26 February 2009

Hackintoshing Woes


Ok. So, like my love life that's now officially vamoosed -- dead, I may have been severely over optimistic about the whole thing. But hey, I was able to put OS X on my roomie's Asus 1000H with nothing but my (previously) trusty msiwindosx86 DVD installer! I mean, it's just gotta work somehow - as sure as the sun rises every morning, being able to install Leopard with the msiwindosx86 DVD is inevitable. And perhaps even more than that, I believed it to be a fact.

Alright, so that wasn't exactly as easy as that --I did have to scourge the net for some clue until I stumbled upon the custom made bios from osrom.net -- but the main point is that I did it and as proof of that success, my roomie's perched on her bed right at this moment, transferring some songs off her "Eeepple-complete-with-Apple-sticker" to her still-virgin-never-been-jailbroken iPod Touch.

She's using the world's most advanced and most coveted (at least in my own opinion) OS in the whole face of this earth - on a black Asus 1000H!

And so now, the question is: Why am I staring into Windows Vista Home Premium? And my touchpad has gone berserk for the Nth time so I've to reboot for the Nth time again because of crappy driver support?

The Sentellic touchpad on my MSI Wind, I admit, feels as if it chugged down 10 venti Americana from Starbs but at least its "jerkiness" (as in literal jerky movement - erratic) after waking up from sleep goes off eventually and I hardly even notice it.

I've failed after many many heart breaking attempts at putting my beloved Leopard on my HP Mini 1001TU. I only get this pitiful and not to mention cryptic, line:

"MAC framework successfully initialized using 5242 buffer headers and 4096 cluster IO buffer headers"

Kind of reminds of what a someone said in the movie "He's Just Not That Into You", that when guys dump girls, they try to deceive them with "I don't deserve you, baby". It sounds nice, but really, it just means he's dumping you.

Sugar-coating. Oh crap.

20 February 2009

I've a New Toy!

Ladies and gents, please welcome, the HP Mini 1000! Err, actually, the HP Mini 1001TU or so says the label on the box along with the part/product no. and the serial no.

I'll play around with this little drop dead gorgeous baby for a while with its stock Win XP Home and then I'm proudly off the races to OS X-ify it - bring it on!


19 February 2009

Quick Time Pro - Google And Ye Shall Find

Did you want to save those nifty Apple how-to movies for watching later when you're offline or just for reference?

I did too. In fact, I even checked out the iTunes store to see if they were available for download as podcasts like the Apple Quick Tips. No luck with that. 

Then I tried sneaking off to IE's temporary internet files folder under my user's account in Document and Settings -- yep, I'm doing this at the office PC. That tactic didn't prove fruitful either.

Hmmm. It seems that the only option left is to go Pro with Quick Time. But I didn't wanna shell out just to get videos that, I believe, are meant for the public anyway - we're talking about Apple how-to movies  here, so I just followed the old saying "Knock, and it shall be opened to you", albeit in its new incarnation: "Google, and ye shall find"


Dawn M Fredette


18 February 2009

Netbook Addict, Reveal Thy Self!


Like all yuppies I have a pressing need to stash up for the rainy days (i.e. when the company decides to chuck me for good due to the worsening economy). However, I think I've been exposed to a viral epidemic that is the netbook craze -- started by Asus of course with their Eee PC 701. And so here I am, aware of the impeding danger yet unable to fully grasp it, the truth held at arms length is visible yet remains unfelt.

Against the odds, I'm getting a new netbook tomorrow. If all goes well; if I'm pleased with the pre-owned unit from the seller, I'll be starting a new blog.

Guess what: it's gonna be named "MacBook mini"

And yep, that's because I'm gonna put OS X Leopard on it! ;)

15 February 2009

Linux and Mac OS X

Last week, I decided to take a leave from work and, yup, I tinkered with my netbook. I tried to experiment with external monitors and graphics drivers just for kicks. I felt like it so I did it.

I was following a thread over at the msiwind.net forums and although I knew there was some issue with enabling mirroring mode, guess what? I still tried it.

