I sometimes wonder what monsters haunt the nightmares of Apple’s resident designer, Mr. Jonathan Ive. He’s so prim, so meticulous, so clean and proper, but on those nights when he has a slice of pepperoni pizza a little too close to bed time, what horrors does he dream up? Some horrible Cenobite iMac dragging itself bloodily across the floor whispering “Make way for the new flesh:” a biomechanical monstrosity of Foxconn components crammed into the pulsating sack of some skinless, cancerous stomach?
Or is it something more like this cardboard box Hackintosh, put together by the guys over at One Block Off the Grid — a cooperative for buying photovoltaic solar panels at a group discount — after one of their Macs proved too slow to run Adobe After Effects?
Way back before the iPad, there was the HTC Shift, a 7-inch UMPC with a 1024 x 600 touchscreen, a full QWERTY keyboard, EVDO data functionality and an 800MHz Intel A110 CPU. For mobility buffs, it was then what today’s tablets are to them now, but it cost an arm and a leg at $1,500. Even worse? It ran Windows. Vista. That alone was enough to drop the ‘f’ from the product’s name.
These days, you can probably pick up an HTC Shift pretty cheap on eBay, and while there’s still little to recommend it over an iPad (or, heck, even the Galaxy Tab) it turns out that the diminutive little UMPC is Hackintoshable, with OS X Leopard running pretty much flawlessly on it, with the exceptions of WiFi and the fingerprint reader.
If for whatever reason you’ve got a Shift around, or find yourself morbidly curious enough to pick one up cheap on eBay to make yourself one of the tiniest Hackintoshes around, you can find the instructions over on the XNA Developers forum.
Those unconventional iconoclasts at Psystar might have been ground down to a gelatin paste by Apple’s legal team, but that’s not to say you can’t have a business selling Mac clones… as long as you don’t sell them with OS X pre-installed.
Just ask the guys at Quo Computers, “Apple enthusiasts who breathe and bleed Mac OS X” who have just announced their latest hackintosh: a truly ghastly tower called the maxQ2 with beefy hardware placing it somewhere between the performance of a high-end iMac and the Mac Pro.
Inside the chassis, the Q2 features an Intel Core i7 3.6GHz CPU, 12GB of RAM, a 240GB SSD, a 1TB hard drive and an NVIDIA 285 GTX GPU. The real appeal here, though, is the addition of Aestek’s liquid / copper cold plate cooling system, which will keep the innards frosty regardless of what you throw at it.
The maxQ2 will run Windows, OS X or Linux through EFI support… although Quo isn’t stupid enough to install OS X on it for you themselves. The Quo maxG2 starts at $3,675, and if you’re willing to trade aesthetic for horsepower while breaking OS X’s EULA in the process, it seems like an option worth considering.
Apple’s fastest Mac is the 12-Core Mac Pro, featuring two 2.93 GHz Xeon processors. Configure it with 25GB of DDR3 ECC SDRAM, and Apple’s fastest Mac will cost you $8,749.00.
Yowza. That’s an extraordinary amount of money. If you don’t mind dropping an extra $300, though, you might be interested in Macintouch’s guide to building not Apple’s fastest Mac, but the world’s fastest Mac yourself.
Yup, according to Macintouch’s tests, their Hackintoshed monstrosity — a total beast of a machine running two 3.33GHz hexacore Westmere processors overclocked to 4.2GHz each and supplemented with 24GB of DDR3 RAM — melted the Mac Pro’s face off.
Of course, there’s a lot of drawbacks to this approach, including compatibility issues and a much louder system than the Mac Pro, as well as a desktop footprint that makes the Pro look compact. But as of right now, it seems that a Hackintosh is the fastest Mac in the world. God help us.
Were you one of the many prospective customers disappointed that the iPad didn’t run OS X? Axon’s got your cover: their forthcoming Haptic tablet is designed from the ground up to run any Darwin-based operating system… which means it can be Hackintoshed to run OS X.
The stats make it clear that the Axon Haptic is strictly a netbook on the inside:
For $800 bucks, that’s some pretty woeful performance, particularly when it comes to battery life. Worse, if you do decide to break Apple’s EULA and install Snow Leopard on this thing, the operating system isn’t really designed to be useable on a tablet.
The bottom line is that while this tablet’s interesting from a hackability perspective, if you want a Hackintosh, you’re better off with a netbook, and if you want an Apple tablet, the iPad is going to be superior in performance and functionality in almost every way. For collector’s only, we’d say.
