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Saturday, January 14th, 2006, 10:55 am

Triple-Boot Machines

Mac and Dell

WHAT if we ever reached a state where we had full ‘O/S freedom of choice’? What if we were endowed freedom as to which operating system got used on any machine whenever booting?

It wasn’t too long ago that Ubuntu made a version of Linux which is compatible with PowerPC, which made Ubuntu runnable on older (and otherwise legacy) Macs. It also wasn’t too long ago that Mac unveiled their Intel-based Macs, which makes them accessible to both Linux and Windows, or various different versions of Windows, or different Linux distributions. This also caters for seamless purposeless separation into several partitions, provided some partitioning software.

Some time in the past, shortly after Apple had announced their move to Intel chips, people ran Mac OS X on standard (non-Apple) hardware, which was not as expensive as that which is typically provided by Apple Computers. It is now reported that a certain proportion of all Mac users might opt to dual-boot their Macs. This way, they can run Windows, as well as the native operating system in tandem.

Dual-partition and dual-boot hard-drives have become rather common in recent years, predominantly owing to progressive and staged Linux migrations. It is probably only a matter of time until triple-boot machines become widespread. Such machines would run Linux, Mac OS, and Windows. It is an interesting vision. Legally, the three could only be run on Apple hardware, but in practice, who can tell?

Michael Dell once offered Steve Jobs to port Mac OS X and have it run on Dell hardware. Is the vision of Mac OS on potentially any computer (also legally so) nearing a reality?

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