back to article How to run Mac OS X on a generic PC

Eighteen months ago, if you wanted to run Apple's Mac OS X on a generic Intel box your only option was to fish around on the internet for a hacked version that modified all the relevant low-level calls. And then hope it worked on your hardware. EFiX Mac About panel Not snapped on a Mac Even if you managed to get it up and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Running OS X on PC s

    Or alternatively, use the £170 markup to buy a mac.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    £253 total to run osx on specific hardware you will have to buy because you probably don't have it already, ok - forget it, why not just buy a mac if you REALLY want to run this OS?

  3. SmallYellowFuzzyDuck, how pweety!
    Thumb Up

    Hey not bad.

    If I can now possibly have my own custom built hardware and install Mac OS on it then that would be perfect for me.

    I'm sure the device will get banned very soon by Apple, but I'm going to keep tabs on this for when I consider my next machine in a few years.

  4. Tony Barnes


    ..if you include the OS.

    Still a good deal I think, if you've already specced up a beast of a PC, but decide that you'd like some fanboi action

  5. Andrew Ducker
    Thumb Down

    I agree

    For £170 you can pay the Mac Premium and get your machine from them.

  6. Jess
    Thumb Down

    Price :(

    £170? That plus the cost of Leopard would cover too much of the price difference to be really worthwile not having a real mac

  7. David Hicks

    That sounds like a lot of money and effort

    When EFI emulators are available on the 'net.

    They may be more hairy, but for 170 quid it seems like that's the way I'd go.

    But then I enjoy messing with computers for hours on end.

  8. Ragarath
    Gates Halo

    RE: Running OS X on PCs

    First a MAC is an Appliance PC so your saying to just pay more for a PC.

    Second, why would you bother to pay for and build your own system just to install an OS on it that is not the purpose of building the machine for?

  9. Anonymous Coward


    ... and as Macs come with a legit installation of OS X you gain another £83 making a total markup of £253 just to run on PC hardware. Paying that premium for the certainty that you'll run into 1 problem or another (e.g. NIC compatibility), why bother?

  10. Bilgepipe
    Gates Horns

    Not Bad

    EFiX looks nice. I'm considering this, bearing in mind how low-powered and expensive desktop Macs are.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    @First 2 AC's

    It's still a whole lot cheaper than buying a real Mac. Geez, if you can get a new Mac for 253 quid, let me know where and I'll buy 5.

  12. Bassey


    Why would you pay an EXTRA £253 to ruin your lovely PC with that piece of unintuitive crap? Do yourself a favour and stick Windows 7 on there.

  13. Annihilator


    "You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so."

    Well, I've sure the Windows versions of Safari and iTunes came with exactly that warning - may have changed since, so I wouldn't be worried about using it. Selling it, maybe...

    But come on, be a man and just play with a hacked version and don't let it update. Worked fine for me, even in a VM environment.

  14. Neur0mancer
    Jobs Horns


    I loved the 'apple labelled' computer.

  15. Edwin

    ASEM has a point...

    They've no doubt invested heavily in their product, and if it wasn't encrypted, it'd be on tpb within seconds since the hardware is probably just a flash drive...

  16. Jeremy Chappell

    And the point?

    Why do this? Seriously Mac OS X is only part of the Mac equation (admittedly the biggest part) the other part is Apple's much admired hardware, firstly the build quality is excellent, secondly because they also make the software everything should work properly (after is you control both sides of the hardware/software you really should get it working properly!)

    You also won't get iLife, which is another reason people buy Macs...

    It seems like a great deal, until you think about it... then it seems that getting a Mac wasn't such a bad deal after all. Don't forget, if you want to run Windows on the system part time that's fully supported on Apple's hardware.

  17. Coalescence


    Well there's a saving to be had if you want a Pro machine equivalent.

    May well investigate this to update my old iMac core 2 duo. Logic needs more CPU!! I need more CPU!!

  18. BeefStirFry
    Thumb Up

    I iNstalled OSX 10.5.7 on PC

    I tried installing OSX 10.5.6 on my PC earlier this year and it was a quite complicated and painful, graphics drivers for ATI were non existent, sound drivers were a pain in the ass, and eventually after working for a bit, it crashed and died.

    However, I installed 10.5.7 in the last month, and it was smooth installation using iATKOS v7. No problems whatsoever (apart from my Webcam is not Mac compatible), in fact, I'm starting to use it as my primary OS, although i still find XP useful for certain things sometimes.

    And if anything, its encouraged me to put some money together to one day get a real Mac. Although I'm guessing the equilalvent spec of a Mac Pro, quard core, 4GB mem is going to be £2k plus and my PC probably cost less than £500.

    I have ASUS P5K Premium motherboard, ATI 4850 graphics, Q6600 quadcore processor.

    I must remember to stick an Apple logo on the box now though ;-)

  19. Puck
    Thumb Up


    £170 markup for an OSX-enabling gizmo, wow, well, providing it were vaguely future-proofed, that's in theory half of Apple's business model nicked right there! A fiver says Apple either buy the company and/or issue their own EFIX-type-gizmo, at about the same price.

  20. Chris Pearson

    Snow Leopard...

    Snow Leopard seems to be the only choice now, a quick search Leopard is not in the Apple store any more! That said SL is a bargain £25, with free shipping. Makes me wonder how microsoft think they can have a £150 RRP for the Home version for 7 (though amazon list it for ~£65)

  21. Ryan 7
    Jobs Horns

    @Chris Pearson

    That's for the upgrade version. Full version doesn't have pricing yet.

  22. Dan Price
    Gates Halo

    The wrong way round though!

    Can't say I see the point of OSX on a PC. AFAIC Apple make some of the nicest hardware out there laptop-wise, so I'd rather have a Macbook or MBP boot camped into Windows 7 than stick the backward, over-engineered mess that is OSX on a generic beige box.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Chris Pearson

    "Snow Leopard seems to be the only choice now, a quick search Leopard is not in the Apple store any more! That said SL is a bargain £25, with free shipping. Makes me wonder how microsoft think they can have a £150 RRP for the Home version for 7 (though amazon list it for ~£65)"

    You should really learn what an UPGRADE is. SL for £25 will upgrade your existing L installation. To buy a virgin SL installation will require the Mac Box Set from what I can tell, priced at the princely sum of £129.

    As for Windows 7 Home Premium, even MS are selling it for £79.99, so no idea where you invented £150 from.

  24. Ty
    Jobs Halo


    Awww you poor likkle Windows-sufferers.

    SO desperate to improve your computing experience but you welfare won't stretch to a Mac.

    Bin your cruddy hardware and join the elite already.

    Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac.

  25. Steven Hunter


    "Why would you pay an EXTRA £253 [...] Do yourself a favour and stick Windows 7 on there."

    'Cause Windows 7 is totally free, right?

  26. John 118

    @ AC 12:45 6/8/9

    "Geez, if you can get a new Mac for 253 quid, let me know where and I'll buy 5." ...

    White Transit, Back of 2nd car park, M1 Toddington Services

  27. Cucumber C Face
    Paris Hilton

    More money than time

    Having spent much of my spotty post-adolescence editing autoexec.bat and config.sys, twiddling DIP switches and tweaking hardware interrupts I now scrape a living actually using PCs.