Both displays conked out as soon as I enabled mirroring, I was seeing bars of shades of black and grey and then à la rainbow bright colors. In the end, I couldn't get past the blue screen even with the external monitor already disconnected. I tried what the forumers advised, removing some com.apple.windowserver.plist and so on files, but that still didn't solve my prob. 

So given the noob that I am, equipped with just guts and even lesser actual tech know-how,  I thought I'd reinstall. But my precious hackintosh files were still in the drive and I didn't have back up for them yet -- I was meaning to do it after the external monitor experiement but this tragedy happened. 

An idea struck me and so I took out my msiwindosx86 installation DVD, plugged in my iPod, booted from the DVD as if I were reinstalling. 

I was hanging all hopes on this one tactic: archive the files which were contained in a folder on my user's desktop to my main(root) /. And the copy the resulting archive to my iPod before I wiped out, once again for the Nth time, the entire content of the fairly used (and to some extent, abused) 160 GB WD SATA hard drive that came with the Wind.

Once I was in the installer window, I fired up Utilities > Terminal. 

Here is when I swish out my battered copy of Complete Linux. Ok, so what's Linux doing in this blog about Mac OS X? Well, it seems that knowledge of Linux commands is valuable if you wanna really get to know Mac OS X. Hey, OS X is Unix beneath the polished and posh Aqua interface and Linux is "Unix-like".

So here are the steps:

1) In the terminal :
    tar cvf -f /Volumes/Macintosh HD/hackintosh.tar /Volumes/Macintosh HD/Users/username/Desktop/Hackintosh Resource

    the -f is the flag for indicating that you want what's happening during the archive process to display in terminal.

2) Next:

    cp /Volumes/hackintosh.tar /Volumes/iPod's name/

The drive's LED indicator will be blinking a lot and then completely stop and you're back at $ prompt.

Copying has been done successfully.

I wiped out my hard drive and did a fresh install and when I mounted my iPod to get to my files, all I had to do was unpack the hackintosh.tar to a location on my new Documents folder and voilà!

11 February 2009

Unleash Your Widgets

I don't like Calculator's looks. Not that it's ugly, the calc widget just looks better. But you're not able to access it in your desktop because its being held prisoner by Dashboard's "layer". When you're in Dashboard, the Desktop is dimmed and you'll have to leave the layer before you can get back to what you were working on. 

Now of course you've heard about tweaks, some as simple as downloading an app and some requiring mucking around in Terminal. But one solution I've recently discovered; Deeper

What's so nice about Deeper is that it's developed by the same people who brought us Onyx and that it provides tweaking options not just for this specific issue but tons of others as well. This isn't saying that what the other options do is mediocre or isn't as effective; it just saves you from the trouble of installing separate different apps for the different tweaks you wanna do. 

You can access a lot of settings for OS X that you didn't know was possible or thought was available exclusively via Terminal (command lines, yuuuuckh!) and this through a UI that's beautifully integrated with Leopard-ish looks for the meticulous purists.

To free your widgets, just check the box for "Enable the Developer Mode of Dashboard"

deeperTo get a widget crossover to your desktop "layer", you gotta rescue it first from Dashboard by hitting F12, choose your desired widget, and then, while still dragging the widget, press on F12 again and voilà! 


Now, the process of liberating widgets may not be as clearly defined as I would want it to be but you'll get a hang of it once you try it yourself.

And the widgets, by the way, are not affected by Exposé nor Spaces, in that they stay at the exact same spot whether you press F9 (they don't get shooed to some less conspicuous position on the screen) or switch space (the widgets simply follow your lead).

Here, I tried clear up my Desktop but the widgets did not budge a milimeter. (I deliberately moved the sticky notes widget to cover something I don't want to be captured in this screenshot)


MSI Wind Users Are Hackintoshers?

I voted in a poll over at msiwind.net for OS -- I assume, by OS, they mean the OS you're running on your Wind and here's an interesting discovery:


Mac OS X is finally getting ahead of Windows -- well, in this kind of game, at least.

10 February 2009


Maybe I should already get me a real Mac. But I can't, don't have enough cash on me to pay for one, even on 0% installment basis (my S.I.P doesn't allow me that amount). Now with the looming probability - yep, not just possibility - of me joining the pool or poor Cunem-yuppie's (Currently Unemployed Young Profesionals), I'm in no ready state to be swiping that credit card any time within this decade or so. In short, no real MacBook for me.

