Computer Diary

    "God is not external to anyone, but is present with all things, though they are ignorant that he is so."

    204-270 AD

    Here my little rant and praise place, where the daily experiences of my programming work are expressed. I publish them with the idea that others might find it useful and benefit from it.

    Tag <MacOS-X>

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    MacOS-X for a UNIX Man with a PC
    last edited 2009/10/30 11:28 (*)

    Dell Latitude D600
    Well, I've got another occassion laptop, a Dell Latitude D600 (2004):

    • 1.4GHz Pentium M
    • 512MB RAM (2x 256MB, max 2GB)
    • 14.1" 1024x768
    • IDE 20GB local disk

    The 1024x768 are meager, but external LCD supports up to 1600x1200.

    And I remembered that a hacked version of MacOS-X 10.5.x actually installs quite well. So I gave it a try with iDeneb v1.3 (MacOS-X 10.5.5), and

    • booting from DVD
    • clicked through until the installation location was listing no disk at all
    • entered "Utilities" - "Disk Utility" and erased the disk with HFS+ Journaled, as next I created 1 partition, and exited afterwards the "Disk Utility" and went back to the installer
    • the "Installation Volume" appeared (the partition I just made)
    • followed the "Customize" and enabled most patches, in particular the wireless "Broadcom" (which I later saw didn't make a difference, wireless doesn't work)
    • skipping DVD integrity checking
    • installation starts, it took a bit more than 1.5 hours to install the system

    As next it booted, since I have only 1024x768 XGA resolution, I set the fonts down to 10px, and antialiasing, making the amount of information dense enough for the small resolution again.

    iDeneb V1.3 (MacOS-X 10.5.5) on Dell Latitude D600 (1024x768)

    I started to install the usual Open Source pearls:

    • Firefox, Thunderbird
    • GIMP, Inkscape, OpenOffice
    • VirtualBox

    and also Closed Source apps like

    • Skype, Opera

    Serious Problems

    Since my 1TB was NTFS, I thought it would like a charm, the read-only works, but when I enabled the write support via MacFUSE and NTFS for Mac as well, and connected the USB external disk, and began to copy some data the system froze for a moment of 10secs, and tried again to repeat and at first sight it seemed to work, but when I put the USB disk back on the Windows XP or the Kubuntu 9 system, ._ files seem to lay around unable to delete - I tried to fix it with ntfswipe but no available, the program crashed. Reattached on Windows I ran in the shell chkdsk /f g: which corrected the corruption. Very bad, but I didn't lost any data from a 80% filled 1TB disk.

    Anyway, here a list of failed programs under iDeneb 1.3 (MacOS-X 10.5.5) on the Dell Latitude D600:

    • external WD My Book Essential 1TB NTFS disk: data corruption
    • iCal: coredumps

    MacPorts: Regaining Pure UNIX is a great setup, but first I required to install XCode-3.1.3 from so make/gcc is around - torrents also exist, 1GB to download. As next I made sure my MacPorts' Perl is used and all subsequent modules:
    cd /usr/bin; mv perl perl.dist; ln -s /opt/local/bin/perl
    port install perl5

    and make sure /opt/local/bin and /opt/local/sbin are in the path of your shell (.profile or .cshrc).

    Next Steps

    I gonna get iDeneb 1.5.1 (MacOS-X 10.5.7) seems to solve some problems, yet, the unreliable USB/NTFS issue is the biggest problem with this setup, as this machine has USB 2.0 and with my 1TB be sufficiently faster than with USB 1.1 on the older Dell C600. As soon I tried it I will post an update.

    iDeneb 1.5.1 (MacOS-X 10.5.7): can't finish install, stays in a loop for the last "3 minutes" for hours - incomplete bootloader, no network - finally could make it bootable by stripping down drivers and bootloader, but then system was unusable only booting via DVD and F8 defining "rd=disk0s1" I could boot - unuseable.

    It's clear, putting MacOS-X on an ordinary PC is a hassle and probably also good so - as that OS is really meant to run on Apple made hardware, and there it runs like a charm. For myself I keep iDeneb 1.3 (MacOS-X 10.5.5) running for some more time, and then choose an alternative, e.g. either iPC-OSX86 or going for the awaited Kubuntu 9.10 again.

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