EFi-X USA to sell pre-made PCs as do-it-yourself Mac clones

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  • Reply 201 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    If EFi-X wanted to be legal and still distribute the dongle, they could create a pseudo-OS (not necessarily a real OS or a complete OS or an OS at all) that has the same hardware requirements for copying/installation as Mac OS X. Of course, that assumes there is nothing inherently illegal about the dongle.



    You DO realize that OS X is hardly the only operating system to be able to bootstrap via EFI, right? And that this dongle would totally help people with older BIOS-based machines bootstrap and use those operating systems?



    This company is providing hardware that you can do what you want with. There is nothing illegal in any of that. Their dongle doesn't facilitate infringement as you can use it to install a number of other OS's.
  • Reply 202 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Foo2 View Post


    That doesn't make them legal!



    No it doesn't make them legal; the items are ALREADY legal. Using them to do something against the law makes your ACTIONS illegal. Not really sure why this is so difficult for you to understand...
  • Reply 203 of 217
    rickagrickag Posts: 1,626member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lidofido View Post


    No it doesn't make them legal; the items are ALREADY legal. Using them to do something against the law makes your ACTIONS illegal. Not really sure why this is so difficult for you to understand...



    Because most of us aren't lawyers? Anyway, the lesson I take from all of this is that just the existence of these companies, indicates some one is willing to place their money on the line in the belief there is a substantial market for a computer design that Apple doesn't offer, legal or not. Rather than address the issue, Apple prefers to take action in court to shut down Psystar, which is well within their rights.



    If, big if, Apple sues Efi-X and loses, that only leaves two options I see. Begin suing the consumers who bought the Efi-X dongle to break Apple's EULA and that would be bad PR and risk having their EULA found to be illegal. Or Apple could dedicate programmers to continually break compatibility with the Efi-X dongel (re: I guess this is possible), also a less than satisfactory solution by adding more expense and complexity to the OS.
  • Reply 204 of 217
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lidofido View Post


    You DO realize that OS X is hardly the only operating system to be able to bootstrap via EFI, right? And that this dongle would totally help people with older BIOS-based machines bootstrap and use those operating systems?



    This company is providing hardware that you can do what you want with. There is nothing illegal in any of that. Their dongle doesn't facilitate infringement as you can use it to install a number of other OS's.



    Which OSs are they? OS X is the only one I know of that requires it. Do the x86-64 OSs require EFI to install? That sounds about right, I don't know, OS X is the only OS that I have that needs the extra memory.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rickag View Post


    Because most of us aren't lawyers? Anyway, the lesson I take from all of this is that just the existence of these companies, indicates some one is willing to place their money on the line in the belief there is a substantial market for a computer design that Apple doesn't offer, legal or not. Rather than address the issue, Apple prefers to take action in court to shut down Psystar, which is well within their rights.



    If, big if, Apple sues Efi-X and loses, that only leaves two options I see. Begin suing the consumers who bought the Efi-X dongle to break Apple's EULA and that would be bad PR and risk having their EULA found to be illegal. Or Apple could dedicate programmers to continually break compatibility with the Efi-X dongel (re: I guess this is possible), also a less than satisfactory solution by adding more expense and complexity to the OS.





    I think it's pretty clear that Psystar is infringing. But EFI-X might not be, if there are legitimate technical uses. As far as I understand, a tool generally isn't illegal if it has legitimate & non-infringing uses, and is not advertised by the maker in such a way to suggest its illegal use. For example, lock picking tools can be used legally or illegally. Usually lock pick manufacturers aren't held liable for the misuse of their products.
  • Reply 205 of 217
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rickag View Post


    ... Or Apple could dedicate programmers to continually break compatibility with the Efi-X dongel (re: I guess this is possible), also a less than satisfactory solution by adding more expense and complexity to the OS.



    I'm just speaking for the sake of argument but, they could simply institute a check when OS X boot to check for some very specific hardware requirements. Like the serial number, check to see if there are any 32bit PCI slots (none of Apple's recent Leopard supporting machines use them), etc.
  • Reply 206 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    I'm just speaking for the sake of argument but, they could simply institute a check when OS X boot to check for some very specific hardware requirements. Like the serial number, check to see if there are any 32bit PCI slots (none of Apple's recent Leopard supporting machines use them), etc.



