31 March 2010

Perfect Mini MacBook

As promised, here's the post where I'll tell everyone who cares to read how finally I transformed my HP Mini 311 in the perfect "Mini MacBook", or in more general terms perfect "Mac Netbook".

Earlier I ordered a true blue Apple AirPort Broadcom 4328 wireless N card off of e-bay, but which didn't work with my Mini 311 when I first tried. Something about a "ParallelsConnectUSB(0x4c6af80): :start() Control service not started!" getting me stuck at boot. But that's all in the past.

My recently resurrected HP Mini 1000 prompted me to try again. I wasn't really hopeful but, unlike the Mini 1000 which didn't quite miraculously resurrect, my "stuck at boot" issue with the Mini 311 being suddenly resolved fit the bill of what I call a miracle.

There was still that nasty "ParallelsConnectUSB(0x4c6af80): :start() Control service not started!" but I could very well get into my Desktop instead of making do with the command line - single-user mode with the Apple AirPort plugged into the Mini 311's PCI guts had been the only feasible way I could interact with my hackintosh.

There I was, beside myself, as I stared into that familiar wallpaper comprised of a train silhouette in dark grey against a lighter shade of grey background which I'd gotten from a link in Minimal Mac. And even my abdominal cramps wouldn't dampen that little bauble of joy I felt in that instant!~

Now this AirPort card was a full-height card and therefore I could only put it into the extra full-height PCI slot of the 311. However, the stock antenna, whose receptors were neatly tucked inside the 311's lid around the screen, could only reach the half-height PCI slot. Since I already had my U.fl antennas handy, I tried to fit it on. But wireless signal was very weak and almost after 2 hours of trying different arrangements, I knew I had to use the stock 311 antennas.

Here's a pic to illustrate what happened.
Apparently, the wires for the antenna are long enough, one just has to re-route it to reach that full-height PCI slot. How I did it? No price for guessing but use your imagination. And yes, I did use screw drivers.

So here's the final setup:
I used one U.fl antenna for bluetooth courtesy of the stock Broadcom 4312 BT/WiFi card which is now back in its PCI cradle. Remember to connect to "J2" on the card because I recently discovered that that's the port for bluetooth, with "J1" being for the WiFi chip.

There's a noticeable change in how much the hard drive can sink inside its comfy slot now but nothing to worry to about cause the cover flap would still nicely match up with the rest of the chassis once put on and screwed.

Also be sure to install Apple AirPort Client Update 2009-02 to fix any connection dropping issues that may occur.

A perfect Mini MacBook alright!

Or not. At least until I sort out 10.6.3 on this little baby. ;)

30 March 2010

10.6.3 Update is here

Yes. Another update to battle out, fellow hackintoshers.
image from cultofmac.com
Sound may be is an issue according to the HP Mini 311 Support page. People are in the process of testing initial mods made to VoodooHDA source.

I'll update when I get my vacay starting Thursday and will give you guys, well um, an update. :)

Update 1: Only audio breaks on 10.6.3 but, if you absolutely really need to 10.6.3, VoodooHDA can be used in the interim, until a better fix is found. Bottom line:  stick with 10.6.2 for a while.

FYI: Audio support for the Mini 311 in 10.6.2 and below was made possible via DSDT modding. This involved legacy AppleHDA which is now unsupported (if I heard, erm, read right) in 10.6.3. If the VoodooHDA patching becomes successful, it would prove even more beneficial as boot time can be reduced.

29 March 2010

HP Mini 1001TU | Return of the (Dead) Jedi

It's been ages since my HP Mini 1001TU died on me - okay that's me, exaggerating again. Although I'm perfectly happy with my latest (and hopefully last) netbook which is the HP Mini 311, I still felt sad when one day, after leaving the Mini 1000 on and torrenting for the entire night, the little hackintosh machine's screen would no longer flash me that oh so cutie blue HP orb when I turned it on. There would it sit, all led indicators lit up but zilch, nada, rien, niente. No hard drive activity, no nothing - just led indicator lights all three of them shedding their eerie glow in front me, white, red (trackpad), blue.

