Ivan's place: Marchintosh 3: Hello again

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What you are seeing is a DRAFT. Most things are likely to be changed and there are likely grammatical errors. If you happen to find something that is wrong or could be improved, please let me know. Thanks!

Graphite woke up. It was day 3 of the Marchintosh, 08:40. He had around 27 days left out of 30 to accomplish his dream of hardware refinement. Got up, handled the pain, and played the same startup sound he's been playing for decades.

While on his way to see everybody else, he started thinking that, even though his friends aren't perfect, he is very lucky to have them by his side. Today's task was to create a plan, so he made sure to make a compilation of every hardware failure he had, he also sent a Fax to Bondi in the hopes that she would do so too.


G4 woke up. His internal clock reported that it was day 3 of the Marchintosh, 08:20. With only 27 days remaining. He rose from his desk and played the startup sound.

Now knowing about the plan, he started preparing himself to go out without having much idea of what would happen. He again looked at his body in shame. Longing to be like the other G4 Macs, as he always did. But then he thought:

—... You know what? Screw this. My friends' bodies are rotting, why should I be ashamed about my perfectly healthy system?

He examined his digital face, as he always does every morning. The same display glitch as day 2 could be seen.

—Ugh, not again.

Again, he started shaking his digital face in order for the glitch to disappear. Just like yesterday, it worked. “Damn it, maybe it's my GPU drivers?” He thought. Again, he didn't really give it much priority, for it was day 3 of the Marchintosh, and his friends needed his help.


G5 woke up. She retrieved clock information over Apple’s servers, which reported that it was day 3 of the Marchintosh, 08:00. She woke from her desk and started packing up, put her casing on, and got out of the door. It was 08:10 when she got there.


Bondi couldn't believe it, she was sleeping! How she could tell? She was not sure. It seems simply the feeling of being loved by her friends allowed her to enter sleep mode again. As soon as she woke up, she retrieved the hour from her home server, it was 08:40. She was still in pain, but she was feeling a lot fresher.

Though, it seems that from the excitement she got an electrical arcing attack. "Damn it," she said. But that didn't stop her from going to the meetup.


While on his way to the meetup, Graphite started thinking on some things:

—Hmm, perhaps I should make a table.

~$ touch table.md

~$ echo \
"| Graphite        | Bondi           |" \
"| --------------- | --------------- |" \
"| [ ] Transformer | [ ] Transformer |" \
"| [ ] Inner bezel | [ ] Capacitors  |" \
"| [ ] Logic board | [ ] Logic board |" \
> table.md

~$ # Wait, on second thought,
~$ # If someone was reading my bash history on a website they wouldn't be seeing
~$ # the table in a human-readable format.
~$ # I'll inject it into their TCP stream while they load the page.

~$ (cat table.md &); (nc /posts/marchintosh_2 80 &); wait

Warning: Mixed Content Detected

The content below has been encrypted with an outdated SSL protocol and has been injected by a third party. It may not be secure.

[ ] Transformer[ ] Transformer
[ ] Inner bezel[ ] Capacitors
[ ] Logic board[ ] Logic board


~$ # Even the thought of something like that actually working...
~$ # There's no chance, it just cracks me up to think about it. X)

While he was giggling about ridiculous terminal commands that wouldn't even work, losing focus on actually working on the table, he stumbled with something. Immediately, he switched back from the console to his vision.

It seems he had stumbled with an Intel iMac. It looked... strange. Instead of being a black display with a white face formed by lines and simple shapes, it was an overly complex, yet unnecessarily minimalistic Finder logo. Having never seen before an Intel iMac being sentient, Graphite stayed quiet. Slowly, the Finder logo stopped displaying its iconic smile, and started displaying a sad face with strange eyes. Graphite decided to check up on it:

—Oh my god, I'm so sorry. Did I make you sad?

—Oh, you can actually speak? I'm impressed.

—Indeed we can, we PowerPC iMacs have language modules, just like you do! Do you need help getting up? Do you need emotional support? I consider myself a good listener.

—Get your parts off of me! Jesus.

—Is anything wrong, fellow iMac?

—We are not the same.

—Well, although we do not share the same processor family, it is worth recognizing tha-

—I don't care, let me just go to the Apple repair shop. I'm going to get cleaned up.

—Oh, okay. Keep yourself safe!

As the Intel iMac walked into the distance, Graphite felt very confused. He didn't understand why he saw an Intel iMac in the middle of Marchintosh, a month of the year dedicated to vintage computers such as him. This must have been a change made by Apple, the parent company.

