Apple Thoughts

Leopard OS X Hackintosh – OSX86 Mac in India

We run a pure Mac development environment with Macbooks and Macbook Pros for my startup in Bangalore. Recently, my maxed out Macbook lost its LCD backlight and had to be sent into the Apple Store (Imagine). Running a new startup without a computer to work with isn’t advisable, besides personal withdrawal issues. I realized that we need an extra system in the office so that if something breaks down, we have a machine to work with. Obviously, as a startup we can’t go around buying Mac Pros for redundancy.
So I chose to go the Hackintosh way. I got a 10.5.2 Hardware Compatibility List off the OSX86Project Wiki and speced out a system that was under $500/Rs.22,000 and started looking for people who could deliver the goods. I found ‘Pintu’ at Karnataka Computers who did the entire thing up for me. So this is what my config looks like:

  • Gigabyte Motherboard GA-945GCM-S2L
  • Intel 2.4Ghz Core 2 Duo
  • Transcend 1 x 2GB Ram
  • LiteOn 20x DVD Burner
  • NVidia XFX 7200GS 256MB
  • 500GB Hard Disk Sata (a little extra)
  • Netgear WiFi USB Adapter WG111v3
  • Logitech Wireless Keyboard + Mouse Set
  • Cabinet, SMPS, Wires etc.

It is such a smooth machine, that I ended up buying a 22″ LG Flatron LCD and making it my mainstay. My Time Machine backup had me up and running in a day – yes it took me that long to retrieve my data. Besides the slow data recovery, the only problem I had was that my USB devices need to be connected before I start up or restart my machine, I am hoping that its a fix that’s out there. Update: I upgraded to modbin 9.3.0 kernel and its all taken care of.
A working and powerful Mac desktop in under Rs.30,000/$750 in India. Awesome.
These guys did a bang up job at finalizing the configuration and delivering it in Bangalore within a couple of hours:
Karanataka Computers, 080-2229-0815


iPhone Websites – Fringe Necessity


I am in the middle of rapid prototyping a new Rails based web application for India and we are coming up with multi-platform interface for it and I thought, “why not for the iPhone?”. So I started researching the other sites out there that iPhone compatible and after a bit of search came across a great resource – World of iPhone Links, updated frequently and sorted alphabetically this is the ultimate iPhone sites list so far.
Second in the US (behind RIM) and third globally (behind Nokia and RIM) Apple is now a global force in the smartphone market. Any new web application/service cannot ignore the iPhone or the Nintendo Wii (more on that soon).


XBMC on OSX Project

I hardly run across a software project that really excites me. But when it happens, its euphoric. For the longest time I have been a proponent of the Xbox Media Center (XBMC). Whether its against the AppleTV or Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 (forget the Wii for media), its stood its ground. I even read an interview of good ol’ billionaire Bill Gates praising this open source piece of work. Ever since I have become the proud owner of Jobs’ Macbook I haven’t looked back and had to sever my ties with all things Redmond.
But I just ran into the OSX XBMC Project and I feel like a kid again. I am planning on supporting this development in the small way I can (thank you paypal), so if you want and can, please do! They have just gotten video working and I can’t imagine a consumer release taking more than a few weeks.
Sure I have Perian on Quicktime, YFlicks, VLC, iPhoto and iTunes to take care of all my media needs. But I want to do it all and more under one hood. It’s not really possible and unless Lord Jobs updates Front Row on Leopard with the new Apple TV firmware, XBMC doesn’t even have a real competitor.
My favorite Media Player on my favorite OS! Thank you Elan, Cayce and Scott.
Update: The guys over at OSXBMC just released a full package for v.0.1. Check it out.