Early last week, Apple released the 10.6.2 update to Snow Leopard loaded mostly with welcome, but unsurprising bug fixes, including a patch for the uncommon but extremely harmful user account deletion bug. However, hidden in the kernel update was dropped support for the hackintosh-friendly Intel Atom processor. The Atom is Intel’s smallest chip and has the distinction of being the processor of choice for people building cheap OS X netbooks with limited hackery required. When early builds of 10.6.2 removed Atom support, speculation and rumors were abound regarding the future of the easy-to-build Atom hackintosh.
Just two days after the 10.6.2 update was released to the dismay of OS X Atom users, a Russian poster of the InsanelyMac forums released a fix that once again allows the chip to be used. The fix actually comes in the form of an entire kernel replacement, reminiscent of the early days of Intel hackintosh. It may sound daunting, but installation is actually a snap, requiring no more than six commands to be typed in the Terminal. Still, it adds a somewhat convoluted step in the once extremely straight-forward process of building an Atom OS X box.
Between Psystar, the recent iPhone 3GS firmware jailbreak block, and now this, Apple sure has been spending a lot of effort to keep their software on lockdown. Are their efforts warranted or is Apple fighting a losing battle? Discuss below.