Apple abandoned PowerPC Macs of his kind long ago. This was not the first time that it happened, and everybody was ready for it. Originally, the Marchintosh was dedicated to Macintosh computers. Though, they kept dying, until the PowerPC based Macs took over.

Eventually, Graphite managed to get to his destination. Everybody was there.

—I have to apologize for coming a bit late, I was playing around with the console and I had a tiny accident with an Intel iMac, it left me really confused —said Graphite.

—Well —responded G4—, don't worry too much about it, really. The Intels are weirdos. You didn't try to send data to readers of your bash history again, did you? That's such a waste of time and bandwidth. Well, except you're not even connected to the internet when you do it.

—That doesn't really matter right now, it's its face, it was so strange, and he was so... emotionless. I think he didn't like me.

—You see... that's something I wanted to bring up. As an iMac G5, and the latest of our kind before our parent company switched to Intel, I have a bit more insight into their world. The new line of iMac models are a bit... bossy? I'm not entirely sure about what they are, or what they do, but it seems they want to get rid of us PowerPC-based iMacs —responded G5.

—That's so messed up —said Bondi. G5 continued:

—This is actually quite relevant to our hardware renovation plan. I think they want to take over Marchintosh, except, instead of being friendly and wait until their predecessors die of natural cause like we did back when the Macintoshes died out, they try to speed it up by themselves.

—I've always seen them as strange, but are they now trying to get us killed? —said G4.

—Well, yes. It's been two years since they were allowed to become sentient on Marchintosh by Apple. Last year, they didn't really care much at all about us, other than conflicting compatibility. They never really liked me, but something about them on this specific Marchintosh is... odd —continued G5.

—Why are they doing this? I don't understand —said Graphite, confused.

—I don't really know either. All you guys need to know is that Intel Macs are not to be trusted.

—WHAT?! —Bondi said startled.

—What? —asked Graphite.

—The only source for compatible transformers was an Intel iMac. He's always been passive-aggressive to me, but last night when I called him, he acted outright suspicious. This is probably why. Something or someone must be spreading some sort of propaganda about us. Are our screens just going to die, and our circuits burn, then?

—Oh, Jesus.

—Ugh. Things never go right for us.

—How about we get someone to pretend to be an Intel? G5, you look just like the first Intel iMac —proposed G4.

—They use some proprietary Intel cryptography module to communicate. It's the Intel Yielded Unification Architecture, also known as the Intel YUA. The name is disgusting, I know —said G5.

—I could try to break it, maybe? —said Bondi, doubtful.

—Good luck breaking state-of-the-art quantum crypto. I mean, no offense, but not only are you a PowerPC, but you're also incredibly outdated.

Oh my god, G5 —said G4 and sighed.

Bondi started thinking of a solution, she knew they couldn't get through without the help of an Intel Mac. Suddenly, she had an idea:

—We need to get help from an Intel computer.

—Bondi, great thought process, but we aren't going to find many sentient computers that aren't Mac in Marchintosh —said G4.

—I know that. That's why we're going to find a computer that can speak their language. It doesn't have to be a Mac, they won't care as long as they are Intel and not PowerPC.

—Which kind of computer is going to be sentient at this point in time?

—It's very simple, my dear friend.

Everybody looked at Bondi, intrigued.

—They can speak their language, they can be sentient at this point in time, and they won't be controlled by Apple. We are going to find a Hackintosh'ed Intel computer.

Everybody gasped.

—Well, Apple has betrayed us, so we're going to "betray" Apple by using the available mediums to save our lives. I'm sure they're a lot softer than normal Macs either way —added Bondi, sure of herself.

The place stayed in silent for some time. Until G4 interrupted:

—I have never met a Hackintosh in my life, but I'd rather take the risk and keep my friends. I have no idea what you guys are doing, but I'm in —said G4.

—To be honest, this whole thing is also for me, either way —Graphite too agreed to the new plan.

—As much as it's against the ToS, Apple deserves it —whispered G5. Bondi then continued:

—So, we're never getting anything from our parent company again, but they abandoned us. Are you guys okay with that? —Bondi asked to make sure there wouldn't be any conflicts.

Everybody agreed to what they were hearing.

Our Mac friends spent hours trying to find a proper candidate for their task. They looked on all sort of stores, but they could find no Hackintosh. Eventually, while they were searching, Bondi and Graphite started feeling exhusted. G4 was quick to reassure them they could rest:

—Don't worry about us, we're young and new. Well... compared to you. We'll be fine! Just rest, you two.

