Stubborn GarageBand

28 06 2009

I’m no professional musician but I do appreciate GarageBand; that is if goofing around with Musical Typing is considered a form of appreciation for this app. So one day, I decided I wanted to goof around, this time with the MacBook Mini (I’ve the MacBook Wind connected permanently to a View Sonic LCD which setup I use often when at home). I launch GarageBand and after selecting New Project just to get started, the moment of slight bewilderment strikes:

Where are the controls at the bottom of the window?

As I’ve said earlier, I’m no musician who’s enthusiastic enough to actually mix loops and consequently find the need for the aforementioned controls. However, I definitely couldn’t deny that I see them when using the Wind that’s connected to an LCD. So I click on the green + button which I always did with iLife apps back to ’08 and what-not to make them fit in the screen when the windows are cut off at the bottom because of the netbooks shorter vertical real estate which, granted, is less than standard 768 pixels.

But now, nothing happens when I do that.

GarageBand stubbornly sticks to its default dimensions. There’s nothing I could do to fit this whole chop on the 1024 x 600 screen.

I took a screenshot of the window using Shift+Cmd+4+Spacebar to get all the details that went beyond what the Mini’s resolution could handle.

All the other iLife ’09 fit in the screen after clicking on the green + button (maximize):

So off I fly to the forums, and learn about scaling. One of the best thing about Mac OS X is that it’s got graphics elements deeply integrated in it (I’m a geek, but not that geek enough to remember what exactly the feature does or means). In summary, the user can just specify a scale factor and OS X does the calculation off the bat for him and redraw what should be displayed on the screen to follow that scale.

There are two ways to do this:

1) In Terminal, type the ff. command:

$ defaults write AppleDisplayScaleFactor .8

where “” can be replaced with the .plist of any chosen app and “.8” is the scale factor which by default is set to “1”. Here, I was trying to shrink GarageBand to 80% of its normal size.


2) Launch PrefSetter and search for the appropriate .plist to open it and change the AppleDisplayScaleFactor entry. Close and save changes.

And for the life of me, I do not get it why GarageBand’s menubar and the texts in it just get smaller but the whole window remains cut off at the bottom. And nope, clicking on the green + button still doesn’t help things.

I may have to resort to going back to GarageBand ’08 just to get that window fit 1024 x 600. Here we go obsessive-compulsive again – uh-oh! 😉

A League Of Our Own

24 06 2009

MacBook Mini’s, let’s all reunite!

You’ve seen mine and now here’s one other Mini on OS X Leopard:

(ubi de feo’s baby)

(lmwong’s MacBook Mini)

Where’s yours and how’s your MacBook Mini experience so far? 😀


23 06 2009

They say condemn the sin and not the sinner and then I haven’t had much disgrunts about Windows if I think back of the days when I was purely a Windows dudette. I do prefer OS X over Windows but not so much so that I’d let bashing Win XP dominate my days here on this earth. But why did I do this one?

I’ve gone back to dual booting as you may well know. I’ve no idea what went wrong but PC_EFI alone wouldn’t do the dual boot trick for which I turned to chain0.

Setting it couldn’t be easier, and in XP too:

1) Download and unzip chain0 to C:\ – or whatever drive your XP installation currently resides.

2) Go to My Computer > Properties > Advanced tab > Settings. And from the System startup section, click on Edit:

3) Notepad should open boot.ini file with texts similar to the ff:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS=”Microsoft Windows XP Professional” /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

4) Add the ff. line:

C:\chain0=”Mac OS X”

5) Close and save the file when prompted.

You can make some changes to make things a little more interesting. Here’s what I did on mine not because I hate Windows but just for kicks:

Custom Tailor Hackintoshing

18 06 2009

keyboard speaker right

Hackintoshing the HP Mini 1000 is very much like “déjà vu” for me; a lot of the tweaks I did were stuff I’d already done on the MSI Wind hackintosh. And then the last couple of months endless tweaking and one of the consequences thereof is reinstallation/back to zero (in fact, the OS X installation I’m currently running on MacBook Mini is about the 17th reinstallation; it’s been up 2 weeks straight, I hope it lasts – even for a just a whole month at least ^_^*); I’ve gotten a more or less clear idea of how I want my OS X to be:

After reinstallation and update to 10.5.7 (kexts for various hardware applied)
1) Install Slim Battery Monitor – I don’t know why no matter with Voodoo or Apple power/battery management kexts, I get warning messages telling me that battery is running out when I know for a fact that it still at 80% – 90%. So I opt to use Slim Battery Monitor instead and enjoy several pixels saved on the menubar with a neater, slicker-looking icon that’s customizable.

