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Apple iOS Mac OSX

Apples October 2013 Event

osx_mavericks_logo

The two biggest surprises for me was the new iPad moniker and the price for OSX Mavericks.

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Apple Mac

Kakewalk 4.1.1 makes it a breeze installing Lion 10.7.2 on my hackintosh

Definitions

A hackintosh is a PC (a non-Mac) which runs Mac OS X as its operating system. A hackintosh has usually been difficult to set up and get fully working without doing heavy research and tweaking post-install. With Kakewalk it’s (almost) as easy as installing Windows 7. Kakewalk is a little utility which makes a bootable USB thumb drive with Lion. There are of course some prerequisites:

You already have a Mac or hackintosh, or a friend with a Mac or hackintosh.

You need to buy Lion form the Mac App Store. If you don’t have access to the Mac App Store, visit a friend and log in with your Apple ID. Make one if you don’t have one. Keep the downloaded installer in a safe place.

You need the right hardware. This is the most important step, as the wrong hardware will make it difficult or even impossible to install Lion. The holy grail in a hackintosh is its motherboard. And the preferred manufacturer due to compatibility is Gigabyte. It shouldn’t be necessary to say that Mac is Intel only, so as of writing the best choices are the Sandy Bridge Core series (i3, i5, i7 on socket 1155). As graphic cards go, you can’t choose whichever you want. The safest choice is to use the same type as in the official Macs. See Kakewalk’s compatibility page and TonyMac’s CustoMacs to get an idea. The rest of the hardware can usually be based on personal preference.

My hardware

MOBO: GIGABYTE GA-Z68MX-UD2H-B3 Z68 S-1155 M-ATX (BIOS: F11)
CPU: INTEL CORE I5 2500K 3.30GHZ 6MB S-1155
RAM: KINGSTON DDR3 HYPERX 8GB 1600MHZ CL9 (2X4GB) (Only 4GB during setup)
GFX: XFX RADEON HD6870 1GB GDDR5 PCI-E DVI/HDMI/DP (HD-687A-ZHFC)
CASE: FRACTAL DESIGN DEFINE MINI MINITOWER M-ATX BLACK
PSU: CORSAIR TX 650W V2
HDD: One I had lying around (60GB from a PS3), I use a Kingston HyperX SSD 120GB as my main boot drive for Windows 7 and another 500GB HDD for storage + NAS.

Background story

I bought this hardware earlier this autumn, with a plan to install Lion sometime before Christmas. I also have a four year old white MacBook, and as soon as 10.7.2 came out, I bought it on the Mac App Store. I used Lion Disk Maker to make a bootable USB thumb drive (8GB) and used it to do a clean install. Then I waited for Kakewalk to get updated for 10.7.2!

Install

I used the same USB thumb drive to make a bootable Lion installer with Kakewalk 4.1.1. And it really was a kakewalk! Installing Lion on my hackintosh was just a little more challenging than on my MacBook. After some 30 minutes Lion was up and running. But I had no ethernet or sound. Since my mobo is practically the same as GA-Z68MX-UD3H-B3, I used the tips in this thread over at the Kakewalk forum to get them working.

Haven’t had time to test sleep yet, but the system is responsive and fast.

Will post updates if I get any issues.

Update November 2011: Just a couple of days after I installed Lion with the help of Kakewalk, TonyMac released UniBeast. UniBeast also makes you an USB thumb drive for installing Lion.

Update December 2011: I finally got sleep to work without issues! I first deleted the Extra folder from root. Then I downloaded MultiBeast 4.2.1 and my mobo’sDSDT.aml file (be sure to rename it to exactly that!) to my desktop. Running MultiBeast, I chose “UserDSDT Install” and “System Utilities”. You can chose extra kexts (drivers) if you want to. I then restarted, put the system to sleep, woke it up with the keyboard (the power button also work), and restarted again and entered BIOS. It was not reset! Upon waking up, my system uses 5-10 seconds before USB and ethernet becomes active.

