Build a Hackintosh Mini for $600

Jun 28, 2011 - 28 Comments

Hackintosh Mini Remember the Hackintosh? Mostly consisting of modified netbooks running Mac OS X, the movement became fairly popular until Apple stepped in with the iPad and then MacBook Air to effectively redirect everyones attention back to official Apple hardware. But the hackintosh community isn’t dead – far from it – in fact you can still build a really powerful hackintosh for just about $600. If you want to build your own unofficial Mac, here’s what you’ll get:

$600 Hackintosh Build Hardware Specs

  • Core i3 3.06GHz
  • 4GB RAM
  • 1TB 7200 RPM hard drive
  • nVidia GeForce GT240 with 512MB VRAM
  • DVD burner

Not a bad machine at all, especially when you consider the current Mac Mini costs $699 and is stuck on a boring old Core 2 Duo CPU with 2GB of RAM and a 320GB drive.

Lifehacker borrowed the infamous TonyMacX86 walkthroughs and updated it slightly into a single page of easy to follow instructions, they even included a video (embedded below) showing exactly what to do in the BIOS which makes it even simpler.

Oddly enough the guide was published just weeks before Mac OS X Lion arrives, so you’ll probably have to tweak a few things in the near future if you want to run Lion on the machine. Nonetheless, TonyMacX86 is usually on top of all this stuff pretty quick, so you can almost certainly bet that Lion will run on the machines.

If you’re going to be building a PC in the near future anyway, why not build one that is Hackintosh compatible? Add it onto your list of geeky Apple things to do this next weekend.

Check out LifeHacker’s easy to follow guide and make one yourself
Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, Hackintosh, Mac OS X - 28 Comments

Steve Jobs Holding a Prototype iPad

Jun 28, 2011 - 6 Comments

Steve Jobs and the iPad Prototype

Finally, a rare picture of an elusive iPad prototype surfaces, with none other than the man Steve Jobs himself is holding it!

Is this the iPad 10? iPad 12? iPad 3000??? Four simultaneous homescreens guarantee all your multitasking needs will be handled with ease, and the luxurious duct tape center gives it a futuristic appearance that is unrivaled by any iPad competitors. With all the rumors about future iPads, did anyone predict the duct tape? This changes everything! Microsoft and RIM are now expected to announce their own tablets modeled entirely in duct tape, but is it too late to compete?

OK enough sarcasm, so this is totally stupid and obviously I’m just poking at the rumor mill that we all get caught up in, but I had to post it. It kind of reminds me of that dumb iBoard and iMat picture from last year.

Not sure where this came from, but we found it on Twitter via @iDannyOcean

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, iPad - 6 Comments

TRIM SSD Support Enabled in Mac OS X 10.6.8 Update

Jun 27, 2011 - 37 Comments

Mac OS X 10.6.8 TRIM Support

The recently released Mac OS X 10.6.8 Software Update has quietly added native TRIM support to Macs equipped with SSD drives. TRIM insures that your SSD drive will be functioning at optimal speed and extends the life of the solid state disk, making this a must-have update for any Mac user using solid state storage.

Enabling native TRIM support on your Mac’s SSD drive is just a matter of installing the Mac OS X 10.6.8 software update and then rebooting your machine. Installing the OS X 10.6.8 update eliminates the need for the assorted third party hacks that surfaced to hack TRIM to work, so it may be a wise idea to disable those tools before installing the official update.

Mac OS X 10.7 Lion also includes TRIM support natively, and is due for a public release sometime this July.

Update: We can confirm that TRIM is enabled on Apple provided SSD’s with 10.6.8 installed, but some third party SSD’s continue to not support TRIM despite the update. Lion may address this, or you can continue to use the third party TRIM Enabler tool.