But that doesn't prevent me from pretending to be a true blue Apple fangirl and my latest achievement is: TADA! My own MobileMe account courtesy of the free trial offer by yours sincerely, Apple Inc. One Infinity Loop, Cupertino, CA.

Now I have my own "@me.com" account! Isn't that grand?

Well the only reason I risked my credit card number (you need to input a bonafide credit card number to sign up even for the free trial) is to be able to use iChat. The prereq is a .mac account which has been superceded by MobileMe nowadays so I took the plunge. It is well stipulated that I'd only be billed once my 60-day trial period has expired and that I can just deactivate my account if I didn't want to pay 148 SGD or around PhP 5,000. It's true that by deactivating my MobileMe account, I won't be able to use the mail and the storage space but I'd still have an iChat ID. So far, so good.


I was totally wrong (and stupid) to actually assume that a MobileMe account and a .Mac account are the same and one! Geesh! I'm getting an AIM screen name to use iChat. Although, I must admit, the MobileMe experiment rocked! :D

And what do I do with all that trial space up in Apple cloud? Hmmm....


Yep. I'm storing my hackintosh files. Kinky ! ;)

Mactracker Thinks MSI Wind Is A MacBook Air

And the charade goes on; me, being the Mac/Apple fan girl wannabe, downloaded Mactracker. I even downloaded two versions: one for my MacBook Wind (oh, don't I love saying that name!) and one for my Windows office PC. 

Mactracker is great application for learning about Macs. It's sort of a Mac history book if you will, offering information on the different Mac models that ever graced the surface of this earth ever since Steve Jobs, then in his early 20's, took out the first Macintosh from its bag and let it stay "hi" to the audience.

It even plays for you the Start Up and Death chimes of the different models. Cool.

My MacBook Wind has chosen to be very taciturn especially during start up and it's only because of Mactracker that I ever knew what it sounds like when just woken up.

Anyhow, of all the reasons why I think this is important to blog, this picture below is the catalyst of it all:
It thinks that my MacBook Wind, which is a mere hackintosh, is an Air! Ooooh... Not bad, not bad.




Why didn't I see this one first? I hate Quick Silver and I hate it still! I thought I had to marry the guy and so I did and had little non-descript scripts such as "HeadPhones" and "switch.sh" litter my Macintosh HD, thinking all the while that this was necessary!

But it turns out that I could've opted for Audieee on my wind as well :(

And I wouldn't have had to go through the longish process of setting up what I had now had I unearthed the thread sooner.

It turns out that all I needed in the first place was the Audieee version customized for the MSI Wind (it was originally it was meant for the Eee PC hence the 3 e's in the utility's name) and CHUD.

And two steps at that:
1) Download CHUD and audieee4wind
2) Install CHUD and audieee4wind. Forget about the switch.sh included in the package


09 February 2009

Headphone Dilemma

Color me prejudiced. Apparently Quick Silver is a shining beacon -- or better yet, the shining beacon -- in the world of Mac users / geeks. Perhaps my being only a Hackintosh user / geek is reason for the lack of that certain X factor determinant of the aforementioned species. Or perhaps having another "Menulet" crowd my menubar is just purely disgusting to me. 

But for what its worth, I've to get used to Quick Silver cause it's what I'm gonna live with from now on if I want to be able to use headphones on my MacBook Wind.

You see, on the MSI Wind, the headphone jack is one of the things that don't play well with OS X. But the good news is that people obviously smarter than me (and thank God they are) have come up with this great workaround involving a script called "switch.sh".

You run the script to switch audio channel from speakers to headphones and vice versa. In a nutshell, it does the duty that plugging in or unplugging your pair of earbuds should accomplish automatically.

Normally this could be done via terminal but that would entail typing command lines which yours truly is bound to forget and which is an error prone process altogether. There's an option where you create the script as an app and then you give it a nice icon and then you run it every time you wanna switch. The problem is, the app actually sits in your dock. Not that I mind it taking space in there; I've already learned to live with the nuisance that is the Realtek WLAN Utility but that I'd had to click it as well. I prefer a keyboard shortcut -- for some reason my brain remembers those, probably from muscle memory mostly.

