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Apple isn't happy with Psystar. Unable to secure a summary judgement from courts to crush Psystar, it now has to contend with a new hack from the company that allows Snow Leopard to install on PCs, a nightmare for Apple which relishes tight control of its products.  (Source: AP)

The new $50 hack works with Intel multicore systems. It provides an easy and user-friendly route to create a hackintosh. It also is handy for Mac developers who can consolidate their installs of different versions of OS X onto a single machine.  (Source: Apple Insider)
Psystar continues its campaign of defiance against a controlling Apple, offers handy product for enthusiasts and developers alike

Some PC users may detest Apple's Snow Leopard thanks in part to Apple's negative marketing against Windows 7 and past Windows products.  However, for those looking to take a walk on the wild side and create a Snow Leopard/Windows 7 multi-boot PC or notebook (perhaps so you can have a replaceable battery) you now have an easy route thanks to a new product from Psystar.

Some may recall that Apple tried to crush Psystar when the company started shipping cheaper third-party Macs priced as low as $399.  Apple cited a provision in the EULA forbidding third parties to install Snow Leopard in their products without permission.  Despite accusing the scrappy third-party vendor of violations of shrink wrap license, trademarks, and copyright infringement Apple has been unable to kill Psystar -- yet.

Now Psystar stands to become even more popular and controversial, thanks to its newly released Rebel EFI software hack.  The hack allows a user-friendly installation of Snow Leopard that makes creating a "Hackintosh" approachable for even casual users.  The software costs $89.99 and is available directly from "The Psystar Store", Psystar's retail site.  Currently the software is free to try, but the free version features limited hardware functionality and a two-hour runtime.  If you buy a full version you can currently get a $40 rebate, dropping the price to $50, effectively.

The software works with any Intel Core 2 Duo, Core 2 Quad, i7, or Xeon Nehalem processor to install Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard.  There are 38 steps in total to complete to install Snow Leopard, but many of these steps are extremely simple like "insert disc" or click on option xxx.  The full guide is provided in Wiki form here, it should be easy enough for even beginning PC users to make sense of.  The installed version of OS X will get updates from Apple, just like versions from Mac (the OS can't tell it's not on a Mac).

Psystar's site describes the product, stating, "Featuring Psystar's newest technology for allowing for the smooth interfacing between operating systems and generic Intel hardware.  Rebel EFI allows for the easy installation of multiple operating systems on a single system.  The authenticated version allows for the permanent installtion [sic] of these OS's on your system, as well as providing the [Darwin Universal Boot Loader], supported hardware profile features and related drivers, and support for the application."

The software can be used to load and switch between up to 6 operating systems on a single PC.  This ideal for Mac developers, who typically have to resort to multiple machines for older versions of OS X.  It can also be used to create a Linux, Windows 7, OS X tri-boot system.

The product is a defiant slap in the face to an already angry Apple, which typically tries to hold tight control over its software products.  Additional legal action seems very likely, as Apple is already trying to sue Psystar out of existence.  Apple is pleading with the courts to give a summary judgement before the upcoming January trial against Psystar, but thus far has not secured one.  Like with iPhone unlockers, Apple is finding that it just can't seem to keep its users from freely using the products they purchase.  It is increasingly finding that its arguments about the illegality, danger, and impropriety of unlocking its products falling on deaf ears.

For those looking to set up a good system, they might want to snag a copy of Ubuntu Linux and then pick up a student discounted Windows 7 Professional edition, priced at $30, and a $29.99 copy of Snow Leopard.  Along with, Open Office (or Microsoft Office technical preview), Microsoft Virtual PC (for Windows XP Mode), and Microsoft Security Essentials (for security), you can create a great (legal) multifunctional system at a bargain price.

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RE: In the picture above Steve Jobs is saying
By Reclaimer77 on 10/27/2009 7:12:33 PM , Rating: 5
Equating price with quality. Spoken like a true Mac user.

" I spent more, so that means it's better "

Have fun replacing the battery yourself in that sleek aluminum laptop because it ran so hot. OH wait, that's right, you can't.

RE: In the picture above Steve Jobs is saying
By MScrip on 10/27/09, Rating: -1
RE: In the picture above Steve Jobs is saying
By Alexstarfire on 10/28/2009 6:16:47 AM , Rating: 3
It's been my experience that those who think plastic laptops are flimsy must just toss around their laptop. Mine is made out of plastic and the only parts on it that even move are the DVD drive door, since you have to push in the button to pop it out, and a couple of the back covers because they are covering up slots and such that are empty. Everything else feels rock solid. Of course I don't drop my laptop off of desks, onto wood/tile/marble floor, or sit on it.

