Brainings, Hack-It-Yerself, Neutrinos with Syrup

Random Thoughts: Did I Do That?


So last night I worked into the wee hours of the morning, completing my Hackintosh completely legal build-your-own computer with a Unix-based operating system and delightfully fruity GUI interface. To my great surprise and glee, it worked. Quite nicely, in fact.

Now, admittedly I haven’t sorted out the wireless internets issue yet, because apparently the wireless card I bought is one of the ones that simply doesn’t work with a Mac Unix-based environment. So I still have no internets on it, but everything else seems to be working well. Oh, and I haven’t installed the “wake-from-sleep” kext yet, and keep forgetting to do that before it puts itself to sleep. Which is kind of annoying. Other than that, with a couple kernel extensions and a bit of tweaking, I’ve managed to convince the machine that it’s a low-end Mac Pro Unix server, and it’s ticking along happy as a clam.

At some point last night, however, late in the wee hours, my internet connection decided to take a nap. Because I had pirated the monitor for my current main computer to get this project up and running, I was kind of having to rely on a variety of small clues to figure out problems; and this was one of those moments — late night, tired, new-found problem — that confused the heck out of me. I’m unable to get wireless internet up and running on the project, and suddenly it conks out on the netbook and the iBook. Reboot, still not working.

At that point, I spent a few minutes retracing my steps to see if there is a way I could have broken something. And then I went to bed, hoping it would magically fix itself overnight. And it did.

Maybe it’s because, when it comes to anything electrical, I’m still a bit hesitant to get too hands-on. After all, I worked for a power company for a few years, and was surrounded by big warning labels that featured a bolt of lightning passing straight through a splayed-out body. I suspect there’s nothing inside that box that can cause blue lightning to shoot out of my ears… but a part of me never wants to take a chance. I’ve been electrocuted a couple of times already, and that’s plenty enough for me.

Now back to searching through databases of kernel extensions. It’s a glamourous life, but someone has to live it.

  • Now you have me longing to build a computer from scratch. Man, I haven't done that in years. Ever since it became cheaper to buy one from Dell than build an equivalent computer myself.

    Actually, if I were to build one now it would have like 10 terrabytes of storage and run Linux. It would sit in my basement and act as a file server / media server.

    • Deartháir

      This one has cost me about $700 (Actually $704, when I tally it up), but that doesn't include parts I had or was able to scrounge from others. Core i7 at 3.2 GHz, soon to be overclocked. REALLY nice motherboard that I'm genuinely impressed with. 4GB of RAM so far, a 40GB SSD for the OS, another TB of storage for everything else (so far), mid-grade GeForce graphics card, 800W power supply, and a very nice case. And the install of the unnamed operating system was actually easier than I could have expected. Took like no time at all.

      • I dare you to take it into that store that must be a fruit market in the mall and ask for help on something. Anything. Make something up. I just want to know what they do when they see it.

        • Deartháir

          I'd love to, actually… but my new beastie is actually QUITE large. My design skills are nowhere near as proficient as said-fruit-flavoured-company's so it's not quite as… svelte as their offerings.

          Still, it is now officially working perfectly. The only problem I've been able to find is actually a problem with 10.6.8, not a problem with my build. So I think I may be safe to do the transfer from Mini to Hackintosh. I'm quite pleased, actually.

    • MrHowser

      I just built a new one, and with parts on sale on Amazon, I was able to spend about $200 less than retail for those parts, and about $200-250 less than the equivalent pre-built rig. If I was only saving $0-50 to deal with the hassle of building it myself, I don't know if it would have been worth it. But, two hundred is two hundred, and it was a good learning experience. If I can make my computer work right, maybe I can attempt serious car repairs and come out successful.