Apple Intel machines won't use Open Firmware

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by thedoc1111, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. thedoc1111 macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    Update: The Development Kit does have a BIOS! Damn.

    And will probably boot Windows - so they will have a traditional BIOS.

    So we are left with the COMPLETE x86 architecture in our Macs - no modernisation, dealing with the appallingly implemented ACPI and APM standards for Power Management, the lot.

    What's worse is that, if this is true, the only way that they will stop you running OS X on your no-name PC or Dell - is most likely DRM...

    ==> 'Macintosh computers using Intel microprocessors do not use Open Firmware. Although many parts of the IO registry are present and work as expected, information that is provided by Open Firmware on a Macintosh using a PowerPC microprocessor (such as a complete device tree) is not available in the IO registry on a Macintosh using an Intel microprocessor. You can obtain some of the information from IODeviceTree by using the sysctlbyname or sysctl commands.'
    ==> 'After Jobs' presentation, Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller addressed the issue of running Windows on Macs, saying there are no plans to sell or support Windows on an Intel-based Mac. "That doesn't preclude someone from running it on a Mac. They probably will," he said. "We won't do anything to preclude that." '
  2. thedoc1111 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
    One more bit of good/bad news:

    Apple will support GCC for Universal Binaries (no Intel proprietary compiler)
    However, it will only be GCC 4.0 - meaning large OSS projects which do not compile yet on GCC 4.0 will be left in the lurch and so put back again
  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Actually, I don't think there will be any sort of DRM. All that is necessary is to limit the hardware supported by Mac OS X to the hardware in the machines Apple offers. That will be enough to make running Mac OS X on anything not configured identically to a Mac not work.
  4. weg macrumors 6502a


    Mar 29, 2004
    Yeah, and once Apple will provide the iLife Applications for Windows there won't be any reason to stick to Mac OS X on your Apple MacIntel anymore. Apple can make another transition from Mac OS X to Longhorn, then (probably 2008?).
  5. cube macrumors Pentium

    May 10, 2004
  6. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    I thought Intel were trying to convince manufacturers to move away from BIOS to EFI

    From a while ago but suggests EFI standard by 2007 which is the right timescalle
  7. GroundLoop macrumors 68000


    Mar 21, 2003
    This would still allow companies to create Mac clones. In my opinion (since I can't speak for Apple), this will NOT be tolerated. IF the system uses a run of the mill BIOS, there will likely be a proprietary hardware component that differentiates a Mac from a Dell with the same major components of a Mac. Whether that is some kind of chip on the logic board, who knows. But, Apple will not be throwing away their hardware business with this transition.

  8. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    Good points. In that case, I suspect Apple will replace ACPI with their own proprietary power manager - the one that gives us instant sleep and instant wake. That is something Windows does not support and that Mac OS X requires to function. Apple might add other things too, but that one I'm almost certain will appear in Intel-based Macs.
  9. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    wait, what? where did the logical leap come from from windows being able to be installed to iLife being released for windows. Apple sells hardware, and the major selling point of that hardware is OS X. If they just sell a windows box, there's no reason to pay a premium anymore and everyone will just get a dell. I can't see apple doing it.
  10. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Amiga, before they went bankrupt again recently.

    Was planning on using USB dongles supplied with white box PowerPC G3/G4s.

    Since Apple is building the entire machine, nothing is stopping them from putting a device internally on the USB or PCI bus.

    USB would probably be best, since that would allow them to offer a $99-$199 Mac dongle in the future to allow the Mac OS to run on non Apple PCs.

    An option Apple would likely love to have if MS kills Office.


    Right now the only place to run the Mac OS will be on a Apple PC, but on the flip side Windows would also run on any Apple PC.

    So this time around, more people than Mac OS users will be buying Apple hardware.

    Make no bones about it, it's no longer a Mac -- it is Apple's first Apple PC.

    And people will likely work hard to get around Apple's DRM, but Apple will also be limiting the driver base.

    So a $200 Dell probably wouldn't run the Mac OS even with a DRM hack.

    Ask the NeXT x86 users, they had to hunt down hardware that worked with the NeXT OS just to build a machine. Wasn't always easy.
  11. y0zza macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2005
    I would expect Apple to use Intel's much-touted EFI. I just hope FW target mode is still there...
  12. thedoc1111 thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 13, 2003
  13. kgarner macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2004
    Just because the developer transition machines has a BIOS doesn't mean that the Macintels will. We are comparing a future product to a stop-gap measure to allow developers to try out their code. I'm not saying that Apple won't use a BIOS, but just because the dev machines do means that the official Macintels will. Only time will tell. We are talking about a machine we won't see for at least 6 months, maybe longer.

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