Hackers have bypassed Apple’s desire to remove support for Intel’s Atom processor from Mac OS X 10.6.2, allowing the increasingly popular netbooks to run Cupertino’s latest operating system. The complicated hack replaces the Mac OS X kernal, according to reports.
The low-powered Atom processor from Intel is often used by low-cost netbooks. Apple currently offers no hardware officially supporting the Atom chip.
The move is the latest in a back-and-forth between hackers and the company. Earlier this month, blogs reported a build of the update to 10.6 “Snow Leopard” removed support for the Atom processor, suggesting those wanting to build netbook “hackintoshes” would be required to use the older operating system. Days later, another version of 10.6.2 sent to developers reportedly re-enabled Atom support. When Apple officially released the update, Atom support was again missing.
The hack re-enabling Mac OS X 10.6.2 to run on Atom-based netbooks requires changes described as not for the weak-of-heart. The hack reportedly involves steps in the Terminal, replacing the kernal (the core of Mac OS X) — all available from a Russian-language blog, according to MacWorld.
This here-today, gone-tomorrow relationship between Apple and Atom recalls that between the Cupertino, Calif. company and Palm, when that company’s Pre (a rival of the iPhone) introduced support for iTunes. Apple would introduce incremental upgrades breaking the Pre bond.