Intel Atom Support Hacked into Mac OS

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With the release of its lastest update to Snow Leopard, Mac OS X 10.6.2, Apple has cut support for Intel’s mobile processor line, the Atom. Now though, it seems that some intrepid “hackintosh” users have hacked support for the Atom back into the OS.

Mac OS X has long been the challenging alternative operating system to install on netbooks, and that looks set to continue now that the hackintosh crowd has managed to pull Atom support into a version of Mac OS that seems deliberately built to negate it. It’s been speculated already that Apple’s decision to drop support for Intel’s Atom line was born specifically out of the will to cut down on the number of non-Apple machines running Apple’s OS. If that’s the case, then Apple won’t be happy with the news.

According to a post over at MacWorld, anyone looking to get Atom support into the latest version of Snow Leopard is going to have to be willing to get their hands dirty to make it there. In the words of the MacWorld article,

“… of course, replace the kernel of your operating system – the fundamental code that underlies everything else in Mac OS X – with a file you’ve downloaded from the internet. Written by a guy whose blog is in Russian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I just wanted to point out the Frankenstein allegories involved here; this is ‘new brain’ stuff.”

If that doesn’t communicate just how mad the whole idea is, then it’s likely that little else will. Still, with netbooks the most likely machines to be hackintoshed until the update hit, it’s nice to see that there is, at least, an upgrade path for those users running hackintoshed devices, even if it’s not an easy one.

If Apple had intended to stop people running Mac OS on netbooks, then clearly it’ll be happy to have made the process a lot more difficult… but the fact that there’s a solution out there probably won’t please it too much.

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