30 December 2009

Change Wallpaper In Windows 7 Starter

Yep, you read right. Windows 7 Starter.
Yep, you're right. Bill Gates or I mean whoever it was in Microsoft doesn't want you to change the wallpaper in Windows 7 in attempts to get you pay more for Home Premium above version of their new operating system.
Good thing people haven't stopped using their brilliant brains and refuse to succumb to this foul foul play of marketing strategy - if it could or should be considered as one.

image from downloadsquad.com
You can now change the standard wallpaper Windows 7 Starter forces down your throat via this wonderful app:
Starter Background Changer (the website is in French but it should be easily decipherable even for non French speaking people - here's the direct download link)
And with good added effects to boot! Hows that for a welcome change?

27 December 2009

Photshroom.com Is Down

and I've a feeling it's gonna stay that way forever. My apologies for posts, especially guides, with missing images. It'll take a long while for me to correct each and every post manually.

Quartz Extreme For The Rest Of Us

It's been a while since something happened in the HP Mini OSx86 scene, particularly on the older units - Mini 110 and 1000.

A forumer at myhpmini.com, "thebubzie" has been kind enough to package for us an installer for Intel Graphics Media Accelerator. It's been conceived to work on Mac OS X 10.5.x Leopard and you can download it here to try it on your own MacBook Mini. No more hunting down those different IntelAppleGMA950 and IntelAppleIntegratedFramebuffer kexts.

25 December 2009

Create Recovery Discs For Your HP Mini 311

There are 3 Setup sheets, 3 Mini booklets - English, Thai, and Bahasa Indonesia included with my HP Mini 311 which I recently bought by swiping my credit card, the very act which, by the way, I'd vowed to myself not to do again at least before the year 2009 ended. But I did, and now I spend my Christmas with my beloved Mini 311 that I will pay with my own hard earned dough like I did my other 2 netbooks.

Back to the main point; I was lucky enough to have gotten a slightly better configuration last Monday. The Mini 311, when it first came out in the Philippine market sometime in late October I think sold for Php 28,944 with these specs:

  • 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280
  • 160 GB SATA 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • Windows XP SP3 Home
Now, my HP Mini 311-1002TU (I don't know but I seem to get "TU" labelled Mini's - my HP Mini 1000 is technically a 1001TU) I got at Php 29,948 and 0% installment for 12 months @ 2,495.66:

  • 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N280
  • 250 GB SATA 5400 RPM Hard Drive
  • Windows 7 Starter 32-bit
Imagine for just an additional Php 1,004, I get twice the memory, almost 50% increase in storage capacity and license for newer version of Windows.

And speaking of Windows 7, as I've mentioned earlier, the box contains 3 sets of manuals for 3 different languages but to my utter disappointment, HP was lazy enough so they didn't include recovery discs for the HP Mini 311; the consumer would have to burn those discs themselves. My opinion is that even though the unit comes with an external DVD burner (which is nice and spiffed up fancy itself), the recovery discs should've been made readily available starting day 1.

But they are not so here's what you do to create them:

What you need: 3 DVD-R's or DVD+R's or upto 20 CD-R's - though the bundled DVD drive can burn DVD-RW's, DVD-RAM, Dual-Layer DVD, the recovery disc creator program cannot handle these other formats so stick to the aforementioned formats.

All you have to do is, once you've set up your computer for first use and with your external DVD drive plugged in with a blank optical media inside, go to Start (which is actually just a glowing Windows orb where the normal old "Start" button on Win XP below was) > Recovery Manager.

Then progress through the dialogue windows that will appear in the ff. progression below:

In "I'd like to take precautions" column, choose "Recovery Disc Creation"

Click on "Next"

This will take a while, be patient

And if you can only do this procedure ONCE. In case you attempt to create another set (if you're like me who wants to get a proof of concept of sorts, or for just the fun of trying) you'll be shunned immediately and get this message:

But if let's say, for some reason, you weren't able to finish burning the entire set of discs - you ran out of DVD-R's and had to get some more, the application is smart enough to remember that you haven't really finished the last 2 discs so, technically, you haven't burned "one set", it'll automatically resume from when you last stopped.
These discs are what you use to restore your HP Mini 311 back to factory settings. Keep them safe - I suggest creating ISO images of these discs so in case something happens to the ones you've just created (optical media deteriorate over time), you can burn another set using your preferred burner application even if HP's Recovery Manager refuses to accommodate you.

24 December 2009

Happy Holidays!

Time to stuff our tummies full of yummy treats, turkey and gravy or in my case, lechong baboy :D

And also the time for reflection and thanksgiving that our Saviour is come for us all!

Merry Christmas!

