20 08 2009

or is it leaving home?

Anyhoo, MacBook Mini has a new home:

click on image to go to the new blog

click on image to go to the new blog

Blogger or WordPress?

20 08 2009

While it’s no secret that I adore WordPress, I won’t deny that I’m secretly eyeing the other side of the fence that is Blogger. You might already know that My MacBook Mini started from  “mymacbookmini.blogspot.com” originally. Even the allure of AdSense without having to get the premium account unlike in WordPress couldn’t help in my frustration with how Blogger looked (and looks still) so I migrated my whole stuff over here.

Now, no points for guessing, but I’m finding myself attracted to going back to blogspot. Yes, because of AdSense and the premise – although that could be false as well – that Blogger is a more open platform than WordPress.

But I can’t quite leave WordPress just like that. For one, I really like the format and the whole general feel of this blog.

Decisions, decisions. 😦

Total Freedom

18 08 2009

borrowed from another blog

Because Hewlett – Packard only delivers BIOS updates in WinFlash form, it means having Windoze XP installed in my MacBook Mini is a prerequisite before I could proceed with the update. In hard drive real estate terms, that means from the already limited 60 (actually just 55.xx) Gb PATA HDD of the HP Mini, I’ve to alot yet another 5 Gb minimum for Bill Gates dated baby and, Win 7 users, please don’t get started with me. (There are still issues with the Mini’s touchpad drivers downloadable via the HP downloads and support page so I hadn’t bothered tinkering with that OS for quite some time now).

Back to the WinFlash issue. I’m no real genius as to be able to extract the ROM image from that file which should be enough to flash the Mini’s Ami Bios via Afudos. The idea is to make a bootable USB stick, slap afudos into it along with the ROM image, boot the Mini up with it, type in a simple line of command and voilà, your bios is updated. But as stated above, in attempts to making it simple to Windoze centric masses, HP has made it rather a pain in the arse for non-Windoze centric masses – Linux-centric, hackintosh-centric, and all-others-centric collectively.

Now my gripe is primarily just that 5 – 10 GB of HDD space that’s being hogged up by that OS; I could’ve gladly lived with it if only thoughts of a pure 100% Mac OS X devoted MacBook Mini isn’t perpetually bugging me. The idea of having to run that OS just to do the update is fine by me so what I want is just something that could help me run that OS outside of MacBook Mini.

And then comes “Win XP Portable” into the picture. Or actually, Bart PE. Same premise; you put in a USB stick, slap in the WinFlash file for the latest bios HP releases for the Mini, boot the Mini with it and double click the file (.exe format) and you’re covered. I actually had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with the .rar or .zip files I was instructed to install. I don’t know if I’m just actually dumb or what but the guides weren’t exactly clear (as if I wrote clear guides anyhow, now look who’s talking now! haha 😉 ).

For those who want Bart PE in USB for just such purposes;

1) In a Windows machine (I did it on the MSI Wind which still dual boots with Win XP), download this bundle and extract the file.

2) Stick in your USB and launch HPUSBFW.exe to quick format it into FAT

credits to trickster

credits to trickspedia

3) Copy the rest of the files just as they are from the archive onto the USB.

You now have your own bootable Bart PE USB. Now reboot your Mini and press F9 during start up to get to the boot menu, choose your USB and hit Enter.

Normally, that should be it. Although note that this Bart PE is in German.

from bartpes website

from bartpe's website

It’s a totally minimal iteration of Windoze so it might look barren and alien at first but you just click on the “GO” at the left bottom corner of the screen and a start menu equivalent should show up.

credits to Tomshardware

credits to Tomshardware

Use the a43 File Management Utility so browse the contents of drives attached to your Mini.

image from bartpes website

image from bartpe's website

My MacBook Mini’s innards is now devoid of Windoze traces. Total freedom? Well, to some extent, yes.

Battery, Battery

14 08 2009

from Slim Battery site

You’ve just successfully installed Mac OS X Leopard on your precious Mini, gotten out alive from a proliferation of how-to-guides all a-jumble that you’d scourged high and low from the world wide web so you’re updated to 10.5.7 or 10.5.8.

