A Dell Mini 9 can be easily transformed into a Mac OS Xnetbook as a Sunday afternoon project. Why won't Apple make the next logical jump -- make it legal? Photo: Gizmodo
This weekend, Gizmodo blogger John Mahoney posted a step-by-step tutorial of how to transform a $400 Dell Mini 9 into the ultimate Mac OS X netbook. Needless to say, what was once in the realm of pure hackerdom is now getting easier and easier to do. What used to take a week or more in order to properly piece together compatible clone hardware and do the appropriate research in order to assemble your own "Hackintosh" is quickly becoming child' play.
In summary: Grab a Dell netbook, buy a legal copy of Mac OS X, download a "Bootloader" file that you can burn to a CD or a bootable USB flash drive, boot with it on the netbook, and install Mac OS X. It's getting that easy, folks.
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Of course, going out and buying a 400 dollar netbook where probably $75-$100 of the cost is Windows XP and then having to go out and spend $129.00 on Mac OS X somewhat defeats the purpose of having an affordable netbook. You now have a $530.00 netbook instead of a $400.00 one. One can buy some pretty decent full-blown laptops for that kind of money nowadays.
So it begs the question -- why hasn't Apple released its own $400 netbook? If the recession has shown us anything in this industry, it's that cheap netbooks are flying off the shelves like hotcakes. Granted, Steve Jobs and company have always been known to be elitist, and that Apple doesn't like to "do cheap". Okay, I can relate to that, except that this prima donna premium-oriented Apple branding stubbornness and arrogance is bound to get them stuck in some serious financial doldrums with Macs if they don't do something about it quickly.
It would seem that there is a niche that needs filling, and that Apple doesn't appear to want to do it themselves. Yes, we've been down this road before with Mac clones -- and the Psystar chapter hasn't been closed yet-- but maybe, just maybe, Apple might want to consider getting some supplementary revenue from the Dells, HPs, Lenovos, and the ASUSes of this world by allowing them to produce licensed Mac OS X netbooks using a common reference design. This would be limited strictly to netbooks, so that Apple's premium notebook line would not be cannibalized, and Apple would be getting licensing revenue from Mac OS X. To me, this seems like a reasonable compromise.
Should Apple allow OEMs to produce inexpensive Mac OS X netbooks? Talk Back and Let Me Know.