23 December 2009

New Toy

So I guess that makes (yet) another New Year's resolution null and void even before the New Year has come. I vowed not to succumb to gadget lusts but the HP mini 311 was just so tempting.
I'll try making an unboxing video or perhaps even just pics but in the meanwhile, here's my new baby's cousin who tempted me and succeeded:

Intel Atom N280 @ 1.66GHz 1.67GHz
2.00 GB DDR3 RAM
11.6" LCD (Glossy) @ 1366 x 768
NVidia Ion LE
WiFi b/g + Bluetooth combo card
Windows 7 Starter Edition
External DVD burner - dual layer support
Now I wonder what to do with it next?

22 December 2009

Foot In Mouth

This makes me a terrible, not to mention incredible, hackintosher noob.
Looks won over functionality or in other words, hackintosh OSx86 compatibility at the end of the day (actually, at the end of a long two-hour wait)

20 December 2009

HP WiFi Whitelist Nitty Gritty

HP imposes a whitelist of hardware that's sanctioned to work on their computers, the Mini's included. Should you happen to be like me who's into the OSx86 hobby and are a Mini owner (other than the 1001TU/1000 models), you've come across wireless network glitch - or nightmare, rather - in Mac OS X Leopard. More so in Snow Leopard. The WiFi module is not supported by Mac OS X. I'm fond of referring to this as Mac OS X's "whitelist" not including your module or, in more creative words, Steve Jobs OS prefers to ignore your non-Apple hardware. Smug. (I often picture I have a duped Snow Leopard inside my MacBook Mini :D).

Now I've come across this whole deal with rebranding Broadcom wifi cards and wondered upto what extent HP's whitelist of wifi cards go for the 100TU. There are mainly two (2) essential information about your wifi card or any hardware for that matter I believe, that Mac OS X uses to decide how to treat that specific hardware. Apple's OS is very judgmental and unforgiving at times, racist to be exact:

(1) Subsystem Product ID
(2) Subsystem Vendor ID

I had a question in my head: given that these two are what OS X cares about, I wonder how specific HP is - would it accept the card as long as the Subsystem Product ID remains intact or does it need both to be matching the information on its whitelist?

The answer is IT NEEDS BOTH PIECES OF INFORMATION TO MATCH. If one of that changes, you'll get this:
"104-Unsupported wireless network device detected. System Halted. Remove device and restart."

I changed the Subsystem Vendor ID from the stock 0x103c into 0x106b to make it Apple like in a way. Result is I've practically bricked my HP Mini 1001TU. I would've used what happened as an excuse to get me a new netbook - one of those 11.6 inchers with NVidia Ion - earlier than planned (which is in January next year after the holiday season's shopping madness here in the Philippines but when promos are still likely to be on). 

However, the MSI Wind is here to save the day and saved the day it did:
(1) I popped open the HP Mini 1001TU to extract the now alienated wifi card. 
(2) Then I put it in the MSI Wind - I took out its Realtek WiFi card of course.
(3) Booted it up with Ubuntu 9.1 and did prasys' procedure to revert the Broadcom sprom to the original ID's:
- Subsystem Product ID : 0x1508
- Subsystem Vendor ID : 0x103c 
*I only had to change the Subsystem Vendor ID as the Product ID wasn't changed before.
(4) I put back the Broadcom card inside the Mini and voilà! My MacBook Mini is its old self again.

Now what's the point of this whole effort? I learned new stuff (or confirmed old stuff) about the HP Mini 1000:
(1) The upper chassis which houses the built-in trackpad has clips and is secured with adhesive on some parts. Careful in prying it off plus careful again when you put it back - make sure the clip near the left side palm rest is secured first.
(2) There's another PCI-e slot inside

(3) The WiFi card, while indeed is a Broadcom, is actually a 4312. To be exact, the label on the actual card reads: Broadcom4312 HMG or BRCM94312 - not sure why there's a "9" in the alternative appellation. All the while, Mac OS X, both Leopard and Snow Leopard, has always seen it as a 4315. I've no idea how that works. I've tried omitting 4315 from the AirPortBRCM4311.kext plugin so that 4312 remained, hoping it would be used. But that only caused the OS reporting that no airport card was installed.
(4) The entire motherboard is housed in the palm rest area. The heatsink and the ram slot's locations contribute a lot why the area feels remarkably toasty. It's an engineering feat alright; fitting an entire netbook system in that confined space but it's still undeniable that the Mini's one hot machine - and that's literally speaking.

Conclusion? I have serious doubts as to whether I'm gonna hackintosh an HP Mini 311 which in turn gives me more doubts as to whether I'm gonna stick with HP when I upgrade to a higher level netbook next year - I can't live without OS X, or rather, I don't reckon I can tolerate a non OSx86-ified netbook among my small collection. Cause come to think of it, there's already this compatibility issue with OS X alone and HP's adding to the equation another compatibility issue with its restrictive, not to mention imbecile, whitelists.

But then HP's netbooks remain on top niche for very good build quality.

P.S. My dear MSI Wind, though I'm extremely grateful to you for salvaging my alienated Broadcom wifi card, the undeniable truth still prevails: your chassis is chancy, your hinges feel flimsy, and your keyboard flexes with keys that are no thicker than an average party plastic cup.

