Archive

Archive for July, 2009

Hackintosh Atom server

July 27, 2009 3 comments

In a previous post I told the sorry tale of my Synology DS106e network attached storage box. It served me well for 18 months until the fan stopped working and a scheduled backup led to the hard drive overheating. It was time to upgrade my server, and there were several options available.

  1. Buy a replacement NAS box, either a newer Synology model or something similar from Qnap, Thecus, Netgear etc. This would cost anywhere from £70 for a used item on eBay to £300 for a top of the range home/soho device. The current Synology one drive budget NAS is around £180 online.
  2. Buy a used Mac Mini from eBay. The newer Core 2 Duo/solo models fetch a high price but the original G4 versions at 1.25 or 1.4Ghz are selling for around £120. Ready made server in a small and silent box, easy to setup and expand through software.
  3. Build a mini hackintosh based on an Intel Atom processor. This is perhaps the most flexible approach, is should be able to run Leopard and hopefully Snow Leopard. Linux and windows shouldn’t be a problem either, so it has plenty of options for software.

I decided to go for the third option, not really surprising since I have already built a Quad Core hackintosh and a Home Theatre hackintosh. Building something is usually more fun than buying a ready made device, although this depends on how well the end result works. With the decision made I started looking at the Insanelymac forums for details from people who had already used Atom processors. Read more…

Advertisements

Linux to the rescue

July 20, 2009 Leave a comment

I suffered a bit of a disaster over the weekend when the fan in my Synology DS106e network attached server stopped working. For 18 months it had worked well (I had bought it used from eBay), then at some point last week the fan died. This wasn’t immediately apparent, and only became an issue when the server started a scheduled backup to an external USB drive. Lots of drive activity and reduced cooling quickly resulted in an overheated hard drive and email warnings of read errors. Not the sort of message you want to receive when you are 20 miles away at work. Read more…

Redsn0w 0.8 with iPhone 3GS

July 12, 2009 Leave a comment

redsn0wThe iPhone Dev Team released version 0.8 of Redsn0w recently, adding compatibility with the latest iPhone 3GS hardware running firmware 3.0. I had previously jailbroken my 3GS using purplera1n but couldn’t pass an opportunity to play with the latest method. Below is a video for anyone thinking of trying the jailbreak but unsure of what is involved. It’s fairly straightforward, the only bit that requires manual intervention is putting the iPhone into recovery mode and even that is guided by the app. Another top tool from the iPhone Dev Team, many thanks for their continued work. Click the HD button to go to Vimeo and watch or download the full size version (bottom right corner of the page).

Snow Leopard 10A402

July 11, 2009 Leave a comment

10A402

Apple has released Snow Leopard build 10A402 to developers, bringing some UI changes as well as stability, compatibility and security fixes. MacRumors has more specific details of what’s new, the most immediate appears to be to the Dock contextual menu appearance. The new style is shown below, this is a composite image of several screen shots to show the menus on one screen.

10A402a_Dock_right_click

10.5.7 and Display refresh rates

July 6, 2009 Leave a comment

I’ve written previously about the setup of my HTPC and LCD TV, and this included setting the HThackintosh to the optimal resolution and refresh rate. Since then I’ve commented on the occasional small jumps in the picture, and after investigation I’ve put this down to differences in media frame rate and display refresh rate. Much HD content is 24 frames per second, which doesn’t go smoothly into 50 or 60 frame per second display refresh.

There are many threads in the Plex forums about using software such as DisplayConfigX to create custom display modes for refresh rate. There are also warnings that Plex has issues with display refresh rate and media frame rate being the same, resulting in audio sync loss. Auto switching display refresh rate to media frame rate is on the todo list for Plex, so hopefully the issues can be fixed. Read more…

iPhone 3GS jailbreak tested

July 3, 2009 1 comment

iPhone_3GS_Jailbreak_4

The iPhone Dev Team have commented in recent blog posts that although they have a working 3GS jailbreak, they are planning to wait for the 3.1 update to be issued before releasing it. Without getting into the politics of the situation, hacker George Hotz has decided to release a beta jailbreak app without waiting for the next software update. Please remember this is a beta release so may do horrible things to your shiny new iPhone. I took the risk since I’m a daring blogger (or an idiot, never quite sure which) Read more…

iPod Touch 1st Gen to iPhone 3GS

July 3, 2009 Leave a comment

iphone3gs_2upFor the past (almost) two years I have used my iPod Touch every day as a web browser. email client, PDA, eBook reader and even a music and video player. It’s been reliable, flexible and even better once jailbroken. As a computer user who’s experiences started with a one kilobyte ZX81 29 years ago I have never ceased to be amazed at what such a small package could do. Even after all this time I still turn it sideways and wonder how so much power can fit in such a thin case. Just like most of the iPod’s that came before it, the Touch will be remembered as a design classic.

The one thing I have missed all this time was a permanent net connection. The iPhone is an expensive proposition in the UK but I finally succumbed on Tuesday and visited the Apple store at Lakeside Thurrock intent on a 32Gb 3GS. I had initially been contemplating a pay as you go contract for an eye watering £540. This initially sounded a good deal, you put £10 a month credit on the phone and get 500 free minutes. Unfortunately these free minutes are only to other O2 phones and landlines, so it’s not quite as good as it initially sounded. Read more…