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Old 22nd December 2009
aleunix aleunix is offline
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Default Which level of hardware compatibility exist between BSD and Intel Mac?

Which level of hardware compatibility exist between BSD OS and Intel Mac (Exspecially desktop series)?
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Old 22nd December 2009
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I have never been rich enough to have a MAC but from what I understand since Apple ditched PowerPC MACs are just a regular PCs with OS X operating system.
Earlier PowerPCs MAC were completely supported by OpenBSD and NetBSD while FreeBSD was able to run on few models but the support was mostly poor.
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Old 22nd December 2009
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That was unbelievably vague.

Intel Macs are based around a mostly traditional x86 architecture, all models include an Intel CPU.. other hardware differs, some models use NVIDIA chipsets and others use an entirely Intel based chipset.

The lack a legacy BIOS natively, it uses EFI to load Mac OS X.. an emulated BIOS is provided so that traditional x86 operating systems can be booted.

Perhaps it's safe to say they all have USB controllers, "HD Audio" (azalia), not all models use the same Ethernet/Wireless chipset, graphics can be from Intel/ATI(AMD) or NVIDIA, they include PCI PATA/SATA controllers in IDE or AHCI mode from a variety of vendors.. a Firewire controller in some(..or all) models, and finally USB UVC-compatible cameras that require a firmware to operate.

No legacy PS/2 emulation, the keyboard and mouse are USB devices.

People boot OpenBSD/NetBSD/FreeBSD on different models and submit the dmesg's to the mailing lists, it shows that they don't all share the same type of hardware.. you should however be able to install any off-the-shelf PCI devices these days, granted you'll need a custom driver for OS X.

Do that help?
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Old 23rd December 2009
aleunix aleunix is offline
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Just curiosity because the hardware variantions is much limited on Intel Mac respect Intel Pc so must be more simple have a compatibility hardware with more different OS.

In the past i have think about a mac mini but given the huge difference in price respect a normal pc and given the huge difference in price in Italy respect the Usa i give up.

Italy: € 549 = $ 782
Usa: $ 599 = € 420

Unfortunately don't all european are rich to pay more the in Usa the same product.

Now:
1 EUR = 1.42490 USD
but even when the value was more strong then that the huge difference in price is always remained.
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Old 23rd December 2009
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One note I might want to place regarding Intel Mac's is that they are difficult and expensive to repair. They're basically all laptops (T serie CPU's, laptop mainboards, etc) with all the advantages and disadvantages of that.

The only good reason to buy a Mac I can think of is MacOS X. If you want to run BSD, then I would recommend buying a "normal" PC or laptop.
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Old 23rd December 2009
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Actually they are not that bad to work on (experience required), i have taken apart and replaced parts on quite a few, (not just ram, hdd) i have worked on MUCH worse ...

I must say, replacing a mainboard on an IBM/Lenovo on a monday morning will cause you greif, they have about 2 extra layers of stuff to screw down, but i am glad they do. Even there monitors have twice as many screws in them.

I have an HP TC4200 (my firewall OBSD 4.6) that has come apart about 6 different times (soldered power connecter to mainboard, some other misc fixxing) that was easy to work on. Also some of the Dell's at work are quite pleasureful to work on, at least they tag the sizes/lengths of screws on most laptops

I had an OLD Macbook PPC 100mhz back when it actually unfolded apart (outwards) and you unscrewed parts, i recall that one was very easy to work on, the parts cost an arm and a leg though.

Just need to stay away from the Samsung HDD with an Apple sticker on it (100$ CDN) the regular Samsung HDD (60$ CDN, exact same HDD - the Apple sticker) or WD or any 2.5" HDD works fine, i am so glad Apple switched to standard commodity (if i can call them that) hardware.

Apple did a good thing with the hardware switch, that attracted ALOT more technical persons that will run non-MacOS operating systems (Windoz/Linux/Unix) on there Mac's. This i believe will bring greater credability and technical usage from persons that are not Macophiles (you know the ones who get there facts from TV commercials) almost a relief ..... almost.