A glass cup might cost more than a plastic one, but it's far easier to break too.

Also, I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't make batteries. They might have larger batteries than most, I really don't know though, but I'd take a removable battery over a slightly larger non-removable one any day. I can change out batteries if I need longer life AND if the original battery should die you don't have to pay a service charge on top of the cost of the new battery. Circumstances may put it under warranty or something, but let's assume that you're out of the warranty period.

By Omega215D on 10/31/2009 7:20:07 AM , Rating: 2
those who think plastic laptops are flimsy must've never seen an IBM thinkpad.

By gabacus on 11/1/2009 9:45:05 PM , Rating: 2
Also, I'm pretty sure Apple doesn't make batteries.

they do make batteries.

the logic behind the large battery that is cannot be removed by the consumer is sound. i have had a number of laptops over the years and, like the majority of consumers out there, i have never actually bought and additional battery. by making the battery fixed, apple were able to remove all the engineered pieces that allow you to remove/replace the batter and just added more battery instead. the majority of consumer will applaud this move as they purchase laptops out of convenience rather than necessity and will enjoy the additional battery life without the need to purchase another battery.

this clearly is not the case for you. clearly, you need additional batteries for your needs. but as they say, you cant make everyone happy all the time and apple only need to make enough people happy to turn a profit... which they are doing rather well...

and i agree, plastic laptops are not flimsy. they can be strong and durable.

i have a thinkpad given to me for work. it is very strong and rugged. it takes a lot of punishment and keeps on working! of course, i would prefer it didnt work so they could give me a different computer! this thing is ugly! the keyboard is the same as the one they used 10 years ago. it works, but the tactile response is terrible. and could they please make up their mind about the track pad or the nipple thing! why do they have both? i rather like the nipple thing as you dont have to move your hands too much between typing and tracking, but please, make a decision either way!

apple are rather good at making decisions like that. a lot of people see this as the forceful hand of steve telling people what to do, but really, that is not the case. they have made a decision about what they feel consumers prefer. there is a lot of research that goes into these decisions. that takes time, it cost money and in my opinion (even though it will not be shared with many of you) gives the consumer a better product. the result of this is that consumers pay a premium. is that really unfair? would you do all that for free?

apple spent a lot of time and effort developing the large glass trackpad that removed the need for the additional button. it works fantastically well. what a fantastic idea and excellent execution! i think this innovation alone would justify part of the premium for apple product. sure, the trackpad on other laptops works fine, but, i challenge you to try both for a day and honestly say which one you prefer. this is just one of many examples of apple putting in that extra thought to make a product people are really happy with, thats why you pay the premium.

if you can accept that, then pay the money. if you cant, then dont.

By genzai on 10/28/2009 4:44:56 PM , Rating: 2
The batteries are replaceable, its just not sanctioned.
Its actually very easy.

I also don't really "buy" the claim Apple makes that the reason the batteries are all "not user serviceable" is that they are by this method able to increase battery capacity beyond what can be done with standard batteries. I tend to think it has more to do, in the case of Macbooks, with not disturbing the "unibody" design.

None-the-less, Apple seems to have the best battery life of any decent spec laptops i have seen so perhaps there could be something to it.

Key point is, you can still replace the battery. Who cares what Apple says.

By robinthakur on 10/30/2009 11:36:02 AM , Rating: 1
I think you're speaking out of your rectum on this topic. Does anyone intend to keep the same laptop for 10 years or whatever, spanning multiple battery life-times in this day and age? The Mac Book Pro build quality is far higher than the equivalently specced pc laptop and as one of the other posters says doesn't flex like a plastic bodied laptop does. I have a work laptop by Siemens Fujitsu and the quality is a joke with the screen and casing flexing very obviously and plenty of clutter and examples of weak, tacky design. The same could be said of the Dells, HP's, Asus's and other laptops I've owned.

I'm able and content to pay slightly more for a mac laptop because it is a better designed product overall (inlcuding the OS) and feels well made. Having an integrated battery is not a big deal, as I generally get a new personal laptop way before the battery dies, and you can always get the battery swapped out by Apple. I also build my own pc's and run windows for my general day to day tasks so resent the charge that mac users are somehow stupid. They had a choice in the market between spending their money on a pc or a mac laptop, and they *chose* the mac, its their decision. Jealousy gets you nowhere in life...

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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