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Hack Mini ITX 10.7 Server

December 10, 2011 6 comments

In July 2009 I built a small Intel Atom based file server that ran Mac OS 10.5 Leopard. It served as a NAS box and later ran 10.6 Snow Leopard with the Plex media server feeding my HTPC and a WDTV box through network shares. While there was enough processor power available for these simple tasks, new developments were beyond the limited power the Atom offers. The Plex Media Server can now stream and transcode to iOS clients, if your CPU is up to the task. Lion Server is available as a $50/£35 add-on for the Lion operating system, adding all the server functionality you could want. iTunes will act as a music server for all the computers in the house. With so many possibilities available, it was clearly time for an upgrade. Read more…

Buying Lion on a Hackintosh

August 15, 2011 7 comments


After the changes made upgrading my P35-DS3R/Q6600 hackintosh to 10.6.8, I expected downloading Mac OS 10.7 to be a breeze. It appears that the App store application has some built in checks that block the purchase/download on unsupported hardware. My first response was to try some different smbios.plist files, including the widely suggested MacPro 3,1 type, then try editing these. None of those attempts gave any success, so the next step was a search for suggestions from the many excellent Hackintosh forums.

One method I found was to install the latest version of Tonymac86’s Chimera bootloader, V1.4.1. This is available from the Tonymac86 site as either a standalone installer or part of the MultiBeast package. The Lion purchase/download then worked perfectly. I had some unexpected side effects as well, such as losing my VPN configuration and being unable to get it working again. I searched for reasons for this and suspect it was something to do with changes to the Ethernet port en0 setup. The easiest and fastest fix was to copy the Lion installer to my server and restore the disk to the backup I had made just before installing Chimera, finally copying the Lion Installer back again. I always repeat how important it is to make a backup before any big changes to a hackintosh installation, and once again it saved me a lot of time and effort.

This ended up being a lot of effort to buy and download Lion. I’ve always felt it’s important to buy the software even if I’m not within the terms of the EULA by running it on generic hardware. At £20.99/$29.99 it’s very cheap compared to the cost up upgrading a Windows system, and rampant piracy within the hackintosh community will not encourage Apple to continue to ignore us as it has done so far. Also, I already save a huge amount running Mac OS on generic hardware, saving £21 more seems as petty.

10.6.8 on Hackintosh

August 4, 2011 5 comments

This post has been delayed a long time, partly due to the changes I made to my Hackintosh during the 10.6.8 update and partly due to Mac OS 10.7 Lion. Previous 10.6.x updates had been fairly straightforward, often needing nothing more than a change to the PMversion of SleepEnabler in com.apple.Boot.plist. That approach didn’t work with the 10.6.8 update. I tried using PMversion=23 but this resulted in a crash during boot for PMversion/kernel miss-match. A search of several hackintosh forums showed that this was working for some people, while others were using PMversion=0 to disable SleepEnabler. Read more…

Jailbreaking iOS 4.3.1 with PwnageTool 4.3

April 5, 2011 2 comments

PwnageTool and Redsn0w have been updated, and both allow jailbreaking a range of iOS devices without tethering. This walk through covers PwnageTool 4.3, with another covering Redsn0w to follow. The main difference between the two apps is the method of jailbreaking. PwnageTool makes a custom Firmware file that iTunes puts onto the device. Redsn0w jailbreaks a device after iTunes has installed a standard Apple Firmware.

Before starting a jailbreak using PwnageTool or Redsn0w you need the correct firmware for your device. I used a great guide at iClarified that links to every iPhone firmware that has been released. My iPhone is a 3GS so the firmware I wanted was the 4.3.1 (3GS): iPhone2,1_4.3.1_8G4_Restore.ipsw. Once downloaded and placed on my desktop I launched Pwnagetool 4.3.

Read more…

10.6.7 On Hackintosh

March 24, 2011 10 comments

10.6.7

Apple this week released Mac OS 10.6.7, the latest maintenance release for its Snow Leopard Operating System. I’ve tested this on my main hackintosh with no problems found. A new version 4.5 of Mail is installed as part of the update, which is incompatible with the Letterbox Mail add-on.

Letterbox developer Aaron Harnly has already released version 0.24b9 for 10.6.7 compatibility, so within 10 minutes of upgrading I had mail back to it’s widescreen glory. Thanks to Aaron for his work on this most useful and free plugin.

10.6.6 on Hackintosh

January 9, 2011 12 comments

Mac OS 10.6.6 has been out for a couple of days now, and I have successfully updated my main hackintosh to this release. The previous 10.6.5 release had required the addition of “pmVersion=21” to the kernel flags section of my com.apple.Boot.plist file, but this latest update required no further modifications.

I haven’t found any problems with this release on my hardware. System updates always take a little longer on my hardware since I make a full bootable (and tested) backup before every major change, but that’s a good idea on Apple hardware as well since problems after updates are not unheard of.

December 2010 Macintosh Software Bundles

December 7, 2010 Leave a comment

Software bundles have always been a great way of building up a collection of useful applications, and the massively discounted price means you only need a couple of top class apps to make the price a bargain. There are several software bundles available for Macintosh users right now, offering a range of applications for prices between $9.99 and $63. Unfortunately there’s nothing currently available from Macheist or MacUpdate. The bundles are listed here in increasing price, with the second price in brackets a pound/dollar conversion at the current exchange rate (on 6th December 2010).