    Never mind the price of the EFiX gizmo - one would have to be making minimum wage to make it not worth buying a well specced Mac box outright - as well as your PC.

    I guess there is some satisfaction in putting one over on Apple - but Apple's lawyer's will enjoy putting one over on EFiX even more (while getting paid for it); or - failing that - Apple will put one over on you with 'incidental' incompatibilities in every forthcoming hardware and software release.

    Paris? Please see title.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Apple Labels - Available in most supermarkets

    It doesn't say an offical Label/Branded Product.

    If you print your own don't forget the Apple Device is a trademark so you have to make your apple look different, BUT it MUST be an Apple.

    If you cant print your own label go to the supermarket buy an Apple with a sticker on and peel the sticker and attach it to your PC. Next to your Windoze License is best (for pure comedy value alone)

  29. M Gale

    Well I'm a stubborn bastard..

    ...and if it's not available for Linux, it's obviously not good enough. Why bother paying £129 or £79.99 or whatever when you can get the "Ultimate" edition for free and spend the money you saved on a real support service? As in one where you can get help, rather than be told "sorry, it's all your fault, and no you can't take the software back because you might have copied it."

    As for "oh but you can't play all these wonderful games" or "but you can't get Microsoft Word", see the first sentence above.

  30. bex
    Thumb Up

    only way of getting a normal tower

    As apple don't have a normal desktop PC in there lineup things like this seem the only choice you have unless you want to hamstring your self with integrated hardware or loose an arm and a leg and get a mac pro.

  31. Anonymous Coward

    @Jeremy Chappell

    "The build quality is excellent" Well, Apple certainly builds (mostly) quality stuff, but I wouldn't say it's any better than any decent system, whether from a decent vendor or home built with care. Apple's had their share of problems---power adapters that overheat and fail (and sometimes catch fire!), cosmetic issues, hardware issues with notebooks---pretty much the same as any company has had problems.

  32. Anon'anon'anon


    lol Desperados, why read an article about hacking an OS, when clearly your someone who couldn't even open the case!, MAC's are great bits of kit, no doubt, but the spec's suck.

    I have a 2.5k PC running win7 RTM, and I love it, what would make it perfect is a dual boot to OSX and Win7, OSX for when my soul wants pretty and intuative, Win7 for when I actually have to do some work or play a game.

    £170 though... thats very steep. would pay £80 max, otherwise it is back to a hackintosh HD for me.

  33. Anonymous Coward


    adobe ports their creative suite to linux and I can kiss mac's arse goodbye for good...

  34. Cameron Colley


    "It sees the EFiX as broadening Apple's market, helping sales of Leopard into the built-it-yourself gaming sector, hitherto almost exclusively the domain of Windows."

    No, IANAG*, but I don't see why anyone seriously into games would bother with anything but Windows? Surely it would be an endless cycle of rebooting after every game to check your email/surf the web/whatever you do on a Mac?

    *I Am Not A Gamer

  35. 20legend


    'Get a grip, get a life, get a Mac' said the fanboi who is probably running bootcamp and a version of Windows :-)

    I, for one, have no desperation of any kind to inflict Mac OS on my hardware pal.

  36. Blain Hamon


    ASEM itself takes advantage of the fact that "a core value of EFI is the preservation of intellectual property", and appears to be near-paranoid that its development effort will be stolen by others, making full use of EFI's support for cryptography to obscure its code and prevent interception of its updates.

    Anyone else see the irony here?

  37. Anonymous Coward

    @ Dan Price@

    " I'd rather have a Macbook or MBP boot camped into Windows 7 than stick the backward, over-engineered mess that is OSX ..."

    WTF? It's a truly great OS with a bonified Unix certification. Windows 7 is likely to be a great improvement from Microsoft, but come on. I'm betting you're pretty low down in the IT foodchain.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    ... and finally, I bought a mac

    I've been mucking about with Mac OS X on a hackintosh for a year or so. I had it running as my primary OS for about 3 months, until an update blew my install away.

    It did all work, except for the audio in/out front panel, Quartz Extreme, keyboard mapping etc. etc. - in other words, it had issues, irritating issues.

    I tried getting it running on my laptop - it worked, but had even bigger issues. Network issues, keyboard issues, graphics glitches, crashes.

    I finally gave up and decided to do the sensible thing, I went out and got a Mac.

    I'm happy now. It *works* - no stuffing about with drivers, no worries that an Apple update may blow your install away, no concerns about legality.

    I'm not knocking the efforts of the Hackintosh community, I just realised that I was more interested in using a *working* computer than spending my time trying to hack one together.

    Yep, it cost me dear - I got the 15" macbook pro, 4gb, £1300 - but *OMG* what a sexy machine.

    See, that's the point, such a sexy OS deserves to be run on a sexy Box - so you may as well shell out bucks to get the real thing...

    Perhaps this is why Apple isn't coming down as hard on Hackintosh as it could - they realise that a reasonable percentage of Hackintosh attempters will relent and go for a Mac instead...

  39. Keith Doyle
    Thumb Down

    Why bother

    Mac software may be "better designed' than WIndows (whatever that means-- the lazy bums don't work with as much hardware), but EVERY time I try to use a Mac I find myself fighting with it because it is so inflexible. I expect software to conform to MY workflows and not make assumptions about how I want to do things-- I won't conform to "Mac" workflow, but I find hacking their sortware to suit to be a near-impossible task, as it is far more "closed" than Windows. As much as I curse Gates & Ballmer, at least XP I can hack into pretty much whatever workflow I need.

    Better to show us how to run XP on Mac hardware, if their hardware is as good as they say...

  40. rho

    Worth the price for a whitebox Mac Pro

    If you're cobbling together something for basic stuff, then no, this isn't worth the price. But you can put together a very nice Mac Pro-alike for a bit less money and then the £253 makes more sense. That is if you can beat the price of the pukka job by 30% or so.

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    what a bunch of moaners. Thanks for a really interesting hardware hacking article that may keep me busy during the long winter months. Hey guys, this is hardware hacking - who cares what it costs? The point is to make it work, not to do anything with it.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    This just highlights the shortcomings of the BIOS that most PC kit is stuck with.

  43. adnim


    Never had a Mac, never owned any Apple product ever nor will I ever own an Apple product. There is not one thing that Apple provide that cannot be sourced elsewhere, cheaper. Unless a lame ass ego polish is essential, alternatives exist.

    If Apple did not exist I would not even notice.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Not worth the paper they are printed on.

    But whatever.

    1. £170 + relevant cheap PC hardware is still considerably cheaper than a proper Mac. More so if you already have the hardware.

    2. You could just install Linux instead, it's 80% the same experience (but supports more hardware, more flexible and isn't controlled by a repressive cult organisation or have ridiculous fluff).

    3. But still, running OS X on a PC is worth is at least to piss off Mac owners, especially when you tell them how much the rig cost.

    Personally I'd rather stick with something PCs are designed for and you are guaranteed to get working with just about any hardware without the need to delve into scripts, bash prompts or need a compiler. i.e. Windows.

