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Mac OS X Hacks by Rael Dornfest, Kevin Hemenway

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OS X for This Old Mac

Give your legacy Mac hardware a nudge into OS X with the XPostFacto hack.

Wait, don’t throw out that old Power Mac or Umax clone; it may just be up for a little Mac OS X sprucing. Some of those old Macs will actually run Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) — with a little help from an unassuming-looking control panel.

I recently gave an old 7500 a G3 upgrade card from Sonnet (http://www.sonnettech.com/), a quad-port FireWire card, and a dual-port USB card (only $37, combined). Mac OS 9 ran rather snappily and the machine served quite nicely as a USB print server. Then I stumbled across a little something called XPostFacto (http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/), which is open source and free.

XPostFacto is a little hack that brings Mac OS X, OS X Server, and Darwin to older, unsupported, and forgotten Mac models — those draped in the unfashionable beige of times past.

Before you think of giving XPostFacto a whirl, be sure to consult the compatibility chart at:

http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/framework.cfm?page=XPostFacto.html#preparing

Also, make sure your machine has been recently backed up. You’re dealing with an unsupported hack here.

You can find XPostFacto site’s comprehesive documentation at:

http://eshop.macsales.com/OSXCenter/XPostFacto/framework.cfm?page=XPostFacto.html

The procedure in a nutshell is:

  1. Boot into Mac OS 9.

  2. Insert your standard-issue Mac OS X installation CD.

  3. Run the XPostFacto application (icon shown in Figure 2-4).

  4. Point ...

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