Macbasket.com7 apps for $9.99 (£6.36), ending 9th December 2010:

  1. NuKit – Finder productivity enhancer
  2. Money³ – Financial Management
  3. rooSwitch – profiles for your applications
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. Healthnut – Diet/health tracker
  6. Chronicle 3 – Manage your bills
  7. Tracks -Play/browse music from the menubar

MacbundlePro7 apps for $19.95 (£12.69), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. AirRadar 2 – Wireless network scanner
  2. Inpaint – Remove objects from your images
  3. MacHider – Hide private data
  4. TranslateIt – Language translation
  5. ManPower – Man page GUI
  6. PacketStream – network monitoring tool
  7. DVDsnap 2 – capture screen shots from Apple DVD player

Mac Bundle Box12 apps for $29 (£18.45), ending 23rd December 2010:

  1. Compartments – Home inventory
  2. QuickScale – Batch image resizing
  3. Semonto – Web server monitoring for 6 months
  4. Radium – Internet radio player
  5. iCollage – Image scrapbook
  6. AllMyTube – Download/convert FLV video
  7. DVD Ripper – Convert DVD’s to other formats
  8. PDF Converter – PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, EPUB, Text and HTML
  9. Photo Recovery – recover lost, deleted or formatted photos, videos and music files
  10. iMedia Converter – DVD ripping and video conversion
  11. TinyGrab – Screenshot utility
  12. Caboodle – Snippet machine

BundlesForMac – 12 apps for $49.99 (£31.80), ending 15th December 2010:

  1. skEdit – Text/html editor
  2. Yummy FTP – FTP client
  3. MyStuff – home inventory
  4. BlogAssist – blog/website editor
  5. AlienDestroyer – Secure erase sensitive data
  6. Involer – Invoicing app
  7. Deliver – File delivery to local and remote destinations
  8. ProfCast – Lecture recording app
  9. PDF to Word – Document converter
  10. iCash – Personal finance
  11. PDF to Epub – Document converter
  12. GadgetTrak – Laptop theft recovery

MacPromo.com10 apps for £39.99 ($63), ending 31st December 2010:

  1. TypeIt4Me – Text expander
  2. PathFinder 5 – Finder replacement
  3. DragThing – document, folder, and application and URL dock
  4. Name Mangler 2 – Batch file renamer
  5. Personal Antispam 10.6 – Antispam component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  6. MacFreelance 2 – Invoice management
  7. Keyboard Maestro 4 – Keyboard macro app
  8. Personal Backup – backup component of Intego Internet Security Barrier
  9. Folx Pro – Download manager
  10. CuteClips 3 – Clipboard history
  11. The First 5000 buyers get Star Wars: Empire at War

iOS 4.2.1 Jailbreak released

November 23, 2010 Leave a comment

New Firmware, New Jailbreak. Following yesterday’s release of iOS 4.2.1, redsn0w 0.9.6b4 is now available to jailbreak it. There are some conditions attached, so best read the post at the iPhone Dev Team Blog before attempting the jailbreak.

Another thing to remember is that this is still beta software, so may not work as expected. I followed the instructions the app gives to enter DFU mode, but found redsn0w stopped at the waiting for reboot screen. I got around this problem by putting my iPhone 3GS into DFU mode manually before running redsn0w, then pressing the power button when redsn0w stopped at waiting for reboot.

Once Jailbroken, there are a few more issues. SB settings isn’t currently working for me, and crashes springboard when I try to use it. No doubt this will be quickly fixed, but for now just remember this is new software, so either wait for the jailbreak ecosystem to catch up or enjoy the ride.

Update 25th November – Cydia updated SBsettings Toggles today, and SBsettings is now working perfectly with 4.2.1 on my 3GS.

iOS 4.2.1 released today with free Mobile Me Find My Device

November 22, 2010 Leave a comment

The release of iOS 4.2.1 is imminent, and the surprise is that with it comes the first free Mobile Me feature. Find My iPhone is now available to all iOS users without paying a Mobile Me annual subscription, and is easily set up from an iPhone/iPad/iPod using an existing or new iTunes account. Here’s a quick walk through of the steps using an iPad. Read more…

10.6.5 on Hackintosh

November 13, 2010 14 comments

Mac OS X 10.6.5 is out, and I have sucessfully installed the update on my main hackintosh with one minor change to my com.apple.Boot.plist. To recap, the important hardware in this hackintosh comprises:

  • Gigabyte Ga-P35-DS3R motherboard
  • Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 processor
  • 4Gb 667 Mhz DDR2 SDRam
  • Nvidia GeForce 9800GT video card

The 10.6.5 update includes a new Kernel (Darwin 10.5.0) which doesn’t match the current custom SleepEnabler.kext, so will cause a kernel panic during startup. This is easily fixed, as SleepEnabler.kext can be passed an instruction through the com.apple.Boot.plist Kernel Flags section to set its declared version to match the kernel. Here’s my com.apple.Boot.plist from /Extra with the added instruction in red. Read more…