  45. Gaz 6
    Thumb Down

    Not worth it.

    The price of this gizmo alone just about makes up the difference in price unless you are going quad core.

  46. Michael C

    Its woth more than saving some loot

    First, what actually WAS the price of this build?

    Assuming you're starting from scratch (since if you're building out of old parts, i can find you an old mac just as easy...), it's not just the USB dongle, copy of 10.5, it's the boxed set you need. Start with 64bit hardware and compatible components, the added expense of a SATA DVD, all the trouble, then add over $400 to it, for moderate level components???

    OS X is great and all, but honestly, it's iLife that makes the machine worth it to me. I'd not considder this without it, so $169 for the box set, another $239 for the eFix, restrictions to certain compatible components (which cost more than I'd buy otherwise for a custom PC, let's say $50 in premiums). I designed a comperable solution on New Egg to an iMac a few months ago when i was initially considdering a hackintosh (I ended up just buying a 24" iMac btw) and the price came out to about $450 in parts, not including screen, kbd, mouse, etc, that was just the base components. Why would I spend over $1300 to build a knock-off mac with a 22" monitor and no support when i can get a 24" machine with a faster CPU for $1700. (or if I don't need the higher performance, thanks to the new mini design, I could actuallt get one of those CHEAPER).

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    I'm not really sure why they keep calling the computers "Mac's" when all they are, from a hardware point of view, is a PC. PC motherboard, PC RAM, PC Hard drive, PC CPU, a "Mac" is nothing more than a bog standard (underpowered) PC. A Ferrari is still a "car" the same as a Skoda is still a "car", only Apple would call the Ferrari a "car" and the Skoda a "bicycle".

    When the Mac was different to a PC, in that is was using a different type of CPU, sure, then it could be considered something other than a PC, but whilst it is using generic PC hardware, its a PC, and all it takes is one little device with off the shelf PC hardware to run OSX (note the PC hardware part there).

    And no, the difference in OS doesn't give it a different name, I can run an older version of "Mac" operating system on my Nintendo DS, doesn't make my DS a Mac now, does it? In the same way it doesn't make the PC in this article a "Mac" and in the same way that a "Mac" is a generic, every day, bog standard PC, underpowered, over priced, but still just a PC.

  48. Michael C


    I run bootcamp on my Mac. i run Win7, OS 10.5, Ubontu, and XP from it....

    Being FORCED to run Windows software for some things (honestly mostly games) really is not a big deal. There's a few apps i can get on Windows i can't get on a mac, but not too many I honestly care about. Even all our custom apps here at work (nearly 1200 develped applications we use internally or to support external customer contracts) run under Java, and thus under ALL operating systems...

    Mac gaming is increasing at a fantastic pace, in fact the top 5 games talked about for PC upcoming this and next year are all coming out for the Mac as well... All 3 MMOs i play not only work on both platforms, but they actually get better frame rates (by a good margin) under Mac OS (and I expect that to improve under 10.6 real soon).

    unless I'm beta testing a windows app, playing a platform exclusive game, or accessing something that requires IE to use, I'm using the Mac. In fact, often i access a windows program FROM the Mac OS, thanks to Parallel wonderful virtualization features... In just a year of using it, my wife is practically DEMANDING one of her own. This was my first experience on OS X (I used EVERY Mac OS from the Lisa through 9.5, but have not owned a mac in 6 years...) It;s SO much more reliable, has SO much better workflow, requires SO much less "fussing" to keep running, backups don;t even cross my mind, and genuinely it is as nce to look at and as easy to use as they say. Taken a step further with some UNIX skills and the knowledge of a programmer, and its by far the most powerful GUI I've ever used...

    I'm not using Windows because I don;t want to leave it behind, I use Windows because I'm FORCED to, as if it was some sorry excuse for an exgirlfriend that you hate but she won't leave you be and keeps dragging you into her problems...

    I'm not a FanBoi, I'm a solid convert.

    ...and just so you're aware, we did a poll here at work. We're a MASSIVE firm with a near $100M annual IT budget and over 2000 IS Staff members (about 900 of which actually touch servers in some way). Out of this nearly 2,000 people, a full HALF are using Mac OS on at leats one machine they own, 700 siad it;s their primary machine and they use Windows only when required by their job, and about 20% bring it to work and use in place of their company provided desktops. nearly 70% now have an iphone, and the company simply stopped offering non-iphone devices for those who qualify to get smartphones as in 6 months only 3 people didn't explicity request an iPhone from HR.

    You may not like Apple, that's fine, I completely despise Microsoft, Dell, HP, and every single other company out there. You may not like OS X, and think it a childish Os or something. That's fine too. I'm just saying, don;t jump on "fanbois" just because they've decided on there own there are other (not even saying better) ways to do things.

    This is no longer a 1 party OS world. You're just going to have to get used to the fact that nearly 20% of us use macs on some level, and that it;s a growing phenomenon. Most of us use Windows too. Few of us like it, and OS X is the only option openly supported, which has a lot to do with it's popularity.

    Also, i don;t even think it;s Windows most people hate so much, it;s the cheap-ass vendors... (Dell, I'm talking to you). If they made a stance and stopped selling underequipped hardware, and started spending real money and attention to support, and boiled their zillions of options down to a reasonable product line, they might have a chance to compete...

  49. Ozwadi Ogolugi


    Just buy a MAC and run the OS correctly. Additionally Apple is much better than a PC anyway...

  50. Anonymous Coward

    170 quid???

    170 quid? thats almost half of the Apple surcharge. for all the hassles, warranty, better OEM components I think I'd rather buy the Apple.

    at least with the Apple box I dont need to do any funny things on it to run Vista or Win7

    ..though my current PowerBook spends most of its time running Fedora Core anyway ;-)

  51. Paul Docherty
    Gates Horns

    Could MS cripple windows on Macs?

    The war between apple and Palm just now is quite interesting... couple that idea with the requirement for EFI on Macs, and Microsoft has a worrying option. Cause Windows to spazz-out if it detects EFI. It's the opposite usage of that little chip, but would prevent non-virtualised/emulated use of Windows on Apple machines. It would be sad, pathetic and not in their PR interests... but since when did little problems like that stop MS or Apple?

  52. Stephen Channell
    Thumb Up

    time for an OEM pitch..

    Sounds like EFI is a good idea.. good idea for OEM’s like Dell, Sony & HP.. that’ll bring the price down.

    Seems like the only good reason NOT to put EFI on your motherboards is that you’re already negotiating a deal with Apple.

  53. James Butler

    One Reason

    There is only one reason why I built my Hackintosh using a torrent image on a stock Dell Dimension 3000 system ... triple-booting with WinXP Pro and Fedora 10, BTW ... and that is to be able to run the SDK for programming for the iPhone. Can't do that without a Mac, or a Hackintosh.

  54. Aaron 10


    Then why did you read this article? Are you a closeted Mac lover? They're the ones who are most angry about running Mac OS X on a PC...

  55. Tone

    @Michael C

    I think you are telling porkies about 50% of your imaginary poll, bit like the 20% of people using macs figure you made up - mac has nearly 5% market share

    What sort of company lets people bring there own machines in and plug them on to the corp network?