Downgrading iOS Firmware No Longer Possible After iOS 5

Jun 27, 2011 - 7 Comments

In another move suggesting that iOS 5 is aimed to kill jailbreaking, the infamous iPhone Dev Team is reporting that new versions of iOS 5 prevent future iOS versions to be downgraded. To clarify, users will continue to be able to downgrade from iOS 5 back to iOS 4 and other pre-5 firmware using older versions of iTunes, but something like a theoretical iOS 5.1 release would not be able to downgrade back to iOS 5 firmware.

The explanation for this will make sense to those familiar with how a jailbreak works, but will probably sound like gibberish to anyone just loosely aware of the process:

Starting with the iOS5 beta, the role of the “APTicket” is changing — it’s being used much like the “BBTicket” has always been used. The LLB and iBoot stages of the boot sequence are being refined to depend on the authenticity of the APTicket, which is uniquely generated at each and every restore (in other words, it doesn’t depend merely on your ECID and firmware version…it changes every time you restore, based partly on a random number). This APTicket authentication will happen at every boot, not just at restore time. Because only Apple has the crypto keys to properly sign the per-restore APTicket, replayed APTickets are useless.

This will only affect restores starting at iOS5 and onward, and Apple will be able to flip that switch off and on at will (by opening or closing the APTicket signing window for that firmware, like they do for the BBTicket)

You can read the technical “Blob Monster” details at the Dev Team blog. They do mention there may be possible ways to ‘combat’ this change, but due to the beta status of iOS 5 they’re not releasing much more information.

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 7 Comments

iPhone 5 & iPhone 4S Coming in September?

Jun 27, 2011 - 10 Comments

iPhone 5 mockup

Two new and distinctly different iPhones may be released this September, according to a new analyst report. Yes two iPhones, both an iPhone 5 and a lower cost iPhone 4S, are now expected to be launched this fall, presumably alongside iOS 5.

If this is true, the two new iPhone models might spec out something like this:

iPhone 4S: lower end model aimed at prepaid and emerging markets

  • Priced around $349 or lower (past reports suggest as low as $200)
  • Unlocked
  • No-contract required
  • Pre-paid voice and data plans
  • Hardware based on existing iPhone 4

iPhone 5: upper end model with contract subsidy, powerful CPU, and the latest features

  • Dual-core A5 CPU borrowed from iPad 2
  • Potentially larger 4″ screen
  • 8MP camera

The dual-iPhone report comes from Deutsche Bank by way of Fortune & CNN, with a substantial caveat being the analyst “does not cite any sources or claim any inside knowledge for his two-iPhone theory.” Sources or not, Apple’s own COO Tim Cook has publicly stated they are interested in the prepaid market, and many other news agencies have long reported on a cheaper iPhone going into production.

If this is true, it may go a long way to explain the dual set of rumors that have long floated around which have confused just about everyone, one centered around the all-new iPhone 5 which is said to be full of a bunch of new features, and another focused on the iPhone 4S which is said to be a marginal upgrade based on the existing iPhone 4.

This news comes not long after Bloomberg seemed to clarify that an iPhone 5 was scheduled for September. Where there’s smoke there’s fire, a new iPhone (or two) is definitely coming.

Note: the attached picture is an artists rendering of the iPhone 5 based on rumors.

By Matt Chan - iPhone, News, Rumor - 10 Comments

iCloud Restore in iOS 5 Video

Jun 26, 2011 - 4 Comments

iDB, the same guys who brought us the iOS 5 wireless syncing video, are now showing off another hot feature in iOS 5: restoring iOS backups directly from iCloud.

The video shows how smooth the process is. From a blank iOS device, you just login to iCloud, select the backup to restore, and then all your apps and settings are quickly downloaded to the iPod touch (or iPhone or iPad) all from the free iCloud service. Is this feature awesome or what?

Currently iOS 5 remains in beta which limits these features to registered developers, but iOS 5 will be released this fall to mere mortals. We can’t wait.