Here’s the description from MultiBeast on what it does:
UserDSDT is a solution for those who have a pre-edited DSDT on the desktop with an .aml extension. Installs your DSDT as DSDT.aml, 64-Bit org.chameleon.Boot.plist with GraphicsEnabler=Yes, Apple Boot Screen, UseKernelCache=Yes, GenerateCStates=Yes, GeneratePStates=Yes and npci=0x2000 and darkwake=0 kernel flags, MacPro3,1 smbios.plist and tonymacx86 Remixed theme in /Extra. Installs FakeSMC.kext in /System/Library/Extensions. Installs Chimera v1.7.0 r1394 so the system will be bootable from the hard drive and ready for sleep with all hardware recognized in System Profiler. Backs up /System/Library/Extensions/AppleRTC.kext to ~/Desktop/AppleRTC-Backup and then patches the original to prevent CMOS. Does not include any Network or Sound drivers or Graphics support beyond GraphicsEnabler.

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Apple Mac

Lion installed on my MacBook (late 2007 model)

So I just installed the latest version of OS X on my MacBook, best known as Lion. I didn’t rush it this time, so I waited for 10.7.2 to be released, as I wanted to do a clean install. I always like to start afresh with a new release of an OS, being it Mac OS X or Windows.

My white MacBook is from late 2007 (MacBook 3,1), so its four years as of writing. The CPU is a Core 2 Duo at 2.2GHz, and the machine has integrated graphics (Intel GMA X3100). I’ve upgraded it with a new hybrid harddrive (Seagate Momentus XT = 4GB SSD + 500GB HDD) together with 4GB RAM (DDR2 667MHz).

Since Lion is sold through the Mac App Store for only 30USD, it’s easy to get yourself a copy. As an upgrade, it’s as simple as running setup and reboot. As long as you are using the latest version of Snow Leopard that is. (Be sure to make a copy of the installer app, it gets deleted automatically post-install.) What’s great about Lion being distributed through the Mac App Store, is that it’s always the latest version. After each 10.7.x update to Lion, the version you download will already have this update included. So no longer do you have to sit through a lengthy update process after OS X has been installed. Tip: If you ever want to re-download Lion from the Mac App Store, try holding down the Option/Alt key when pressing the Installed button.

If you want to do a clean install like me, things get a little more complicated. You can buy the more expensive OS X Lion USB Thumb Drive for 69USD, or you can make your own. You can do this manually, but I used a little tool called Lion Disk Maker. Just connect an USB thumb drive of at least 4GB (I used a 8GB drive) and run the program. It takes a little while, but you end up with a bootable USB thumb drive. Be sure that you have everything you want to keep backed up, and restart your Mac.

Upon hearing the startup chime, hold down the Option/Alt key, and you should see a disc with a Lion icon. Choose this to start Lion setup. Choose Disk Utility in the list and choose your harddrive (or SSD) in the list to the left when the program has opened. Go to the Partition tab and choose the number of partitions you want (I chose the 1 partition scheme). Call the Lion partition whatever you want and leave everything at default settings. (Format = Mac OS Extended (journaled), Options = GUID Partition Table).

Once again, be sure that you’ve got everything off the drive that you cherish before pressing the Apply button, because the drive is going to be wiped.

After Disc Utility has done it’s thing (it shouldn’t take long), close the program and you should be back at the Lion setup screen. Choose Reinstall Mac OS X to start the installation. Select the partition to install to and answer a couple of questions. I forgot to time the installation, but I think it took about 30 minutes.

After logging in for the first time, you get the option to set up iCloud. This is Apple’s new synchronization and backup service, which comes with 5GB of free storage space. You can off course buy more storage if you need/want it. You can keep your bookmarks, calendars, contacts, documents, photos (and more) in sync across devices (between Lion and iOS 5, and even Windows). You can also go to icloud.com to access some of these data online.

When I used Safari to log in to my Gmail-account, I got the option to automatically set up Mail, Adress Book and iCal to sync with my Google-account. For the fun of it, I answered yes and it took only seconds for these programs to launch with my data already populated. I live my life online, so naturally I don’t use programs for these services. I use Google Chrome to make app-like instances of Google’s Gmail, Calendar, Reader and Documents. If you do this through the Chrome Web Store, you also get beautiful icons. With Googles new and clean look, using websites as apps is a great experience. Then you dont’t have to learn and use different interfaces through different devices.


This doesn’t seem to work in OS X, so I use app-tabs instead.

It takes some time to get used to a new operating system, but already I feel like Lion is a great step forward from Snow Leopard, which I loved. I’m looking forward to be aquatinted with Lion in the coming weeks.

My next project will be to put Lion on my recently selfbuilt gaming rig, and make a so-called Hackintosh! Stay tuned!