Mac Mini

Posted by Ub3rG33k on May 10, 2010 in Apple, Tech

“Dear Mr Jobs,

When I said “Your work here was done”, in my previous post about my iPhone, I may have been telling porkies, as I still had a Windows machine in the house, however you’ll be glad to know, that I’ve done the right thing, and replaced it with a Mac Mini. Sorry for the porkie, and I am now 100% Apple.

Your ever faithful disciple


As you can probably tell from the above, I’ve replaced my last remaining Windows machine with a Mac Mini (Really ? No sh1t Sherlock). To be honest I’ve been toying with the idea since getting the MacBooks last year, as essentially all the Windows machine did was act as a server. It was my media server, my iTunes server, my torrent downloading machine (all legal of course) and a way of dialling into my network from the outside world using remote desktop and port forwarding.

As you can probably suss from my ted post, I spent a little time and ensured that I could still carry out the same functions on the Mac.

I’m using PS3 Media Server to stream to my PS3’s and Xbox,I’m using a uTorrents as my torrent client,iTunes (obviously) for my iTunes server and finally VNC to dial it.

All these pieces of software are available cross platform, so all is good.

The Mac Mini turned up on Monday (unboxing below). The thing that got me about this was just how small the Mac Mini actually is, imagine stacking 4/5 CD cases onto of each other, and that it !

This this is silent, so compact, so tidy, and takes up no room whatsoever !.

As this is just going to be used for the same purpose the Windows machine was, I didn’t really need a high spec, as the Dell I was replacing was only a 2Gb Core 2 Duo, with 2Gb of Ram.

I went for the below, which to be honest it more than adequate for what I need.

  • 2.26GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
  • 2GB memory
  • 160GB hard drive1
  • 8x double-layer SuperDrive
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard

Now unlike the iMac, this doesn’t come with a mouse or keyboard, these are optional, however I had a spare set kicking around. The Mac Mini does have an internal speaker (which to be honest I was a little shocked at, as this device is so small. You do however have the option of connecting external speakers via the 3.5mm jack plug at the back.

The Video out connections are both the Mini DVI and the Mini Displayport adapters, allowing you to connect this to VGA, DVI and HDMI, however you only get a Mini DVI to DVI connecter included.

As with all my apple equipment, I switched it on, entered my details, and done !

This has been the final piece is a very expensive jigsaw, however my household is completely Mac, Goodbye Windows, I hope I never have to use you again ! (well, I do have to use it every day at work…but I don’t really have a choice in that)

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Hackingtosh FTW

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Aug 27, 2009 in Apple

A couple of years ago I discovered, it was possible to run the mighty Mac OSx operating system on hardware that wasn’t Apple.Picture 1

As the versions of Mac OSx have come out, newer of the custom install disk have been released, the community has grown, and custom drivers have been written for the non-Mac hardware.

Over the last 2 years, I’ve tried multiple disk and had varied success….however, I’ve finally cracked it ! Last week, using the disk iATKOS_v7, and after 6 attempts, I was finally able to install, and run Mac OSx version 10.5.7.

The issue that I’ve had over the past couple of years, is that Apples tend to run on the Intel based chipset and processors, but as you can see from the below, my machine couldn’t be much further from a mac specs. Having an AMD Processor and ATI motherboard was the probable cause for my 2 years of failing.

Current Machine Spec.

AMD 6000+ Processor
4Gb Ram Memory
1 x 500Gb Western Digital Drive (SATA)
2 x 250Gb Western Digital Drives (SATA)
ATI HD2900 1Gb PCI-e Graphics
Asus M2R32-MVP :-
Onboard AL1988 SoundCard
ATI SB580 Chipset
Marvell Yukon 88E001 Gigabit Network Controller


Acer AL2216W Monitor
Acer AL1916 Monitor
Logitech G15 Keyboard
Razer CopperHead Mouse

I had to switch out the DVD drive, as this caused problems with earlier version of the DVD, where I would get a kernel panic while trying to initialize the setup.

Anyway, back to the success story. The iATKOS_v7 DVD booted like a charm and took me into the setup, went into the Disk Utilities and Erased my drive to Mac OS Journal

Back to the installer, next, next, next and Customize.

On the working attempt I selected

Voodoo kernel 9.7.0
AMD Chipset Drivers
Azalia Audio drivers

that was it.

The previous attempts, I used the ATI Video drivers, the Marvell Yukon Network drivers, but no joy.

Once the install had finished, I was presented with the standard OSx welcome screen, entered my name. Due to having no working network card, I had to manually enter my details, as these would have otherwise been populated with the associated details on my apple account, after these Tada ! MAC OSX Desktop.

The video was only in 1024×768 and the was no network but we were getting there.

Downloaded the Marvell Yukon Driver from here, and followed the instructions

Downloaded the ATI HD2900 from here and followed the instructions.

Restarted, and I had full working gigabit network, and my 22″ Widescreen monitor running at 1680×1050 and 19″ monitor running at 1280×1024 !

As I was feeling brave, I decided to click on the Software update version, it downloaded and installed all the updates, and even took me to version 10.5.8 !

To get the LCD working on the Logitech G15 Keyboard, Logitech are kind enough to provide Mac Software found here , As my keyboard is a Microsoft UK layout, the ” and the @ were in the wrong place, so downloaded the Microsoft British driver from here

Finally, I couldn’t get used to the acceleration Apple implement to their mouse drives, and wanted to have the old boring 1:1 ratio, no matter how fast I moved my mouse, I found a little util called SteerMouse, which can be downloaded from here

All in all, that’s it, I now not only have my MacBook Pro, I also have a fully working Mac Pro.

Below is a list of useful software I’ve found

Adium for all your instant messenger needs
MenuMeters for all your monitoring needs
NeoOffice, a Mac only version of Open Office
Skype, mac version

Hope this was of some help to somebody.

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First Impressions: Windows 7 Beta

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jan 21, 2009 in Microsoft

Well, I have a spare machine, so thought I’d download the Vista 7 Beta, and see what’s in store for windows users.

Currently I’ve spent only an hour or so using it, however I thought I’d give my first impressions.

It’s quick, it’s stable and so far no crashing.

The UI is improved, however seems more and more like Mac OS

The below are just first impressions, and the resolution is possible, however not clear.

Currently don’t like to the fact that that you can’t change the control panel to classic mode.

There is no longer a quick launch toolbar (I need this in my life)

Unable to turn off UAC

I’m a little curious how it was able to access my NAS drive (which requires name/password), and have full access ?

as I’ve said, this are first impressions, and I will add posts when I’ve sussed out how to do the above.

edit: Ok, now I’ve had a little more time, I’ve now answered my questions. Instead of UAC, you now have a feature that gives you a sliding scale of how often you want Windows to annoy you, turning this to never, allows your to do what you like.

Sussed the taskbar, I had it locked…now I can drag and “pin to toolbar”

Sussed how it was able to access my NAS drive, it seems to be smart enough to use the NT/Authentication setting that I logged onto Windows 7 with, and try these…and it worked.

Finally as for the control panel, you are unable to change it to classic mode, but you can “show all control panel”, and this displays the log, however it does seem to reset when you go back in.

The playing will continue

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