Honestly I thought it was taking its vengeance on me because I took its precious Snow Leopard compatible WiFi card to feed to the Mini 311. But that couldn't be the case and I should stop treating my gadgets as if they were live, breathing, thinking, and feeling entities or I risk being subject to shrink sessions as initial treatment for my burgeoning insanity.

Back to the main point. As warranty for my Mini 1000 just expired last December and the netbook bonked out on me the next month, I was dreading bringing it to the HP Customer Service Center along Buendia in Makati assuming that the damage was serious - a motherboard (or "logic board" as Apple would have it) problem - which would mean one thing: a humongous amount of moolah. Which I wasn't just willing to shell out for, uhm, an out-dated piece of gadgetry. 

Cut to the chase: "Off to the back shelf you go, my darling Mini 1001TU."

And then I was seriously tempted to get wireless N and actually took the plunge - this time I got a real Apple AirPort wireless N (a Broadcom 4328 chip). So I justified this totally impulsive action by convincing myself that I'm doing this to save money: getting the card meant I could return the Broadcom 4312 card to the Mini 1000 and then I'd have it fixed at the HP Center to finally sell the unit since one girl couldn't possibly own 3 netbooks simultaneously.

First try with the AirPort wireless N card on the 311 wasn't promising and instead of banging my head on the wall to reprimand me of my impulsiveness, I fancied myself busy with school (which I really was, and am, just that it's all in the head - I've a final paper to write due on April 5 but couldn't quite start even a sentence). So today, or last night, while I was bearing with the unbearable abdominal pains that serve for nothing but affirm I belong indeed to the fairer sex, I tried again.

Actually, I was bored and couldn't sleep because Advil wasn't kicking in yet and read this post on a forum: 
I just unplugged the CMOS batt connection from the mobo and then reseat it again.
...Well that's after running the HP Mini 1000 once more under the knife, err, screw driver.
Yep, it's alive!!! 
I was definitely overwhelmed and the thought that I fixed it myself (give me a break, guys, please ;-)) was just exhilarating!

With the hard drive shoved back in, I tested if my Snow Leopard 10.6.2 install would still be good and it was! If not for propriety and fear of being branded as ridiculously cheesy and tasteless, and if I had known how to do it, I'd probably have "Reunited and it feels so good" played on this page - if that's even the correct title of that song.

So my HP Mini 1001TU is back in the loop again, thank you very much, sir! But it ain't got none of 'em wireless thing-a-ma-jig an' so it ain't really gittin' no use, ma'am, as a netbook. What to do?

Well the AirPort wireless N Broadcom 4328 card I got earlier and which also wouldn't work earlier does actually work now - after I uninstalled Parallels Desktop and repaired permissions on my 10.6.2 system on the 311.

All I can say is that everyone's happy: Mini 1000 got his 4312 WiFi card back and Mini 311 is in honeymoon stage with his new AirPort wireless N card who was the former WiFe of a real MacBook. But that one's for another post, another time. Tonight, I rest my (teeny-weeny, itsy-bitsy) screw driver. 
Nah, I used a my dad's set of precision Phillips screw driver set.
Oh and one more thing: I think I can't bear to part with my MacBook Mini after all. :-P

26 March 2010


InsanelyMac has created a page specifically for Mac OS X on netbooks. In the couple of years or so, the platform has been a popular device for OSx86 scene.


For the want of having their own "mini hackbooks", individual developers created new or improve on previously existing OSx86 software, discovered new methods to be able to experience the slick computing experience that is Mac OS X, and by doing so, contributed immensely to the progress of the OSx86 "Hackintosh" community in the grander scheme.
While the prolific nature of the platform has caused the fortunate emergence of different PC/laptop makers offering their own flavor thereby making the devices more affordable via market competition, in terms of OSx86 Hackintosh activities, this has also led to more or less isolated factions of "MSI MacBook Winds", "Dell Mini MacBooks", "HP Mini MacBooks", "Lenovo MacBooks", "MacBook Eee's" - which is somehow unfortunate as development has also tended to be too brand specific.

