Parallels Desktop 4.0 for Mac Run all the applications you need without switching between Windows and Mac OS X! New features include: More 3D Graphics Support, 50% faster, improved Mac OS integration, speech recognition, more battery life on notebooks, and more. Enjoy the best of both worlds.

"If your goal is tight integration between one or more Windows applications and Mac OS X, Parallels is the clear winner when running either XP or Vista." --MacTech Magazine


Deals from Amazon

Office 2008 for Mac
Upgrade now

Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

MacDrive 7
Access your Mac OS X partition from
Boot Camp

Windows XP or Windows Vista for your Mac, for running with Boot Camp Parallels or VMware

VMware Fusion
Run Windows on a Mac

iPhone and Exchange Server Tips and Reports

Windows Servers and Macs

- Active Directory and Macs
Win Server 2003
Wind 2000 Server
- MS Proxy Server
Virtual Private Networks

Windows on Mac

- Virtual PC 7.x
(PowerPC Macs

EFI-X USB device boots Mac OS X on generic PC hardware

Monday, January 5, 2009

A European company called Art Studios Entertainment Media may have found a way around Apple's legal team to enable Mac OS X to run on non-Apple hardware. The EFI-X is a $200 USB device that enables certain generic PCs to boot Mac OS X, as well as Windows Vista 64-bit and other operating systems. Multiple boot configurations are possible, according to the manufacturer. (EFIX USA is the US distributor. Other distributors are listed here.)

The company seems to have taken care to avoid attracting legal action by Apple. A small company called Psystar has been sued by Apple for selling a generic PC with a modified copy of Mac OS X pre-installed. Unlike Psystar, however, Art Studios Entertainment Media does not modify Mac OS X or resell it. It's up to the user to install an unadulterated, shrink-wrapped copy of Leopard on the PC. There are no extra drivers to hack or install-the drivers that come with Mac OS X will work on hardware that EFI-X supports. Art Studios Entertainment Media supplies firmware that is installed in the EFI-X USB device. Once Leopard is installed, you can use Mac OS X's Software Update to get the regular Apple updates.

The EFI-X device does not use or hack Apple technology. The company refers to the EFI-X as a Boot Processing Unit that is an implementation of an open standard, the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI). Apple also implements EFI in Macs, and Mac OS X uses EFI to boot the Mac.

Although the manufacturer of the EFI-X device may be in the clear legally, the user still violates the Mac OS X end-user license agreement, which forbids the user from installing Leopard on non-Apple hardware.

The US distributor, EFIX USA, offers a kit (US $1900) that includes the EFI-X USB device and the parts for a generic tower PC that you assemble yourself. Macintouch has a review of the kit (though Macintouch reports a lower price than the EFIX USA website). Macintouch concludes, "Despite a few teething pains and hardware glitches, we're very impressed. This kit is a compelling option for Mac enthusiasts - faster, cheaper and more expandable than a Mac Pro."

We'd love to hear your thoughts on the EFI-X USB device and the EFIX Kit. Comment below, or if you've used either,

Current news on the MacWindows home page

Citrix GoToMeeting: Free Trial + $10 Off.
Now, completely cross-platform. New in this version: Mac users can now host meetings, as well as attend planned or impromptu online events just as easily as PC users. Free VoIP and audio conferencing for both Mac and PC.


Other MacWindows Departments

| Product Solutions | Reports and Tips | News Archives | Site Map |
MacWindows Home |

| Top of Page |

This site created and maintained by
Copyright 2008 John Rizzo. All rights reserved.