OS Xbox Pro Mod is undeniably awesome [Video]

Sun, Nov 29, 2009

Featured, News

It’s not everyday you come across a mod that’s 100% badass, but Will Urbina’s recent OS Xbox Pro mod definitely fits the bill.  Urbina is a 24 year-old aspiring video editor from San Fran who, surprisingly enough, isn’t a Mac fan.  Nevertheless, because employers want to see some Final Cut experience, Urbina realized he better get a Mac up and running.  But instead of shelling out $4500 for a Mac Pro, Urbina was able to mod an old Xbox 360 case with relatively comparable specs for only $1500.  The result?  The OS Xbox Pro.

The specs on the finished machine include a 2.93Ghz Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550S processor along with a NVIDIA Geforce 9800 GT graphics card.  It also comes with 8GB of RAM, a 16GB solid state drive, and four traditional hard drives – one for Windows 7, one for Snow Leopard, and two 500GB 7,200 RPM drives for video editing.  And in case you’re wondering, Urbina used an EFI-X dongle that allows him to boot up into a number of operating systems, including OS X.  Check out a video montage of the mod process below.

We reached out to Urbina with a few questions, and one of the cooler things about the OS Xbox mod is that he’s actually using it to get some Final Cut experience under his belt.  We often see a lot of impressive looking mods that aren’t really practical to use, so actually deriving some utility from an already kickass design just makes the OS Xbox all the more impressive.  As for the actual process, Urbina noted that the entire project was completed over the course of 2 months, and he estimates that he spent about 35-40 hours on the mod from start to finish.

A view from the back:

Birds eye view…


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9 Comments For This Post

  1. Chanson de Roland Says:

    Mr. Urbina, while industrious, is apparently not that bright, for he clearly infringes on Apple’s copyright and violates the DMCA, yet he provides this paper with at least his name. The only thing protecting him is that Apple generally does not pursue individuals who steal its intellectual property (IP), nor does the law require Apple to police its IP rights by pursuing every trespass upon its rights. However, it is unlikely that Mr. Urbina’s borrowed innovation will be able to fully exploit either OS X or Final Cut Pro and won’t be supported by Apple or Psystar, which is likely to soon be out of business. And of course, Mr. Urbina could have saved money by buying a new iMac, even the $2,199.00 quad core i7 iMac, assuming of course that Mr. Urbina’s time is worth anything.

  2. Klutzak Says:


    There is no copyright infringement that I can see. Even if the logo was an actual Apple logo, well Apple gives its little white logo stickers out for anyone to put anywhere they see fit. I see them on the lid of thinkpads all the time.

    Plus, the logo on this machine isn’t even the same as Apple’s logo.

    As long as Mr. Urbina doesn’t sell his creation(s) creating confusion in the market place, he is fine on copyright.

    For his ‘time’ building this machine, he has garnered the admiration of lots of very knowledgeable computer hobbyists, and demonstrated that artistry and craftsmanship are not dead in the current throw-away comodity PC climate. And he now has a really cool one-of-a-kind PC that runs OS X. None of that would be true buying a quad core i7 iMac. Time well spent, imho.

    If the sole reason you are calling this incredibly talented and creative individual “not that bright” is because he is using a dongle to run OS X on non-Apple hardware, then you are a douche of the highest order. Because buddy, your bulb ain’t exactly filling the room with light.

  3. Joe Says:

    “There is no copyright infringement that I can see. Even if the logo was an actual Apple logo, well Apple gives its little white logo stickers out for anyone to put anywhere they see fit. I see them on the lid of thinkpads all the time.”

    You should read Judge Alsup’s opinion in the Apple v. Psystar case. Creating a Hackintosh is clearly a copyright AND DMCA violation. Slapping a logo onto the computer doesn’t change that (those people who think that an Apple sticker turns a generic PC into an ‘Apple labeled computer’ are terribly confused about the law). There is also nothing in the ruling which says that you are only violating the copyright when you sell the system. In fact, this argument was rejected.

    To make matters worse, Judge Alsup specifically stated that helping others to override Apple’s copyrights makes them contributory infringers – which is why Chanson stated that publicly announcing that you are violating Apple’s copyrights and how you did it is a foolish thing to do. Apple may decide that going after Mr. Urbina isn’t worth the trouble, but that doesn’t make his actions any more legal.

  4. Brian Says:

    This is incredibly goofy. $1500! No kidding he doesn’t ‘like’ Macs. He probably thinks they are too expensive. LOL. He could have had a SWEET iMac for LESS than this and it has a beautiful screen.

    Besides the XBOX is just fugly. And unreliable. And I thought they used PPC chips, you know like the OLD Macs. What a hassle, with no warranty, etc…

    Whatever floats your boat, I am all for him doing it, the copyright infringement is there, but he stands no risk of violating it. It just makes absolutely no sense to do it now that it’s been done.

  5. Chanson de Roland Says:

    Dear Klutzak: What you are referring to are the trademark and trade dress issues (15 U.S.C. §§ 1111, et seq.), which are different rights than the exclusive rights under the Copyright Act (Act). 17 U.S.C §§ 101 et seq. Under the Act, Mr. Urbina’s installation and modification of OS X to run on the X Box 360 violates Apple’s exclusive rights to make copies of OS X, except as permitted by Apple’s EULA, and its right to make derivative works by modifying OS X (17 U.S.C. § 106), as Judge Alsup has made clear in his recent summary judgment in favor of Apple in Apple v. Psystar.

    Mr. Urbina also violates Apple’s trademark by trademark by placing Apple’s logo without its permission on non-Apple hardware and by displaying the OS X startup screen on non-Apple hardware.

    Intellectual property (IP) is, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, property just like other types of property and is to be accorded the full protection as Congress has specified in the relevant statutes. IP law is hard stuff. You don’t get to it in law school until you’ve mastered your elementary classes in the law of property, contract, and constitutional law. And IP law often does not conform to a layperson’ naive view of the law. For these reasons, no layperson should do what Psystar’s principals appeared to do, which is to proceed to build a business based on their naive notions of what is right under IP law but should always consult with a competent lawyer who is skilled in the law of IP.

    You, for example, Mr. Klutzak, are completely wrong about even which body of law and legal rights that are at issue.

  6. Dougit Design Says:

    This guy obviously has some hi-end shop experience…and I don’t mean Photoshop!

  7. Snafu Says:

    “However, it is unlikely that Mr. Urbina’s borrowed innovation will be able to fully exploit either OS X or Final Cut Pro”

    I don’t see why not. Actually, he could very well be exploiting them far better than some iMacs would. The famous “software/hardware integration” in Apple’s products, as far as I see (as a long time Apple client), is nothing to talk about beyond simply matching components and drivers (badly, sometimes).

    The real sad thing is that this mod’s specs and price/performance show how limited Apple’s hardware lineup is.

  8. joeldm Says:

    What a goofy argument about the copyright being infringed. As if Apple is going to show up at some geek’s door and demand he stand and deliver the machine he so meticulously crafted. That will never happen. He can build a dozen more of these machines and give one to every member of his family and his friends and Apple will simply not care. Only hall monitors like yourself care about this.

    There may be some technical infringement here, but I will bet you that if this guy showed up in the Apple parking lot with his machine, they wouldn’t call security or lawyers, they’d call their friends and come out and have a look at his work.

    This falls under the “get a life” category. You must be a TON of fun at parties.

    Nice job, Will. Welcome to Mac.


  9. Ul Says:

    Such a fanboy post 🙁 not that cool

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