  56. Giles Jones Gold badge


    Bog standard underpowered?

    When Vista was first released a Macbook pro held the record for the highest performance rating.

    The fact that the Mac doesn't use the crappy BIOS in PCs makes them different. Sure, the chips are all off the shelf parts but who in their right mind develops their own custom chips these days?

    Apple has had chips designed for them, the CPU in the first Macbook Air was designed specifically for it. So you can't say anyone else was using that part.

  57. John Freeman


    and you still can't play any decent games on the mac, so what was the point in the first place besides saying you paid way too much?

  58. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    170 sovs to enter the closed/controlled world of Apple ?

    Somebody sell me on this..

  59. Stuart Duel
    Jobs Halo

    If Apple did not exist... definitely would notice a world without them.

    Apple have always been pioneers in the computer industry.

    They introduced the GUI to the mainstream (which they PAID Xerox for the rights to use, as opposed to Microsoft which STOLE the code from Apple to write their half-arsed attempt at a Mac rip-off, Windows).

    They lead the industry by ditching pointless, outdated hardware such as floppy drives and legacy ports (which you still find on most PCs to this day) which take up valuable space on the motherboard and back-pane, consuming resources and power for no good reason.

    They make excellent hardware from quality components with such astonishing attention to detail, right down to balancing the weight of Macbook Pros and iPhones.

    They have created technology which everyone takes for granted such as Firewire, and introduced technology that everyone now uses, such as mice, and wireless networking to name a few.

    With the introduction of the original Bondi blue iMac, they made USB actually useful by inspiring an avalanche of USB products when before the iMac, there were very few.

    They have created codecs and protocols which are now industry standards and contributed greatly to many others.

    The list goes on and on as to why an innovative Apple is so important to the entire computer industry. They have positively touched every facet of computing.

    How much longer would we have had to wait for these things, if they had happened at all, without Apple?

    So absolutely yes, you would indeed notice - and greatly regret - a world without Apple.

    Oh yeah, and OS X totally rocks!

  60. Jesse Dorland

    just buy mini mac

    I have built hackintosh. It's a waste of time -- of course I did this five years ago, and it's not worth it. I would suggest that you buy used matte screen mac book -- intel base! So this way you can play around with it. Last years when I was making decent amount of money, I bought mini mac, and yes it's worth having one around. My mom uses it for surfing internet, so I don't need to updated anti-virus, and other non-sense. She is happy.

    @By Stuart Duel

    OS X is a "decent" OS, but it doesn't "rock", granted it is better then Windows, but compare to Linux -- nope not even close.

  61. Goat Jam

    Mac OSX

    Every now and then I fire up the osx partition on my machine, determined that this time will be the time I see the light.

    I mean osx is UNIX compliant and all so I should like it for that (well, of course I do) but there is also the "Worlds Greatest User Interface" on there which should make it a no brainer.

    And then I find myself working in a window, maybe a shell session to one of my other Ubuntu boxes and I find I need to click on the top menu. Oops, where is the top menu? Oh, that's right, it's right up there on the top of the screen.

    Then I want to check the preferences in the browser I also have open, oops, that's right, the menu is "up there", clickety click, WTF, where is the prefs item? Oh, that's right, my ssh session has the focus, so I have to click the browser and then go BACK UP to the top of the screen to get to the prefs.

    It is at this point that I remember why I hate this GUI, give up, shake my head and mutter "I just don't get it" to myself as I watch Ubuntu reboot.

    Maybe there is a better way to navigate between windows and menus but that is not the point. As far as I am concerned if I have a window open on the screen then all the menus relating to that window should be contained within the window. Having to traverse the screen from the active window (which might be in the bottom RH corner of your second monitor) all the way across and up to the left hand side just to access a menu is simply retarded.

    I'm no apple hater, I have an iphone, and wouldn't mind buying a mac, but I just don't see the point of paying the apple tax just for a PC that I'd instantly want to run ubuntu on.

    OK, fanbois flame away <reaches for flameproof coat>

  62. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Halo

    Lol @ Jessy

    So young. So naive.

    Linux will never be anything but a curiosity for Windows suffererers who have yet to upgrade to Mac. Get real dude. Linux is a diluted mess. OS X is what Linux has been trying to be for years.

  63. Anonymous Coward

    £170 extra

    If you do want to game, you want a 3D card or two. That means 1500+ for a basic iMac or a mac pro. Do you live in a place with temperatures above 35C and want to water-cool? Too bad. Got an old iMac which needs a CPU update? That will need a new screen too. Want more disk at non-USB speeds?

    If you are a company, you get a mac pro. Small requirements are met by apple. It's the enthusiast and inbetweeners who are left outin the cold.

  64. N2

    As many above have said

    Its a good idea, but...

    I think Id prefer to put the £170 towards a new Mac, not forgetting that youd have to buy a copy of OSx outright which is a fair amount of coin.

    Then I guess its an option for a few who want to run the OS on a PC without a bit of hackery.

  65. Barney Carroll
    Thumb Up


    With a minimum of hackery I can run separate-drive Linux, Win and OSX on my custom PC. Effectively this gives me the most complete control I can have over hardware and software without any low-level unstabilising hackery.

    To those suggesting people simply buy a Mac, you're insane. This is insanely cheaper than the price markup of a same-spec Mac over a PC. Your point also ignores the fact that this allows almost total hardware customisation and upgrade from various distributors, and will let you run Linux and Windows on the same machine (I feel I need to say this again) without software-based hacks.

    I'm getting one of these.

  66. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Giles Jones

    "Apple has had chips designed for them, the CPU in the first Macbook Air was designed specifically for it. So you can't say anyone else was using that part."

    Apple had a CPU designed for them or Apple got Intel to speed up something they were developing?

    MacBook Air CPU 65nm Merom 1.60GHz - 1.80GHz 1.0V - 1.25V 20W

    Maybe the should have waited a few more months?

    Intel Core 2 Duo 65nm Merom 1.40GHz - 1.80GHz 0.9V - 1.2000V 17W

    Does the air still use a custom CPU?

  67. magnetik

    @Goat Jam

    "Maybe there is a better way to navigate between windows and menus but that is not the point."

    Jeez, you seem just like my mother, who refuses to learn how to press alt+tab to switch windows and would rather dig around in the task bar to find the app she wants to switch to.

    OS X isn't like Windows or KDE. If you can't be bothered to learn the best way to navigate around it then you shouldn't comment on it.

  68. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    @AC @First 2 AC's

    "It's still a whole lot cheaper than buying a real Mac. Geez, if you can get a new Mac for 253 quid, let me know where and I'll buy 5."

    So you're suggesting that you can get the rather specific hardware required at no cost? Can you let the rest of us in on the secret? That way I won't bother forking out the £253, I'll just install Free BSD. Excelent, a high spec PC and OS for gratis.

    Or maybe you just haven't bothered reading the article and just skipped straight to the comments? The headline may suggest that this allows you to install OSX on a "generic PC", but it doesn't. You'll have to put together a pretty specific PC in order to run this. So ACs 1 & 2 are right. And you, sir, are wrong.

