Freebie plants OS X in older Macs

A free download lets owners of Mac systems left out of Apple's OS X go ahead and install the new operating system anyway

Users of older Power Macs last week gained new access to Mac OS X, courtesy of a free utility.

Ryan Rempel's Unsupported UtilityX, available for free download from Other World Computing's Web site, enables processor-upgraded Macs or other Power Mac systems outside Apple Computer's designated specification to run Mac OS X.

Apple limits its own support for the new OS to Macs that originally shipped with either a PowerPC G3 or G4 processor.

According to OWC spokesman Larry O'Connor, the utility takes no more than three extra clicks to install OS X on an unsupported Mac, compared with a standard installation.

"It is being called 'beta' while additional user feedback comes out, but Ryan has led the way for OS X on these Macs since the day OS X was released," O'Connor said. "This utility is provided free of charge, and we have no plans to charge for it in the future.

"It is our intention to continue to expand support for OS X and, partnered up with Ryan, to see this through. We have a lot of customers who have made a significant investment in their machines and we want to protect their investment," said O'Connor.

Sonnet Technologies recently introduced a $29.95 Mac OS X compatibility utility for some of its processor upgrades. According to O'Connor, "[Unsupported UtilityX] provides the same functionality as the Sonnet software and some extra bells and whistles. Sonnet even got some help early in their quest from Ryan."

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