    They do use pci for on board chips.
  • Reply 207 of 217
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    They do use pci for on board chips.



    But not actual slots. You can see the device tree and Apple has a short list of PCI devices attached to the motherboard PCI bus. It would be trivial to detect all the PCI 32bit devices and make sure they only conform to a list set in an encrypted file or in the firmware.
  • Reply 208 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Outsider View Post


    But not actual slots. You can see the device tree and Apple has a short list of PCI devices attached to the motherboard PCI bus. It would be trivial to detect all the PCI 32bit devices and make sure they only conform to a list set in an encrypted file or in the firmware.



    But power g4 / g5 uses have 32bit cards in there mac's.





    and this will just be more hardware lock out that will get by passed.
  • Reply 209 of 217
    outsideroutsider Posts: 6,008member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    But power g4 / g5 uses have 32bit cards in there mac's.





    and this will just be more hardware lock out that will get by passed.



    No, G4 and G5s used 64bit PCI slots. Later G5's used PCI-X and PCIe slots. Anyway if it detected Open firmware (PPC), it might as well skip any other checks.
  • Reply 210 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Which OSs are they? OS X is the only one I know of that requires it. Do the x86-64 OSs require EFI to install? That sounds about right, I don't know, OS X is the only OS that I have that needs the extra memory.



    elilo and the freebsd loaders can use EFI, and if you're working with / testing those boot loaders to bootstrap linux or bsd with an older BIOS based machine, you'll need to do some workaorunds or use a hardware device like this. Since elilo loads more than just linux (and bsd), there's all sorts of OS's that could use it, including Solaris/OpenSolaris, the rest of the bsds, and Plan 9. These are mostly not so mainstream, but that's exactly why you'd need an EFI emulator.
  • Reply 211 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lidofido View Post


    elilo and the freebsd loaders can use EFI, and if you're working with / testing those boot loaders to bootstrap linux or bsd with an older BIOS based machine, you'll need to do some workaorunds or use a hardware device like this. Since elilo loads more than just linux (and bsd), there's all sorts of OS's that could use it, including Solaris/OpenSolaris, the rest of the bsds, and Plan 9. These are mostly not so mainstream, but that's exactly why you'd need an EFI emulator.



    64-bit versions of Windows also support EFI, though obviously they do not require it.
  • Reply 212 of 217
    -hh-hh Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    R5400 is rack mount system not a desktop tower.



    Dell's website is horrible; I couldn't find the basic tower configuration earlier; try a build based on the Dell Precision T5400, even though its FSB is only 1333MHz instead of 1600MHz.



    Versus the standard $2,800 Mac Pro, it looks like the Dell comes in at $3,638 (for today), assuming that the base Mac 256MB Radeon 2600 XT is comparable to a 256MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX570, and before you figure out how much the included 19" E1909W LCD in the Dell bundle is worth (it can't be deleted).



    Quote:

    The base ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB is poor at the price of $130.00 as that is what they want to add 1 more also add $150 for a 8800gt? makeing it a $280 video card BIG RIP off.



    Mac Mall sells the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB for $120, so explain to me how "horrible" is Apple's $130 price? In any event, since it is included in the Mac Pro's base price and when you credit that card and add the $150 that Apple wants to bump it up to the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, I'd say that you're at ($120+$150=$270), which is pragmatically close enough to the $275 street price of the 8800 GT (again, from Mac Mall) that I see nothing here to complain about.



    Quote:

    The lack of a mate display is putting people off of the imac.



    Quote:

    But most people don't need that much power then need some better then the mini and the imac AIO with NO mate display does not work for them.



    There's more than one way to service a market: these niche customers can buy used. Its the same as what I did when I wanted a Porsche 911 but didn't want to spend more than $30K.





    -hh
  • Reply 213 of 217
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -hh View Post


    Dell's website is horrible; I couldn't find the basic tower configuration earlier; try a build based on the Dell Precision T5400, even though its FSB is only 1333MHz instead of 1600MHz.



    Versus the standard $2,800 Mac Pro, it looks like the Dell comes in at $3,638 (for today), assuming that the base Mac 256MB Radeon 2600 XT is comparable to a 256MB PCIe x16 nVidia Quadro FX570, and before you figure out how much the included 19" E1909W LCD in the Dell bundle is worth (it can't be deleted).







