Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Jan 2009 15:41 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems We've already covered EFI-X a few times on OSNews. It's a boot processing unit that implements a working version of EFI, allowing you to boot all sorts of operating systems - including Mac OS X, without having to hack Apple's OS, meaning all updates will work flawlessly. And this is exactly where the problem lies: the company that makes the EFI-X, Arts Studio Entertainment Media, doesn't want to be associated in any way with people using the device to install Mac OS X. In fact, ASEM has stated that it will sue anyone who sells the EFI-X pre-installed in a machine that violates another company's terms of use, for instance by including a pre-installed copy of Mac OS X. EFI-X USA LLC (unrelated to ASEM), has done exactly this, and that's why ASEM severed its connections with the US company.
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misleading summary
by mckill on Tue 20th Jan 2009 16:24 UTC
mckill
Member since:
2007-06-12

the summary regarding EFI-X is a bit misleading, it doesn't make every standard PC able to 100% emulate a Mac and some patches will not work without some tweaking like most Hackintoshes.

It's also designed 100% to allow Mac OS X to boot on PCs, there aren't any other EFI OS's out there.

Reply Score: 2

RE: misleading summary
by matatk on Tue 20th Jan 2009 16:50 UTC in reply to "misleading summary"
matatk Member since:
2005-07-06

You may be interested to know that there are quite a few OSs that support EFI -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extensible_Firmware_Interface#Operatin... -- though I am not sure how many require it; probably the IA-64 ones from that list, I'd guess. I would agree that OS X is probably the most desirable EFI OS for OSNews readers.

I don't know enough about other uses of EFI to say that the device was "obviously" designed for running OS X on commodity PCs, but I wouldn't rule it out and even if it wasn't designed for that, I'm sure ASEM has noticed the potential market, but seems to be playing it safe. I used to wish PsyStar had waited long enough to go down this route, as it seems more polished (and maybe legally safe, as issues of copyright might not be involved then -- just the EULA), but now I know about the restrictions on distribution of EFI-X and OS X that counts it out.

Before reading the article, I was under the impression EFI-X USA was being sensible and just recommending customers buy OS X if their machines match the HCL. Clearly distributing it was quite unprofessional of them, due to breaking their agreement with ASEM, despite any other issues.

Reply Score: 2

x58
by twm_bucket on Tue 20th Jan 2009 17:47 UTC
twm_bucket
Member since:
2008-10-09

What is x58?

Reply Score: 1

RE: x58
by s_groening on Tue 20th Jan 2009 18:14 UTC in reply to "x58"
s_groening Member since:
2005-12-13

From Intels web site:

"The Intel X58 Express Chipset supports the latest 45nm Intel Core i7 processor family at 6.4 GT/s and 4.8 GT/s speeds via the Intel QuickPath Interconnect.

Additionally, this chipset delivers dual x16 or quad x8 PCI Express* 2.0 graphics card support, and support for Intel High Performance Solid State Drives on ICH10 and ICH10R consumer SKUs."

Reply Score: 3

Isn't it sad...
by madcrow on Tue 20th Jan 2009 20:50 UTC
madcrow
Member since:
2006-03-13

That the only reliable way to get EFI on a stock PC is a third-party dongle, especially considering that most virtually all motherboards based on Intel chipsets already have EFI, but keep it completely disabled except for the bits that allow a more traditional BIOS to load.

It seems to me that pressure from Apple may be the one thing that's keeping PC users shackled to junk like the MBR system and a partitioning scheme left over from the era when 20 MB hard disks were hot stuff.

Edited 2009-01-20 20:54 UTC

Reply Score: 4

RE: Isn't it sad...
by Johann Chua on Wed 21st Jan 2009 09:32 UTC in reply to "Isn't it sad..."
Johann Chua Member since:
2005-07-22

Wouldn't inertia in the PC market explain it just as well?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Isn't it sad...
by darknexus on Wed 21st Jan 2009 09:47 UTC in reply to "RE: Isn't it sad..."
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Wouldn't inertia in the PC market explain it just as well?

