Author Options:

Apple OS on a PC? Answered

After seeing www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/487585, I learned that they used iStopMotion for the graphics. Also, I was able to play on a Mac, and I have to say, I kinda dig it. Is there anyway possible for me to install the Apple OS on my computer and still keep my current OS (Windows XP)?


Websearch "hackintosh", and/or see the instructable(s) related to that keyword, for information about setting up and using the apple OS on your computer. Note that doing so would be a violation of the license agreement and thus is of dubious legality and debatable ethicality.

Somebody asked this recently, so having looked already, like ork' I say Hackintosh and I know the site is here:
(Apple don't officially allow you to do this, which is why people ask and there are few answers)


While I'm sure this will not hold up in court, the OSX literature states only that it is to be installed on an Apple-branded product, which could be interpreted as putting an Apple logo sticker on the tower.  At any rate, Steve Jobs is too busy pushing his iPad and trying to convince shareholders that his new liver took to even know what to do about Hackintoshes.

I knew the OS had something like that in it, thanks for the specifics. Minority interest I think - not worth Apple bothering with?


Honestly, it's only been since the advent of Intel-based Macs that they've had this issue.  It only accounts for a tiny fraction of Mac OS's used, and because it's such a new situation I think they're not sure even how to handle it.

It's just like I explain to Mac customers with viruses.  "Macs do, in fact, get viruses.  The problem is that while they are exceedingly rare, it takes about two weeks to find a fix because Apple is too dumbstruck by the virus to know how to resolve it."

Would these be e-mail attacks or otherwise (interested)?


My searches suggest that they're pretty much through the standard methods of delivery, particularly e-mails.  I also know there have been quite a few occasions where Apple has had to release updates to patch security holes that were only found (weeks, in some cases) after an exploit surfaced (contrast this to Microsoft who have an entire team dedicated to finding potential risks and plugging them proactively).

The interesting thing about OSX that many die-hard Apple fans don't realize (or in a few cases don't remember) is that OSX was originally based on the Unix and Linux kernals.  This, in the beginning of OSX, was a big selling point used in Apple's advertising to draw those who chose those two OS's over Windows due to their stability and security features.  In effect, OSX was a PowerPC port of Unix and Linux with Apple branding, further evidenced by a close look at the architecture and, for that matter, the obvious similarities in the GUI to that of Compiz-Fusion (then Beryl) for Linux.  In an ironic twist, when Apple moved to Intel processing, OSX turned into a port of a port of Linux (and, since the code was ported back to x86, it's less like stepping forward and more like the hokey pokey).

Yes, OSX inherits a considerable amount of its stability from this structure (further augmented by locking the user out of the ability to tweak and configure OSX in many of the ways other OS's allow).  However, Mac users are often lulled into a false-sense of security due to the rarity of viruses written for Macs; furthermore, they tend to think somehow that Macs aren't vulnerable because they're so stable and not because such a small market-share actually use OSX and therefore aren't worth much time to hackers.

Also, many Mac users simply don't realize that, because OSX is proprietary and solely developed by Apple, the security benefits that an open-source model like Linux has is rendered non-existent.  For example, because many Linux users actively develop the source code, they are more aware of any looming threats and are able to patch them quickly (or even during development).

The fact is that viruses are not the same as they were a decade ago when OSX surfaced.  It used to be nerdy, Kevin Mitnick-esque guys loaded with Diet Coke and gummy bears pioneering viruses to crash computers "just to see if it can be done".  Then they realized that virus propagation was a lot harder to trace than a phone line, making them the ideal choice to obtain confidential information from businesses and government.  Apply this same principle to the vast wealth one can procure from identity theft and credit card fraud, and you'll understand why writing viruses are now a multi-billion dollar worldwide enterprise.  Organized crime rings throughout the globe are now turning from bootlegging, prostitution, and racketeering to viruses as a means to amass their fortunes.