Meanwhile, enjoy the HP Mini 1001TU's porn pics:

18 December 2009

New Project That's Not So New

I can't seem to move on from this little pet project, at least until I arrive at a sufficiently tolerable dsdt.aml for use with my HP Mini 1001TU.
In the past, at the forums, we used to get by with commenting out the entire USB method in the dsdt to get sleep but the problem with device removal at each sleep (when you left a flashdrive or iPod plugged in) still remains.
So we're back from the very very short vacation and back to hackintoshing.
How about this one for a fresh new start?

13 December 2009

Vacay Mode

imagr from www.villamaniboc.com

Will be going on vacation.
See you next week :D

11 December 2009

Proof Of Concept

VoodooHDA.kext is a great kext - it's the reason why I don't have to live with a mute Mini MacBook forever. It solved that one detail that caused my conversion to a believer in the HP Mini 1000 as a hackintosh. It even broke the love spell I was under with the MSI Wind U100. It's the reason why My MacBook Mini came to be.

But wondrous as it may be, there's still one tiny detail it can't quite do for my HP Mini 1001TU: the internal mic is still useless.

Good thing it's Christmas already and so as geeky as I am, electronics wormed its way into my gift shopping list. Thus I ended up swiping my new credit card at the nearby Apple reseller store and got myself in pretext for an early Yuletide present for myself (or one of a number of presents I plan to gift myself with - I could be Ebenezer Scrooge's kin for all I know and for my utter "me, myself and I" lovin'), an Apple iPhone 3G set of earbuds!

I've been reading for a long while in forums that it should work with the HP Mini under Mac OS X but I didn't know for sure but now I know. And I'm a believer. ;-)

Its mic works well with the HP Mini 1001TU; I only have to plug it into the port and voilà, I've got mic and am ready to Skype! :D

You'd need to go to System Preferences > Sound > Input tab to set the mic's volume and then you're good to go.

Sound quality is very decent, just as is expected of Apple hardware. As for performance, the current VoodooHDA.kext is sufficient. I don't crank up the mic's volume to max levels, highest I'd recommend would be one notch before the last notch on the slider bar. Anything beyond that creates static which causes buzzes and echoes in your ear as the mic catches sound. Audio file  resulting from recording via QuickTime X doesn't seem to register the aforementioned buzzes and echoes when played later on tho.

Also, upon resuming from sleep, the mic won't work - not really "not work" but you have to go back to Sys Pref > Sound > Input tab > and move the volume slider a bit to get back on track.

The volume (+,-) controller doesn't allow you set volume up or down, of course (it would've been too perfect - even older iPods can't take advantage of this set of controls; only the newer iPods and iPhone can)

Oh and by the way, this is the VoodooHDA.kext that I use - it allows me to adjust volume via volume control on the menubar or the fn+Function toggle keys. Or you may use the official VoodooLabs release of VoodooHDA.kext so you get a prefPane and experiment with more settings to suit your tastes.

Dreaming Of A "Whitelist"less Christmas

Just some thoughts fresh off of the forums:

So we're dealing with 2 whitelists here: (1) HP Mini 110's and (2) Mac OS X's.

Apparently, the 110's WiFi card model is in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard's whitelist that's why it works in that version of OS X. It's not there in Snow Leo's. Obviously this card is in the HP Mini 110's whitelist cause hey, it's stock WiFi.

The 1000's WiFi is both in Leo and Snow Leo, so therefore no problem and again, obviously, it's in the HP 1000's whitelist since it's stock hardware again.

Now, based on prasys' post, there is (3) another checking done on the Mac OS X side; (a) Is this 3rd party hardware or (b) Apple branded. Depending on the result, Mac OS X will choose how the WiFi driver (IO80211Family) runs the card. That's why my 1000's broadcom card is seen as Third Party.

HP seems to have specific whitelists for different laptop and netbook models.

Then if you happen to have a WiFi card that's both in the whitelist for OS X (and Leo & Snow Leo is capable of driving it) and HP (depending on the laptop unit/model and if you've added it to your unit's whitelist), it seems still impossible to have it rebranded as a true blue Apple AirPort. You can perhaps stick that same WiFi card on a different laptop to rebrand it from there.

But moving forward, perhaps the easiest/most practical solution would still be to get a WiFi module that's on OS X's whitelists and which it sees as native AirPort and then just add it to the HP mini's whitelist.

Well, let's take again the 110's wifi as an ex. It seems to be in 10.5 Leo's whitelist of wifi cards - 10.5 Leo knows how to make the card work (right kexts) though it may or may not "know" it's true device id.

10.6 Snow Leo doesn't seem to have the 110's wifi on it's whitelist - it doesn't know how to make it work and I doubt Snow Leo recognizes what device it really is (what specific broadcom model).

The logical solution would be to get the 110's stock wifi card added to 10.6's whitelist and 10.6 must have a driver for it. Now that part, I've no idea how to do or even if it is possible or not.

