Hackintosh netbook revisited

Hackintosh Finder Icon by ~3ncA few months ago, I wrote about the installation of Mac OS X on my Lenovo IdeaPad S10e netbook. Whilst I was pleased to have a working installation of OS X there were still a few things that didn’t quite work as I’d have likef. This post details a few more tweaks I’ve made to the Hackintosh.

My S10e is a Hackintosh, rather than a Macintosh, so I replaced the standard Mac OS X Finder icon with the Hackintosh Finder Icon by ~3nc using LiteIcon.

I thought that the fans weren’t running as often as they had been under Windows… in fact I’m not even sure they were running at all. Furthermore, iStatMenus would only tell me the hard disk temperature so I wasn’t sure how warm the CPU was running, or how fasts the fans were turning. Thankfully, before I fried my netbook, a comment on this blog pointed me back to The Kitch and ultimately to a post on the Lenovo IdeaPad S Series Forums which linked to an updated version of AppleACPIPlatform.kext, which I then installed using Kext Helper. After a reboot, my fans have been running to keep the netbook cool(er), although it’s still pretty hot and I seem to have lost Bluetooth.

I had a play with a few options to scale the screen resolution; however the results were not really fantastic. I did eventually settle on using defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.96 to make the screen appear to be 600 pixels deep but some of the icons (e.g. the battery on the menu bar) were screwed up.

I also have a UK keyboard, so I followed Liquid State’s advice, using Ukelele‘s LogitechU.K.Intl.keylayout (copied to /Library/Keyboard Layouts and selected in the International system preferences) and then adjusting the modifier keys as described by Phil Gyford (alternatively, I could have swapped the Windows key and the alt key to keep them the same way around as on a Mac keyboard). Incidentally, Apple keyboards still have the ” and @ reversed (even with a UK layout) but at least with this configuration the labels on the keys matched the resulting output.

The biggest letdown was Ethernet connectivity. There was a project working on porting the Broadcom BCM57xx and 59xx Linux drivers to OS X but nothing is happening fast and it really seems to be one guy working with limited spare time and limited collaboration. Wireless is fine but wired Ethernet is more reliable (and often the only option in a hotel room) so this was probably the final nail in my Hackintosh’s coffin.

Now the S10 has been replaced by the S10-2 and Gizmodo reports that it’s not really suitable for hackintosh conversion. My Hackintosh was a fun experiment but ultimately I’m not finding it as useful as I would if it was running Windows. It’s not that there is anything wrong with Mac OS X but I use Macs for my digital media work and a netbook is not really the right computing platform for that. In addition, I’m missing out on things like reliable Bluetooth, sleep, and Ethernet connectivity – all of which I could get in a Mac… if I was prepared to pay the money. Let’s see if the Apple iPod tablet really does make it to market this winter.

In a few hours, I’ll take a final disk image of the Hackintosh for posterity and rebuild it to run the final release of Windows 7 (thanks to Microsoft for my complementary copy) – which is, after all, what I originally bought it for!

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