Monday, September 14, 2009

Hackintosh confessions

I love my Macbook Pro. I have the 2.53 GHz first generation unibody, which is a great machine. At the time I got it, November 2008, it was the smallest Macbook with a Firewire port that I'd be happy to use as a daily machine; this is important to me.

But it was too big, and expensive, to haul around when travelling for a day or three (longer than that, and I would have to take it). I needed a smaller machine for travelling around, one to check my e-mail, Skype back to home and browse. I didn't want an iPhone or an iPod Touch (my opinion on these devices is no secret), but didn't want to spend much more than R5k. Enter left-field, a netbook. These all follow the same pattern; Intel Atom N270 processor, small-ish disk (either regular or SSD, 1GB RAM and a 0.3MP webcam.

Good enough; now I needed to find one that ran Mac OS X. The winner at the time was the Dell Mini 9. I managed to get one with 2GB of RAM, a 64GB SSD and a built-in 3G modem. Bonus! Thanks to a very active and committed crowed at Mydellmini.Com, I have been running a Hackintosh since early December 2008.

I've upgraded from 10.5.6 to 10.5.8 (with 10.5.7 in between), and last week made it to 10.6 (and then 10.6.1), without a hitch. Other than deep sleep not working (which is in progress), everything is flawless, and I have a mini-Mac that meets my needs perfectly.

Thanks, Mydellmini.Com and Dell; you've solved my computer-travelling problems!

Snow Leopard upgrade

When it was rumoured that build 10A432 of Snow Leopard was indeed the golden master, I got very excited. Even though there were copies of 10A432 floating around, I resisted temptation and didn't install.

The primary reason was the potential transition from 10A432 to whatever the final build was; there was no guarantee that I would be able to upgrade. I would more than likely have to revert to 10.5.8, and then upgrade to the retail edition. Reluctantly, I waited until it hit retail, and I proceeded to install it onto my Macbook Pro; lo and behold, it was indeed build 10A432. Oh well, nothing lost except some geek cred. I did this on the 3rd of September 2009.

The upgrade was flawless; mostly everything worked, and the few things that didn't were resolved by the 10th of September. There are a few visible changes, but nothing earthshattering. The big improvement for me is in responsiveness (I haven't seen the beach ball) in ages), and the general overall snapiness.

A worthy upgrade indeed!