Newsletter #496 Preview: Finding the Right
Insecticide for the Mac Clone Insect Population

May 31st, 2009

You know the feeling. You find some tiny crawling and airborne critters in your home, so you call the exterminator to get rid of them pronto. However, a few weeks later, and they’re back again, sometimes in greater numbers than before.

In our corner of the universe, the Mac clone insect population was first seeded when Apple switched to Intel processors. Soon they would be delivering Macs build with essentially the same components as a Windows PC. Well, not quite, since Apple bypassed the BIOS of the typical PC in favor of Intel’s Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI for short), a more modern method of configuring low-level functions during a computer’s boot-up process.

As you might expect, power users quickly devised methods to induce Mac OS X to install on generic PC hardware anyway, and a small but widespread community has grown up to support the practice. Indeed, Macworld published an article about just such a project, in which they built a “Hackentosh” that ran quite well, thank you, on Mac OS X before it was reformatted as a Windows PC and returned to conventional duty.

During this process, Apple didn’t go out of its way to stop the practice, since only a small number of people were involved, and they weren’t exactly engaged in a retail business of violating Apple’s user license. That license, as most of you realize, restricts installation of Mac OS X to Apple hardware.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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