  69. Anonymous Coward

    Ignorance is bliss

    The collective ignorance masked by pseudo-geek talk in this list is extraordinary.

    First a general point: many of the complaints seem to be that OS X or Linux do not behave like MS Windows or the OS X GUI does not behave like some Linux GUI. You know, the ones complaining they can not right-click on this part of the window/frame/screen and get that list/result/etc.. I expect you go to France and complain you can not do everything in your form of English and drive on the left as well or you drive a new car and complain that the reverse gear is selected differently from that in your last car of a different make and its diesle engine does not take it is no good. If you like the MS Windows way and can not or will not adapt, stay with it and stay out of the discussion. it is of no interest or value to you or you to it.

    To the genius with numbers, consider that the biggest buyers are probably large companies. What computer-literate individuals use at home is another matter and I too have worked for employers, of high repute, who allow personal laptops, subject to certain restrictions such as VPN etc and in these cases, Apple systems have been prominent, even in two Linux-standard envirônments. I first looked at Apple when all the PC supporters in one rather large firm told me they used Apples at home because they do not want problems when they leave work.

    1. Linux is a mix and match UNIX emulator/rewrite kernel plus GNU and other presentation layer/application software. It is NOT UNIX, It can be POSIX and X/Open compliant, though not by default I believe, depending upon your supplier. Its device support is patchy and one must accept many compromises in applications such as OpenOffice. It's good; but not as good as its fans trumpet.

    2. Another, arguably better, more secure and more consistent option is one of the BSDs, one of them certainly was until recently the favourite for secure web hosts. BSD variants are direct relatives of the original UNIX, even containing some of the original code.

    3. Another UNIX, the free, intel version of Solaris, also has a good name.

    4. OS X is based on a BSD UNIX (freeBSD?). As standard, besides the GUI window manager, come both a normal terminal emulator (console or command window to those from other worlds) and full X11 distribution, with xterms, x-this and x-that . This means that computer users rather than clickers and pointers can work in any UNIX shell of their choice (even the defective bash), using all of the normal tools (compilers, make(1), awk(1), sed(1) ...), pipes, filters, redirection and so on just as on their usual Solaris, AIX, HP-UX or any other UNIX implementation. This is a little harder under Windows (though cygwin takes a good stab at it). It also means that, in general, GNU software and such can be compiled and installed without problem ( of my first installs is GPG, always without problem). Eclipse etc are also childishly simple to install, easier than on Windows (that I have to use all day, every day).

    So, please stop this nonsense about how OS X stops you from low-level access etc..or Linux gives you UNIX (it does not, see above) and so on. Personally, I would install BSD rather than Linux on an old PC, but a good Linux distribution can do the basic job most of the time, just more work. But, by choice, I use OS X on Mac hardware, getting their GUI for convenience and straight UNIX for the rest.

    Oh, if your main motivation is games, buy a games device or even get out into the fresh air and play a real game or use a WII or something.. Just do not winge about operating systems for general tasks.

    It may be nice if OS X was legally and readily available to non-proprietary hardware. The same goes for full Solaris, AIX and others. On the other hand, it is excellent that, as said by others, using the standard systems, the devices, media stuff etc. work without spending hours hunting down the necessary codex or device driver or compiler option or tweaking the make file or some kernel parameter. At work, fine, I'm there and paid for it. At home, in my time, it is just aggravating.

  70. Asher Pat

    Why do so many posters here try to convince me to buy Apple?

    Are they AAPL shareholders? No, they just want to see their Apple United decimate everybody else - become the new Microsoft, only more nasty.

  71. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Best Comment Ever

    From AC yesterday at 16:18 - "bonified Unix certification".

    Presumably that's similar to "bona fide" certification, but so good that it gives you an erection.

  72. StooMonster

    OS X is £25

    Snow Leopard discs can be used for vanilla install.

  73. Mage Silver badge

    Why bother?

    Dual Boot Ubuntu & XP, or run one and the other on a VM.

    I've used Mac OS 8, 9 and X and fail to see any advantage. A disadvantage sisnce they abandoned Power PC and their own OS and moved to a Shiny Shell on a BSD Unix fork in Intel hardware, overpriced.

    I can't figure non-Mac people that want to run OS X on non-Apple HW, and Linux people that buy Macbooks to badly run Ubuntu.

  74. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    But ...

    Yes, to those suggesting it, you could more easily buy a Mac. But you then have to accept the hardware configurations supported by Apple hardware. For example, if you need slots for some reason, then you have to buy the rather bulky and definitely expensive Pro. Want a machine with lots of drive bays - no Apple option at all.

    If you just want a 'bog standard' desktop then yes, an iMac or Mini would probably be easier and not much difference in price, but for a setup Apple doesn't support then this would seem like a reasonable option.

  75. MrT

    EFI n'stuff...

    Q. If EFI is brilliant, why do manufacturers still stick with 16-bit BIOS?

    A. Cost.

    Imagine having to patch the EFI with drivers for all the varieties of hardware with which we are blessed in the PC world. A simple BIOS is enough to get the PC reading its RAM, LAN and HDD, plus is good enough to put a simple screen display out, without having to worry about that new video card or hard drive that's been installed.

    Apple control the limited range of hardware it uses (which is an advantage in this case) so maintaining the EFI is easier. Apart from the technophiles amongst us, how many people regularly practised BIOS reflashing - and EFI rewrite that goes wrong will have the same effect on the PC as a broken BIOS.

    The solution seems to boil down to either writing EFI-compliant drivers for every possible piece of hardware ever, or having every possible piece of hardware reflashed to conform to a given set of standards, i.e to include recognition of the basic EFI driver for XYZ item, then layering additional functionality later as required when the OS loads.

    Kind of reminds me of the IBM PS/2 MicroChannel days...

  76. ElReg!comments!Pierre

    @ AC 27th August 2009 12:36 GMT

    "The collective ignorance masked by pseudo-geek talk in this list is extraordinary."

    You're right, and your post is a perfect example. Thank you for setting the UNIX/not UNIX thinggie straight though, it always annoys me too. Not that it is of any importance in the desktop realm, but still. Some other points are pure bullshit though. And OS-X is nowhere near as good as most real Linux distros (NOT talking about Ubuntu here). And if you want full UNIX compat*, install a real BSD FFS, not this bastardized overbloated stuff from Apple. And if you want real dependability, go check that: 'cause UNIX was never good anyway.

    *not that it would be of any use in the real world unless you're a bank stuck with tons of legacy stuff, be hey, I heard that some people like the badge, and it's a free world we're living in.

  77. Bod

    @Stuart Duel

    "They introduced the GUI to the mainstream (which they PAID Xerox for the rights to use, as opposed to Microsoft which STOLE the code from Apple to write their half-arsed attempt at a Mac rip-off, Windows)."

    Where's the law suit for this theft of actual code? The case I'm aware of was where Apple claimed copyright infringement on their GUI style which is not the same as stealing actual code. The defence was that Apple's GUI was taken from Xerox (which was true) and MS & Apple had a licencing agreement that allowed them to do it anyway. MS won the case.