Now the Atheros AR5B93 b/g/n is in 10.6 Snow Leo's whitelist - it knows how to drive it to make it functional. But it's not in the HP Mini 110's whitelist so it rejects it. We just need to add Atheros AR5B93 b/g/n to the HP Mini's whitelist and everything's okay then.

09 December 2009

Google Chrome For Mac Is Here =)

image borrowed from cultofmac/google

Happy happy day it is! We no longer have to make do with the developer beta version of this miraculous browser!
Google Chrome is what I've been using on my PC at work because it's fast, fast, and fast.
What can I say? It's fast!
(One gets really overwhelmed by its speed in rendering web pages, forgetting everything else)
Grab Google Chrome now!
- Chrome download page -

I excited how this beta version fares cause I’ve downloaded what I presumed was a developer’s version of Google Chrome almost a month ago and it wasn’t bad at all already.
I’ve got my Mini with me at work! Yay, I can test this! :D

06 December 2009

HP Mini 311 MacBook WiFi Still A No Go?


Ethernet After Wake - Ethernet is unusable after resume at the moment with the stock nForce kext (however it will after hibernation resume)

Trackpad Options - We have to look into this in any depth, however every known VoodooPS2 SL compatible kext has been tried by multiple users

Stock HP Wireless - Only third party modules installed in the WWAN slot (or WLAN slot with de-whitelisted firmware) with pin 20 covered are usable right now"

That's from the insanelymac.com project thread 

The sad thing is I haven't found a good source for the exact steps to "de-whitelist" the WLAN firmware - all I know is that it's done in Linux.

"BCM943224 SPROM (Apple branded Broadcom SPROM for flashing to the Wireless-N card current being distributed with the HP Mini 311 once the whitelist has been removed using the above file - SPROM flashing must be done under Linux)

File not created yet and no assistance will be provided in the project forum for this"

And then another ray of hope:

"The full size slot is clear of whitelists so you can do whatever you wish there. The half size slot has a whitelist.
I use the stock BT/WiFI card in the halfsize slot for BT only and the open full sized slot for the actual WiFi that works with SL vanilla."
This is a solid configuration.
I'm actually royally confused about this. So the HP Mini 311 has two slots: (1) 1/2 slot and (2) full sized slot. Both can be used for WiFi. The HP Mini 311 comes with stock WiFi on the 1/2 sized slot. And then we can get a full-sized Snow Leopard compatible WiFi Card to install in the full-sized slot.. . .Gah!! I want an HP Mini 311 now!


05 December 2009

Gadget Lust Not Appeased

This is what I wanna buy:

That's an HP Mini 311 alright. But not just any HP Mini 311. It's gotta be a white HP Mini 311.
The black version already retails here in the Philippines for Php 28,944 (around USD$500+) and it comes with an external DVD writer which you have no other choice but to include in your netbook family :

And now according to zdnet.com, the white version will require an additional $20.
Uh-oh. More trouble. But then only the black version's currently available here in the country.
Guess I'll have to wait for it to get released here. And then...and then....
I'll get one out of my own money or I meant, my own credit card rather.
Oh dear, this isn't the way to start a new year.

Personal Rambling

The blogosphere is a fragile world made up of connections from point to point - a network of bridges that knowledge go through. Once you enter it, either as a passive reader or an active content creator, you're hooked up. Connected. On line.
One lesson learned: Be careful of the connections you make.
Sometimes people get the impression that you're getting money from some place when you're not.
It's crucial to make that clear right from the start or you send out an distorted image of yourself to the rest of the sphere.
And if you already are in that situation, it isn't logical either to take out your angst in the public by posting it.
No, do not burn bridges.
They're your bridges.
And no matter how point A for example can get into your nerves sometimes, they're still points that you've made friends with.
And then there's your offline life which is more important than your online one cause the offline life is God-given. Enjoy it.

02 December 2009

Up Next:

image from mecambiomac.com
A good friend has brilliantly suggested changes to the EFI boot guide; currently in it's latest "revamped" version. The suggestion involves a incorporating the entire EFI setup process into one single script.

We're currently testing how the script works on our separate Mini's to get a picture more or less of how this will fare on other MacBook Mini's out yonder.

Actually I've been using a script I've made myself that configures EFI boot for some time now (ever since I went EFI + Vanilla to be exact) but I just didn't think it was ready for the general others to use as I only had my one MacBook Mini to test it on.

Anyhow, this good friend from the forums has also written a script - a better one than I could ever dream of writing in my lifetime - and we hope to be able to release it together with updated kexts, etc. - the "works", in short, for a new install package and hopefully a new guide as well to get you EFI booting.

If this is successful, then all that needs to be done is to get rid of your terminal-o-phobia and learn how to:
2) "sudo -s"
3) run a script (a file with extension .sh) by dragging and dropping the file icon into a Terminal window and pressing Enter.

