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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted Site News
With this week's renewed attention on "Mac clones" -- we published five articles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) on the subject this week on Macworld.com -- I thought it'd be interesting to gauge the interest level in these machines, so I've posted a new poll on the subject.

You'll note that one of the poll answers is "Yes if Apple makes it legal to use OS X on one." What this means is that Apple would offer a version of OS X that was legal to use on a generic PC, and that they would do their best to insure that system updates didn't break OS X on these "generic Macs."

As a side note, calling these machines "Mac clones" is quite a misnomer. A clone is an exact copy of something, which clearly these machines are not. Instead, they're more like "Generic Macs" -- OS X-running machines that are made up of a collection of generic PC parts. Regardless of what you call them, though, it will be interesting to see if Psystar gets off the ground, and what, if anything, Apple decides to do about them.
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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: giulio on Apr 18, '08 07:56:01AM

I'm surprised so many said no. I'd love to buy any kind of crazy hardware and run OSX on it, as long as it's legal and stable.

To analogize what Apple does, to the TV industry... it would be like a network's station can only be seen on Tvs that they manufacture and sell. So to watch LOST you'd have to an ABC television set!

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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: houchin on Apr 18, '08 08:09:33AM

I voted "if Apple makes it legal," but my true feelings are more complex than that. I have the benefit of having owned an actual Mac clone back in the PowerComputing/Umax days.

It wasn't that I didn't want an Apple Mac, but that the systems at that time were either too consumer centric (the Performas) or overpriced. I really did want to buy an Apple Mac, but couldn't afford it.

At that time, I had purchased a build-to-order PowerComputing system. Right out of the gate, that system had multiple, significant problems. The mouse didn't work, the internal Jaz and Zip drives didn't work, ... PowerComputing fixed some of the problems, even going to the trouble to send someone to replace the motherboard and extending my period for returning the system. After about 2 months of this, I got fed up and sent the system back, replacing it with a Umax J700.

I had to get external Jaz and Zip drives for the Umax, but otherwise I loved that system. Primarily, because it was easily upgradable. There were really only two 3rd party extensions required, one for the CPU clocking, and one for the CD-ROM drive. Thankfully, there was a well known hack to make the Apple CD driver work with the 3rd party CD, and once applied that worked flawlessly. Plus the CPU extension was well supported, and also worked with Apple Macs if you upgraded the CPU's in them.

I don't really want to build my own system. I like the stability of my Mac, which I agree is due at least in part because of the limited kernel extensions and drivers. However, I fall squarely in the boat with everyone else that wants a MiniTower.

When I replaced the Umax with a PowerMac G5, it was a very painful decision. I had a 21" CRT monitor on the Umax, which still worked perfectly fine, and thus didn't want to pay the iMac tax of the built-in monitor. But I didn't need all the power of the G5. Ultimately, I got the G5 because the Dual 1.8Ghz was about the same cost as the iMac, and to this day I'm still using that now 10 year old CRT.

I have made some upgrades to the G5. The original HD died, so when I replaced it I put in a second drive as well, and now have automated backups running every night. I also have some additional external drives, which I guess I would have preferred to be internal. I've also upgraded the internal memory. But even with those upgrades, I would have been just as well off with a mini-tower or desktop Mac.

The worst thing about my setup is all of the external devices: Memory card reader, iSight, external drives, iPod dock; it's a jumble of wires down there, and I really wish I didn't have all those wires for my 3 year old to get wrapped up in when he crawls under the desk.

What I'm not interested in is a barebones Mac that goes for low cost above all. On the laptop end, the MacBook is just about what I'd want for a low cost laptop. The only thing I'd add is a memory card reader or ability to add an ExpressCard reader, thus making the reader in effect "internal."

But on the desktop end, I really wish Apple would listen to everyone clamoring for a mid-performance system that doesn't have an all-in-one monitor. We have the MacBook and the Mac Pro, so how about just "the Mac."



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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: emanhaud on Apr 18, '08 08:16:22AM

Apple's model is actually the same as XBox, PS3, or many other platforms. Although I have a hackintosh up running on a generic PC, I specifically bought a mac when it came time to buy a new machine. I got all the benefits of running Windows when I need to and don't have to worry about patches and OS updates breaking my machines ability to function. Software updates on the hackintosh can be perilous at best. My hackintosh is stuck in time at 10.4.9 since software updates would break the system and cause a reinstall. I know that there are newer installers, but it is frankly to much bother to pursue.



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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: emanhaud on Apr 18, '08 08:18:47AM

I forgot to mention that I would love to see an Apple enabled version of Mac OS X for generic PC. I would love to not have to worry about Apple updates working on the PC.



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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: Gilmoure on Apr 18, '08 08:25:29AM

I really want a Mac Mini-tower. I don't need the power/size of a Mac Pro but would like more access than an iMac. Really like my Quadra 650 and 700 for size. Having the ability to add/upgrade ports and video cards is nice.

If someone was to make an Apple blessed mini-tower, for under $1500.00, I'd be there.



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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: Unsoluble on Apr 18, '08 11:38:03AM
I wouldn't put too much faith into this Psystar nonsense.

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New poll on Mac 'clones' posted
Authored by: Angstrom Burnout on Apr 19, '08 09:31:05PM

The whole point of owning a mac is to have perfect hardware/software integration. Putting OSX on a pc would defeat that purpose although it would likely prove more stable than any Microsoft OS.

The computer race between Microsoft and Apple is like the rabbit and the turtle...
Microsoft infested computerdom with all kinds of error prone software because of its haste make waste policy. (Even Microsoft basic in my Tandy Colour Computer 1 was buggy). So Microsoft made its billions and in the process annoyed and terrorized many computer uses with crashing systems. It has lead us to believe that computer systems are finicky, crash prone, and unreliable.

It takes longer to make a stable core to any OS whereas Microsoft keeps patching the patches to windows. Perfecting software to work flawlessly takes a great deal longer to develop. So, although apple was slow out of the gates it now enjoys the ability to move forward swiftly and overtake Microsoft by adding to its operating system whereas Microsoft has to rebuild from scratch only to fail again and again until people are forced to go back to the old windows xp.

Yes... the first version of Leopard was very much like Microsoft but it took less time to fix than windows Vista.

Although I have run XP on my ibook via VP7, I have had too many crashes and weird issues like XP suddenly finding a new keyboard, changing the system configuration without my consent and without allowing me to stop it, then repeatedly crashing until it finally wakes up and goes back to the last known good configuration. Plus, VP7 upgrades come without any means to remove them without reformatting the hard drive.

I look at it this way... Mac OSX for serious work... Microsoft for amusement, games etc because I can't depend on it to run my computer reliably.

With mac computers now being equal or better cost wise than PCs, there is no real need to buy a pc vs a mac. Being able to see my iBook's battery charge without turning it on sure beats a pc's inability to reliably gauge battery levels. It may be fun to geek an old pc and run OSX on it for the sole purpose of finally getting some reliable use out of it but in the long run Mac clones defeat the purpose of having a mac... that of perfect hardware/software integration.
I would not buy a mac clone. There is no point to forcing one's self to endure more unstable crashing and erratic computer systems. I just left 30 years of that crap after buying an iBook and I'm not going back to Microsoft hell without a fight.



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