Skip to main content

Mac or PC - the debate continues


Dropped into my local shopping mall Apple store over the weekend, mainly to check out the new range of Intel Pentium-driven Macs (opens in new tab), which have been promoted heavily on TV this month.

I was impressed, especially when I got to chatting with one of sales persons in the store, who revealed that, as well as running a new generation of the software, it's also possible to load a copy of Windows XP (opens in new tab)- suitably modified. of course - on the machines.

But get this. It appears that a group of programmers in the US, having reverse coded Windows XP sufficiently to by-pass the registration security, and allow the kernel to run on Mac, have now cracked the Mac's operating system in the same way.

A modified version of the Apple Mac operating system - Mac OS X - is now floating around on BitTorrent sites, which can be used to create a DVD that auto-loads the Mac operating system on an Intel-driven PC.

I haven't downloaded the file myself, but reports in the US say the file - JES4.2b - will run quite happily on Dell PCs.

The Mac OS hack reportedly started life when a Russian programmer called Maxxuss (opens in new tab)cracked the encryption system on the Mac's operating system that `locks' it to an Apple Mac BIOS.

Other programmers then added to Maxxuss' hard work and developed the patch to the point where an Intel-driven PC could emulate the EFI boot firmware (opens in new tab)seen in the new Intel-based Macs.

The final step in getting Mac OS X to run on an Intel PC was persuading the SSE3 (opens in new tab) code - which requires a dual core processor seen on the Intel-driven Macs - to run on a single Pentium processor.

The slightly bad news for PC techeads wanting to run Max OS X on their Pentium PCs is that Apple doesn't normally sell copies of its operating system for Pentium-driven Macs on a standalone basis.

Unless, of course, you happen to find a cracked copy of the Mac operating system on BitTorrent...