And guess what, Quick Silver makes it possible to do just that. Oh well, if this were an arranged marriage, I guess I'd have to play my part until the AppleHDA / VooDoo team at the msiwind.net forums releases the much awaited fix that would let us, avid MSI Wind hackintoshers, use the headphones in the usual no-script-just-plug-and-unplug way and also the internal mic.

Here's the guide (taken from msiwind.net forums) :

1) Download this package which contains the switch.sh script and CHUD, and download Quick Silver here
2) Unzip the package anywhere you want. Me, I saved it in my Downloads folder first.
3) Install CHUD and install Quick Silver.
4) Save the switch.sh script in /Users/your username/Library.
5) Launch Terminal and type this command lines:
    cd Library
    chmod 755 switch.sh

6) After exiting Terminal, launch Script Editor - it's in the AppleScript sub-folder in your Applications folder - but I just command + spacebar and start the app via Spotlight (which is easier in my opinion).
7) Type this:
    do shell script "Users/your username/Library/switch.sh" user name "your username" password "your password" with administrator privileges

It should look like something like this:


8) Hit the Compile button -- the one with the Hammer then go to the menubar: File > Save as and name your script. I followed what the original guide author did and named mine "HeadPhones". Put it in the "main" or "root" /Library/Scripts folder like so;
9) Launch Quick Silver
10) Now here is when I get too lazy to write so you follow the photo story:

You can just drag n' drop the actual script file in the box in Quick Silver



Click on the small (microscopic) gear icon to the right to access the drop menu from you select "Triggers"


Customize your trigger key by clicking on the line under "Trigger" column.


picture-4Click on Edit and the field should flash.
From thence you can type the key trigger combination you want. I made mine "alt + S" ("S" for switch :D)

Make sure that Quick Silver is launched at login. You can do this in Quick Silver: Preferences > check "Start at login" > uncheck: Warn before, Enable advanced, Show icon in dock, and Show icon in menu bar.

You can remove it in your dock by hold clicking on the app icon and then click on "Remove from Dock".

And from then on, you can happily just hit alt + S (or whatever your trigger is) to toggle from internal speakers in earphones :D

08 February 2009

Empty Trash Securely

I recently discovered that I can streamline my "emptying the trash ritual" by subtracting one step from it; "Empty Trash securely".

Just open Finder's preferences (easiest is by pressing command + , )

pref-empty-secureEnable option "Empty Trash securely". Close it. And the next time you open Trash in Finder, this is what you get:

trash-secureNow if only I can find out the equivalent of "Shift + Del" on Windows on OS X.

07 February 2009

MacBook Wind (Hackintosh Netbook) Can Be Legit?

According to news from cultofmac.com, Psystar, the Apple clone maker which Apple itself has sued is given a second shot at proving that the Cupertino based company "misused its copyright".

I'm thinking of the Apple EULA: "Thou shalt not defile OS X by installing it on (inferior) hardware (i.e. PC's) that does not bear the Apple logo..."

Now I don't know much about software legal stuff but it seems, at least in the US, that a company cannot link its software copyright to its own hardware. Ultimately what this means for the hackintosh community is that there may come a day and time that one can buy OS X from Apple with the freedom to install it on any hardware one has -- on a toaster perhaps? Then we can have an iToaster? Ok, I should stop since I'm no longer being funny.

Seriously, if Psystar wins, I'd say it's good news. Consumers will have more choice in hardware and the OS X experience can be brought to the masses. But what about Apple? At least it gets its share of fame and viruses as well when it hits that crucial market share that makes it a profitable target for malicious computer hackers. 

Hey, Apple fanboys out there, I do love Apple but I also can't help but laugh at the silliness of this comic strip from ctrl+alt+del  ;)


Read the story here

Pinoy Card Game On Apple Games Download Page

So I was browsing for free apps, particularly free games at the apple website (idle hands to be blamed solely for this) and look what I found:

tongitsNot freeware?

05 February 2009

79 Months

Just fiddling with my beloved MacBook Wind again during the weekend. I decided to give coconutBattery a try.