This means that, while the number of Windows viruses have risen exponentially over the past year or two, Mac viruses are profitable now too.  As of April 2010, OSX has (based on the lowest results I could find) a 5.32% global market share of all computers; couple this with the fact that Mac appeals to a wealthy demographic of educated industry professionals (primarily in media) and it's easy to see that there are still billions of dollars worth of fraud ripe for the picking.

Before anyone thinks I'm inciting a flame-ware of "quien OS es mas macho", I'm not.  All OS's seem to have an equal number of pros and cons, in my view.  My point is that no one is 100% safe (I often tell my clients that the only guarantee is exercising "internet abstinence", a feat which is nearly impossible anymore).  From what I've read and experienced, OSX like Linux requires user error in many cases to contract a virus; however, there are still many viruses for these OS's that do not.

My call to action is for Mac users to acknowledge and embrace that, while OSX is cool and has good functionality, it is not worth losing data, productivity, and the fallout of identity theft to be a trendy hipster lemming to Steve Jobs.  Take it for what it is.  It's a computer with an OS.  You can use it.  But someone else can use it better, and they've written a virus so they can use your computer for you.  Take the appropriate precautions.

That was a very enjoyable read, for such a short question I thank you.
How much do you think user-awareness matters to security (today)?
I know a few people say "Update Windows & don't be stupid / careless - you won't have a problem", it's exactly equivalent to a "safe-sex" basic.


Sorry it took so long to reply.  Funny enough, the reason was due to my recent experimentation with Ubuntu Studio.

What is scary is that user awareness (or the lack thereof), while still a significant issue, is becoming less of a factor in contracting the latest super bug.  A scam is only as effective as the pitch is believable; while it takes a... how shall I say... "special" person to believe that the prince of Nigeria requires their assistance to wire money into the US, it might not be so obvious to some when an official-looking anti-virus with a clean layout and Windows-esque logos claims to scan for infections.  Better yet are the numerous sites claiming to host popular and legitimate free anti-viruses, registry cleaners, &c. that instead have a phony.

Many opt for a free anti-virus, but don't understand that free anti-viruses are lightweight teasers offered with the hopes that you will purchase the real thing.  They do weekly scans and then attempt to clean up if they find something, but most people don't realize that this is insufficient.  Malware can slip in during the other six days of the week - and the first command on the agenda is to disable anything that might remove it (you honestly don't think a hacker would spend all that effort making a virus, only to have you sweep it away?) by several means.  It can cripple it entirely, replace it with a fake, or even cleverly rewrite the definitions to exclude the malware du jour so your scan appears clean.

Others attempt to layer protection by installing multiple anti-viruses simultaneously, under the mistaken notion that "if one is good then three is better" (I often wonder when I work on their computers how often they've come close to overdosing on OTC medication during flu season).  Anti-viruses do their work partly by taking ownership of critical system files; if a virus then attempts to steal control, the anti-virus can identify it as a threat.  However, multiple anti-viruses will play tug-of-war with those files.  This causes extreme slowness while the computer plays itself at chess, and it creates a vulnerability.  It's like I tell my customers: if you're a burglar at a bank, the best time to sneak past the guards is when they're bickering over football teams.

Filesharing dupes the otherwise computer-literate ilk as well, and it's one of the few ways you can entirely bypass the security of an anti-virus, no matter how beefy it may be.  Hackers use filesharing as a speedy means to distribute their creations - all they have to do is give it the name of a popular song, movie, or software.  When you download it, you get jumbled pieces from many sources; by themselves, these pieces don't mean much and therefore can't be identified by a real-time anti-virus.  It only becomes a recognizable file when it has been 100% downloaded, and by then it's too late: you have a virus.

Some of these methods of infection may be more obvious than others, but you'd be surprised how many users I encounter that pick up malware, and they're not complete imbeciles either.  People really do try to catch up with technology, but it always seems to be one step ahead.  Many know they need some protection, but they make bad choices with the kind of protection.  They know not to open e-mail attachments, but they may not know that they shouldn't have to download a toolbar just to play a game on Facebook.  Once people get more educated on these things, hackers will find a more cunning means of social-engineering.