29 November 2009

What To Do When You Got Kernel Panics

Chances are you've seen this a lot of times in your hackintoshing journey:

Chances are, you've raked the hair on your head a dozen or more painful times in frustration and with the key to the enigma remainin unbeknownst to you; you resort to wiping out your hard drive and reinstall OSx86 - you start from scratch; back to square one.
No, this post does not promise to put an end to all your hackintoshing woes caused by kernel panics but suggests what can constitute a logical way to start troubleshooting your OSx86 system gone berserk.

1) Boot in verbose mode - as if this bit hasn't been the subject of many a noob inquiry, let's explain how does one "boot in verbose mode" exactly?
 You have a bootloader with which you boot into your hackintosh Leopard/Snow Leopard. It can be PC EFI or Chameleon, or Boot Think, or whatever other bootloader iteration you've got. Even if you installed using a custom distro like iDeneb or iAtkos or iPC, etc. and hence cannot remember "installing or configuring any d@mn bootloader" on your machine, you still have a bootloader.

The main point? Know that you can interrupt the bootloader before it, well, loads Mac OS X, by pressing any key on your keyboard before the countdown (set by default to 5) is over. And then, depending on whether you have graphical bootloader enabled or just plain text, (a) you use left and right arrow keys to choose which partition to boot (in case of multiple bootable partitions) and up and down keys to choose "verbose mode"  or (b) you type "-v" at the "boot:" prompt. And press Enter. 

2) Take note of what it says - of course you're not supposed to do an impromptu deciphering of cryptic lines like "MAC Framework successfully initialized using 10485 buffer". This is when the most important hackintosh technique comes in: Patient and intelligent researching. Alright, that was admittedly, putting uncalled for fanfare so "Patient and intelligent googling" then - we didn't drop the word "intelligent"; if you hardly think what you're googling is logical in relation to the issue you're trying to solve, endeavor to be intelligent by being open to bits and pieces of information that fall you way as you research, or google, rather. They're bound to be relevant in your OSx86 life at some point or another.

If things are still awry, try booting with "ignore caches" option or "-x" flag.

Actually, most of the times, a kernel panic is caused by unruly and incompatible kexts that wreak havoc on your system. In which case, you'd intelligently surmise that you need to uninstall those pain in the arse kexts and also, you'd intelligently surmise that you can boot up your vanilla system with an alternative way in form of a USB flashdrive booter which, because it implements a different set of kexts and other configuration files that you've proven to work on your OS X version + machine model, will enable you to get inside your Mac OS X account again.

Finally, you'd intelligently surmise again that you will be taking care of those problematic kexts or config files, like an incomptable dsdt.aml file (whoever promised that an HP Mini 311 dsdt.aml will play 100% well with your 1000 anyway?) while you're logged into your user account. The goal is make your machine able to boot into OSx86 by itself like it used to in the golden days. And for the love of goodness, you'd take at least a mental note of those kexts which cause your OSx86 installation to misbehave. Responsible hackintoshing.

In my case, I still get kernel panics from time to time, even when I didn't do any tinkering with my boot files or kexts. 95% percent of the time, booting in verbose mode sufficed - I am transported to my OSx86 desktop without any problem and the origin of that random "kink" is forever chucked out into obscurity; that is until, perhaps, I dig inside Console.

I find myself unable to complain about kernel panics. Eeven real Macs experience them once in a while.

27 November 2009

X Ray Folders : Quick Look Can!

I was meaning to post this weeks ago but forgotten about it entirely.
I remember liking one feature in Vista's user interface - the sole one perhaps (I'm not sure about you, but Vista's aero effects and colors are a bit vulgar for my taste):

So when I open a window and thumbnail view is enabled, I could actually see what was inside those folders - icons peeping out like in the pic above. I missed this in Leopard and Snow Leopard and thought (secretly) that it was one thing Vista and Windows 7 had that trumped over Mac OS X.
Now it turns out I was entirely mistaken.
X-ray folders!
(You can see this feature in action via Quick Look and Get info)

This feature isn't enabled by default so you gotta coax Mac OS X to exhibit this. All you need to do is launch Terminal and input this command:

defaults write com.apple.finder QLEnableXRayFolders 1

HP Mini 311 Selling in eBay with Snow Leo Pre-installed

Because I've been ever so wanting to get myself an HP Mini 311, for the last few weeks since the 311 has been made available where I am, it's been my morning habit to browse eBay for 311 deals. This morning, at exactly 7:58am (GMT+8 - Taipei time) I came across this add on eBay:

Now that picture is very familiar. Very familiar indeed! I thought I might recognize that image of the 311 that I created for My MacBook Mini :D But it's been claimed by that "www.518deals.com" there.
Would this be a good deal to save you from having to buy and then tinker for hours and hours on end to get a pseudo MacBook Air?
Anyway, here's that old image I created in it's not-yet-defiled state:

Oh, and by the way, I took the screen cap from my 16" ViewSonic LCD monitor which displays 1366 x 768  - exactly what the 311 displays. And the wallpaper is from Vlad Studio ; "Carte de Paris" (if my memory serves me right). Anyhow, the website shown on both the iPhone emulator and Safari (or was that FireFox? It was long ago, really) is My MacBook Mini - still on the old wordpress site though, but still My MacBook Mini.