    There's nothing innovative though in what Apple "introduced". Like everything they've done it's just someone else's idea with a bit of fluff.

    Let's not forget that OS X GUI is a derivative of an open source GUI used on unix and linux platforms, which is derived from all sorts.

    "They lead the industry by ditching pointless, outdated hardware such as floppy drives and legacy ports (which you still find on most PCs to this day) which take up valuable space on the motherboard and back-pane, consuming resources and power for no good reason."

    Woop-de-do. Though have you seen modern PCs? The only legacy port these days is the PS2 mouse port. Serial maybe still there on a desktop but I can assure you it doesn't consume resources and power for no good reason. The only pointless port on a PC is Firewire and guess who's big on Firewire... ;)

    "They make excellent hardware from quality components with such astonishing attention to detail, right down to balancing the weight of Macbook Pros and iPhones."

    Get what you pay for. A Ferrari may have quality components and astonishing attention to detail compared to a Ford. So what?

    However, don't mix quality with good driver support. Most people judge bad quality on a PC because of flakey drivers. Apple have total control of the hardware and can be certain their drivers work. Sounds great, but remember their drivers don't work well on anything else. Only Apple hardware.

    The approach is the same as a games console however. Nothing innovative there.

    "They have created technology which everyone takes for granted such as Firewire, and introduced technology that everyone now uses, such as mice, and wireless networking to name a few."

    Hmm yeah, Firewire's the big hit that is was supposed to be wasn't it (i.e. replacing SCSI) ;). Yeah, that'll be why 99% of people use USB and hard discs now use SATA. Outside of Macs, Firewire is only used for video cameras.

    The mouse was nicked from Xerox again. Wireless networking had nothing to do with Apple, they just introduced a WiFi adapter around the same time the far east companies were knocking out theirs, all based on a long established industry standard.

    "With the introduction of the original Bondi blue iMac, they made USB actually useful by inspiring an avalanche of USB products when before the iMac, there were very few."

    Lol, dream on. That'll be why the vast majority of USB products, especially in the early days, only ever worked on Windows and there was no interest in Mac drivers. If it was the way you believe it to be, they'd all have been Mac compatible from day one.

    "They have created codecs and protocols which are now industry standards and contributed greatly to many others."

    Hmm, what Quicktime? ;). Think you'll find the majority of the best known codecs have little to do with Apple (or even Microsoft for that matter). Even the mighty AAC was not an Apple invention.

  78. Goat Jam


    You miss the point. If I can see a window on my screen and I wish to access the menu pertaining to that window I don't want to have to alt-tab through multiple apps to bring it into focus and then access it's menu on a different part of the screen. I can see what I want already, why should I have to waste my time informing the OS as to which app I would like to manipulate?

  79. Senjak
    Thumb Up

    What a fun toy!

    I've too many computers lying around, this sounds like a fun lark. I don't really care how useful it is, it will just be fun to do.

  80. magnetik

    @Goat Jam

    It can equally be argued that if I have three apps open on the screen I don't want both of them taking up screen space by showing their menus. This is especially important to me on a small screen (like a 13" laptop)

    Keyboard shortcuts are the best way to control your OS X apps. Thankfully there's a lot of consistency in keyboard shortcuts so that you don't have to remember different key combinations for different apps. Want your preferences? That's cmd+, in *any* app.

    BTW you don't need to press cmd+tab several times to tab though multiple apps, just hit it once and click on the icon of the one you want, or use expose to pick the app. Alternatively you could install the MondoMouse control panel and make the focus follow the mouse, either after a time delay or when you press a modifier key (like alt), in which case no app-switching is required.

  81. J Thompson


    Presumably, I still won't be able to maximise windows?

    I hate being dictated to about interfaces - I therefore hate MacOS. I remember studying Fitts's Law, etc. at uni (forgotten most of it now though) and Mac's car-crash-space-waste-dock-thing, menus-not-in-the-window WRONGNESS (actually, wrong, as in incorrect), only-one-mouse-button-but-right-clicking-mice-supported stupidity, inability-to-use-all-of-the-screen, and the hideousness that is Finder (worst name ever), all seemed to offend the recognised laws of HCI (human computer interaction) with a willful abandon.

    Also, why do iPods come with 50cm charging cables?? Are iPods designed to be used on the floor??????????????

    Windows is far better than most people realise. Anyone touting Mac as a superior computing experience to Windows, or even Mac-alike Ubuntu, doesn't, in my professional opinion, know how to use a computer properly.

  82. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns

    Don't Worry About The Legals

    "This Licence allows you to install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer at a time. You agree not to install, use or run the Apple Software on any non-Apple-labeled computer, or to enable others to do so."

    This clause applies to *end users*. Since ASEM is not an end user, Apple don't really have anything to throw at them, unlike companies like PsyStar who are effectively end users, since

    a) They provide generic hardware with the Mac OS X pre-installed.

    b) They don't have an OEM agreement with Apple.

    In fact, if ASEM were smart, they'd reach out to people like PsyStar - this would enable PsyStar to bring themselves into compliancy with Apple's EULA. Just provide a sealed retail copy of Mac OS X with the hardware and leave the end user to install it.

  83. uncle bob
    Thumb Up

    good luck to 'em

    Due to future support uncertainty I wouldn't buy it at present but can why people would; to have control and flexibility over their hardware while using an OS they like and/or are used to.

    I think Apple being so legalistic about clones etc is about them wanting to retain the myth that their hardware is somehow super-duper-special, when in reality it's just standard off the shelf kit albeit in a nicely designed shell.

    My mac pro (1st gen) tower shpped with a terrible graphics card, Ati 1900xt. The only officially supported option for a replacement is: another Ati 1900xt for about £300! This sort of inflexibility is bloody annoying and unnecessary.

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EFI-X cloned and available for free

    As per the author (Chris) request I'm publishing here a mail that I sent him directly.

    > Dear Sir,


    > I read your comprehensive article on the EFI-X module: FYI I'm the owner of

    > a v. 1.0 module since almost an year. Although thhe module works, it has

    > some annoying bugs and easch os update require us to wait ASEM to release a

    > new firmware. Additionally I am (and many other owner are) quite

    > disappointed about how bug fixing, troubleshooting and customer requests are

    > handled by the company.


    > I just wanted to notify to you some community effort related to EFI-X dongle


    > One hacker recently disassembled an EFI-X module and after some analysis

    > found out that it is nothing more than an encrypted USB stick: see his blog

    > for pictures and details:




    > An EFI-X customers disappointed by the way EFI-X development (bug fixing) is

    > performed and how customer complains are handled (heavy censorship on

    > official efi-x forum) created an unofficial forum where people help each

    > other for free.




    > Finally another community member created a guide on how to create a free

    > EFI-X clone by using Chameleon 2.0 and a standard usb stick. See the

    > following link for details:




    > Maybe these news might interest some of your readers that were interested in

    > your EFI-X article.


    > Thanks to the Chamaleon bootloader and this guide now I replaced my EFI-X

    > module and I update my system egularly using software update (in other words

    > in the same way that EFI-X was supposed to work). I wish someone have told

    > me this prior to buy my EFI-X module!


    > regards,


    > blackdir

  85. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Just love it!