Another good read. I don't make much distinction between free and paid AV - neither is any use against something new just released this afternoon. And reviews of AV don't weigh towards paid unless they're heavily-biased.

What problem(?) did you have with Ubuntu Studio?


I get your point, particularly on biased reviews.  However, my point was that free versions never offer the level of real-time protection that you get with their paid counterparts.  Can AVG find as many or more viruses than Norton?  Absolutely, but if a virus sneaks in and disables it first, the number of viruses it can detect and clean are zero.  There are also other factors that you have to consider with virus protection, such as resource usage, false positives (McAfee has always been notorious for this, resulting in silent blocking of legitimate Windows Updates and the most recent fiasco) and the like; so far, my experience has shown to me that Norton 360 and Kaspersky are the two strongest.  Out of the countless removals/reinstalls I've had to do for customers, they are the only two that I have yet to see miss something (except for when people cancel updates, which doesn't count).  Of the two, Norton 360 is far lighter on resources from what I've seen.

As for Ubuntu, I haven't had any problems I didn't anticipate.  Fortunately, none of my hardware (except my Canon printer) is unsupported, although I've had to jump through a few hoops to get my professional audio cards installed.  The only other issue has been that Ubuntu will not detect my fake RAID properly, which I'm still working on.

It has been an interesting experience, and for what it's worth I am enjoying certain aspects of my Ubuntu experience.  However, while I'm still getting used to Linux life, I'm finding that I have a very strong love-hate relationship with it.

The pros are strong and numerous.  The OS is fast, efficient, and beautiful.  It has eye-candy that is not only beautiful but is functional, useful, and very light on resources.  There are thousands of solid, free programs available, and they're a cinch to install.  It updates itself as well as all the installed programs automatically without requiring resource-leeching updaters.  When it recognizes hardware, it knows exactly what to do with it and downloads the appropriate drivers and installation packages - and the default configurations are pretty close to what I'd use.  Furthermore, it's mindblowingly tweakable, more so than Windows (even with advanced registry editing).

The cons are just as strong and plentiful.  A big one is that so much has to be performed through terminal.  Imagine if, in order to install an unknown driver or essential Windows module, or even enable certain themes, you had to open DOS prompt and type commands in Esperanto (which, funny enough, was a language choice available in during setup - I'd find it slightly more decipherable than BASH).  We're in the 21st century, and yet this OS still depends so much on non-GUI commands that in order to get the computer 100% functional, I'm forced to relearn command-line (which wouldn't be so bad except that detailed documentation is available yet tedious and lacking in clarity).  I'm guessing that the developers, to help stroke their own nerdiness, have consciously left out GUI front-ends for this stuff so they can feel 1337.

This leads me to my next points, which seem to go hand-in-hand.  For the handful of devices that Ubuntu didn't recognize right away, I had to trudge through forums and searches for solutions.  Now, don't get me wrong - I completely understand that not everything in Linux is straightforward and readily available, and that some companies insist on having proprietary technology that they feel isn't worth the energy to make available to Linux users.  I also understand that, due to this, some kind soul out there has to compile binaries and repositories so people can make it work (and I applaud their efforts and thank them generously).

However, I met with unnecessary difficulty in getting help because of a number of issues, mainly dealing with the less-than-helpful comments left by the community.  For starters, the ones that do try to help new users like me fall short in that they assume we've been baptized in the ways of BASH, and that I'll just know what commands I need in order to download and recompile specific binaries in Terminal as well as the necessary switches to make the magic happen.  Also, after these answers have been given, the mods decided that it was satisfactory and closed the thread three years ago; these answers have since been outdated by changes in the kernal and available binaries, and some things have even led me to dead links.  There's no unified, recently-maintained instructions on how to make device X work in the newest flavor of Ubuntu - something I never thought I'd expect in a community who prides themselves on working together to provide recent solutions to problems and explaining them in ways that will help turn more people on to their OS (with the lofty goal of eventually eradicating the poisonous permeation that the evil Microsoft fat cats have on the PC market).

