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EFi-X readies desktop Millennium Mac-clones

updated 01:45 pm EST, Fri December 12, 2008

Millenium Mac clones

The American distributor of the EFi-X open-platform USB dongle has created the Millennium series of desktop computers that are designed to compete with the Mac Pro, according to AppleInsider. The Millennium 4 will be the first product released, featuring a Core 2 Quad processor overclocked to 3.8GHz, 4GB of RAM, a GeForce 8800 GTS video card, 150GB 10,000RPM drive and a 1TB 7,200RPM secondary drive. The company claims that its computer is 80-percent as fast as the 8-core 3.0GHz Mac Pro, but will sell for less than half of Apple's price.

The technology takes a much different approach than Hackintosh systems or clones such as Psystar. The EFi-X dongle attaches to a USB connection on the motherboard, re-creating the Extensible Firmware Interface (EFI) environment found on Mac systems.

The EFI method is claimed to allow users to simply install OS X without any hacks or system modifications, with full support for updates as well. The company engineers suggest that Apple would effectively disable OS X on its own Macs if the code is changed to cause conflicts with the EFi-X hardware.

Considering the heated legal battle that is raging between Psystar and Apple, the company has chosen to tread lightly with its marketing and sales tactics. The computers do not come with OS X installed or bundled, customers must obtain their own copy and install it themselves. The EFi-X dongle is also sold separately and not included with the package, meaning that the computer, clone technology, and operating system will not be sold together.

The exclusion of the operating system would seem to avoid many of the initial copyright infringement and EULA charges that were presented in the Psystar case. Apple recently amended its case against the clone-maker, however, to include charges of DMCA violation.

The DMCA code prohibits companies or individuals from manufacturing, providing, offering to the public or trafficking any technology or product that is designed "for the purpose of circumventing protection afforded by a technological measure that effectively protects a right of a copyright owner..."

The Millennium 4 system will be available for $1900, with the EFi-X dongle priced at $200. Millennium 8, 16, and 24 models will be available sometime in the next few months, with the highest end model featuring six 2.13GHz Xeon L7455 processors.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. MyRightEye

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Apr 2008

    +7

    interesting

    very interesting

  1. Eldernorm

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Sep 2007

    -3

    Interesting but...

    This is an interesting article and an interesting thought. BUT... .. Why?

    You buy a computer from joe. you buy software from apple and an adapter from joe's son.

    You can get technical help for 90 days on the software side. Fine.

    91 days later you are on your own. Since you did not buy the apple, you cannot get 3 years of apple care for a pc.

    Now what.?????? For a few bucks more you get a full Apple system, hardware software and support. GREAT support...... Insanely great support.

    Or you can call joe's son and ask him. He will just blame the software and there is NO support there.

    Yep, save a nickel, spend 3 years running in circles.

    Just a thought.
    en

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +1

    I love my dongle

    I love my EFI dongle and machine I built. 100% stable, everything works, including time machine and all the other stuff. Software update works perfectly. Took my retail install dvd from 10.5.4 to 10.5.5. Can't wait for 10.5.6 to come out!

  1. jamesfabin

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007

    +1

    Sounds cool for some

    For those who want the advantages of running OSX (but without the full support you get from Apple when buying a full Mac system) but seem to think a mac is "too expensive" this may be attractive - but I must say I'll never do it. When you step back and look at the big picture, buying a true Mac isn't that much more money and get get a lot of value for it - not only the outstanding support, but Macs hold their value longer. If a friend of mine wanted to show off their new computer runs OSX and I saw the case was some knock-off, the first impression I would have is that they couldn't afford a Mac but really wanted one. It's like going out and buying a really bad fake Rolex and showing it off. I'll stick with the real thing for the value and support - it's worth a few extra dollars.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    Spelling

    If that's Millenium then you're macn ! It's Millennium guys.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    EFI dongle is a scam

    Inside the dongle, there is software that anyone can download and install on just about any modern PC (go to youtube.com and search for Hacintosh ). Their trick is thought to be that they have loaded that free firmware onto flash-memory, wrapped a micro-controller around it to make it USB bootable without being viewable outside of the boot process. For Apple (or anyone else) to PROVE that the flash contains hacked EFI firmware that violates the DMAC against Apple, they would have to hack thru the micr-ocontroller, which would be, on its face, a violation under DMCA against this dongle maker. But the naive engineers who thought up this scheme up are in for a lesson if Apple obtains a federal court order to have the device analyzed. That will just make our Macs even more expensive and risk the destruction of the Apple marketplace in these difficult economic times as the case takes time to wind through the court and eventually the company loses and goes out of business leaving unpaid judgments for Apple's legal bills behind. It's a trick MacNN, please delete this whole article.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -2