25 November 2009

FakeSMC : MacBook Air Me Too

In attempts to get closer to the real thing - and by "real thing" we pertain to MacBooks and in particular to the MacBook Air, I'm yet in another tinkering stage. I was reading prasys.co.cc and with his newest post being about editing FakeSMC to reflect "real" SMC versions for the MacBook Air, I decided to check my About This Mac > More info and saw an SMC version that was not a MacBook Air - it was an iMac I believe with 1.30f3 SMC version. I have my MacBook Mini showing as a MacBook Air and having the correct SMC version displayed won't hurt.

I decided to skip SMC version 1.23f20 and checked Apple's website for the latest available SMC Firmware update and here's what I found:

The latest SMC version for the MBA is 1.34f8.

So off I go to edit fakesmc.kext's Info.plist (right click on the kext file to show "Package contents" then dig inside the "Contents" folder in the resulting window). I used Plist Edit Pro as suggested by prasys. 
Why use Plist Edit Pro when we've been editing plists in regular TextEdit or Apple's own Plist Editor app that you get when you install the Mac OS X Developer Tools?

Well, it appears that we can't just type in 1.334f8 as value for the data string for the REV key; it needs to be converted to an alpha value (I don't know what it's called really). To better illustrate, see image below:

Actually, there are two conversions going on here:
(1) "1.34f8" is input as "01340F00<space>0008"
(2) and "01340F00<space>0008" is converted finally to "ATQPAAAI"

If you don't wanna edit your own fakesmc.kext, you can download mine here. It's based from FakeSMC version 2.5 by netkas. 

Also, notice that I put the bolean value to "NO" for debug mode. Some say it contributes to better start up times but in my case, I didn't experience any drastic improvements in start up excepting for not seeing anymore the error message "key not found"which is a welcome change in verbose mode.

Install to /Extra/GeneralExtensions or /Extra/Extensions (which ever you have) and after restarting, you should be able to verify that the correct SMC version is shown in System Profiler:

Ergo imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Also I didn't realize how important FakeSMC.kext is for hackintoshes or plain SMC for real Macs:
"As we all do know that netkas has released the latest version of FakeSMC which adds temperature sensors , that allows applications such as iStat to get CPU temperature and to do display it. It kinda makes it one step to the real thing."

OSXRestart.kext! OMG! OMG!!!

Update: You'd still need OpenHaltRestart.kext cause OSXRestart.kext is not capable of shutting down the machine. Some may experience kernel panics with the combination of these two kexts but some may not. For more details, visit this thread at MyHPMini. It's only for Snow Leopard.

EDIT: It's actually EvOReboot.kext that I'm loading with OSXRestart.kext, nice cause I've not experienced a kernel panic so far.

You've tried all sorts of remedy for it. It's like Acne problem which you've tried to solve via dozens of tons of creams, soaps and what-not.

You know you've got that restart issue with your MacBook Mini wherein once you put it to sleep, wake it up, and then attempt to restart, it doesn't complete the cycle and gets stuck in the middle of dreamland and you're forced to force the Mini to shut down and cold boot it again.

And you've tried kexts like OpenHaltRestart and EvOReboot but they're only empty promises. Well now, thanks to Master Chief from the insanelymac forums, my MacBook Mini restarts even after it's been put to sleep!! (You can also download OSXRestart.kext from here in case you're not registered at insanelymac - which you should be)

It's obvious how jubilant I'm feeling right now - it's already 1 o'clock in the morning and I've got work tomorrow but I've decided to post this news complete with a video à la sh!tty-must-be-under-the-influence-of-either-drugs-or-at-least-alcohol narration. Enjoy!

Oh and one more thing; it isn't from Psystar :D

24 November 2009

Flash Player 10.1 Beta Release

I've always complained about how youtube videos never play quite as nicely in Mac OS X as they do in Windows. In a brief summary, it's always been like watching my fave asian drama uploads in a slow motion of sorts. Unsmooth - if there was ever such a word. Such has been the Mac Snow Leopard experience with Flash Player in Safari 4.