And in the pursuit of that ever ellusive happiness, you tweak your MacBook Mini to your tastes and one of the nuisances you take care of aside from the pesky resolution that would almost always break at every update (save those video kexts under “Break In Case of Update” glass), is that equally pesky warning message that tells you that:

“You are now running on reserve power.”

blah blah blah

You’ve just unhooked your MacBook Mini from the mains just a few minutes ago and that 80% charge remaining can in no means be insufficient to run your spanking hackintosh-netbook. No way.

For the longest time, I’ve always opted to disable battery warning messages (System Preferences > Energy Saver – you just dig around there 😉 ) and then take out the default battery icon from the Menubar. So off it has always gone to oblivion with a disgruntled poof of cartoonish smoke, never again to be summoned to grace my hackintosh computing view. I’ve always replaced it with Slim Battery.

But because of reasons unfathomable even to myself, I wanna be able to use the default battery menulet (yes, according to Mac OS X Leopard, The Missing Manual, that’s what you call those icons sitting on your Menubar). I find that the iDeneb patches found in /…/system/Installation/Packages/Patches of the iDeneb installer disc extremely interesting.

If you’re on kernel 9.7.0, that is kernel from 10.5.7 (cause you may be on 10.5.8 but using this kernel to get sleep/resume), you can install the iDeneb PowerManagement.pkg patch and forget about Slim Battery altogether.

We may or may not have the same results but it seems to have eliminated that warning message pest. Just apply the package after installing the usual kexts (VoodooPower and VoodooBattery).

Ms. International

9 08 2009

Nope, not joining and the nerve of me to think myself qualified. I’d long accepted the fact that I’m better off being a geek. Why then the title to this new post?

Je suis francophone; French is the language with which I earn my daily bread. Once upon a time, I also spoke Italian with my batchmates in college to gossip about those Filipina version of the “Plastics” in Lindsay Lohan’s Mean Girls. And before you click on that red orb (if you’re on a Mac or hackintosh) or red x (if you’re on, may the forces of mother nature forbid, Windoze), I’m now reluctantly learning Mandarin. Reluctant because I’d never intended to learn that language because of the complexity of Chinese characters and the tone system they use – I’m tone deaf so good luck to me. But because of a certain Taiwanovela, I got the fever and now I’m officially crazed addicted to everything Taiwanese so watching fresh video uploads on youtube.com which are neither subbed nor dubbed in the lingua franca, I’m forced to learn some Chinese and as good fortune could have it (oh my, is that feng shui/Chinese idiom related there?), my brain has actually absorbed the language.

I now recognize a number of Chinese characters and I need a tool to be able to write in Chinese in forums. At work, where we’re all on black IBM boxes, I use NJStar text editor which is a pretty neat app in that it functions as a dictionary as well. At home, I’m a Mac girl – make that a Hackintosh girl – and as literate as I might seem on Mac OS X with all my blabbing about kexts and kernels and bootloaders and HFS Journaled Extended partition what-not, I’m still in awe at the discovery that Mac OS X actually supports Chinese input natively! No need to hunt down a Mac version of that NJStar text editor cause TextEdit does it brilliantly!

All I need to do is go to System Preferences > International > Input Method tab, and select Traditional Chinese (cause it’s what they use in Taiwan instead of Mainland’s simplified), Pinyin.

Then in the Menulet that will appear, after I’d opened up TextEdit, I just select Chinese from the dropdown menu. . .

And voilà!

A toast with my mugfull of Apple fangirl Kool-Aid: Isn’t Mac OS X just totally awesome? 😀

Update or Downdate (what a word)?

8 08 2009

The “About This Mac” pane tells me it’s 10.5.8 alright. But I’m missing something I never thought would be valuable – sleep/resume.

It appears that 10.5.8’s kernel is the one causing sleep/resume problems, so after several failures (word of caution – do NOT delete Disabler.kext. . .ever); a number of which caused me kernel panics and consequently reinstallation of the whole lot in attempting to recover sleep/resume functionality from MacBook Mini. Here’s what I did:

This is assuming you’re already running Mac OS X on 10.5.7 (VoodooPS2Controller already installed + Patched DSDT + OSx86Essentials applied beforehand).

