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We Interview EFiX Creators: OS X on PC

Getting that pesky cat to run on a PC

It’s no secret that enthusiasts have been trying (with some success) to get Apple’s operating systems to run on standard PCs. With Apple’s switch to Intel processors, the attempts to get Mac OS X running on non-Apple branded hardware became even more popular — and there was no more need to have an emulator running.

In the last year, several attempts at getting OS X to run on standard PC hardware were being tackled by two companies that offered to sell Mac clones. The first was Psystar, which is now in a legal battle with Apple. Psystar actually claims that it has the upper hand in the case, although we doubt that it would walk away from the court room hands free.

The other company, which launched in Europe, was Open System. This company however, didn’t last very long, looked shady, and offered to sell itself in whole for a measly $50,000. Obviously the intent was to create hype for a lost cause and then sell off the idea, make a quick buck, and disappear.

The unfortunate problem with both these companies — one of them obviously questionable — is that they both attempt to circumvent the Apple EULA. Both companies tried to sell fully built systems that bundled with hacked versions of OS X Leopard, essentially selling Mac clones, and as we all know, there aren’t any licensed makers of Mac clones.

Then a small company came along and introduced something called the EFiX. A small USB-based device, the EFiX connects to a motherboard’s internal USB header, and transforms it into a nearly authentic Mac system. By nearly, we mean the EFiX actually tricks a retail copy of Leopard into thinking that it’s been installed on a real Mac. With this setup, users don’t have to patch their operating systems nor do they have to worry about crippling their setup due to a system update from Apple.

The simple installation process accompanied with the reassurance that everything runs as it does on real Mac hardware, makes things really attractive for those who want to avoid the costs of buying Apple hardware but want to run Leopard.

I had the chance to sit down with Davide Rutigliano, CEO of Art Studios Entertainment, the company behind the EFiX device. I questioned him on the legality of the product as well as many technical aspects on just how the device works. Read on.