    Mac Mall sells the ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB for $120, so explain to me how "horrible" is Apple's $130 price? In any event, since it is included in the Mac Pro's base price and when you credit that card and add the $150 that Apple wants to bump it up to the NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT, I'd say that you're at ($120+$150=$270), which is pragmatically close enough to the $275 street price of the 8800 GT (again, from Mac Mall) that I see nothing here to complain about.



    -hh



    Newer 3650 cards are about $50 - $60 3850 4650 cards are $89.99 4670 are $100 and the 2600 XT 512 cards are $80 - $110 so the mac rom is costing you about $40 more.





    GeForce 9800 GT same thing as a 8800gt is $100 - $150 so $275 is a big rip off. GTX 260 cards are about $250





    There's more than one way to service a market: these niche customers can buy used. Its the same as what I did when I wanted a Porsche 911 but didn't want to spend more than $30K.
  • Reply 214 of 217
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Joe_the_dragon View Post


    Newer 3650 cards are about $50 - $60 3850 4650 cards are $89.99 4670 are $100 and the 2600 XT 512 cards are $80 - $110 so the mac rom is costing you about $40 more.





    GeForce 9800 GT same thing as a 8800gt is $100 - $150 so $275 is a big rip off. GTX 260 cards are about $250



    Given how small the market is for Mac video cards, I really don't see the problem there. With the Windows market, you have such a broader base to amortize the firmware development cost.
  • Reply 215 of 217
    -hh-hh Posts: 31member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Given how small the market is for Mac video cards, I really don't see the problem there. With the Windows market, you have such a broader base to amortize the firmware development cost.



    My sentiments exactly, although there's a lot more fixed costs than just the NRE for the firmware that have to be budgeted in, as a niche item has costs incurred at every step, if for no other reason than to keep it identified as distinct from the standard configuration.



    The basic formula is:



    Final Unit cost: (Fixed Costs/Production Volume) + (Variable Costs)



    One product that I'm involved with at work is a niche variant of a standard item. The two products' respective variable costs are within roughly 10%, but because of our relatively miniscule production volume on the variant, we get utterly slaughtered by our relative inability to amortize out its fixed manufacturing costs and as such, our final cost on the niche variant is roughly 5x higher than the standard.



    When we keep in mind that IIRC roughly 70%(?) of Mac sold are laptops and for the remaining portion of desktops, they're split between the mini, iMac 20", iMac 24" and then the variants on the Mac Pro ... currently, there's 3 different video card options ... the simple reality is that there aren't tens of millions of units being sold per month with which to amortize down the fixed costs of development and production of these permutations.



    ...and if Apple did offer more product permutations - - shades of the Dark Performa Days - - then the costs of all of the permutations would invariably be higher. The unfortunate reality is that most US consumers don't work close enough to manufacturing anymore, so they don't really understand what the implications are of what they're asking for.





    -hh
  • Reply 216 of 217
    Can we Sticky -hh post above? (216)



    it would go some way to ending the silly debate over some of Apples pricing.
  • Reply 217 of 217
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by -hh View Post


    My sentiments exactly, although there's a lot more fixed costs than just the NRE for the firmware that have to be budgeted in, as a niche item has costs incurred at every step, if for no other reason than to keep it identified as distinct from the standard configuration.



    True, but the objection was that the only thing you're buying was a ROM, so I kept it simple.



    Quote:

    ...and if Apple did offer more product permutations - - shades of the Dark Performa Days - - then the costs of all of the permutations would invariably be higher. The unfortunate reality is that most US consumers don't work close enough to manufacturing anymore, so they don't really understand what the implications are of what they're asking for.



    I don't think even the typical manufacturing worker understands this. That's more something that entrepreneurs, management and some of engineering has to deal with.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post


    Can we Sticky -hh post above? (216)



    it would go some way to ending the silly debate over some of Apples pricing.



    I doubt it would do much. There are still going to be silly arguments, some of them may even seem plausible arguments, but in the end, they're either false or just don't matter. In the case of expensive Mac graphic cards, there's very little market for third party Mac graphics cards, if the market wants them, they'll have to pay extra. It doesn't help that the small market is shrunk even further by people just reflashing a card for Windows.
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