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Lnx2Mac’s Realtek RTL81xx Driver

October 14, 2010 1 comment

One of the problems I encountered with my original Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3R motherboard based hackintosh was the network interface. The Realtek 8111B chip on the motherboard didn’t work very well with OSX’s drivers, and a workaround was required. With Snow Leopard I used a modified version of ifconfig and a script to get the network interface working correctly with bonjour, so the useful auto discovery features would work (iTunes, Finder etc.)

This worked well but wasn’t very elegant, so I was happy to discover Lnx2Mac’s port of the Realtek Linux RTL81xx driver. I disabled the ifconfig script and dropped Lnx2Mac’s driver into /Extra/Extensions, and after running a few terminal commands to set permissions/owners and rebuilt caches (see step 6 here) it’s working great.

Thanks to Lnx2Mac for the work that went into porting this driver, and if it helps you out you can make a donation from the project page.

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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…

Hackintosh HTPC part 3

February 5, 2009 7 comments

In part 2 I detailed the motherboard, processor and ram picked for the HTPC. The plan was to initially use the spare Nvidia 7300GT card and replace this dependant on space available in the final case. I had a spare Tagan 480w PSU and a midi tower case as a temporary home, and the 500Gb hard drive from the hackintosh (replaced with a new 1Tb).

The build was straightforward so I won’t dwell on that. The first choice was how to install Leopard. The 500Gb hard drive had the hackintosh install on it so I chose to boot this first and see what happened. It wasn’t much of a surprise when this started up fine as it had previously been working on an intel chipset motherboard. The only thing that didn’t work was audio, so the next choice was do I keep the install and remove unnecessary software/files or do a fresh install? Read more…

Going HD

December 3, 2008 Leave a comment

I’ve been thinking about upgrading a lot of my AV equipment for a while now. I had my eye on a Sony 40W4000U LCD TV that just keeps getting cheaper (at least there is one small benefit to the credit crunch) then they had to go one better with the 40W4500U. An even better LCD TV for a little bit more cash. It’s now number one on the wanted list, but that’s where the easy decisions end. Read more…

Synology Firmware update 0722

September 24, 2008 Leave a comment

For quite a time I have been trying to get SMB shares showing in the Finder sidebar. Nothing I have tried has resulted in a permanent fix so this has become an issue I expect Snow Leopard to resolve. This morning I updated my Synology Diskstation 106e to the latest 0722 firmware and while SMB shares still don’t appear, the Diskstation does. From the release notes:

Enhanced Mac OS Usability: Synology NAS servers will be automatically found by Bonjour protocol, including Finder and Safari browser (Bookmarks > Bonjour)

The image on the left shows the Finder sidebar with the Diskstation detected through Bonjour. I would previously see this icon while connected to a share but as soon as the share was ejected the Diskstation icon dissapeared as well. It’s now permanently there, either a monitor with the infamous Windows BSOD (who says Apple doesn’t have a sense of humour) if using SMB or one like the macpro icon above for AFP. Both methods of access appear to work but SMB was a bit flaky and didn’t always connect, so I’m sticking with AFP for now.

There are a lot of other updates in the new firmware including a new downloadstation so have a look if you own one of these devices. I’m always amazed at the continued support and updates Synology provide for older models so would recommend their NAS units to anyone.

MobileMe 90 day trial – Part 3

July 29, 2008 3 comments

If you have read the previous two parts of this series you will notice the title had changed from ‘MobileMe 60 day trial’ to ‘MobileMe 90 day trial’. I now have an extra 30 days of trial as an apology from Apple for the initial problems the MobileMe service experienced. If my current experiences of the service are an indication of its quality Apple will need to give me the next year for free.

My initial problem was with deleting a calendar. In version 1 of the iTouch firmware there was no option to add a new event to a specific calendar. I had created an ‘iPod Touch’ calendar so I could move events from this to the correct destination on the Mac after syncing. Firmware 2 now supports adding an event to a chosen calendar so I don’t need the ‘iPod Touch’ calendar. It was deleted from iCal on the hackintosh, but stayed on the iTouch. No amount of syncing would remove it. Next step was to log into the me.com web service and delete it there. Still no change after that, it’s on the iTouch but nowhere else in the cloud. Not a big problem but a bug that needs to be addressed.

Last night I fired up the Macbook to check some emails, and opened iCal to add a new event. Three of my calendars had vanished, and one was duplicated. Read more…

The case of the suddenly appearing SMB shares

July 6, 2008 Leave a comment

Macs surprise me sometimes, and my hackintosh even more so. It could be a simple way of doing something that just makes sense, or something you would never believe was that easy because other operating systems make it so hard. Occationally something happens that I wasn’t expecting at all.

I just had one of the later. After much time spent searching for solutions to the missing SMB shares in my Mac’s network, they just appeared.

Read more…