Here's what I get:

cocobatt-79-monthsMy MacBook Wind is apparently already 6.5 something years old if we do the math :) And I only got my MSI Wind September last year.

Then Again, Why Not Just Get a Real Mac?

iBook G4 14" LCD

1.4 GHz G4
60GB ATA/100 4200 rpm
Slot-Loading SuperDrive DVD±RW/CD-RW
14.1-inch (diagonal) TFT XGA
ATI Mobility Radeon 9550
Wi-Fi 802.11g & Bluetooth 2.0
Mac OS X version 10.4 Tiger

For Php 20,000

Or I could get the HP Mini 1000 for PhP 21,995 but this isn't really as compatible as the Wind is to OS X.

04 February 2009

Bye-bye MacBook Wind, Hello MacBook Mini?

I knew it was a bad idea to stop by at the local mall where gadgets, specifically netbooks, abound like popcorn in movie houses. But what could a mere, netbook-lover/addict, like me do? There was simply no fighting the urge so I followed my feet where they led me.

That's when I came face to face with the HP Mini 1000. 

The moment was just as fatal as the day I met the first guy I ever had a crush on and have loved (though secretly now) ever since. My heart beat faster. Clearly, I was smitten and fallen beyond redeem for this netbook:

hp-mini-1000-top-1And I know I should be more reasonable but the only thing that's stopped me from getting it on impulse is if I'd be able to run OS X Leopard on it or not.

I've always known that the MSI Wind is by far the best netbook hackintosh to be had with its unparalleled compatibility with OS X Leopard thanks to the hardwork of people like Stellarola et. al. over at the msiwind.net forums. And with this reminder in my head, I've been sane enough to keep my credit card safe in my wallet.

But reading this has changed my view completely, and quite drastically.

I've been patient over and over again with the MSI Wind so much so that it's become MacBook Wind in these last months. What with the absolutely gorgeous looks of the HP Mini 1000, and some luck, I think I can endure anything just to transform it into a MacBook Mini.

Should I buy or not? Oh, if only netbooks were free.

On Compatibility Again

So here I am with this latest post, chronicling my experience with installing OS X Leopard on two different machines, the Asus 1000H and the MSI Wind. Both run OS X Leopard great but based on my experience, the MSI Wind, though lacking in "aesthetics" points (depending on each's own opinion) gives the more pleasant OS X experience in that I'd had significantly more trouble installing the OS in the Asus 1000H.

Just see my previous post

True, the webcam on the Asus 1000H may be less laggy than the one on the MSI Wind, provided that it isn't one of those nasty Bison v .03's which aren't compatible at all, but the over all user experience is albeit better on the Wind. 

As far as I'm concerned it's only the internal mic that's still totally not working on the Wind. It's the same case as in the Asus 1000H, but with the Wind, you get the volume, brightness, and all the other fn + Fx controls working after doing an install from the msiwindosx86 DVD. With the Asus, you gotta do some further hacking and it ain't easy.

I didn't even bother to get the controls working on my roomie's 1000H because that would mean another significant dent in my time schedule. True, as it is ,my hackintosh skills are hardly acceptable so I may just not have the ability to do that but it's undeniable that the said task does require working on.

Another thing is sound. Okay, what about audieee? Sure that did wonders and my roomie can now even use her iPod's earphones with her Eeepple 1000H (that's what she's decided to call her hackintosh) and I couldn't use it without even installing CHUD first and then running some scripts in Terminal etc...

But the main point of the fact is that without audieee, the 1000H's internal speakers wouldn't work at all. And audieee at that wouldn't have perfomred the big miracle it did without having to install the Developer Tools on the 1000H first. 