    I thought all you PC people hated OSX and Apple with a passion, yet you all seem to be falling over yourselves to run this supposed crap, insecure operating system you hate so much!

    Hackintoshes are nothing more than great advertising for Apple, a sampler if you will of what OSX is all about! I ran an Acer 150 with OSX for about 6 months, it was stable enough but somehow you always had the feeling it was not working quite as well as it should be, missing something more psychological than technological, in the end I dumped it and bought a genuine Macbook then dumped my desktop PC for an iMac!

    I am now officially a "fanboi" thanks to all the hard work of the hackintosh community!

  86. magnetik

    @J Thompson

    Since you're so into human interface guidelines I suggest you read up Apples HIG before you make another ignorant comment.

  87. Chris Bidmead


    Asere's autopsy on the original EFiX device is particularly interesting, as is the fact that there is an alternative EFiX community outside the official one run by ASEM. ASEM users and potential ASEM customers should at least be aware of its existence. AC here is not alone among purchasers of the original EFiX device who have successfully migrated to the open source Chameleon, and the Efixusers forum gives full details about how to do this.

    Another omission from my main piece was a list of all those in the industry who shared some of the excitement I felt about the possibilities that EFiX was opening up, and helped me make this project a reality. John Hung, Gigabyte's MD for the UK and Ireland, had a spare previous season's GA-EP45-DS3R motherboard that he was happy to let me have. Intel's press officer, Alistair Kemp, shipped me a quad core early sample Pentium Q9450 he had knocking around loose in the office. Nvidia, though the intermediary of their PR person, Jennifer Andersson, stepped up to the plate with a 8800GTX graphic card, and Crucial fielded a couple of their 4GB Ballistix RAM modules. Miodrag Relic, Cooler Master's UK marketing manager, considered the spec of the parts I'd accumulated so far and decided I needed one of their server tower-sized Cosmos 1000 chassis to put it all in. And he threw in a Real Power M850 power supply to go with it. I'm also very grateful to YoyoTech, the computer builders' paradise around the corner from London's Tottenham Court Road, who came to the rescue me with a SATA Superwritemaster DVD drive when I discovered that my old PATA drive wouldn't work with EFiX. And to Kensington, who cracked my final problem by providing a USB keyboard and mouse.

  88. Gil Grissum

    What's the point?

    I could see a point to this if it were possible to run OSX on a wider variety of hardware, but to be hemmed in to a short list of compatible hardware is basically the same as Mac's who run on a short list of compatible hardware. I'd like to see a side by side cost analysis to see if it's less expensive to run OSX on a PC that you have to build from this short yes list of parts, versus buying a Mac and not having to bother with getting it to work properly.

  89. viet 1

    Why bother ?

    I really tried hard to love Macs ; since the first time I laid my hands on the square mice of an original beige Mac 64 (Kb, that is) until now, maybe once a year I manage to get a couple of days alone with one, waiting for the magic to happen, and I leave desperate. I have all reasons to love Macs. I even run NeXTStep 3.3 on a sparcstation 20 for the fun ! I wish EFI becomes more widespread, and I taught myself the basics of objective-C and Xcode (was called AppBuilder in the NeXT realm, I know it vastly improved since). But nope. Doesn't work for me.

    Firstly, the much vaunted Mac hardware is (to put it mildly) a filthy pile of standard PC components glued together in the worst possible manner, with barely enough forethought to boot MacOS. As most people will only run MacOS, it's all right, but you won't sell me the system at a premium based on the engineering alone. I don't include the case outside design in my concerns, I admit it's fashioned, clean and desirable, but there should be a computer inside first thing !

    Secondly, price. It goes with Apple like Leica : all things being equal, the apple kit is not so much overpriced if you were to build a similar PC kit. But you wouldn't ! Why shell out such an ungodly amount of money on something that won't last more than a couple of years (and be considered underpowered in 6 months) ? There are a few people that really, really, need to pay the premium because their job dictate it, and they are able to recoup their investment quickly enough. I very much doubt it's the case of the majority.

    Thirdly, software. MacOS isn't windows, neither is it Linux nor BSD. This may be OK to users, but it gives me (personally, I make no general consideration here) claustrophobic moments. I won't speak of windows for I don't use it being nearly linux only since 1998. To me, it's not only that it's simply alien (I manage quickly enough the shortcuts not to bother too much about the GUI specificities), it's outright oppressive. For the fun of it, I tried linux on various Macs, but the hardware is so restrictive too that I'm forced to conclude that a well trimmed PC is better in this role.

    Conclusion : if I could turn my PC into a Mac for those moments I need one, I'd happily do it instead of buying the full kit, because I know MacOS is unlikely to become my main system. Maybe I could spend a bit more time with it (say about 25% of what I do), but the price has to reflect this secondary nature. At the moment, a hard solution like EFI-X seems perfect, but still overpriced. They sell you what amounts to a bios + hard drive at a full computer price.

    End note : BSD is no more Unix, nor Posix than Linux. I very much doubt there's any original Unix code left in BSD, and the tenuous link between {Free|Net|Open}BSD and the original port of Unix at Berkeley by Ken Thompson is in effect a tale of lore intended to make BSD users feel more aristocratic than the linux commoners crowd. Not that it didn't happen, but there's no magic in computing, and I very much prefer a clean rewrite of a function rather than being bitten by a buffer overflow left in ancient code because it has been written by a semi-god no one dared to contradict ; and luckily, this isn't how it's done, BSD code has much improved over time. But at the moment, hardware support is better in Linux than in all BSD around ; linux even runs on some platforms NetBSD doesn't (and vice-versa). When it comes to various cards addons, the difference is evident. To ice the cake, for a long time, linux has been the only system SMP compatible, so as soon as you had to animate more than a CPU (or a core), there was no choice at all. Free and Net BSD are slowly coming to par in this area, but I'll wait a bit more bug testing before considering a switch.

    About Posix, well, Linux is fully Posix with GNU extensions, like BSD is Posix with BSD extensions. That's all there is to it. Hey, even Windows NT had a Posix layer you could bolt on ! In the beginnings, around linux 1.2, posix compatibility was admittedly a guesswork because nobody had the means to offer Linus Thorvald a full Posix specification. That's 10 years old news.

  90. magnetik

    @viet 1

    " the much vaunted Mac hardware is (to put it mildly) a filthy pile of standard PC compon"

    What a load of bollocks! I've been messing with the internals of PCs for 20 years and never come across any machine as neatly done as a Mac. Show me too, who else makes a laptop with a unibody, or glass multitouch trackpad.

    "Why shell out such an ungodly amount of money on something that won't last more than a couple of years (and be considered underpowered in 6 months)"

    Ahem, Macs have a long shelf life. My missus is using a seven year old iMac. Snow Leopard just made every Intel Mac out there run faster than ever. Jeez dude, as someone who's supposedly been using Linux since '98 you should know that Linux and OS X run far better on older hardware than Windows.

    "MacOS isn't windows, neither is it Linux nor BSD."

    And this is bad because? You may as well slate Fedora because it's not Debian. ("It's not a proper distro unless it uses apt") Grow up and get over the fact that Apple have done something different.

