30 January 2009

Nearest the Real Mac Experience

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How do we define what makes the perfect hackintosh netbook? Let us count the ways...

Or rather, the one singular point that hackintoshers look for: compatibility.

Of course, having settled for something less than a real Mac hardly entails anyone to expecting out of the box compatibility. Which means one has got to prepare for some substantial tweaking to get stuff working, like installing kexts or dabbing in the terminal and getting some apple scripting action going on.

Compatibility in this sense takes on another definition: stock hardware needs some special techie know-how for them to function under OS X but the main point is that in the end, they do work. Meaning, one doesn't have to invest in more mac-compatible hardware to swap with the default in-compatible ones.

The MSI Wind, in this light, remains the "darling of the hackintosh community" when it came to netbooks.

Some have taken netbook hackintosh compatibility to a higher level in that they started to look for the nearest equivalent to the real Mac experience. Take for example the case of the default WiFi modules in the various MSI Wind models. The Realtek module isn't recognized as Airport but works by using the WLAN utility instead, which is hardly anywhere the real Mac experience so some people have actually opted to spend the extra $25 to swap their stock module with one of those Airport compatible ones, like the Dell .

But how far does one go in terms of money to get as close to the real Mac experience? I for one am content with my setup. The only thing I sometimes regret is not getting the model with built-in bluetooth. But even that still isn't reason enough for me to order some internal bluetooth module off of e-bay. It's rather a question of how far I'm willing to endure the tweaking rituals required to keep rolling and how long I'm willing to sit waiting for the VooDoo/AppleHDA team over at the msiwind.net forums to get mic input and headphone audio out on my MacBook Wind.

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