Many others, however, are such staunch supporters of Linux that they have built their entire computer around hardware that has drivers written directly in the kernal, and they expect that every user would too.  For them, it's just common sense - if you had half a brain, you'd migrate everything over to Linux and take those measures to prevent compatibility issues.  Oh yeah, they switched when they caught a virus in Windows 98 and never looked back, all the while pretending that you'll never need Windows to be compatible with the rest of the world.  And that's exactly what you will do too if you have some sense.

They leave useless comments like, "Why would you even need that soundcard?  It's not supported in Linux anyhow - look at this compatibility list and buy smarter next time," or, "Why would you want to make your fake RAID compatible with Windows?  Just set up a software RAID in Ubuntu, it does the same thing but it's so much better."

Being a member of Instructables, I've learned how to ignore comments like these - there's always a handful who leave them.  Except when you're in a Linux forum, where about 67% of the users feel this way - meaning only 33% are even trying to wrap their brains around the fact that you still need Windows too, and you need the two OS's to play nicely.  And of this minority, less than 1% will actually offer something more precise than, "Get the ALSA emu repository and recompile it, then set the privileges for the driver you need by using BLAH.conf".

It's maddening.

But I'm a patient guy, and I'm willing to go through it to get everything setup and configured exactly how I like it.  Then, like I do with Windows, I'll use Norton Ghost to image the partitions so that if anything screws up, I can go directly to that clean configuration.

Except, Norton Ghost 2003 doesn't read EXT4, meaning I'll have to search for an alternative.

"Why would you want to use Norton Ghost, or any reimaging for that matter?  Linux is so good it doesn't need it.  Back up your files regularly and you'll be fine." - an actual response I found when looking for an alternative, paraphrased.


Having been drinking in the afternoon I'll not say much.
I understand what you're saying here, and I'm a bit more interested in a new/different OS, but stuck with the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" thought.
Personally I like terminals - I don't see any real value in making basic functions things pretty or click-able - but then I like challenges & logic-problems...

Final thought: there are only a few viruses that need to be found, anything claiming to be able to detect more than 100 is largely wasting it's time looking for things that just aren't around anymore?


I suppose my whole point is that, if an operation is basic enough, you shouldn't need to open a terminal for it.  Not to mention that, in migrating from Windows, I have to learn a whole new language to perform these operations (operations which, might I add, I can do in XP in two or three clicks).

Don't get me wrong, I want to learn BASH, but needing to know it in order to do some of this stuff seems clunky and unnecessary aggravation to say the least.  It certainly doesn't entice new users.  I'm the first to admit I don't know everything, but I'm an advanced user with patience and a love for problem-solving, and I'm getting tested by some of these things.  I can only imagine Joe Shmoe attempting this stuff.

There's far more than a few viruses that need to be found.  My old high-school buddy (a white-hat with a lengthy resume, including single-handedly winning a virus-writing competition in Las Vegas a few years ago) told me that there are roughly 2,000 new malware programs (including variants) written a day. 

Heuristics helps to narrow things down considerably with regards to the variants, but that still leaves a lot of stuff to keep up with.  Regular OS updates eliminate the risk for many of them, while the anti-virus detects the rest.  Fortunately, the developers have found pretty efficient ways to screen possible infections and minimize the required number of definitions (to date, Norton 360 ver. 4.0 has a definitions file of about 70 MB).

That's why it's important to let Windows update itself.  Over time, enough stuff is patched to where anti-viruses generally don't need to look for them.  Furthermore, malware writers depend on laziness of those who can't be bothered with updates while playing online Yahtzee.  Once enough patches are implemented by the end user to render a virus ineffective, the hacker goes back to writing a new one.

I quite agree with the "Plug-and-play" philosophy, I'm just weird in liking command-lines. I guess it's so rare that I find it a real treat...?

Your comment on OS updates brings us back to before: "update, stay clean, play safe" - like being discerning about who you get "involved" with.