I certainly think that "MyMacNetbook.com" is good start a convergence zone to unite all of us netbook hackintoshers.

19 March 2010

Gadget Lusty Friday

Today I've been made the proud pleased owner of a Nokia 5530, pleased not proud cause I went against my own vow not to own another Nokia mobile phone in my lifetime. But after wanting something all touch that's half the price of even a pre-owned iPhone selling in the local Philippines Mac User Group, I went and swiped the credit card. Again.
(Only now that I got home that I realized I was given the pink version of the phone. Though I'm perfectly proud to be a girl and have no aspirations of crossing over to the other side of the fence, I find it quite unnerving that people assume I like pink because I'm, well, a girl - Don't they ever think it'd be hard for me to sell the phone when I get tired of it someday?)
And then I also finally got my Apple AirPort N WiFi card from Hong Kong. It will go in that extra full height pci slot. I'm gonna upgrade my bios to F.14 and according to my sometimes know-it-all-won't-learn-a-lesson brain, I'm gonna attempt to prove the concept of using a non HP sanctioned hardware with a stock (non de-whitelisting bios).
Here's that precious parcel I got questioned about by my daddy dearest who had to cover the post office delivery fee (unlike in Makati where you have to get the parcel from the post office personally) which was Php 135. Now that I've to add to the sum for my acquiring this particular card.
I should've opted for a Dell half height card but then my running stock F.14 (which gives me finally a blue led light for the wireless switch - superfluous of me, isn't it?). But then I wouldn't have to cross my fingers and hope that those Apple U.fl antennas really deliver.
The Mini 1000 will get its WiFi card back tomorrow - after my rebranding it again with the original HP device ID's, that is. And then the Mini 311's stock combo WiFi/BT card will be put back to the half height PCI slot...
Gee, my BT will use the stock wireless antenna whose receptors are optimally placed around the screen while my new wireless N card's antenna will be anywhere but that place. And then I've really no idea why I bought a wireless N card when we only have a Belkin G WiFi router at home. Maybe when I go hang out at Starbs or my current fave, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf?
I don't think the barristas will be particularly excited when I ask them if they've wireless N to go with my café Americana.


Blue Screen of Death.
Seeing this on my work PC one afternoon prompted me for an early coffee break. It could take a while for my 3 year old (or maybe even older as the IT dep't in our company doesn't give users info on the real age of the machine) Lenovo black box running Windows XP Professional on a 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 with 2 GB RAM to come back around.
Caused by some programming shenanigan that proved way beyond what the machine could handle?
Tough luck.
I was editing a document in MS Word 2003.
My hackintoshed Mini 1000 (when it was alive) and Mini 311, I could very well forgive when it gave kernel panics - hey, they're not even meant to run Mac OS X Snow Leopard in the first place. Sometimes  they would come up conscious from that reverie that I had conjured up for them, remembering for a while that they're PC's and not Macs.
But this? 
Oh and coffee from the pantry wasn't of any help.  

12 March 2010

Trackpad | Touchpad

If you've keeping up with the HP Mini 311 Darwin Project progression (or perhaps we shouldn't call the effort to maintain Snow Leopard running on the HP Mini 311 netbook because the project, is indeed and irrevocably, closed by the author), you'd be well aware that the disgruntling Alps GlidePoint trackpad is seen as PS2 mouse by OS X Snow Leopard. Though that hardly discredits the aforementioned hardware of the HP Mini 311's being what it is - that is, verging on the lines of a "disgrace" to its fellow netbooks it's no better than a PS2 mouse - it's a fact we hackers do not like.