  91. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Geez, if you can get a new Mac for 253 quid, let me know where and I'll buy 5

    "It's still a whole lot cheaper than buying a real Mac. Geez, if you can get a new Mac for 253 quid, let me know where and I'll buy 5."

    You might be able to buy up to 23 of them.

  92. Cheated By EFI-X
    Thumb Down

    Warning from an EFI-X customer

    If anyone considers buying an EFI-X unit, I hope they read this first. I bought an EFI-X V1.0 in June this year and it did allow me to run MacOS 10.5 as well as Win7RC and Ubuntu on a new machine made from parts on the hardware compatibility list. It's a great idea, but the execution is terrible and the customer service nonexistent.

    * Firmware updates are typically very late in coming and often introduce more bugs than they fix. V1.0 never got past a very rough beta stage.

    * The firmware update server at EFI-X is rarely available. And when it is up and people use it, many users on the forum report broken EFI-Xes which means they have to send the units to Taiwan for repair. You cannot revert to an earlier firmware version if a current update causes you problems.

    * Plenty of users' units are dying within their first year, even without the updater problem mentioned above. One day they turn on their PCs and it can no longer be recognized by the BIOS.

    * Both David Rutigliano and Wilhelm von Vnukov of EFI-X stated in multiple interviews over the past year that the advantage of the EFI-X V1 was that it was firmware-upgradeable to run OSX. Even the website at stated this.

    * Wilhelm von Vnukov aka "White Dragon" refuses to support OS10.6 on the EFI-X V1 by not updating its firmware. He wants use to all buy the V1.1 for that privilege...if he can deliver the firmware update for it to even run Snow Leopard...another @$240US, please... Hundreds of posts by upset V1 customers who feel lied to about the "firmware updateability" of their $240US devices remain unanswered. EFI-X vendors continue to sell the remaining stock of V1 units without warning users it will never run OS10.6...

    * A community of former EFI-X customers is forming at and can point you to solutions similar to EFI-X but free. Check out the following threads for both knowledge and humor:

    Purpose of

    EFI-X Disassembled:

    Who is Wilhelm von Vnukov:

  93. Groucho

    Ripped Off By Efix too!!!

    I too, own a couple of the Efix units. I've had 'em for about a year. Now they won't (can't) support SL. And despite the outcry of a large portion of the customer base, they refuse to respond.

    I'm an uber noob, but I'll still take my chances with the folks over at They have their heads and hearts in the right place when it comes to helping people like me. I don't know if I'll ever get SL running with chameleon, but I'm sure gonna try... without Efix.

    If you're thinking about buying from ASEM... don't!!! Pure and simple. You'd be better off, taking 2 c-notes and a fifty and lighting cigars with them. You'll have gotten more for your money.

  94. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    @ Cheated By EFI-X

    Fascinating reading thank you.

  95. Greg J Preece

    Virtual Machine?

    I already have a nice high-spec machine, and I need Mac OS X for testing some stuff. How hard is it to run in a VM?

  96. Greg J Preece


    "The Elite"? Uh-huh. I have a nice little theory that you fit with rather nicely:

    If you want to look like you're getting work done, use Windows

    If you want to actually get some work done, use Linux

    If you just want people to look, buy a Mac

  97. mikeaoller

    OS X in a VM?

    It's easy if you are willing to bear the bugs: No version of VMware tools will run - sluggy mouse and video. You won't get the virtual NIC device to work, neither as sound or usb. To exchange data with the VM, you will need to attach a vmdk (virtual harddisk) containing those data.


    p.s.: This won't run on ESX, which is quite a pity. I've tried on Workstation and it works as supposed.

  98. Farai

    Errr, just a wee second..

    I don't hear you all moaning when Nokia supplies you with a 'closed software/hardware' combination.. What gives?

    Google gave the world Android - install it where you want on compliant devices/non-windows/you sort out the issues

    Microshite gave the world Windoze mobile - install it on compliant devices/reminds you of windows/you sort out the issues

    Nokia gives the world S60-tied devices - They supply the OS and the hardware marriage/take it or leave it.

    The only reason i can see why people moan so much about Apple's business model is because they yearn to get their soiled paws on the goodness that is OSX. Well, tough! Want the OS, get the kit that comes with it. Apple guarantee an'experience' which is delivered by the marriage of hardware and software.

    If you want the experience, you know where to find it :D

  99. Anonymous Coward

    Join the elite?

    OSX is fat and impotent. if half the shit i needed (ie: wow *whistle*) ran on linux id use that.

  100. Pablo256

    Stay away from EFi-X

    I've had an EFi-X since August 2008 and my entire experience with the company has been one of technical incompetence and sheer unprofessionalism. The broken promises and lies about the capabilities, workings and origins of the product are now beginning to catch up with them:,news-31841.html

    Either save your pennies and buy a real Mac or if you fancy a bit of technical puzzle solving and EULA breaking, then visit InsanelyMac and learn about Chameleon/Boot-132/PC_EFI et al.

  101. Chris Bidmead


    This new Tom's Hardware piece is an important read for anyone interested in EFiX. If ASEM is a scam (and to my mind that has yet to be proved), I must admit to having been fooled every bit as much as Tom's Hardware was when they published their original piece on EFiX (although the copy I submitted to The Register did actually include links to dissenting Web sites which were edited out for reasons of space). And as the Tom's Hardware article says, EFiX originally delivered what it promised, and -- for me at least -- is still doing so.

    Two questions arise out of this. 1) Is ASEM ripping off the open source community? 2) What happens next.

    As far as 1) is concerned, I think we'll soon know. Smart people are working on this. I suspect that 2) is going to be a matter of wait and see. If ASEM fails commercially, which seems not improbable in the light of the adverse press it's getting, EFiX users may find themselves left high and dry -- whether this is a scam or not.

    The best case scenario would be for ASEM to turn the code over to the open source community so they can incorporate this (back?) into Chameleon. Failing that, the community might in any case be able to crack the code. But whatever happens, it seems to me that Chameleon is coming on at such a pace that EFiX might soon become irrelevant anyway.

    By coincidence my copy of Snow Leopard, kindly sent to me from Apple UK, arrived while I was writing this. Should I install this on my EFiX machine? Or just stick it on my MacBook Pro and wait a bit until the ASEM dust has settled?



  102. RobMac1
    Thumb Down

    Buyer beware

    The company had a great idea with this, but in 2009 the device has been a support fiasco. The people (person) running the company recently chose to leave 90% of current customers out to dry by not supporting Snow Leopard on the V1.0 device. They appear to have done this to draw in sales on new V1.1 devices through upgrades, but have only succeeded in enraging their customers who view this as a grab for more money. There are places that just began selling V1.1s over the past few weeks, so there are customers out there who bought a V1.0 that is now "obsolete" almost immediately after purchase.

    The device has had constant problems. Each firmware upgrade fixes one issue, only to create another. The update server has a 99.99% DOWNtime. The forum and company website go down often as well. They treat customer complaints and dissatisfaction as a nuisance, when they should be opening their eyes to fix problems.

    Stay out of this boat, it is sinking quickly!

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