2) Enable Remote Disc – okay, I admit I don’t see myself using this often and I also haven’t tested how it works but it sure does look kewl to see the shiny disc icon sitting along my Finder sidebar. If you’ve updated your hackintosh up at least to 10.5.6 with the 2009 security update, or 10.5.7, you’d only have to run these two commands in Terminal:

$ defaults write EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
$ defaults write ODSSupported -bool true

3) Tweak DVD Player – make DVD Player work with an external DVD drive. I’ve posted a how-to for this one on my other blog MacBook Wind (click here to see post).

4) Correct CPU & RAM info – get OSx86 Tools if you still don’t have it installed and set the right info for your MacBook Mini by clicking on “Change About This Mac” button. Modifications take into effect only after logging out.

5) Purge OS X – or slim down OS X which can be broken down into the ff. operations/stages:

a. Prune FontBook – delete all save those required for good functioning of the system. Open Font Book > highlight all fonts > Cmd + Delete – or in the Mini’s case; Alt + Backspace (I haven’t modded my keyboard keys yet)

b. Delete Prefpanes – delete all preference panes that you won’t use in /System/Library/PreferencesPanes/, /Library/PreferencePanes/, and /Users/your-username/Library/PreferencePanes/. Now this one, I admit I skipped this one as there wasn’t a lot of entries in my user’s PreferencesPanes folder and none in the Library and System’s PreferencePanes.

c. Remove additional languages – install Monolingual, remove all languages except for the used by the system in your installation; keyboard layouts; support for PPC architecture since the Mini’s obviously on Intel.

d. Remove printers – if you’re not planning to hook up your MacBook Mini to a printer, then delete printer support in /System/Library/Printers/, /Library/Printers, and /Users/your-username/Library/Printers (all files)

e. Remove unecessary kexts – go to /System/Library/Extensions and delete the kexts in this list. Also delete /System/Library/Extensions/Caches folder as well as the /System/Library/Extensions.mkext file.

(I don’t find Yukon2 kext necessary anymore as ethernet is supported in 10.5.7. You can go ahead delete this kext if you’ve previously applied it)

f. Reduce Applications – you can opt to reduce the number of apps you have in /Applications, retaining only those that you absolutely need and reguarly use as they may take extra time for the system to load. I now keep all my applications in a separate folder and not anymore in the default /Applications folder. I’ve created a new folder /MyApps. iLife 09, iWork 09 and those apps which install by default in the /Applications folder, I don’t touch of course.

e. Run some maintenance jobs – launch Onyx and clean all caches; then repair disc permissions – it’s always smart to repair permissions especially if you’ve been mucking around OS X system files and you have (you’ve deleted kexts and stuff, right?). Delete your Trash and then..

f. Reboot and run console – don’t panic if this reboot takes rather a long long time – no, the purpose of this whole excerise hasn’t been defeated; your system’s just rebuilding its caches to take into account the changes that has happened. After this, run console to check for “little errors” in the boot up process and google to resolve them. Personally, I haven’t done this as the messages in console were cryptic anyhow and seemed lots of work for me and my boot times not that bad already.

g. Control Console – make Console report only serious events as it’ll record every single happening in the entire span of time you’re gonna OS X. To do this, in Terminal type the ff. commands:

$ sudo nano /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/

count down about 23 lines until you see:


Add the ff. lines to make it read like this:


6) Disable Deep Sleep – get rid of the error message during boot up and reclaim 2 GB of HDD space (or 1 GB or whatever your installed ram is) via the ff. command:

$ sudo pmset -a hibernate hibernatemode 0

reboot then go to /Private/var/vm and delete the sleepimage file.

7) Disable auto syncing time – I find that when this is enabled, it adds a few seconds before I get to my desktop. This is just superficial stuff, you can actually just let it be.


16 06 2009

I guess the Obsessive Compulsive in me still hasn’t been eradicated – not entirely…yet. So I reset my MacBook Mini via OSx86 Tools

And I finally got a glimpse of the OS X Welcome vid!

I didn’t expect to see any effects of this performance-wise on my MacBook Mini but I was well surprised that my previous not so bad anymore 44 second boot time was even reduced to 35.

