd love to get this box running in my bedroom with the 24" HD LCD I have on the wall (Dell). I'll post back when I have MythFrontend running....just need to configure my backend for remote frontend access and install the OS X MythFrontend which has already been compiled for Intel OS X. Oh yeah, I'm the guy in the video.

Re:MythTV? (2, Informative)

kmo (203708) | more than 7 years ago | (#18575533)

Anyone know if you can run MythTV under OSX? This thing would make a great myth frontend.

Yes, MythTV runs just fine on OSX [mythtv.org] , both Intel and PPC.

It's real, I'm the guy in the video (1)

mk500 (652220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18575027)

It works very smoothly. It's just a standard install of 10.4.8 on a 2.5" hard drive. All you have to change: swap out the kernel with semthex's kernel, copy over the boot.efi file from the original AppleTV drive, run the "bless command" for that efi, remove all the NV* kernel extensions (NVidia video drivers interfere with the new chipset), and boot up the drive in the AppleTV. It's also pretty snappy for a 256MB RAM machine. The Pentium M is a great little low-power processor.
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