Saturday, November 21, 2009

Snow Leopard netbooks resurrected

So you dared to temp fate (and Apple) by converting your netbook to run Mac OS X. But when you upgraded your netbook to the latest version of Snow Leopard (10.6.2) suddenly your Hackintoshed netbook became toast. It rebooted in a never-ending cycle rivaling the infamous Macintosh “spinning ball from hell.”

For reasons never publically stated, Apple quietly made a change in the most recent version of Snow Leopard. “The changes Apple made to the latest mach_kernel removes support for (the Intel Atom) processor, leaving (Snow Leopard) updated netbooks in a useless state.” This according to the folks at InsanelyMac.

Now that we know what went wrong, it was simply a matter for those who understand things Macintosh to dig under the hood and fix the problem. And that’s exactly what they did. Again, according to InsanelyMac, “Fortunately, insanelymac user ‘teateam’ patched the new kernel just two days after Apple rolled out the update.”

They go on to tell netbook users that, “Many users are reporting success with this patch, so if your (sic) an Atom user looking to update to 10.6.2, give it a try.”

For readers concerned with this kind of activity, let me state that Apple does not support nor do they condone using Mac OS X with non-Apple hardware. In fact, Apple’s EULA specifically prohibits this kind of use of their Operating System. Remember, that Apple sells both hardware and software and these are designed to work together. Therefore, Apple isn't pleased to see their OS running on other vendor's hardware. In addition, in these circumstances there can be issues with hardware not working as expected.

On the other hand, many users, even those who are faithful to Apple, are miffed that Apple has stubbornly refused to release a Mac netbook. Wanting something that doesn’t feel like a chunk of heavy metal sitting on their laps, they’ve opted to convert their feather light netbooks to Hackintoshes. Now those users have the option to download the patch and run the latest, greatest, OS 10.6.2 on their netbooks.

Before long we can expect Apple’s engineers to put an Intel Atom processor squelch on the next version of Snow Leopard (10.6.3.) Then we can count on those creative and motivated hackers to figure a way to overcome this with another patch. Point and counter point! So it goes with Hackintoshed netbooks.

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