But that's changed. I read an article in Tuaw about the improvements on video playback quality on meager netbook IntelGMA950 (or 945) chips, And what's even more delightful is it brings HD quality video playback on web browsers accessible to the netbook masses. Now I didn't care for HD then since I was already having trouble with the normal video - it'd only mean a more exasperating experience so why bother, anyhow?
Then came this Flash Player 10.1 promise which urged me to try.
First off:

23 November 2009

Sleepless (in Seattle)...

image from photographers.com

Okay, so finally we have an authoritative source for why sleep is a problem for many OSx86 - in other words, Hackintosh - boxes and books alike. This is how one well-known and well-respected hackintosher puts it:

Definition of S3 sleep state - S3: Commonly referred to as StandbySleep, or Suspend to RAMRAM is still powered. The fans on your desktop/notebook will be remain off until the system is woken by pressing the power button or using a USB input device (mouse, keyboard).
  1. Overclocking - To make sure this isn’t a variable set your CPU, memory, etc to the stock settings.
  2. Ram - If you’ve got a bad stick of ram or a different speed of ram in your system this can potentially keep your system from sleeping
  3. DSDT - An incorrect edit or using another motherboard’s DSDT can affect sleep functionality among other odd characteristics as well.
  4. NVCAP (Nvidia gfx) - Having an incorrect NVCAP set for your NVIDIA card can cause sleep issues, black screens and blue screens.
  5. ATI GFX cards - Using an ATI card with or without the proper edits can be the cause of your system not sleeping. I still consider ATI for OSx86 to be a work-in-progress.
  6. PCI Cards - Sometimes a PCI device such as a firewire card can keep the system from entering sleep mode.
  7. Bios - Adjust power settings. Trial and error. Test and repeat.
  8. Hibernation mode enabled - Make sure your OS isn’t using Hibernation mode by typing ‘pmset -g | grep hibernatemode’ in Terminal. If it returns with ‘hibernatemode 0’ you’re golden.

Source from stellarola.

22 November 2009

Google's Chrome OS On Your Mac or Hackintosh

Wanna try Google's intriguing new little OS? 
You can try Chrome OS without thinking about partitions and other problematic issues by downloading the OS installer - visit your local torrent site of course - and Sun's Virtual Box which is free as beer.

Screen cap and news via OS X Daily

20 November 2009

Chrome OS

So what's a blog that's centered on Mac OS X and  netbooks going over the other side, caught red-handed oggling at this OS?

It looks interesting. And I'm a sucker for, interesting things? No, I'm a sucker for OSes. (That right? "OSes"?)

Take a peek at the interesting Chrome OS:

Should be wonderful to have on my MacBook Mini - dual-boot with Snow Leo of course. Would Snow like this OS, which is not an OS but is? Reminds of Elphaba really.

All About DSDT and the HP Mini

Note: You should run your Mini without any dsdt.aml loaded first before running DSDT Patcher to get your "real" acpi table. 
Also, I'm no expert on this topic as I'm only beginning to learn myself but this is of potential interest to us all Mini hackintoshers - or all hackintoshers in general. :) > Source of inspiration <
Patch your DSDT:
1) Run "DSDT Patcher". Just double click the file. It'll create a dsdt.aml and a Debug folder in that same location as DSDT Patcher
2) Then copy "iasl" from the Tools folder included in DSDTPatcher_1.0.1e to /usr/bin. 
3) Then you can proceed with editing your dsdt.

Open your dsdt.dsl for editing/modding:
1) Look in the "Debug" folder that will be created when you first patched your dsdt in the same DSDT folder along with DSDT Patcher itself. Save a back up copy of this original dsdt.dsl for reference.
2) Open the file "dsdt.dsl" which TextEdit or better yet open it using Text Wrangler


19 November 2009

Rearing Big Cats

Plans for My MacBook Mini?
I think I've done a good job with Snow Kitty on the HP Mini 1000.

Aren't those baby blues, I mean, baby greys, just divine? (Nope, that isn't me holding the cub in the picture)
Soon I'll get another installation guide running, again easier than ever. It can possibly mean giving up EFI all together but I'll find a way to get both Netbook BootMaker and EFI relevant in My MacBook Mini at the same time. The new guide should include new 10.6.2 kexts and other stuff, packed into one convenient bundle for easier reference.

Now the more enigmatic Leopard. Would it shock you to know that I've never quite successfully installed retail 100% Vanilla Leopard on the HP Mini 1000? And by "successful" I mean everything running as smoothly as via iDeneb. I'd very much love to do try that, so far the only hurdle remaining is getting Quartz Extreme enabled. No luck via EFI, I'll see how things fare with Netbook BootMaker / NetbookInstaller. It'd be nice to have a reference for Leopard Retail/100% Vanilla even if people didn't care anymore because they've moved on with Snow Leopard. 
Personally I think this would be a worthwhile exercise as I'm considering getting the HP Mini 311 and then while I decide whether to loot my current 1000 for its wonderfully Snow Leo compliant WiFi card or order a separate one from ebay since Leopard works nicely on the 110's and the 311 has the same WiFi card as the 110.
(This isn't a cheap hobby; in fact I'm still trying gather funds for want of swiping my credit card yet another time. Maybe in 3 years time AdSense revenue from this site would be enough to buy a replacement WiFi card.) 


Isn't that baby Leopard a curious little thing?

18 November 2009

HP Mini VGA Adapter

So now I'm a whiny HP customer. What happened to the "laude ad astra" blab I've been showering all over HP's brand (without even being asked, let alone paid for the relentless plugging) like some anointing oil.