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 4 Comments

12 Things for an Apple Fans Weekend: DIY Projects, Games, Prep for Lion, and more

Jun 25, 2011 - 5 Comments

9 things to do this weekend, with 6 pictures to show that. Interesting.

Looking for some geeky stuff to do this weekend with your Apple gear? Here’s a slew of ideas that are sure to keep anyone busy, whether it’s a DIY project, learning from WWDC 2011, getting your Mac ready for Lion, or just gaming away into the wee hours of the morning, boredom be gone!
Read more »

By Paul Horowitz - Fun, Mac - 5 Comments

WWDC 2011 Session Videos Now Online

Jun 25, 2011 - 2 Comments

WWDC 2011 session videos

For those of us who didn’t make it to WWDC 2011, Apple has released full videos of all the WWDC sessions. There’s a lot to learn here, with over 100 sessions covering both Mac OS X and iOS, and each is presented by Apple engineers.

Head over to the Dev Center to get the videos on iTunes.

The videos are available in both HD and SD formats, and they are accessible to anyone with an Apple developer account – not just the paid $99 iOS and Mac dev accounts – so if you want to watch them all it takes is a brief free registration to get access.

Mac Setup: MacBook Pro 15″ with Apple Cinema Display

Jun 25, 2011 - 2 Comments

MacBook Pro setup at Tumblr offices

If you want a guaranteed to be great Mac setup, get a MacBook Pro and add an Apple Cinema Display. This particular desk has a MacBook Pro 15″ with a matte display (vs glossy) connected to the always beautiful 27″ Apple Cinema Display.

I don’t know for sure but I think this may be a workstation at the Tumblr offices in NYC, if so that’s a pretty swanky office. Found via Flickr.

By William Pearson - Mac Setups - 2 Comments

iOS 5 Wireless Syncing Shown on Video

Jun 25, 2011 - 6 Comments

One of the most hotly anticipated features of iOS 5 is wireless syncing, and the video above from iDB shows exactly how it works in iOS 5 beta 2.

If you’re a developer you can access this feature right now in iOS 5 beta 2 but it also needs to be enabled in iTunes 10.5b2, everyone else will have to wait until Fall.

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 6 Comments

Jailbreak iOS 5 Beta 2 using Redsn0w

Jun 24, 2011 - 8 Comments

jailbreak iOS 5 beta 2 with redsn0w Just moments after the freshly released iOS 5 beta 2 was available, it has been jailbroken using Redsn0w 0.9.8b1. This is the same version of redsn0w that worked to jailbreak the first beta of iOS 5 and therefore doesn’t require any additional downloads, but it does include the same caveats as before.

In order to work, make sure you point redsn0w at the iOS 5 beta 1 IPSW file when asked, and then you can go about the jailbreak as usual. Redsn0w 0.9.8b1 continues to be a tethered jailbreak, but will work for iPod touch 3G, iPod touch 4G, iPad 1, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 GSM, iPhone 4 CDMA.

This has been confirmed by MuscleNerd of Dev Team fame, who reminds everyone that this redsn0w release is intended for jailbreak developer use only.

By Matt Chan - iPhone - 8 Comments

iOS 5 Beta 2 Released to Download

Jun 24, 2011 - 15 Comments

iOS 5 Beta 2

iOS 5 beta 2 has been released to download, the new build is 9A5248d, supports wireless syncing, and likely includes a hoard of bug fixes and improvements. The second iOS 5 beta supports the same hardware as before, running on iPad 2 WiFi GSM & CDMA, iPad, iPhone 4 CDMA & GSM, iPhone 3GS, and iPod touch 3G & 4G. Backup your hardware and get downloading.

You can download directly from iOS Dev Center

As usual, this release is intended for developers and you’ll need a dev login to access the IPSW files. If you’re just experimenting, remember you can always downgrade from iOS 5 beta back to iOS 4.3.3 if you decide you don’t like it.

For non-developers, iOS 5 will be released in the fall.

By Matt Chan - iPad, iPhone - 15 Comments

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