I think this is more likely. EFI isn't owned by Apple, therefore they'd have no right to go after Intel for including EFI on their boards. I think the reason we haven't seen it is, until recently, a certain mainstream os (hint hint) hasn't supported it well. Ironic, that every other os does support it, but Windows only gained EFI support with XP for Itanium, and Vista on standard x86 and x86-64 PCs. Though a bios compatibility layer could easily be loaded into the EFI, I imagine many manufacturers don't see the point. The PC market is marked by inertia, <sarcasm>if it's old, buggy, and been hacked over and over to do that which it was not intended to do... well, why change it? </sarcasm>

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Isn't it sad...
by madcrow on Wed 21st Jan 2009 18:47 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Isn't it sad..."
madcrow Member since:
2006-03-13

My point, actually was that MOST Intel chipset-based motherboards. going back to the era of the 945 or so, have built their BIOS on top of an EFI BIOS compatability layer. It's just that the shipping production motherboards have had all the EFI bits patched out/disabled, leaving only the compatibility layer avaialble. Given the fact that it would cost nothing and change nothing to have left EFI turned on, is it not possible that Apple may well be pressuring motherboard makers not to make motherboards that have EFI in an un-disabled form. Why else would you turn off a feature that would either not get noticed at all (Windows users, who would simply continue to use the compatibility mode) or would be quite useful (Linux and *BSD users looking to set up their HDDs in a more sensible fashion)

Edited 2009-01-21 18:49 UTC

Reply Score: 2

cant upset apple
by TechGeek on Wed 21st Jan 2009 00:39 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Well now we wouldn't want to upset the almighty Apple now would we? Otherwise we'd all be drab and boring.

Reply Score: 5

Gets more and more ridiculous
by alcibiades on Wed 21st Jan 2009 07:01 UTC
alcibiades
Member since:
2005-10-12

The 'Dog in Manger' attitude gets more and more ridiculous. Its perfectly reasonable to like and want to run OSX. Though given Apple's behavior, maybe it gets less reasonable every day!

Its also perfectly reasonable to want to run it on the kind of standard upper mid range decent performance machine that Windows and Linux users have available to them and use by the million. A decent Core 2 processor, a couple 500G Seagate drives, 4G memory, branded psu, higher end Gigabyte main board. A spare bay or two for expansion. Expect to pay around 500+ in the UK, assembled and tested, in a mid range but good quality case.

Will they produce it? Hell no. Buy a Mini for that 500 and get a spec you could better for 250. Buy an iMac, throw away your perfectly good screen, pay 1,000, wait for your hard drive to blow from lack of decent cooling, and put your backup in an external box against the day when it does. Or, and this is where it gets funny, buy a Pro, hand over 1,900. Yes, you get a quad Xeon which you neither need nor want. You get a 2 or 3mm thick case wrapped around mediocre off the shelf parts. Yet you're paying 3-4 times your budget. For what? For Cupertino overhead, is what.

And the most ludicrous part comes next: these are real customers, ready to buy the OS, and ready to have people like us install it for them on standard, good value, performant machines. They are ready to take the technical risks when you explain them. They are ready for a reason: they are caught between really valuing OSX, wanting to use it for their work, and just not having a spare 500 or 1500. Its competing with children in college and heating oil and holidays and sometimes even food and clothes. Its probably astonishing to hear this in Cupertino, but much of the world lives at this level.

So Apple's reaction? To refuse to make it themselves, to sue anyone who does make it, and even to sue people who publish articles showing how to make it. Its beneath contempt, and it will prove fatal in the end. All energy spent trying to stop your customers using your products is self defeating and a long term destroyer of your market position. The same thing applies to the restrictions of the app store, the same thing applies to the convolutions trying to stop people use iTunes from Linux.