Right. That's the HP VGA Adapter cable for the Mini 1000 and Vivian Tam series. Don't get me wrong; it's a beautiful piece of hardware or computer accessory. From the rubber finish, to the silver printed HP logo it shows the company accords ample attention to detail and customer satisfaction. In the spirit of Hackintoshing and aspiring to be Apple-like, I can even say the cable reminds me of my Apple iPod's cable - sans the fancy plastic pin cap and stark white coloring of course. In short, it seems to be a sturdy piece of accessory that'll last or perhaps even outlast, your HP Mini 1000's life cycle.

But what's the whining all about?

15 November 2009

Once And For All

Mac OS X v10.6.2 Update has wreaked, if not full-blown havoc, a ripple whose effect is considerably big enough to warrant worrying among OSx86 fans, me included. In the course of the week, since the update was officially released for public consumption by Apple and before that, during the update's beta seeding among Apple developers, lots of workarounds have been circulated and posted here and there in the web.

As a hackintosh owner myself, I'm drawn into this mild frenzy in pursuit of bleeding-edge nirvana; being always up to date. And so without further drama, I give you a recounting of how I updated my MacBook Mini (an HP Mini 1000 with 2 gb ram) from 10.6.1 to 10.6.2.
This guide assumes you used the EFI guide in this site to install Snow Leopard on your Mini (presumably a 1000 like mine)

14 November 2009

10.6.2 ≠ WiFi Woes (WiFi is back!!)

^Got it! I've got WiFi back :D It does seem that the IO80211Family.kext I've been using (from way back Leo 10.5 is not loading no matter what I do) and this is EFI boot btw.

10.6.2 = WiFi Woes

I got through the 10.6.2 update unscathed. Or so I thought.
While it was relatively easy to update from 10.6.1:
1) Get Tea's patched 10.6.2 kernel and rename it as "mach_kernel_tea" and then put it in "/"
2) Edit my com.apple.Boot.plist in /SnowLeoHPMini_101709/bootplist_update to specify "mach_kernel_tea" as my default kernel. Should be easy to do this using Property List Editor.app (which you get when you install OS X Developper).
3) Unload my old SleepEnabler.kext from EFI and replace with newer 10.6.2 compatible SleepEnabler.kext from netkas.
4) Run the 10.6.2 update and restarted.
*Video resolution was crappy - 1024x576 instead of 1024x600 and Quartz Extreme wasn't working so I repatched my 27aeAppleIntelGMA950 and 27aeAppleIntelIntegratedFramebuffer kexts and updated EFI's via the update script. (If you used my guide for your Snow Leo install, you know what I'm talking about)
But, look ma, no WiFi!
When I click on the AirPort icon sitting on the menubar, I get this:

Wonderful. Truly succint. I'm still trying to resolve this. I hope my research abilities ("googling abilities" ahem) don't fail me this time.
If all else fails, I'd have to revert to 10.6 kernel + System.kext + seatbelt.kext.

12 November 2009

On 10.6.2 Again

A hackintosher who goes by the name "teateam" from insanelymac has posted a patched 10.2 kernel - Snow Leopard 10.6.2 - which reportedly restores support for the Atom processor that netbooks have under the hood.

image from teateam's post
This certainly looks promising as a fairly good number of users from insanelymac have confirmed it to work beautifully on their hackbooks.

Again, I haven't tried this one for my own self as my MacBook Mini's not with me right now, it's at my folks' home and I won't be having access to it until weekend when I go home. (Seriously, can I still consider myself a hackintosher? Rule #1 of the Hackintoshing Code "Always bring your hackintosh with you" joke!).

Anyhow, this little impediment doesn't stop my newbie hackintoshing sense to think about workarounds using great stuff from the real, great hardcore hackintoshers in the OSx86 realm.

This is what I'm thinking of doing this weekend, or to be more exact, this coming Friday night :

11 November 2009

10.6.2 Is Here

Disclaimer: I haven't tested this myself, but in theory, this could work. So try this at your own risk. I'll be testing this weekend, but if you do this and already have results, kindly post them as feedback as comments below for the benefit of others.

Be afraid.

Be very afraid.

Or not.

True, support for Atom is indeed dropped from the official 10.6.2 update release but there's hope. As has been pointed out before, one option is to stick with 10.6.1 kernel. (Actually, 10.6.1 is only a security patch and doesn't bring major changes in the system; in fact it uses the same kernel as 10.6). It's 10.6.2 that we see major system-wide changes, and one of which, is a new kernel that brings woe to our dear little Atoms.

Before you run that updater, either via download (combo vs. delta or software update), back up your current kernel. You can use apps to make invisible files visible in Mac OS X first and then using Finder to copy the file to a USB flash drive for safekeeping. However, I prefer just using the Terminal to do the backup as it's fairly very easy to do and without having to download anything first.