August 4th, 2006

MacOSX on Intel


mac-on-hp.JPG   photo-hp-mac.JPG

A few days ago, I got a few hours spare so I got myself a new Mac…well, kind of. I got Mac OSX running on my HP Pavillion.

Nope, it is not those hacks you do to make your Windows look like a Mac (I did that two years ago). Or the super slow PowerPC Emulator, PearPC.

This is a hack I read a couple of months ago about how to get Mac OSX for Intel to run on non-Apple machine by disabling the TPM checks. I got the patch lying around but never got to trying it until now.

Oh boy, I am surprised how well it goes for me. Almost all the hardware works out of the box, including sound, DVD-RW and even the build in Bluetooth! My ATI Radeon X700 video card has some problem but was quickly fixed with some quick binary hack. The only thing that does not work right now is the Intel 2200BG wireless (wifi) but someone is writing the device driver for that.

I suppose this is the inevitable the moment Apple decided to release Mac OSX on Intel. Despite having TPM that prevent OSX from running on non-Apple hardware, it does not take long for the community to work around it.

True, Mac OSX shipped with fairly limited of hardware support so even if you get it running on a normal PC, it is likely is a lot of your hardware dont work. But since Mac OSX is based on BSD (an open source project), it does not take much to take the open source Linux driver and hack it into BSD/Mac OSX. The few non-open source portion of OSX could also be reversed engineered, given sometime.

I am not going to share how I did this. I probably broke some (Singapore) laws by doing this hack so I am not going to encourage you to do this. Now that I blog about it, I probably should remove the partition and revert that back to Linux. It is a fun thing to do for an afternoon, fun to show it to friends but without the wifi support, it is not exactly usable.

But one day, I hope Apple would releaase their Mac OSX for PC. I know, I know, Apple is a hardware company. But you know, it is a business decision between selling 100M software license vs selling 1M hardware. So never say never. (esp. for those who claims Apple will never release a mouse with more than one button).

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