And as you can see from the plethora of how-tos, it not only does more harm than good trying to stop it. Its also futile. Its also actually impossible to stop.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Gets more and more ridiculous
by onetwo on Thu 22nd Jan 2009 21:26 UTC in reply to "Gets more and more ridiculous"
onetwo Member since:
2009-01-22

Will they produce it? Hell no. Buy a Mini for that 500 and get a spec you could better for 250. Buy an iMac, throw away your perfectly good screen, pay 1,000, wait for your hard drive to blow from lack of decent cooling, and put your backup in an external box against the day when it does. Or, and this is where it gets funny, buy a Pro, hand over 1,900. Yes, you get a quad Xeon which you neither need nor want. You get a 2 or 3mm thick case wrapped around mediocre off the shelf parts. Yet you're paying 3-4 times your budget. For what? For Cupertino overhead, is what.


I only registered to post a reply. I understand your frustration that people buy overpriced computers from apple, but they are buyng it and not you. Yes, I agree that they can have a better setup on a custom built box running OSX provided Apple's grace. But you cannot blame apple for enticing people into buying their overpriced hardware and protecting their own, self created (i dont care that OSX is built on a BSD, it has long surpassed it by so much that it will cost millions to recode only cocoa probably) OS. And you see, here is where you get things really wrong: Apple (aka the supplier) is not to be blamed for releasing their own product with their own rules out in the wild, for if I start selling dogshit (excuse me for the subtle lingo) my initiative is doomed to begin with. If there was a demand by us (the customers on a _large scale_) then they (apple) will have to change. But the assumption that the process of running a half broken OSX in fear of the newly landed update 10.X.XX cannot be stopped is not even an argument. Yes, there will be always people doing some minor hacks, but don't confuse them with anything major. It is a grand initiative to get OSX running even breaking the EULA the way it should be run on a custom hardware.

So, in summary of what I've said, yes, it can go more than forever that process you refer to. Until you get sick of tweaking and start doing some real work on a fully working OS (no matter the hardware, no matter the OS).

Reply Score: 1

neat
by kaiwai on Wed 21st Jan 2009 08:55 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just before I started, I love my iMac and MacBook, I understand why Apple won't allow an official clone business but I am confused as to why they just don't have a 'you're on your own' policy when it comes to MacOS X.

In other-words, remove all protection, forbid others from bundling it with their computer (aka OEMs) and tell individuals if they want to install it they can but they're on their own and don't expect support.

Wouldn't it have a dent on sales? I doubt very much - most people who purchase a Mac purchase it for the ease of use and would never be able to go through the individual components for compatibility thus leaving the top tier of users who will take the plunge Those who wish to do it - are so small in number it wouldn't actually matter to Apple.

For me, as much as I love my MacBook, I'd much prefer a thinkpad for a laptop (and a slimline thinkcentre desktop) - so I'd probably be a customer they would lose but I doubt that there are a significant number like me to make any sort of dent.

Reply Score: 2

RE: neat
by sirhalos on Wed 21st Jan 2009 18:56 UTC in reply to "neat"
sirhalos Member since:
2007-04-04

I agree I have always felt the same way. Apple is doing a lot of work to break hacks to get OSX to work on a normal PC but it could work the other way and cause more problems with the system for them. I don't argue they shouldn't go after people trying to sell Mac Clones they should go after them. However I don't think they should be going out of their way to apply patches hoping they break people from using OSX on their own hardware. It has been proven many times most people do not install their OS let alone do the research to buy compatible parts and build a computer. The only thing they are doing is forcing people to download an illegal copy. They will always be people downloading illegal copies however if people knew that Apple wasn't going to go out of their way to break their system via patches they may actually buy a copy of OSX I know I would. Allowing people to do this would bring more hackers to work on Darwin and other projects that normally wouldn't be involved and I don't think it would hurt their sells.

Reply Score: 1