But I think that’ll eventually change as I continually use MacBook Mini on a daily basis, accumulating gunk as I go. However, I really like the feeling of this new start – it’s like I’ve a brand new MacBook Mini! 😀

MacBook Air Wannabe

13 06 2009

Ever since I started hackintoshing netbooks with the MSI Wind first then the HP Mini 1000, I’ve always wanted to think I was creating my own version of the MacBook Air.

But why ever the MacBook Air and not just the MacBook, for example?

Well, this unbelievably thin laptop by Apple and the Asus EeePC 701 can be considered as contemporaries as they were introduced around the same time – early 2008. That and the fact that both’s targeted market (people who want to take portable computing to a new level of greater portability) is the same; well save of course for the difference in budget brackets (premium price vs low cost), have made the MacBook Air and netbooks fave subjects of comparison: I bet like me, you’ve also seen your share of MacBook Air parodies at youtube featuring a variety of netbooks from different manufacturers being pulled out of the signature Manila envelope!

Well, I’ve set up my MacBook Mini successfully and although doing the same Manila envelope drama is one idea I find alluring, I’m putting it off for some more substantial tweaking. And yes, it’s still MacBook Air related.

So my MacBook Mini’s moderate specs aren’t that bad compared to the Air in relation to my portable computing requirements…what else do I want?

Remote Disc!

So I know that typing in the ff. command lines in Terminal should do the trick nicely:

$ sudo defaults write EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
$ sudo defaults write ODSSupported -bool true

Which is what I did and have done…over and over again…but that Remote Disc entry that I so long to see on Finder’s sidebar still won’t appear. To remedy the problem, I thought I’d log in as root and redo the procedure and as I fired up Finder, what did I discover? Remote Disc is indeed enabled but for some mysterious reason, that only applied to the root user.

Previously, I’d run PrefSetter in my own user account, thinking that would help me solve the issue by doing the modifications through it. What I’d noticed then was that it didn’t list in the available domains. Now in root’s account, I ran PrefSetter again; Bingo! There was listed in the User Preferences domain and an idea stuck me; I went to the file’s location (in root it’s in /var/root/Library/Preferences) and copied it over to my user:

Then I logged back to my own user account and launched Finder to do a quick check:

Yeah baby, yeah!

Then to wrap up, I logged again as root to finally make my user account the owner of the .plist file – OS X was still giving me read-only permission even if the file was already in my user’s Preference’s folder as it still recognized root as the rightful owner.

I wonder if this works though – I haven’t the chance to test it still. But if only for the superficial side of things, I can say I’m already happy seeing the Remote Disc icon sitting on Finder’s sidebar 😀

Now if only I could change how OS X sees my hardware – it thinks it’s a MacPro (3,1 precisely) as indicated by the icon – without having to resort to the dark arts; that is, editing the HP Mini bios information via DMI edit (remember how I lost the HP logo?).

Edit: I tried running both commands (erased the plist from my Preferences folder) again in my own user account and this time, I took off the “sudo” part like so:

$ defaults write EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true

$ defaults write ODSSupported -bool true

And it did the job – this setting seems to be User wide only; enabling multiple users of the Mac to chose whether they want Remote Disc or not.

Dreaming Of a White (Snowy) Leopard

11 06 2009

It’s faster than Leopard.

It’s got new hot technologies like Grand Central and OpenCL.

It’s incorporating 64-bit experience right into the core.

In short, I want it. No, scratch that. I desire it.

But putting Leopard on x86 beige PC boxes and Atom netbooks hasn’t been without issues and lots of talented hackers reigning supreme in geekdom have invested time and sweat or even blood so that lower-tier geek wannabe’s like me can get a little taste of OS heaven. And now comes Snow Leopard.

Now why would someone whose only consumer electronic that comes from Apple is her 80 gig iPod classic and whose netbook is the only computer that could be classified as latest tech, dare to dream of an OS that’s clearly out of her league?

Dock Exposé.

Finder totally re-written in Cocoa.

Ability to scroll within a stacks grid.

Ability to browse through a pdf/document file and play media right in Finder’s icon view.

But most importantly; significantly reduced installation foot print.

That 6 GB of HDD space savings alone got me misty-eyed as I listened to Bertrand Serlet’s accented English (being a francophone, I’d rather he spoke in French) as he unveiled Snow Leopard’s finest points to the audience in this year’s WWDC.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that little bitsy promise by netkas : Snow Kitty Will Like It