Mac Setups: The Hackintosh of a Student & Programmer
This weeks featured Mac setup comes from Andrew T., a student and programmer. As for the setup itself, it’s a bit unorthodox… because it’s a Hackintosh! For those who are less familiar with the concept of a Hackintosh, it’s an unofficial and unsupported Mac built using traditional PC components that runs OS X. Aside from the primary Mac being not an official Macintosh, there’s a handful of Apple devices to go along with the mix. Let’s jump in and learn a bit more this setup!
What hardware is in your current desk setup?
- The Hackintosh
- Intel Core i3 3225 CPU
- Gigabyte B75M-D3H (thats a motherboard)
- 8GB RAM
- Nvidia GTX 650
- 120GB Samsung SSD
- 1TB WD Blue drive
- A 160GB Seagate drive I took from an old computer so I could put windows on here for games
- Corsair 450W power supply (its the 450W version of the one linked)
- All of this is in a Corsair Carbide 200R case (which made it REALLY easy to build. So much space for hiding cables, although I could have done a better job if I had put more time and effort into it)
- MacBook 13″ – 2010 model
- Baseline 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo
- 2GB RAM
- 250GB HDD
- Nvidia GeForce 320M GPU
- The MacBook is provided by my school. They will be giving me a newer MacBook next year (yay), but I have no idea which model we will be getting (it could be either a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro Retina, or a normal MacBook Pro (if Apple doesn’t discontinue them))
- “The New iPad” (yes that iPad, the 3rd gen one)- 32GB WiFi – It’s actually the family iPad, though I bring it downstairs from time to time because its awesome
- iPhone 4S – 16GB – Funny story, this was actually given to me by a friend, completely shattered and not turning on. He said if I could fix it I could keep it. I fixed it, so I’m keeping it!
- iPod touch 5th generation – 32GB – (not pictured, it was used to take the photos shown here which is why they’re a bit blurry, sorry about that!). Bought this about a month after it came out. I still use it from time to time, but most of the time I have to plug it in because its always dead when I go to use it.
- Microsoft Wireless Desktop 3000 Keyboard & Mouse – Works pretty well, all the hotkeys work in OS X as well which is nice.
- Plantronics RIG Stereo Headset with Mixer – I got this as a birthday present this year. More on how that works later.
- Dell 19 inch display. 1280×1024. Works well, colours are very nice. If I had money (I’m 14), I’d buy a 1080p or 1440p version of this in a heartbeat.
- LG 19 inch display. 1440×900. This monitor works pretty well too, but the colours aren’t as good as the dell and theres no cable management at all on it 😢
- WD My World II NAS – It has got 2 1TB drives in RAID 1, and my family has no idea why it works still. Its been knocked around heaps (actually knocked it while taking the photos even) and somehow we managed to get an iTunes library on there that only works in one computer and often just goes nope, don’t want to work for you today. I’ve had enough of this NAS, but my dad won’t buy a new one or let me build one.
- NetCommWireless router – This thing, is the one thing in my setup that needs to be replaced more than the NAS. Drops out constantly (although that may be because of my horrible ISP, not going into detail with that) and the reception is horrible. And no, it can’t be moved, with my house’s current wiring.
- WD Elements external 1TB drive – I use this for Time Machine backups
What do you use your Apple gear for? Why did you choose this setup?
I do pretty much anything on this setup, be it programming in any language (I know a fair few, and love learning more), school work, or video editing. Other than that, just basic grandma tasks, like web browsing, music, email, reading iBooks etc. I’m a bit of a “power user” too, I do like to use the Terminal and delving deep into the OS to fix problems (which I run into often because its a Hackintosh) I don’t do video editing on the MacBook though, obviously.
As for why I chose the setup? Well, the MacBook was given to me. No choice with that one, but I’ll take it! The hackintosh on the other hand, well I wanted something that would be in my price range, a fun project (I can afford to do that because the computer isn’t mission critical), and I just really wanted to build a computer (I’ve done it a few times before, and it gives you this “itch” (Portal 2 reference)). Also because expandability. I can upgrade this whenever I want. I do plan on building another non-hackintosh PC soon, when I have a job, and I also plan to get a “real” Mac setup too.
As for the Plantronics Rig – I chose this because of the mixer thing. It allows me to control volume, EQ levels etc on the fly, and I can hook up my phone to it and listen to both at the same time. It really is awesome.
What apps do you use most often?
I use a tonne of apps daily, depending on what I’m doing that day. Most of my time is spent in Safari being unproductive on Reddit, but when I’m doing things, I’ll use anything that gets the job done. My favourite apps (not including built in ones):
- Xcode – A must have for any app development
- Final Cut X Suite – I use this for video editing. Don’t ask why I have the number 2 on my App store icon.
- Office for Mac 2011. I only use this when using iWork isn’t the right tool for the job.
- OneNote. My favourite note taking app, the moment I saw that it was released on Mac I downloaded it instantly. Definitely recommended
- Skype – Communication with most of my friends
- Twitter. Just works. I don’t need any of the fancy features in some of the other apps available.
- Steam – Games. I normally boot into windows for my games though.
- Adobe CS6 Suite – I use these apps daily, I use Photoshop for editing photos when needed, Dreamweaver for websites, Flash for animations (actually just because I had to do an assignment using it for my school’s computer course), Premiere for video editing when Final Cut isn’t the right tool for the job, etc etc.
- Adobe CS4 (unavailable) – Provided by my school, only used for when my school REQUIRES me to use that version to do something. Annoying, but I can live with it.
- OneDrive – My preferred cloud storage service, simply because it just works as advertised, I get more storage than most other services and I can access my files in even more places than the rest of the services (Even Windows Phone if I ever need to)
- F.lux. Warms colours at night. I don’t notice it because I’ve used it for so long. Thats a good thing though.
- iStat Menus. I use this CONSTANTLY. I can always have my system activity right at my fingertips, which is awesome. I originally bought it because my laptop burnt my hand one day at school and I needed to find out how hot it was running.
- Skala Preview – Used for previewing images from Photoshop on my iPhone, iPod or iPad, live as I edit with the accompanying Skala View app.
Any Apple tips you feel like sharing?
Don’t just rely on iCloud. If you ever need to access your files on a non-Apple platform, you can’t. And if you ever need to access your calendar on a non-Apple platform, you can’t. Same applies for everything iCloud lets you do. I really can’t recommend OneDrive enough for cloud storage, even though it is a Microsoft service.
Do you have a great Mac & Apple setup you want to share with OSXDaily? Answer a few questions about your setup and what you use it for, attach a couple of good pictures, and send it all over to us at firstname.lastname@example.org !