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Building a Hackintosh

Hussein Baghdadi
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Joined: Nov 08, 2003
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Hi.
I'm thinking to give this a shot:
http://lifehacker.com/software/hack-attack/build-a-hackintosh-mac-for-under-800-321913.php
It is not illegal and Apple is not suing any body.
I will buy a copy of Mac OS X (Leopard) and try to install it but I have one question:
What do you think of the performance of running OS X on a PC?
Do you think it will be stable on a PC?
Yes, I understand that OS X runs like a devil on Apple hardware but it should also runs fine on a powerful PC hardware, right?
Thanks.
marc weber
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Joined: Aug 31, 2004
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Apple might not be bothering with this now, but I'm not convinced about the legality. The OS X license agreement says...
This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer...

I'm not sure whether adorning your Hakintosh with an Apple label would suffice. :roll:


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Hussein Baghdadi
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This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on a single Apple-labeled computer...

I'm not going to install the OS X on many PCs, just my lone PC.
Lasse Koskela
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    5
Originally posted by John Todd:
I'm not going to install the OS X on many PCs, just my lone PC.

John, Marc's point was about the license requiring that your lone PC is Apple hardware.


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Hussein Baghdadi
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Yes, I got it.
Arvind Mahendra
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I'm just not sure that we are interpreting this licence correctly in that there might be a definite legal workaround or something that isn't what it seems. Even Oreilly publications is selling and endorsing literature on how to do precisely that on its website. I glanced over that agreement and perhaps it doesn't extend out of California? or maybe if you are in a foreign country? or maybe if you are a minor? or maybe if you did it while in a state of being inebriated? or maybe it wasn't even you who did it? these are all questions only your lawyer will be able to answer.


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marc weber
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Originally posted by Chunnard Singh II:
...there might be a definite legal workaround...

Yes, there might be. But I would not want to be the first to challenge this in court.

I doubt anyone is going to get into serious trouble doing this, but I wouldn't be quite so bold in proclaiming that it's "legal."
Frank Carver
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Joined: Jan 07, 1999
Posts: 6920
I'm interested in this, but mainly as a "try before you buy".

I have never used a Mac, and never even seen one running up close. There are no "apple stores" near where I live, and I don't know anyone with a Mac which I could play with for a while. I'm intrigued by the idea of a Mac, but naturally wary of laying out a big chunk of cash for premium Apple hardware only to find that it's not for me.

I have plenty of spare PC hardware hanging about, and if I can install OSX on some box or other, I could find out if all the hype is justified. If I like it I'll buy a "real one".


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Bear Bibeault
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The only problem with that plan is how would you tell if any problems you encounter (performance, driver issues, etc) are a result of running the OS on non-native hardware? You'll need to realize that you're not going to get a 100% true experience.


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Hussein Baghdadi
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http://lifehacker.com/software/benchmarks/hackintosh-vs-mac-pro-vs-macbook-pro-benchmarks-322866.php
I understand that OS X is optimized for Apple hardware, but it should run quite good on a powerful PC too (I think).
I'm considering buying a DELL Inspiron 1520 laptop but my main concern is its graphics card (Intel Accelerator X3100).
Not sure about it.
Jesper de Jong
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  18

Originally posted by Frank Carver:
I'm interested in this, but mainly as a "try before you buy".

Well, as the article on LifeHacker says, it only works on the specific hardware mentioned there (a specific Asus motherboard and video card). Do you by chance have those exact parts hanging about? Otherwise it might not work.

Whether it's officially legal or not, Apple does not like you doing it...

And a Intel-based Macs are internally almost exactly the same as PCs - the only difference AFAIK is that they have an EFI instead of an old-fashioned BIOS. Processor, motherboard, video etc. are all the same as a standard PC.
Originally posted by John Todd:
I'm considering buying a DELL Inspiron 1520 laptop but my main concern is its graphics card (Intel Accelerator X3100).

That's the same graphics as the new MacBooks have so Leopard certainly supports it.
[ November 20, 2007: Message edited by: Jesper Young ]

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Hussein Baghdadi
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Originally posted by Jesper Young:

That's the same graphics as the new MacBooks have so Leopard certainly supports it.

[ November 20, 2007: Message edited by: Jesper Young ]

Not according to this:
http://wiki.osx86project.org/wiki/index.php/HCL_10.5.0
Hussein Baghdadi
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But this shows that you are right
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X3100#GMA_X3100
Frank Carver
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Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
The only problem with that plan is how would you tell if any problems you encounter (performance, driver issues, etc) are a result of running the OS on non-native hardware? You'll need to realize that you're not going to get a 100% true experience.


Sure. But my problem is that I have never used any Mac software, so I don't even know the basic assumptions. The apple web site seems pretty much devoid of detail, instead trying to convince me how much I will "love" the "Mac experience". As a concrete example what exact video formats can iMovie read? what formats can it write? I have been looking for this for several days and can only find advertising drivel about "the most popular formats".