1) Backed up mach_kernel 9.7.0 (that’s 10.5.7’s kernel). In Terminal:

$ sudo cp /mach_kernel /Volumes/JET/   <Enter>

(Just substitute the path to where you want your 10.5.7 kernel to be copied to)

2) Installed Disabler.kext and dsmos.kext

3) Backed up system.kext and seatbelt.kext. Just go to /System/Library/Extensions and copy these two kexts to a folder or USB drive or anywhere safe.

4) Ran MacOSX10.5.8Update (delta) – this would over write your 10.5.7 kernel in my/.

5) Restart. Back in my desktop, launched Terminal:

$ sudo cp /Volumes/JET/mach_kernel /  <Enter>

(again, it’s up to you to alter the path as appropriate)

6)Via Kext Helper b7 again, installed the usual kexts these and these plus the system.kext and seatbelt.kext I’d backed up earlier. Restarted and now I have everything working, including sleep.

Don’t have those 10.5.7 files anymore? If you’re on the hp mini 1001tu as well (they may work with other models as well, you can try), here are the mach_kernel, system.kext, and seatbelt.kext from my 10.5.7 installation. You can use “ShowAllFiles” which is included in the .zip file so you can easily see mach_kernel (which is invisible) and just drag drop it to your /.

Actually, just replacing kernel 9.8.0 with 9.7.0 would do the trick. However, that gave me problems with mounting USB peripherals – flashdrives and external hard drives to be more precise; they won’t mount unless I plug them in during boot up. Installing 10.5.7’s system.kext and seatbelt.kext resolved this issue for me.

So I’m it is Mac OS X 10.5.8 but I’m using kernel 9.7.0 as well as system and seatbelt kexts from 10.5.7. . . is this an update or a downdate*?

in Terminal, type uname -r to verify kernel version

in Terminal, type uname -r to verify kernel version: 10.5.8 should be 9.8.0, here it's 9.7.0 which is 10.5.7's kernel version

*sorry for the grammar issue there, I would’ve used the words upgrade and update but according to Apple, “update” and “upgrade” are not one and the same word. Updates are incremental support iterations that are downloadable for free from their support sections, i.e. 10.5.x updates to 10.5.1. .2, .3, .4, . . , .8. While 10.0, 10.2,. .., 10.4 upgrade to 10.5.x…okay, that wasn’t so good at all and I may have addled your brains more instead of making stuff clear so just read the article:

Software update, upgrade–what’s the difference?

Oh and I think that new iDisk icon is cute – it’s now blue or blue green like Snow Leopard’s 😀

yes, I notice little details like that 😉

And the Never Ending Saga Continues. . .

6 08 2009

Edit: Sleep/Resume has been resolved. Read it here.

First off, you can call me Hermione Granger-ish all you want, before taking the 10.5.8 plunge, I did some research, or to be more honest, some googling around 😉 and found this interesting website.

NOTE: This is assuming you’ve already a working iDeneb install updated upto 10.5.7 – dsdt patched, OSx86_Essentials kexts applied, and Chameleon RC02. (I haven’t checked how things would go on PCI_EFI Chameleon 1.0.12).

And like any bookworm out there who easily believes what she reads, (1) I obediently backed up my Extensions via Terminal:

$ sudo -rf /System/Library/Extensions /System/Library/Extensions_1057

Afterward, (2) I installed Disabler and dsmos kexts referenced by the aforementioned website via good ol’ Kext Helper b7 but color-coded them first cause I was too lazy to check whether I had these kexts already or not in my current setup, there’s no way I’d miss those red kexts now if ever I’d need to check later 😀

(3) That done, I didn’t reboot yet but ran the Mac OS X Delta 10.5.8 Updater (Delta because I was running 10.5.7 already, 10.5.6 and lower should get the Combo Updater) I’d downloaded just minutes before from the Apple website which, quite surprisingly, took fairly little time to install at around just 5 minutes or less.

