29 May 2009

Back to the Dark Ages

I'm back to dual-booting the MSI Wind - Mac OS X Leopard & Windows XP Professional. Though with an almost perfect setup (don't forget about the internal mic that still doesn't work what with VoodooHDA already installed), I've found out that there are things that only Windows XP can give me.

Mainly two things: (1) torrenting and (2) video streaming

Okay, there's a ton of fairly good torrent clients for Mac but based from experience, uTorrent is sluggish. I've changed to Transmission and then also, I've scourged the net high and low to research on speeding up the download speed. But the results only pointed to one thing: torrenting, or to be more specific, ways to speed up torrenting remain Windows-centric.

As for streaming; I'm a fan of asian drama's and youtube. What has always puzzled me is that I seem to always have "connection problems". I've been blaming it all on my broadband provider when all this time, it s simply because Flash has a notorious reputation in Mac OS X. Though only blessed with hackintoshes and not real Macs, I've become an OS X fan-girl in that I now know where my loyalties lie operating system-wise. So I even did what I could: update Safari, Firefox and install the lates Adobe Flash player, version 10 as of this writing. I even told myself that I was just too impatient by not letting the vid load first before hitting the play button, so I waited for the vid to fully load first but what do I get? Laggy video. Yep.

I first tried to install XP on my HP Mini since it didn't contain any important file of mine - it's currently my experiment workhorse - and plugged in the ethernet cable, fired up IE, installed Flash player went to my fave video streaming site and...

Epiphany. Succint enlightment.

I discovered that videos uploaded on streaming sites weren't cursed with a spell that I call "slow-motion-syndrome" -- not at all.

As for torrenting; I downloaded uTorrent and did some tweaking, fetched a torrent and left it downloading overnight. Guess what; the following morning when I woke up, the 1.5 GB file I wanted to DL was sitting there in my folder alright. It was done in just that span of time. Whereas back when I was torrenting in Mac OS X, uTorrent and Transmission alike, overnight would be equal to about 500 MB worth of downloaded data. And I was being graceful at that since I've rounded it up.

To make a long story with lots of boring installation parts short; I've made room for Win XP on the MSI Wind. For an OS that I've sworn to despise, I've given half of the Wind's hard disk real estate to it.

There was some snag on which I got caught while setting up my dual boot. I learned something new:

"chain0". Yep.

PC_EFI Chameleon v12 wouldn't boot up my Win XP installation so this was what I resorted to.

Click here for the details.

26 May 2009

Rekindle An Old Flame

I and MacBook Mini have been together now for three months and though there've been rough patches here and there, the relationship is rather going strong - with lots of reinstallation and hard disk wipe out in my attempts to get to know him; really and truly get to know his heart.

As a consequence, MacBook Wind has been left to gather dust and gunk especially (and literally) under its keyboard while it continues to sit on the work desk in the living. Aside from the VoodooHDA makeover it got, nothing else much has happened to him in the last few months. It's been on 10.5.6 for so long and now I think it's time to spend some quality time with MacBook wind.

Updating to 10.5.7 was a breeze. A quick trip to msiwind.net, bringing back goodies such as Cybergreg's Update Pack v1.5 in a baggie and taking care to move RealTek1000.kext from MacBook Wind's /System/Library/Extensions folder to a second partition, I was ready to run the Combo Updater for 10.5.7.

According the forums, the 10.5.7 would mean native support for the ethernet port on the Wind, so therefore no more need for the Realtek1000.kext. SoI tested that, without putting back the Realtek1000.kext, I tried to open up Safari and got an error message, telling me that I'm not connected to the internet. I even restarted several times after that just to make sure but apparently, my ethernet port wasn't working.

So, crossing my fingers that the Realtek1000 won't cause any video problems - i.e. getting stuck at a blue screen like what people have reported over at the forums - I reinstalled the Realtek1000 to its righteous place and restarted. I was dreading that the spinning wheel under that all too familiar by now squahsed grey Apple logo would suddenly freeze. But thankfully and to my utter relief, I was brought back to my desktop. Clicking on Safari on the dock opened up the Apple startup page this time.

What's different in 10.5.7? Though some have reported increased battery life for the Wind, I'd no chance to test since I'm using the Wind hooked up to an LCD monitor as a dekstop replacement, for when I wanna go mobile and still be connected, it's MacBook Mini that I lug around now.

Perhaps that's because between me and MacBook Wind, there isn't any sparks anymore for me to notice anything else but that the System Preferences panel has undergone a minor change in 10.5.7;

10.5.6 SysPref-EnergySaver

Now, below, notive the new look of the Energy Saver prefpane. Twisted!

10.5.7 sys pref
That's just it I guess, no more way of rekindling an old flame. Period.

17 May 2009

I Hate Blogspot

I hate blogspot. I don't hate blogspot perse - I just hate how it looks. I really love how macbookwind.wordpress.com looks and feels and no matter how I tweak macbookmini.blogspot.com, tried different themes, layout and such, it still sucks in comparison to my wordpress page. 

CSS you say? There was only one time that I actually mulled over the thought of learning CSS but decided not to in the end - didn't have to learn a single CSS code to get my wordpress page organized and up and running to my taste.

Why did I go with blogspot anyway? Google Adsense...but now that I think of it, it's just been all bad logic.

Oh well, you be the judge:

blogspot page

wordpress page

08 May 2009

Pushing It

Whenever I install OS X on my netbooks, I would always stop with the Mac OS X Setup Assistant and not opt to register my "Macs". They weren't real Macs anyway plus I haven't installed the correct kexts to be able to connect to the internet. I'd end up having an alias file in my home directory; the one with the Tux.

With my LAN port working perfectly fine, I ventured to push it one step further; register with Apple:

Reg 1Of course I didn't sign up for Mobile Me trial.

Reg 2I'll definitely enjoy using my Apple computer ;)

02 May 2009

Upping the Ante

I just did what a broke person should not do: spend moolah when even her next payslip couldn't cover her bills as of date. But I had to give in to my inner geek and so after paying the internet connection bill, I ended up buying a 2 GB stick of DDR2 PC-667 RAM for my MacBook Mini. (Click here for that story)

The HP mini 1000 only has one SO-DIMM slot which is occupied by default by a 1 GB stick. Upgrading the Mini meant having the pre-installed 1 GB RAM all to the MacBook Wind. So with a screw driver in hand, I turned over the Wind and proceeded with loosening all 9 screws. And yes, I ignored the "Warranty void if seal is broken" sticker.

Dislodging the backing of the chassis was the most difficult part; the side where most of the ports are - VGA, mic, audio jack - is fairly stuck. I had to loosen the opposite side first and the whole backing came off with about a couple of clicks.


Putting in the new dimm stick was a breeze, just slide in the RAM stick at a 45 degree angle, matching the notch on the module's teeth with that of the slot. Then gently push it in and down. The two clips should be able to clasp the sides of the RAM module.

cimg1820this is the 1 GB RAM I got from the HP Mini 1000




I closed up the Wind and proceeded to boot up OS X. I had the fright of my life!

Trackpad and keyboard weren't working so I had to plug in my external keyboard and mouse. I tried to log in but instead of being brought to my desktop, there was just my wallpaper with a spinning beach ball (of death).

Oh no! All my files were on the Wind, my mind was already figuring out a way to retrieve them if things should get worse. 

I forced the machine to shut down and re-booted it. 

This time, I had a functioning keyboard and trackpad.

Everything's now good. I clicked on the About Mac and verified that the system recognized the additional 1 GB which gave me a total of 2 GB all in all.

Now as to why there was that little quirk, I've absolutely no idea. This is hackintosh - it's expected.