Although i used to LOVE my Toshiba laptops (had 5 over the years), there quality has gone to shit (even the Tecra's, i used to really like those), and Acer laptops too, those 2 are built like crap, barely held together and flimsy as hell, the parts they are using i was replacing almost every few months for some of our coorporate clients. It is quite a pain to drive 1-2 hours to get on site and tear apart a brand new laptop just to replace a monitor and ram (or cpu fan or wifi/bluetooth module) in a crappier (meaning more used and worse shape) laptop (30 mins work) just to drive 1-2 hours back.

I sold my Macbook (white) with XPPro on it bout 2 months ago (sold my MacBook Pro last christmas) raw metal install no BootCamp (i used there drivers of course) and now i run OS 10.6.2 in a virutal machine (VMWare) so really, for me that is, my Macbook running OpenBSD and MacOS in a virtual machine seems a better setup *_*
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Last edited by There0; 23rd December 2009 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 23rd December 2009
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Quote:
The only good reason to buy a Mac I can think of is MacOS X. If you want to run BSD, then I would recommend buying a "normal" PC or laptop.
Agreed completely, OSX is good to be familiar with (not just for support reasons mind you), but for the sake of let me call it OS compatability, a "normal" PC or laptop is a MUCH better choice and will save a quite a bit of a headache in the end.
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Old 23rd December 2009
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Quote:
Actually they are not that bad to work on (experience required), i have taken apart and replaced parts on quite a few, (not just ram, hdd) i have worked on MUCH worse ...
True. Last week I had a HP Compaq laptop which I had to disassemble completely in order to blow dust out of the CPU fan (Screen, mainboard, *everything*).
6 different screw sizes, not tagged.

It made the Carpetsmoker cry


I meant that compared to normal PC's (desktops) they are more difficult/expensive to repair. With a "normal" PC you can just buy random ATX PSU, mainboard, etc. and anyone with the ability to hold a screwdriver and more than half a brain can replace the part ...

Quote:
I must say, replacing a mainboard on an IBM/Lenovo on a monday morning will cause you greif, they have about 2 extra layers of stuff to screw down, but i am glad they do. Even there monitors have twice as many screws in them.
To be honest, I never disassembled a thinkpad We only recently started to sell them (We only sold a handful in the last few years), and I never had a reason to disassemble any that I owned (Which is a good sign).
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Old 23rd December 2009
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I have an Apple sticker over the Dell logo on my D830 laptop at work, it is silver and does look like a Macbook Pro from afar, you should see how many ppl come over and say "nice Macbook man!"

They notice the sticker only, they don't even bother to really look at the laptop, im glad they feel better from that image. Has anybody else noticed it is a image of a once bitten apple? of biblical myth, what is Jobs and Wozniak trying to tell us?

I liked the multi colored version best, here is a funny picture for all to check out, i asked one of the web/graphics designers at work to make me a sticker like that below, he refused, must be blashphemus for a Macophile
Attached Images
File Type: jpg apple-linux.jpg (7.8 KB, 29 views)
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Old 23rd December 2009
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Quote:
It made the Carpetsmoker cry


Quote:
I meant that compared to normal PC's (desktops) they are more difficult/expensive to repair. With a "normal" PC you can just buy random ATX PSU, mainboard, etc. and anyone with the ability to hold a screwdriver and more than half a brain can replace the part ...
True that, especially the part with half a brain and the screwdriver, but you would be surprised what i have seen some "techs" try to do .....

Quote:
To be honest, I never disassembled a thinkpad We only recently started to sell them (We only sold a handful in the last few years), and I never had a reason to disassemble any that I owned (Which is a good sign).
Yes i am loving the Lenovo's, on my 5th in last 3 years and they are pretty dam great, they been changing some parts (flimsier keyboard on my t500) but im still VERY happy with them.
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