It’s certainly not the prettiest (a Frankenstein) or the most powerful (a sloth) but it’s the one with the twenty hours of battery life spread between two interchangeable batteries always swinging from a satchel (read: man purse) on my hip.
What was once a lackluster Windows XP lilicomputer is now, thanks to the OSx86 project and this wonderful guide, the one Mac I’m always guaranteed to have on me.
In the Hackintosh community, the MSI Wind is somewhat legendary for being the first netbook out there that could essentially run OS X out of the box, with all features working and no hardware hacking required.
Now it looks like the venerable Wind has another Apple bragging point: with its keyboard ripped out and its display replaced with a touchscreen and reversed, the MSI Wind U100 makes a good poor man’s substitute for the iPad.
Sure, it doesn’t use the iPhone OS — it’s running Snow Leopard 10.6.2 — and it’s got some rough edges (it can only be turned on and off by wiggling a little paperclip in a hole), but if you were hoping that Steve Jobs was going to announce a MacTablet on January 27th instead of a big iPhone, this might be just the project to devote your weekend to.
Sometimes, you can just punch and punch and punch a guy until he’s squirting gray matter out of his tear ducts and he just won’t stay down. Psystar’s that guy. Though meatily pounded into a puddle of pulsating goo by Apple’s lawyers, the Florida-based Hackintosh makers have officially filed a notice of appeal in order to revoke the injunction made against them, prohibiting them from selling hardware with Apple’s operating system pre-installed.
For the last year or so, I’ve had an old indigo blue iMac G3, throbbing its orange oculus silently on my computer desk. I inherited it from the previous inhabitant of my apartment, and while I was at first enthusiastic about it, I’ve never quite been able to decide what I want to do with it.
While my budgerigar, Humbert J. Humbird, likes it well enough, converting it into a bird cage doesn’t really seem like a good idea: a gloomy demesne indeed for a parakeet already morbidly inclined. Another idea I had was to install Writeroom and put it in the front hallway of my palatial blogger’s luxury apartment, as a sort of guest book, but the only nook suitable is already the napping post of my senescent man servant, Beasley.
The other day, though, inspiration struck: I would Hackintosh it. I’d just rip out that iMac’s guts — the bulbous CRT, the 450MHz Power PC architecture, the 10GB hard drive and the 350MB RAM — and install a homemade mini-PC, hacked to run Snow Leopard. A perfect New Year’s project, and an excellent way to make that gorgeous, old and obsolete piece of plastic junk into a modern Mac.
I haven’t started yet — I expect the real challenges to be the installation of an LCD screen and getting the slot-loading DVD drive to play nice — but I was curious if anyone had tried to Hackintosh an old iMac G3. Sure enough, someone had, as demonstrated this gorgeous picture guide of some maker who gutted his own, tray-loading Tangerine iMac G3 and installed a Hackintosh.
Unfortunately, there’s no text instructions, but the process seems simple enough. I plan to start sometime in January, and I’ll update here about it as I do. Any of our Cultists done something similar and want to warn me away from potential pitfalls? Pipe up in the comments.
As a blogger, it’s hard to know quite from just what angle I should tackle modder Will Urbina’s utterly wonderful but certainly unholy amalgamation of a Xbox and a Hackintosh.
Should I describe it as a hideous, pupal cocoon that has been secreted by Microsoft to encase the imago of the Macintosh struggling to free its wings within? Or is OS X just the magic employed a soul-devouring hag, who — once bedded — lets the charm drop and reveals herself as the uggo she is?
Either way, Urbina’s creation is probably a psychoanalytically diagnosable incubus in the mind of Steve.
Called the OS Xbox Pro, Urbina’s project takes a translucent Microsoft Xbox chassis and crams it with Hackintoshable guts, including a pair of 2.93GHz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550s, an NVIDIA GeForce 9800GT GPU, 8GB of RAM, a 16GB solid state drive, and four additional hard drives. One drive boots Windows 7, the other OS X Snow Leopard (retail bought, Urbina assures), with two other hard drives for video editing. The end cost was $1500 for component from New Egg, which is just a little bit less than the cost of a 27 inch iMac.
The impetus to Urbina’s profane cross-breed case mod? Although he prefers Windows, Urbina needed a work machine to use Final Cut Pro.
The end result is sure to have Cupertino weaving a circle around it thrice and shutting its eyes in holy dread, but personally, I just can’t think of a better use for an old Xbox than to make it into a Mac.