Is it legal to build your own Macintosh for your personal use?


Rower_CPU

Moderator emeritus
Oct 5, 2001
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San Diego, CA
You used to be able to do it back before SJ killed the clone companies, but you can still pick up older models/parts on eBay, etc...
 

Shrek

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jul 23, 2002
1,118
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Nashville, Tennessee USA
A frankenmac. . . I oughta put a MonsterMac sticker on it, then everyone will say, "Wow! Cool! A new product! LOL! :D

MonsterMac? Hmmm. That would be a nice brand name for the new PowerMacs. Everyone would jump on it! ;)
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
Re: Is it legal to build your own Macintosh for your personal use?

Originally posted by Shrek
Just curious to know. . . :confused:
no it wouldn't be legal. Doing so would require cloning the hardware rom. its actually been done before. there were illegal clones in south america many years back when apple had some trouble or other getting computers imported there. It would be rather difficult to clone the hardware rom, and like I said, utterly illegal.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,260
1,574
Re: Re: Is it legal to build your own Macintosh for your personal use?

Originally posted by strider42


no it wouldn't be legal. Doing so would require cloning the hardware rom. its actually been done before. there were illegal clones in south america many years back when apple had some trouble or other getting computers imported there. It would be rather difficult to clone the hardware rom, and like I said, utterly illegal.
well... it depends...

I don't think the new Macs use roms any longer...

arn
 

benjaminpg

macrumors regular
Apr 21, 2002
113
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Salt Lake City, UT
It might depend on what you are trying to do. I know simply reboxing macs is legal. It has been done for a long time. Some company has been making rackmount versions of macs for a while, I think Marathon. Before that some company made laptops out of other machines, before apple made any decent portables. However, it is noted in the emac rumor that apple shut down a company adding superdrives to eMacs, so I don't know what hte limits are.
 

strider42

macrumors 65816
Feb 1, 2002
1,460
6
Re: Re: Re: Is it legal to build your own Macintosh for your personal use?

Originally posted by arn


well... it depends...

I don't think the new Macs use roms any longer...

arn
As I understand it, they still do, and the OS looks to it before booting. but there is also the rom in ram. I don't relaly understand the ins and outs of it all, but I'm pretty sure the logic board stuff contains proprietary hardware that would be absolutely necessary to make the mac boot. I don't think its possible to cobble one together from off the shelve parts.

Like I said, I don't know much about. If anyone has any specific insight I'd be glad to read it.
 

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
14,260
1,574
Re: Re: Re: Re: Is it legal to build your own Macintosh for your personal use?

Originally posted by strider42


As I understand it, they still do, and the OS looks to it before booting. but there is also the rom in ram. I don't relaly understand the ins and outs of it all, but I'm pretty sure the logic board stuff contains proprietary hardware that would be absolutely necessary to make the mac boot. I don't think its possible to cobble one together from off the shelve parts.

Like I said, I don't know much about. If anyone has any specific insight I'd be glad to read it.
well, you certainly can't cobble one together yourself... even without the roms... Apple has their own ASICS etc... so, you can't just throw it together.

arn
 

Sun Baked

macrumors G5
May 19, 2002
14,874
57
You'd probably have to look back at the CHRP specs and move forward again to see if this would get around some of the custom ASIC and ROM roadblocks.

But since Apple has dumped the clones, there are no longer any Mac ROM extensions for third-party boards being made, and the people who used to be qualified to do this are probably out of touch with the specifics of creating ROM extensions for the current crop of CHRP motherboards being built and/or OS X.

That is if there are any modern CHRP boards being made.

Probably the closest thing to a third party Mac right now is the AmigaOne.
 

