Testbed: G3/400 (Upgraded Power Macintosh 8600/300) running Mac OS X 10.2.8 with 464 MB RAM
Summary: Let's be honest; a new computer is expensive. Five hundred dollars will buy you a pretty good PC but five hundred dollars is not pocket change. Buying a new Mac is an even bigger investment and nobody likes to get rid of a perfectly functional computer.
Enter Ryan Rempel, creator of XPostFacto, an amazing combination of OS X kernel extensions (KEXTs) and a GUI front end that allows you to modify your Mac's Open Firmware and send Mac OS X start up commands.
XPostFacto achieves what Apple refuses to do; allow a wide range of PowerPC 604 (or better) Macs to install and run Mac OS X, breathing new life and functionality into the quality hardware Apple customers have invested premium dollar in.
Here is how it works, you download XPostFacto, double click the application, select an OS X boot disk (be it CD or HD) and click Restart. XPostFacto takes over from there and it works incredibly well.
If you dig deeper into the application you'll find options to designate an input and output devices via Open Firmware. This worked great for me as I have a PCI Radeon video card and as of XPF version 3 alpha 11 I now get the white Apple boot screen where as before I would see nothing but black until the "Welcome to Macintosh" Aqua progress bar would appear. It's a little touch, with some useful benefits, that makes the system feel more complete and less like a hack.
Advanced Users may opt to boot OS X into verbose mode or see any kernel panic info; even access the debug data that only a developer could love.
The execution is done with such beauty and ease that it completely belies the technical difficulty of what has been accomplished with this utility. Ryan Rempel is, in my opinion, an unsung hero of the Macintosh community.
This is a person who has allowed thousands of Mac users to be a part of this new Macintosh renaissance. People who Apple has willfully left behind in a bid for higher profit margins as they continue to intentionally obsolete perfectly functional computers by removing existing support from new Mac OS X releases.
XPostFacto is not perfect, some features simply do not work under Mac OS X while they do under Mac OS 9 but one can hardly hold this against the utility or it's author.
Simply put, XPostFacto increases the value and longevity of your "legacy Mac" and allows you to experience all of the incredible work that Apple's software engineers have done without requiring you to needlessly spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on new hardware that you may not require right now.
Don't get me wrong, Apple's new hardware is amazing but I simply do not need a new machine for anything when my upgraded 8600 handles all tasks well; This is a testament to Apple's engineering prowess but their actions with regard to Mac OS X proves they are a large corporation like any other.
• Mac OS X on your Pre-G3 Mac!
• Simple to use interface with powerful options.
• Now able to be used from Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X
• It's almost unfair to mention any because this utility is constantly doing the impossible without a guidebook but in the spirt of balance...
• Some features won't work on some models (e.g.. sleep, system wide volume control, use of built-in video inputs) so be sure you read all release notes.
• May require some hardware changes and/or upgrades. (e.g.. I had to switch my internal SCSI drive to the slower SCSI 1 BUS to allow it to boot as it would halt when attempting to communicate with the disk on the Fast SCSI 0 BUS)
• Current version has issues with G3 L2 "backside" cache and defaults to disabling it (enabling it caused a kernel panic at boot on my machine but another utility, CPU Director, may have enabled it again. This is unknown as System Profiler may be giving me bad info)
Bottom Line: I have nothing but respect for Ryan Rempel and praise for XPostFacto. If you've got a PowerPC based Mac (no 601s or 603s, sorry.) that Apple has abandoned then give XPostFacto a try so you to can leave Mac OS 9 where it belongs... in the past.