Mac News Review

Leopard on a PC Without Hacking, KDE Comes to OS X, New Mac Pro Benchmarked, and More

This Week's Apple and Desktop Mac News

Compiled by Charles Moore and edited by Dan Knight - 2008.02.01

PowerBook, iBook, MacBook, and other portable computing is covered in The 'Book Review. iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV news is covered in The iNews Review.

All prices are in US dollars unless otherwise noted.

News & Opinion


Apple Updates

Desktop Mac Deals

News & Opinion

Install OS X on Your Hackintosh PC, No Hacking Required

LifehackerLifehacker says:

"Two months ago I walked through how to build a Hackintosh Mac on the cheap using PC parts. Since that post, the OSx86 scene has changed rapidly, and now you can install Leopard on your computer about as easily as installing Leopard on a Mac - no command line hacking required. In addition, the resulting installation is - theoretically, at least - can be upgraded without fear of breaking. As if the simplicity of the installation weren't already enough, the new installation tools fix any problems I've had in the past (for example, I no longer need to keep my install DVD in the drive to boot into OS X), and support the Wi-Fi card on my motherboard out-of-the-box. In short, it's a winner."

Good-bye to .mac

Apple MattersAppleMatters' Chris Howard says:

"After some four years or so shelling out to Apple for a .mac account, I'm finally making the commitment to ditch it. It has never been an overly good value, but changing primary email addresses is always a pain in the butt and takes a bit of effort . . . and will probably cause a few lost contacts.

"I won't argue that for some people .mac is the ants' pants, and excellent value. But that crowd is shrinking...."

KDE Desktop Coming to Mac OS X

eWeekeWeek's Darryl K. Taft reports:

"Developers of KDE, the popular Linux desktop environment, are targeting Windows and enhanced Macintosh support.

"With release 4 of KDE, also known as the K Desktop Environment, officially announced Jan. 11, the developers of the free software environment said support for Windows and deep support for Mac OS X are on the horizon, with some pieces ready for evaluation now and others to be available by the summer....

"Benjamin Reed, a KDE developer . . . said of the libraries and applications KDE will port to the Mac OS."

A Look at Native KDE 4.0 for OS X

The Apple BlogThe AppleBlog's Bob Rudis says:

"This week Slashdot (and many, many others) reported that KDE 4.0 has been released for Windows and OS X. KDE (K Desktop Environment) has been a popular GUI for *nix systems and there have been ways of getting it to run (mostly) on OS X prior to this native port if you were willing to use X11 on OS X). RangerRick (of OpenNMS 'fame' did much of the heavy lifting for the Mac side of this project, including the package distributions.

"To start, you'll need to grab the torrent download - I picked the one labeled 'everything,' weighing in at over 2 GB....

"So, why would you need to run KDE? First and foremost: geek cred. OK, joking aside - and even if you're comfortable with your current geek karma level - KDE for OS X brings a plethora of applications for you to try out. While many have not been compiled/distributed yet, that site will give you plenty of browsing fodder, and the 'everything' bundle + other dmg packages deliver well over 130 pre-built OS X KDE apps."


New 2.8 GHz Mac Pro Matches Old 3.0 GHz Model

Macworld UKMacworld's James Galbraith reports:

"Now that the week-long frenzy of Macworld Expo is in the rear-view mirror, Macworld Lab can turn its attention back to what we were working on prior to the annual Mac trade show - Speedmark results for the new Mac Pro systems announced the first week of January.

"The Friday before Expo began, we posted our test results for Apple's 'recommended' configuration - an eight-core 2.8 GHz system. The $2,799 system ships with 2 GB of RAM, a 320 GB hard drive and an ATI 2600 graphics card with 256 MB of video memory. We found that the 2.8 GHz eight-core model easily out-paced its four-core, 2.6 GHz predecessor while coming close to matching the speed of a previous-generation eight-core 3 GHz Mac Pro."

The New Mac Pro's Achilles' Heel

Baltimore SunThe Baltimore Sun's David Zeiler says:

"With an extra 4 gigabytes of memory and two 500 gigabyte Seagate Barracuda hard drive successfully installed in my new Mac Pro, I fired up the benchmark programs to see if the upgrades have boosted performance."

"It appears having 4 sticks of memory installed does aid performance.

"Then I ran Xbench, which includes a hard disk test. More to the point, it allows you to test any installed hard drive, not just the boot drive. To my surprise, the new drive bested the Apple-supplied drive by about 33 percent - with a score of 70.38 versus 52.80...."

Mac Pro Performance Redux (January 2008)

Primate Labs says:

"A couple of weeks ago I blogged about the performance of the new Mac Pros. Unfortunately I only had Geekbench 2 results for the eight-core 2.8 GHz Mac Pro. I thought I'd follow up on that post with Geekbench 2 results for all three eight-core Mac Pros.


  • Mac Pro (Early 2008)
    • Two quad-core Intel Xeons @ 2.8 GHz, 3.0 GHz, or 3.2 GHz
    • 2.00 GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    • Mac OS X 10.5.1 (Build 9B2117)"

Apple Aluminum Keyboard Reviewed

SchwarzTechSchwarzTech's Eric Schwarz reports:

"We managed to get our hands on Apple's new wired keyboard (it really doesn't have a name since it's a stock product with new machines), a $50 product that functions much like any other keyboard....

"First, the keys are identical to a MacBook - flat, little travel, and with space in between each key. Second, the Help key has been replaced with 'fn', which functions much like its notebook equivalent - the function keys now have other primary purposes, such as volume, brightness (if your machine supports that), and more. Third, the function keys go up to F19, allowing you to program just a bit more. Finally, our friend, the Apple key is now simply 'Command' with the cloverleaf logo - this should end some confusion, and make third-party keyboards match a bit more."

Apple Updates

How to Disinfect the Keyboard, Trackpad, and Mouse

AppleA new Apple Knowledge Base article says:

"In addition to regular cleaning of your computer and input devices (keyboards, trackpads, and mice), you may find it necessary to disinfect them.

"Multiple people using the same computer, people using the computer when they were ill, and the particular environment where the computer is used, are a few reasons you may wish to disinfect areas of the computer that people come into contact with the most."

Desktop Mac Deals

Low End Mac updates the following price trackers every two weeks:

For more deals on current and discontinued notebook models, see our MacBook deals, MacBook Air deals, MacBook Pro deals, 12" PowerBook G4 deals, 15" and 17" PowerBook G4 deals, titanium PowerBook G4 deals, iBook G4 deals, PowerBook G3 deals, and iBook G3 deals. LEM

Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Google+, or subscribe to our RSS news feed

Links for the Day

Recent Content

Go to the Mac News Review index.

About LEM Support Usage Privacy Contact

Follow Low End Mac on Twitter
Join Low End Mac on Facebook

Favorite Sites

Cult of Mac
Shrine of Apple
The Mac Observer
Accelerate Your Mac
The Vintage Mac Museum
Deal Brothers
Mac Driver Museum
JAG's House
System 6 Heaven
System 7 Today
the pickle's Low-End Mac FAQ

The iTunes Store
PC Connection Express
Macgo Blu-ray Player
Parallels Desktop for Mac

Low End Mac's store


Open Link

Low End Mac's store


Open Link