    EFI dongle is a scam

    Inside the dongle, there is software that anyone can download and install on just about any modern PC (go to youtube.com and search for Hacintosh ). Their trick is thought to be that they have loaded the free firmware hack from the Russian guy onto the flash-memory, then wrapped a micro-controller around it to make it USB bootable without being viewable outside of the boot process. For Apple (or anyone else) to PROVE that the flash contains hacked EFI firmware (that violates the DMAC against Apple), they would have to hack thru the micro-ocontroller, which would, on its face, be a violation (under the same DMCA) against this dongle vendor. But the naive engineers at the dongle maker who thought up this scheme up are in for a lesson if Apple obtains a federal court order to have the device analyzed. Courts enforce intent before letters of the law. What's worse is that the freeware hacks may not be legal under DMCA in USA but they are in other areas of the world (that don't have DMCA yet) and are copyrighted under the GPL free software license, which is violated through this scheme of selling it for profit. There is a kid name Jonathan Monroe at Actual Technologies who also sells GPL free software disguised as commercial products --only in that case, businesses are using his hacks to store medical records, run multi-million dollar businesses that thousands of people depend on, etc.. In all these cases though, when they finally get caught, they just vanish leaving the public holding the bag. Someday gov't will catch up to all this stuff, but history tells us they are running about 15 years behind the curve...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -4

    EFI dongle is a scam

    Inside the dongle, there is software that anyone can download and install on just about any modern PC (go to youtube.com and search for Hacintosh ). Their trick is thought to be that they have loaded the free firmware hack from the Russian guy onto the flash-memory, then wrapped a micro-controller around it to make it USB bootable without being viewable outside of the boot process. For Apple (or anyone else) to PROVE that the flash contains hacked EFI firmware (that violates the DMCA against Apple), they would have to hack thru the micro-ocontroller, which would, on its face, be a violation (under the same DMCA) against this dongle vendor. But the naive engineers at the dongle maker who thought up this scheme up are in for a lesson if Apple obtains a federal court order to have the device analyzed. Courts enforce intent before letters of the law. What's worse is that the freeware hacks may not be legal under DMCA in USA but they are in other areas of the world (that don't have DMCA yet) and are copyrighted under the GPL free software license, which is violated through this scheme of selling it for profit. There is a kid name Jonathan Monroe at Actual Technologies who also sells GPL free software disguised as commercial products --only in that case, businesses are using his hacks to store medical records, run multi-million dollar businesses that thousands of people depend on, etc.. In all these cases though, when they finally get caught, they just vanish leaving the public holding the bag. Someday gov't will catch up to all this stuff, but history tells us they are running about 15 years behind the curve...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -4

    EFI dongle is a scam

    Inside the dongle, there is software that anyone can download and install on just about any modern PC (go to youtube.com and search for Hacintosh ). Their trick is thought to be that they have loaded the free firmware hack from the Russian guy onto the flash-memory, then wrapped a micro-controller around it to make it USB bootable without being viewable outside of the boot process. For Apple (or anyone else) to PROVE that the flash contains hacked EFI firmware (that violates the DMCA against Apple), they would have to hack thru the micro-controller, which would, on its face, be a violation (under the same DMCA) against this dongle vendor. But the naive engineers at the dongle maker who thought up this scheme up are in for a lesson if Apple obtains a federal court order to have the device analyzed. Courts enforce intent before letters of the law. What's worse is that the freeware hacks may not be legal under DMCA in USA but they are in other areas of the world (that don't have DMCA yet) and are copyrighted under the GPL free software license, which is violated through this scheme of selling it for profit. There is a kid name Jonathan Monroe at Actual Technologies who also sells GPL free software disguised as commercial products --only in that case, businesses are using his hacks to store medical records, run multi-million dollar businesses that thousands of people depend on, etc.. In all these cases though, when they finally get caught, they just vanish leaving the public holding the bag. Someday gov't will catch up to all this stuff, but history tells us they are running about 15 years behind the curve...

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    -3

    heh heh

    Some people think that these computers are valuable like rolexes and cars. Apple is just a commodity player using off the shelf pc parts, like intel cpu's, nvidia or ati video cards, ordinary hard drives, cd/dvd drives etc. Apple only makes the cases, Ferrari doesnt buy ford engines, nor does rolex use timex clocks inside their watches, big difference...

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