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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

mac bios ??


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Texasmeat

 
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Mac Specs: Mid-2011 MBP 13" i5

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I have a pc friend who asked me why it would not be possible to use apple roms in place of the bios roms on x86 architecture (within reason, Im sure you'd need other things)? Once the system boots, you could theoretically run whatever OS you wanted? I've been looking for some good reading material on this to give him but have come up blank. Any suggestions?
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redfox
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That wouldn't work. Not only would an Apple rom not work, it just might damage your board beyond repair. x86 and PowerPC architecture are COMPLETELY Different.
That fact alone prevents any Mac Software off the shelf be installed on an x86/Windows machine, and Vice-versa

hope that helps.
ben
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Texasmeat

 
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I (for one) know that much of the equation but would really like to find out exactly why (ie reading tech material), What components are different, what formats etc..He insists that some of his buddies at MIT are running os-x on windows systems with some component switching. Im trying to figure out what because I dont believe it possible.
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shadov
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redfox
That wouldn't work. Not only would an Apple rom not work, it just might damage your board beyond repair. x86 and PowerPC architecture are COMPLETELY Different.
That fact alone prevents any Mac Software off the shelf be installed on an x86/Windows machine, and Vice-versa
Yes. With closed source software that is true. You cannot run x86 binaries on PPC. But once you have access to the source code and the OS from which you are porting and the OS you are porting to are similar enough, it becomes usually quite simple. Just recompile and it'll run. Most programs don't very much directly interact with hardware (other than CPU). They use interfaces that are already implemented in the host OS.

Problems arise when those interfaces differ between operating systems. That's why we don't see more Windows apps ported to OS X. That's why we have tons of Linux and BSD apps ported, that run under X11 on OS X, and almost none that run natively under Aqua.

Well back to the topic. BIOS works extremely close to hardware. So it would be difficult to get a BIOS that is designed for certain mother board to work on another. Also I think Apple's 'BIOS', or what ever it is called, is way more advanced than the old x86 BIOS specification.

Both PPC and x86 mobos use IDE and AGP. Both use same RAM and almost same graphics and sound cards. Memory controllers are probably somewhat different, but they differ between x86 mobos too.

I have no idea whether it is possible to port PPC BIOS to some x86 board or not, or how difficult it would be.
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