First 'hackintosh' modchip surfaces

September 15, 2008 | 13:21

Tags: #efi #hack #hackintosh #mac #macos #macos-x #mod-chip #modchip #osx #os-x

Companies: #apple #efi-x #mod

If you thought those shady modchips were just for the console crowd, think again: a hardware device for simplifying the installation of Apple's MacOS X operating system on a generic x86 PC has been surfacing around the web.

The Unofficial Apple Weblog noticed that several Apple fan sites around the web have started posting pictures of the internal USB dongle dubbed the EFi-X, including members of the InsanelyMac forum and the Incomplete News Project.

So, why the big fuss? Well, in a similar way to the questionable legalities of modchips designed for consoles – some of which enable sort-of-legal functionality like the playback of imported games, others of which exist purely to facilitate software piracy – there is a certain feeling of unease when you first boot up MacOS X on a standard off-the-shelf PC. Sure, the hardware is pretty identical to that supplied by Appe – but the company's end-user licence agreement clearly states that you're not to do what you're doing.

Although methods for creating an OS X PC – affectionately known as a 'hackintosh' – have existed for a while, most require the modification of the BIOS: not a procedure for the faint of heart. The EFi-X chip aims to do away with all that: connect it to a spare USB header on your motherboard and, providing your hardware is compatible, start installing MacOS X.

Reports as to the efficacy of the device are mixed, with some users claiming success on allegedly unsupported hardware while others struggle to get the chip operating correctly on seemingly fully compatible systems. One thing is certain – with the providers of commercial 'hackintosh' systems firmly in Apple's sights, it's unlikely that the company behind EFi-X is going to fly under Apple's radar for long.

Are you tempted into getting a PC modchip and trying out the operating system from the dark – or, at least, pretty – side, or is the whole idea of a 'hackintosh' relatively pointless – especially if it costs money? Share your thoughts over in the forums.
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