I originally intended to reinstall VoodooPS2Controller just in case but decided at the last minute not to and (4) just hit Restart as Installer completed the update. As expected the first reboot didn’t complete and the Mini restarted and once again I was face to face with Chameleon RC02 (I’ve updated my bootloader to the latest Chameleon, by the way, and am enjoying my OS X Boot Theme which I got from here). Then Darwin said “hi” again. The screen flickered, giving me goosebumps as I thought I’d never get into my beloved Leopard desktop. And the spinning wheel finally sprung into action and after what seemed to be a substantially longer boot time than usual, I first saw nothing but a blue screen. . .and my cursor – whew! Another 5 seconds or so, I was back into my desktop!

But everything was humongous; resolution got bricked as expected.
Perhaps this screenshot could better illustrate what happened after the update:

No BT, WiFi, Resolution 640x480, Color not 32-bit | Has audio, battery

No Bluetooth, WiFi, Resolution 640x480, Color not 32-bit | Has audio, default battery monitor working (right click and open in new tab/window for screenshot's actual size)

It was a comfort to know that screen brightness controls weren’t bricked. As it was nearing midnight already I dimmed the screen to the lowest possible before (5.1) I trudged on, reinstalling my usual kexts via OSx86 Tools and not Kext Helper since unlike the latter (Kext Helper b7 it turns out, also backs up your kexts), OSx86 Tools would create a backup folder of the 10.5.8 kexts it replaced which I wanted to look at after. I started with the system kexts which seems to have restored WiFi and Bluetooth. I had no problems with sound as VoodooHDA still worked after the update.

(5.2) Now for the video kexts. You can opt to reinstall all of the kexts in one go; I just decided to separately install them because (a) they’re already sorted into two different folders in my drive and OSx86 only allows installing 1 folder of kexts at a time and (b) I’m just weird that way. Restarted and bingo!

Bluetooth, WiFi (Airport), Audio, Battery, 1024 x 600 32-bit

Bluetooth, WiFi (Airport), Audio, Battery, 1024 x 600 32-bit (right click and open in new tab/window screenshot in actual size)

There was that nasty “You are running on reserve power” battery warning again and in wanting to screenshot it, I tried to make it pop again by putting MacBook Mini to sleep so I closed the lid and it was late when it dawned upon me that the usual flickering of the white power led and switching off of the fan didn’t happen. I reopened the lid and there were the tell-tale signs of a broken Sleep/Resume that were all too familiar to me by then. I knew I had no choice but to force shutdown the Mini and turn it back on so I plugged in my broadband cable to check if ethernet worked. It did. It does.

No need for Yukon2.kext

No need for Yukon2.kext, just be sure to plug in cable before booting up

Now for a summary. At first I thought I was gonna end up listing down the few stuff that still worked but, as it turned out, I’m now writing what doesn’t work which means the general outcome of this experiment isn’t so bad after all:

1) Sleep/Resume – once you put the Mini to sleep either by closing the lid or pressing fn+f1 combo keys, the screen does switch off but so do the trackpad and, I assume, the keyboard as well, never to be woken up again but by forcing the machine to shutdown and just turn it back on again.

2) Fan – it’s gotten hyperactive I guess as it now whirls away with fervent gusto at maximum right from the start and it’s noisy.

I would’ve also listed the battery warning nuissance pop-up alert but that’s easily ignored or resolved by turning off battery warning in System Preferences, taking out the default OS X battery meter from the Menubar (enjoy seeing it vanish in a poof of smoke) and using Slim Battery Monitor instead.

What happened to my 10.5.7’s Extension folder’s back up now? I’m keeping it safe for the meantime as I try to figure out how to resolve the issues mentioned above; the kexts can come quite handy, who knows.

For issue # 1, I’ll have to try the old SleepEnabler kext and/or review VoodooUSBEHCI again for some hints. For issue #2, I’m gonna see how posta74’s fan solution works out on this one.

All of this is actually reminiscent of struggles with previous updates 10.5.6 and 10.5.7, still fresh in my mind – 10.5.8 is déjà vu. Creepy, I know.

And now I’ve turned another fork in the road – Harry Potter’s lightning scar no longer burns; the King has returned to rule the whole of Middle Earth and even Gollum has found his peace and so has Frodo (though I still doubt he’s come out of the closet yet 😉 ) and Luke Skywalker has swung his last light saber – sagas have come to their own grand close yet this hackintoshing journey of mine seems to never end. T_T