But thanks to a forumer named "alabamas", OS X now sees, (yes, you're right) the non-multitouch Alps GlidePoint trackpad, as, well, a trackpad. Check out the new prefPane:
The driver is in testing stage so the controls are still not quite there yet - I could very well tap to click even when the checkbox for the feature remained inactivated. Also, scrolling which was magically enabled by default when the trackpad was still a PS2 mouse, is now missing in action. I thought I'd never miss edge scrolling but obviously I did. And much to my surprise at that.
Give the kext a try - you can get it from the forum thread here.

Mount your EFI partition first (Terminal, sudo):
$ mkdir /Volumes/EFI 
$ mount_hfs /dev/disk0s1 /Volumes/EFI

Then drop the ApplePS2Trackpad.kext inside /Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions folder, go back to Terminal again to set permissions on the partition and rebuild the kext cache:
$ chmod -R 755 /Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions
$ chown -R root:wheel /Volumes/EFI/Extensions
$ rm -rf /Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions.mkext
$ kextcache -a i386 -K /mach_kernel -m /Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions.mkext /Volumes/EFI/Extra/Extensions

Verify that a new Extensions.mkext file has indeed been created inside /Volumes/EFI/Extra/ folder.
$ umount -f /dev/disk0s1
$ rm -rf /Volumes/EFI

Restart your machine.

Note: I actually booted with -v and -f flags as I normally did (thinking it a good hackintosher practice each and everytime a new kext is installed - a clean new slate, if you will) but that ended up with the trackpad not working when I got into my Desktop. So I restarted once more and this time, I let my usual non verbose mode go and trackpad worked.

Actually, I personally think an external mouse has more features therefore, is more useful. Poor Alps GlidePoint!

06 March 2010


It is beyond me why ever the French thought about using "KO" to express the English "NOK"(Not OK).
I'm experiencing kernel panics after resuming the 311 after a long long long sleep - the whole night straight. When I use it again, BOOM, instant kernel panic within five minutes.
It's either the Broadcom4311injector kext that I'm using or my not booting in verbose mode, I'm still testing.
Eitherway, one thing's for sure. "KO"

02 March 2010

Bit the Bullet

I missed Sunday service because I spent the time allotted to that hanging out with friends instead. Then a friend told me what our pastor talked about. No prize for guessing, about rapture and the end of this world. Then one thought lead to another and then to another, forming a chain of possibilities regarding what I should do in life and now a sleepless night ensued - am blogging at 2:25 AM so says my hackintosh watch.

But what does the End Days have to do with My MacBook Mini? Well, in between the tick tock of the clock in the wee hours of the morning and my hyperactive brain cells revived, I decided to log in to my ebay account and get an AirPort Extreme N card.

I was gonna return the Broadcom 4312 HMG card to its rightful owner, the HP Mini 1001TU, so I could then bring it finally to an HP Service Center and get repaired then sell it for some cash to add to my become a university instructor funds. If ever I decide to teach at the University of the Philippines, that'll mean less monthly income for me and so I won't be able to afford the luxury of such a "glorified" paper weight in the form of a dead HP Mini 1001TU.

To be honest, this argument is getting lamer and lamer as I come to end this post and as of 2:24 AM, I'm beginning to have doubts on my decision.

True, I could've gotten an HP Broadcom 4321 card which sells at leat $5 less and comes with free shipping to the Philippines, then rebrand it as an AirPort Extreme card. But I thought I wanted an Apple card. Bummer....I should get some sleep.

EDIT: I can't boot up with this card. Tried taping pin 20 and only made things worse. I could however boot in Single User mode but that's about that. Looks like it's Php 1,048.78 (AirPort card & shipping) + Php 135 (post office fee) down the drain. Or down to the MSI Wind's guts. (Is my old netbook revenging on me for neglecting it in favor the HP Mini's?) 

Squeeze | MacHeist

And MacHeist has done it again! Whoever said Macheads (or Hackintosh-heads) don't get as much apps as Windows/PC heads? And it's also free as in beer and in speech!
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