Perhaps all this is becoming a pain in the eyes to read and a lot more painful to the brain to process for it to make any sense at all so here's a better summary:

After installation from msiwindosx86 DVD :

MSI Wind

*No preps needed. Boot from DVD and install

What works right away:
1) Sound through internal speakers
2) Correct resolution 1028 x 600
3) Trackpad
4) Keyboard
5) Sleep (close lid and system automatically goes to sleep, press power button to wake-up)
6) Control keys (brightness, volume, etc.)
7) Bluetooth (both built-in or dongle/usb type)

What works but requires tweaking (fixes enclosed in parentheses):
1) Webcam (Sonix, update Quick Time to 7.5 or latest)
2) WiFi (download and install corresponding WLAN Utility)
3) Audio via headphone jack (follow guide here) (it's actually for the Lenovo S10 but it's the same procedure)

Asus 1000H 

1) Pre-installation requirement : Do not install patched kernel
2) Bypass setup by doing this trick:
after installation, during boot up, hit any key to stall default booting into OS X, at the prompt:
    /sbin/fsck -fy
    /sbin/mount -uw /
    touch /var/db/.AppleSetupDone

of course, you enter these lines one by one. Get a better idea of what to do with a guide with pics here

What works right away:
1) Correct resolution 1028 x 600
2) Trackpad
3) Keyboard
4) *Sleep (not verified)
5) Webcam
6) bluetooth

What works but requires tweaking (fixes enclosed in parentheses):
1) Webcam (Sonix, update Quick Time to 7.5 or latest)
2) WiFi (download and install WLAN utility)
3) Audio via headphone jack (follow guide here)
4) Controls (brightness, volume, etc.  might work by researching here) * not confirmed

01 February 2009

Air = Wind

Although  Steve Jobs claims that he cannot make a $500 computer that is not a "piece of junk", we can't deny the fact that Apple's elite MacBook Air, whose thinness could well snag the America's Next Top Model title, shares some obvious features and to some extent, the lack thereof, with the lesser netbook flavors of the masses. 

$1,799  vs. $500 or less

One is the lack of an optical drive. As a fall back, the MacBook Air offers Remote Disc which enables using the optical drives in other Macs and even PC's in the network as if they were attached to the MacBook Air itself. Definitely a cool feature and this led to speculations if a netbook hackintosh like the MSI Wind could possibly use this same technology. 


The answer to that is yes, it can. But, as usual, one has to put on his or her geek hat and grab and install this update and then type some command lines in Terminal.

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser ODSSupported -bool true

click here for the original how-to webpage

Relaunch Finder and you get the new "Remote Disc" entry in Sidebar, like so:

remote-discNot bad, hey? All I can say is that my MacBook Wind didn't cost as much as the Air and it has three USB ports to boot. :)

No Built-in Bluetooth? Tiny Bluetooth May Be the Answer

If you were like me and opted for the U100X Linux version of the Wind which came with a larger 160gb capacity hard drive as opposed to the Win XP Home version's 80gb, you're missing one feature: bluetooth.

The Win XP Home with bluetooth and 80gb model originally sold for Php 24,999 while the Linux sans bluetooth but with 160gb drive model cost only Php 19,999. After doing some light math, you figured out that additional 80gb of storage space is the way to go to slash off almost Php 5,000 from the purchase price, thinking that you could install your own OS and that a BT dongle can be had at as little as Php 300 for the bulkier type, to Php 1,000 for the slicker, less obtrusive breed like this:


I've personally tried my year-old BT dongle, one I got from the local CDR-King shop, and which is of the bulkier type:

bt_blueOf course, this ancient BT dongle is way bigger than the first one in shown in black above.

Compatibility with OS X is not a question. The system recognized it the moment I plugged it in and the bluetooth assistant popped up to guide me in configuring stuff. There was no need for a separate, third-party utility much unlike in the case of the Realtek WiFi module that came with my unit.


However, because I couldn't use the fn+F11 key combo for the BT dongle, there was no convenient way of turning BT off (especially for when you wanna save precious battery run time) but to unplug the dongle. Which means, turning it back on would mean having to plug the dongle back in. And then here comes the greatest gripe of all; though system apparently still remembers that you've got bluetooth, it doesn't remember its configuration. Bluetooth remains switched "off" even if the dongle is plugged in again and there's no amount of effort you can muster to have the system switch it on, since everything related to BT is grayed out in the menu bar as well as in System Preferences.

You're left, as it is, to either fiddle with the settings by deleting the "existing" BT config which had been obviously rendered useless now, to create a new config via the BT assistant, or to just reboot with the BT plugged in to your unit for a fresh start.

Oh well, it's a comfort I don't use bluetooth that often or that I got used to just not using it if I can help it.