G4 and G5 then walked away, Bondi and Graphite sat down and looked at each other.

—I love these guys —said Graphite.

—Remember two days ago when I said that I appreciated them, even though of how childish they were acting? This is why —Bondi responded while smiling.

—See Bondi, I remember the observation you made about them. I really liked it, I've actually been thinking about it, quite a lot. Their mental pain was so severe, they used fighting and arguing as a way to forget about it. Ever since they know about our issue, they've been so...

—... Kind? Warm? Hospitable?

—Yes. It's like they love us so much.

—We probably don't have much time left, assuming we don't find an alternative plan. I think we both know they aren't going to get that Hackintosh, they are impossible to sell. Once they are back, we need to express our gratitude back to them.



—Oh my god, they are truly nowhere —said G4, already feeling sick from searching and running.

—It's either this or we die alone —G5 responded, while mentally shrugging.

—I know we're in the middle of nowhere looking for a computer that can't be found in order to save our only friends of our kind but... You know, are we really?

—I guess not, but what would be of us?

—You see, G5, when you're under control of your own emotions, I actually really-

—What is this?!

—Eh!? What is what?

G5 runs to a nearby bench. She says:

—Oh god... G4, I just found a Microsoft Surface computer!

—Microsoft Surface? G5, what are you on?

—You don't realize how good this is, somebody on the internet made a Mac OS image for Surface Laptops, we can turn this into a Hackintosh so easily!

—Oh my god, what?! Okay, let me go to a nearby printer, I'll write an apology letter to the owner of this computer in advance. Meanwhile, Hackintosh that thing.


—HAHA, you're so ruthless, Graphite.

—Heh. That's why they used to call me the SSL hijacker!

—You should seriously stop doing it, though. Only the stupidest of users would use such a software stack to actually fall for that vulnerability.

—Eh, I know it's almost impossible for it to work, but old habits die hard.

Bondi and Graphite laughed.

—But hey —said Graphite—, what about those ridiculous M2 Macs? OH-

Graphite's display turned off. Worried, Bondi asked him if he was okay:

—Oh no, Graphite, are you alright? Is your transformer arcing?

Graphite's face started displaying, and the arcing got more silent. He started speaking, though barely:

—Ugh, it's arcing. My components are arcing again.

—Is it bad? Let me help you sit down. Wait, never mind, we're already sitting down.

—Yeah, that's why it didn't hurt as much, ugh.

—When my components start arcing, I like to close my eyes and imagine myself in a better place.

Graphite closed his eyes,

—Now, —Bondi continued—, try to imagine yourself in the reality that makes you happy. Don't be scared, you can use GPU acceleration.

Graphite stayed silent for some time, trying what Bondi instructed him to do.

—Bondi, I can't...

Before Graphite could finish, G4 and G5 showed up, almost out of air.

—Oh, hello! It's so nice to see you again. What's that thing you're carrying? —Bondi asked without many expectations.

—It's something we think you might enjoy! —said G4 while pulling out the mysterious object.

—G4, what? I don't understand. Why did you bring the lid of a trash can filled with holes?

—Whoops! Wrong thingy.

G4 throws away the lid, and pulls out another strange object. This time, Bondi was truly impressed:

—What? Is that a Microsoft Surface? And it's running Mac OS? That's so ironic, but practical! How did you get it?

—Well, we'd rather talk about that process later —added G5—, what matters is that we have a computer, and it should be sentient by tomorrow. We will use it as a proxy to communicate with the Intel Macs.

Graphite opened his eyes, and sighed. He started speaking:

—I'm so thankful you've done this for us, I think you should keep it through the night, G5.

—Well, I-

—I'll take it —interrupted G4—, I'll keep it through the night. Don't worry about it, G5.

G5 grinned and nodded to G4.

—We will both get you to your houses, just in case something goes wrong. Bondi, you'll go with me, Graphite, you'll go with G4.

Eventually, the four made it home safe and sound. G4 made sure to put the Surface in a comfortable place, and printed it a document explaining the situation. With the peace of mind that they were soon going to get the transformers, they all went to sleep.

Sleep mode activated.

Proudly written by Ivan.

Ivan is a young and passionate libre software advocate and coder, main author and designer of this website. He's been proudly embracing the open web and giving back to the open source community ever since he was 13 years old. A passionate writer too!


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