> A complete nightmare, and even if you get it working, you wind up with an unstable system.
It's not as bad as that. I built 2 back back in 2008-2009, and they were rock stable-- kernel panics were extremely rare. They also didn't require much in the way of hackery. I put the EFI boot loader on a thumb drive and kept my OS X drive as free of hacked bits as possible. I wanted to be able to hook it up to a real Mac and boot it without issue, and I achieved this goal. Still, I would never recommend them in a business setting.
One of the machines was my daily driver, and dual booted Windows. The other ran OS X Server and was the fileserver in my house. The specs on the server were enough to get the job done, but my daily driver gave me top of the line Mac Pro performance for about $1200.
The only problem was OS updates-- they usually broke something. I maintained a bootable clone of both machines' boot drives, and waited a few days for other hackintoshers to find and figure out how to fix the issues before installing those updates. Both machines ran Snow Leopard for their entire term of service, which ended last year. They were replaced with refurb Mac minis. The hackintoshing was an interesting experiment, but I wanted a new OS without more hackery, supported hardware, and worry-free updating again. As a side effect, my electric bill fell off a cliff, which was nice.
...you deserve what you get, and any liability for a resulting "security breach" should be on you-- not on someone who can find a copy of a user's manual online.
Like previous commenters have said, these kids are damn lucky they're in Canada. In the US they'd have been fucking crucified.
I had an Apple LaserWriter Select 360 (built around a Canon engine, IIRC) that I bought new in 1994 last me until mid 2011. HP was putting out some damned good printers back then, too, before Carly Fiorina came in and turned HP into peddlers of second-rate shit.
Honorable mention to the TV in my basement, an RCA F35751MB-- the biggest CRT TV I could find in 1994. I don't yet own a flatscreen, because I'm just letting them get better and cheaper until the RCA finally gives up the ghost.
I've been doing it for years. I found that the best learning technique for me is to build something, blow it up, and then build it again, until the moving parts are second nature to me-- so it's handy to have a server/network I can blow up without getting fired.
A lot of the techniques and scripts I've developed on my network at home have ended up in use at client sites, and vice versa.
>The number of people who still "specifically need" the Mac Pro aren't very different since Apple hasn't upgraded the expansion capacity of their other headless Macs.
Yes, I know. I thought that in the context of my statement, "the abilities of a Mac Pro" pretty clearly referred to its greater expandability.