If attempting to install OSX onto generic PC hardware is effectively useless for this, can anyone suggest any other ways of trying out the Mac software without actually paying out a lot of money for a Mac which may not do what I need?
Bear Bibeault
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As a concrete example what exact video formats can iMovie read? what formats can it write?
Anything that you have a QuickTime codec for.
Out of the box, this covers all "popular" editing formats, but most people use DV as an editing format. MPEG2 requires a separate license because, well, its licensed. Odd codecs such a 3vix can be added. I guess they don't list them because there is such a confusing morass of formats. Is there a particular format that you're concerned with?
Rick Beaver
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Originally posted by Frank Carver:

If attempting to install OSX onto generic PC hardware is effectively useless for this, can anyone suggest any other ways of trying out the Mac software without actually paying out a lot of money for a Mac which may not do what I need?


Do you have an Apple store near you? The Apple stores (and some resellers) generally have the full suite of Apple hardware out for customers to play around with. Certainly the Apple store I visit is always full of people surfing the web on the display systems. The sales staff generally do not interfere.


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Frank Carver
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Originally posted by Bear Bibeault:
Anything that you have a QuickTime codec for.


Hmm. That doesn't really help. I installed Quicktime on one of my PCs once, but found that the it insisted on installing iTunes, and was much less versatile than the unencumbered VLC player. I hadn't even realised that Quicktime could be used for anything other than mov files. I guess I should try and find some documentation on line about quicktime.

Out of the box, this covers all "popular" editing formats, but most people use DV as an editing format...I guess they don't list them because there is such a confusing morass of formats. Is there a particular format that you're concerned with?

DV is not a problem, as pretty much all video editing software assumes the use of a DV camcorder. The bit it's hard to find out about are native digital formats from cameras and solid state camcorders. My camera produces ASF files, for example, and I also have a bunch of WMV, and AVI files containing MP4 and MJPEG video.

Not listing formats just seems lazy to me. There must be a list, used to populate import menus if nothing else. I'm just surprised that it is so hard to find real technical specs for Apple products.
Frank Carver
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Originally posted by Rick Beaver:
Do you have an Apple store near you?


I'm afraid not. There are at most a handful in the whole country, and none of them are very near where I live.

That's why I get frustrated at the lack of on-line information. For a minority supplier, Apple just don't seem to try very hard.
Bear Bibeault
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Originally posted by Frank Carver:
That doesn't really help. I installed Quicktime on one of my PCs once, but found that the it insisted on installing iTunes, and was much less versatile than the unencumbered VLC player.

QuickTime on a Mac is a completely different animal than the PC version. Besides, we're talking QuickTime the format container rather than the player which only one small component of the QT architecture.

I hadn't even realised that Quicktime could be used for anything other than mov files

Quicktime, sort of like AVI on the Windows side, is a container format for various codecs. Anyone who want to write a codec to the QuickTime API can create a format that can be played via QuickTime.

The bit it's hard to find out about are native digital formats from cameras and solid state camcorders. My camera produces ASF files, for example, and I also have a bunch of WMV, and AVI files containing MP4 and MJPEG video.

Flip4Mac will convert WMV files, and there are a bunch of other tools to do conversions. I'm not personally knowledgeable on the camera-proprietary formats. For those, it's probably up to the manufacturers to provide Mac support.

Not listing formats just seems lazy to me.

Perhaps they should list the natively supported formats supported by OS X, but as I said above, anybody and his brother could write a codec. So it'd be impossible to list them all. Have you dug into the links on the QuickTime page?

There must be a list, used to populate import menus if nothing else.
The menus are dynamically generated from whatever codecs are available on the system.

I'm just surprised that it is so hard to find real technical specs for Apple products.

Differing expectations, I suppose. I never seem to have too much trouble finding what I need to know. But yeah, sometimes you gotta dig. No worse than when I was using Windows though.
Bear Bibeault
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Putting aside video formats for the moment, I'd venture to say that it's highly unlikely that you would not be happy with your Mac purchase. Of the many people I've helped or urged to switch to a Mac, only two have not been completely thrilled.

One simply refuses to learn a new interface. She wants the stability and security of OS X, but wants it to look and work exactly like Windows (but while she grumbles about the placement of buttons, I notice she seems to make her way around the interface like a pro).

The other lives inside the program provided by EarthLink (sort of like AOL where once you connect you do everything through a proprietary interface) and hates it. I can't blame her. I've seen it and it makes even AOL and Lotus Notes look good. Her issue is that she equates this monstrosity with OS X, which frankly, she doesn't use much of. So she thinks she doesn't like the Mac, even though it's the EarthLink program she hates.

Everyone else is more than happy with their switch and some thank me every time I see them.
Jesper de Jong
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  18

Originally posted by John Todd:
But this shows that you are right
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/X3100#GMA_X3100

Apple's website: http://www.apple.com/macbook/specs.html
Graphics and video support

* Intel GMA X3100 graphics processor with 144MB of DDR2 SDRAM shared with main memory
 
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