When was the last time Apple upgraded the Mac Pro launched back in 2013? It’s a trick question. The new generation Mac Pro has never had an upgrade. Ever. Never. Likewise, Apple has slowed down the pace of upgrades to every Mac except the hot sellers– the attractive but most anemic MacBook line.
What does that mean? Either Apple is preparing 2017 to become the Mother of all Upgrade Years, so the handwriting is clearly on the wall, or the Mac is boring to Apple. The Mac is an appliance once again, and Apple does not care about the so-called professional market at all. If that is so, then a case can be made that it’s time for an official ‘Hackintosh.’
Endangered Species Mac
Late last week Jeffrey Mincey wrote an inspired article on The Endangered Species Mac User where it’s become obvious that those of us from Mac eras of the past want the ability to customize and upgrade our Macs beyond asking for rose gold or space gray when we pick up the latest MacBook at the Apple Store.
There is little question that Steve Jobs wanted the original Mac to be a closed appliance, an exact opposite of the open architecture of the original Apple computers. But wisdom sometimes comes with age and Jobs relented, giving us Macs that did both– closed to those who should not be allowed to peruse the innards of electronic devices, and open to those Mac users who desire to own the experience, inside and outside.
Remember, the aluminum cheese grater tank of a Mac Pro was launched under Steve Jobs’ watch, and became a darling of the experienced Mac user for it’s ability to be customized and upgraded ad nauseam. Even Jobs was one who accepted the need for the so-called Mac professional or power user to be entertained by personal options in hardware.
Sadly, those days are gone. Apple’s new generation Mac Pro is a complete dud, disdained by many Mac users who clamor for more, and forgotten by Apple itself.
Time For A Hackintosh
Jeffrey’s article received a comment from reader Cal Worthington with a list of Hackintosh options.
Hackintosh, a Portmanteau of the word “hack” and the name of Apple’s main model of computers, Macintosh. Hackintoshed notebook computers are also called “Hackbooks”.
In other words, a Hackintosh is a customized PC, often of generic hardware, that can run macOS Sierra or older versions of OS X. Is such a thing even legal? Probably not. But maybe not enough.
The Apple software license does not allow OS X to be used on a computer that is not “Apple-branded”. The legality of this form of tying is disputed… specific changes to the law regarding the concept of jailbreaking has thrown such and similar circumvention methods into a grey area when carried out by end-users for personal use.
Think ‘fair use’ for what you bought and what you do yourself.
If you want to know more about how you can cobble together PC parts to create your own Hackintosh, well, there’s a site for that. It’s called Hackintosh.
Hackintosh.com links to everything you need to build a Hackintosh and get macOS Sierra (10.12) as well as many earlier versions of Mac OS X running on an unsupported computer — instructions, step-by-step “how to” guides, and tutorials — in addition to installation videos, lists of compatible computers and parts, and communities for support.
One of my favorite sites is Lifehacker which features a Guide to Building a Hackintosh, in this case, using macOS Sierra. Again, plenty of details and step-by-step options.
Building a hackintosh—that is, installing macOS on non-Apple hardware—used to require extremely restricted hardware choices and quite a bit of know-how. Now your options are vast and the installation process is fairly simple.
If you’re not comfortable pulling together all the personal computer components necessary, then a Hackintosh is not for you, but if you want more power than a quad-core iMac for about half the price, read on.
From either site you’ll get all the basics you need to create your own substitute for a high end iMac and a more powerful version of the Mac Pro that Apple ignored for four years, at a fraction of the price.
Caveats? Yeah, Apple doesn’t want you to build a Hackintosh. Remember, Apple is a hardware company. They sell Macs. macOS Sierra is free. So, Apple doesn’t get much from you when you build a Hackintosh. You might get a few headaches as it’s not always for the faint of heart, and there are troubleshooting issues, too.
Just remember, necessity is the mother of invention, and if Apple won’t build the Mac many users want, someone will find a way. Someone has already. That said, if Apple is planning to shutter professional level Macs, I would appreciate an official Hackintosh that could work under specific hardware requirements from Apple.
I’m not holding my breath.