dwishbone

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
242
0
On the Moon
you could build one. you can get your own case, drives, etc. the only thing you MUST have is an Apple motherboard. You can find one fairly cheap on e-bay or at a mac parts dealer if you scour the web. (also check the back of mac magazines)
i am currently building a computer based off an 8600 motherboard. you can buy upgrade cards to work as the processor. i recommend if you build one dont use anything earlier than an 8600. It has a 800 Mhz G4 available and rumored to have a 1 Ghz soon. If you want AGP look for a Graphite Sawtooth motherboard.
My computer has nothing in it but the motherboard and power supply that came with it. the hard drives, RAM, processor, and cd drives were all replaced. it is still in an 8600 case (because it is a friggin awesome case design IMHO), but I do plan on modding the case. I am going to paint it either a glossy white or a metallic silver. might even combine the two looks and see what I come up with.
my next project is too build a Mac from the ground up. buy parts and a third party case and build a 1 Ghz Mac which I can probably build for less than half the cost of buying a new one from Apple.
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
Another way to go about this is the upgrade path. You can take an old Mac, back to aroung the 8500 hundred, and slap in some processor upgrade and a firewire/usb card. You can also do this with a lot of the clones, and those things sell for like 15$ on ebay, so its a good play to start. Check out Fastermacs.comn for upgrade info:D

Think Unsupported
 

drastik

macrumors 6502a
Apr 10, 2002
978
0
Nashvegas
Originally posted by dwishbone
my next project is too build a Mac from the ground up. buy parts and a third party case and build a 1 Ghz Mac which I can probably build for less than half the cost of buying a new one from Apple.
It would be super cool if you could document this, I'd love to hear how you do it.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
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Natick, MA
If you get real friendly with your local Apple shop (not the Apple store) you might be able to get them to order some parts to put together a Mac of your own. There are some out of warranty logic boards available, as well as processors... I am seriously thinking about doing this early next year, depending on the bonus (if we get one). Of course, I will have to get a case for it and all the goodies, which will add up. I might just get a regular cd/dvd-rom drive, but then again, I might get a combo drive (depending on the cost difference). I will have to put together a cost/feature list and then decide. I might be better off just getting a new Mac tower and transplanting it's guts into a different case.

All of the above IS legal, since I am building it for my own use, and using mostly Apple parts. Unless I get a new PowerMac, I probably won't have any warranty, which won't matter much to me. Mainly because I know the parts will last (I'm also fairly certain that the parts will come with a short warranty, to make sure they work when they arrive).

That would be a FrankenMac tower... If I end up doing that project, I will put up some pictures of it... :D
 

dwishbone

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
242
0
On the Moon
drastik,
i do plan on documenting it. i just started a new site with a few other guys.
it would make a helluva article.
i just have to get the money together.

the hardest part would simply getting a Mac logic board to fit in a standard ATX case. It will probably take a slight case MOD to make it fit correctly.

right now the hardest part is getting the money to do it :)

Ive pretty much done it with the 8600. As i said the only thing that is in it is the mobo, case, and power supply. everything else i replaced. it works great even under OS X.

you can check out my new mac site at www.macsatin.com

i am also starting a computer business soon. i am thinking about building Macs for people...but I imagine that would be quickly be shut down by Apple legal. :-(
 

dwishbone

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
242
0
On the Moon
then site is still new and really is still under construction as you may have noticed.
i am going to add macrumors to the links since it is the best rumors site.
 

FerrisWorld

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2002
19
0
America
G4 AGP to PC case conversion

Some dude sent in an article to xlr8yourmac a long time ago about fitting a G4 Logic Board in a PC. It talks about drilling some new holes, and changes some of the wires on the Power Supply connector, which is actually the same connector apple uses.

http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/systems/ATX_G4_AGP_conversion/G4_AGP_to_ATX_case.htm

There are also some articles about doing it with B&W G3 Motherboards, 9600/8600 etc.
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
An easy way around the power supply modifications would be to get a power supply made to go into a new G4 case (if you are using a G4 motherboard). It shouldn't require much modifications (if any) to install the power supply into a quality pc case.
 

mcrain

macrumors 68000
Feb 8, 2002
1,768
11
Illinois
Originally posted by mnkeybsness
the only way this would not be legal is if you tried to sell it as an apple product...and saying it was made by them
That's not exactly true. :)
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
4,556
0
Natick, MA
Originally posted by mcrain
That's not exactly true. :)
Give something to back up your statement with flaxman...

How would placing Apple parts into a different case be illegal (especially for your own personal use)??
 

FerrisWorld

macrumors newbie
Aug 6, 2002
19
0
America
208 watts?

One reason to use a pc power supply and do the modifications, is that the power supply in my g4 tower is only 208watts. if you put a lot of drives in, you'll prolly want more like 400watts. at leasts thats what the people at frys said when we bought all the parts for my sisters pc.