When the specifications for the Apple TV were
released, the speculation about how long it would take for a full-fledged OS to
be run on the system began almost immediately. However, anyone estimating a
time frame of "less than two weeks" might have been labeled as
anything from "overly optimistic" to "insane."
A devoted Apple hacker named "semthex" has apparently created a
modified OSX kernel and released it to the
public. The truly amazing news is that the modified kernel is being
distributed under the terms of Apple's own Apple Public Source License,
with source code to follow.
A video has already been made and uploaded to
Google Video showcasing the (more) functional Apple TV running the Intel
build of OSX 10.4.8, and forum users are reporting various degrees of success.
The Apple TV sports rather mediocre specifications when compared to even the
Mac Mini, but as shown by other open-source projects such as Xbox Media Center, dedicated coders
have a way of squeezing every last ounce of performance out of a given
platform. With the diminutive size of the Apple TV and quiet operation, it
could make a very welcome addition to several home entertainment centers.
No word yet on whether or not the Apple TV will run Boot
Camp; but as shown by this hack, it's probably just a matter of time.