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Image courtesy Engadget
Modified kernel forces Mac Mini to give up the "Smallest OSX Computer" title.

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.



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I would actually buy one if
By zsouthboy on 4/3/2007 11:32:01 AM , Rating: 2
I would purchase a mac - $300 is fine to blow on something I'm just going to play with, test websites in safari, etc.

Base price of a mac mini is too expensive for that.

The problem with this device is the lack of RAM, though. The processor isn't that bad, actually. if it had a gig, i'd recommend people (obviously after the hack is easy) get one vs. a low end dell, even.




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