While perusing more of the reviews of Apple’s new version of OSX and iWork, a thought occurred to me: with the omission of the optical drive and the emphasis on secure, vetted digital downloads of content Apple has managed to gain even more control of their product line. Case in point- in my time before my switch to all things Apple I enjoyed cobbling together my own PCs. It was a fun hobby that allowed me to both configure my desktop to the exact specs I wanted (or could afford, at the very least) and when the time came I could either make a new one financed by selling the old or cannibalize the acceptable parts from the old to offset the price of building the new.
While Apple has long held the business model of controlling their physical product line, there are a few brave and adventurous souls out there that have constructed their own desktop PCs to run OSX (dubbed Hackintoshes). Some want more power for less money, some want the ability to personalize their own version of the Mac Pro, and some just like to tinker. I’ve been tempted to make my own (and there are plenty of tutorials out there), but the realities of being a professional adult have kept me from having enough time and free money to try.
One factor that made the process easier was the fact that OSX disks aren’t DRM protected. If you have the disk, you can install it- unlike just about every viable version of Windows that requires a product key and verification from Microsoft to function. Even after the change to the App Store as the primary means of delivery of OSX Lion there were alternate means of procuring a copy of the install media (typically via a snazzy USB key). Now with Mavericks Apple has forgone all physical means of OSX installation; those that need to install OSX from scratch on a fresh hard drive will need to install an older version and upgrade from there. There are tutorials on how to create an install package on a USB thumb drive from an installed copy of Mavericks, but the procedure isn’t for newcomers.
While the tech savvy will likely be able to extract the installation package for some time, it’s not unfathomable to think that Apple may make garnering a physical copy of the installation package for their operating system almost impossible for DIY-ers to get their hot little hands on. While I prefer the real thing, the ability to tinker still appeals to me, and I’d be loathe to think that the Hackintosh (however impractical) has faded into history.
- The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Building a Hackintosh (OS X 10.9) (sascho.wordpress.com)
- Building a Hackintosh The Easy Way (neowin.net)
- OS X Mavericks FREE, iWork FREE, iLife FREE and Why It’s a Big Deal! (epicagear.com)
- How To Install OS X Mavericks Hackintosh On PC [Tutorial] (redmondpie.com)