Hey, I'm a Mac guy who just can't justify the expense on a 15" MacBook Pro. So I decided I would try something new. The Compal has a Core 2 Duo 2.16 GHz, 2 GB of RAM, A dedicated video card with 256MB RAM, and a 15 inch widescreen with 1680x1050 resolution (insane!!). Built in 1.3 megapixel webcam. Priced as configured: $1450
In comparison, a macbook similarly configured with a 2.33 GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, A Dedicated video card with 256MB RAM, and a 15 inch widescreen with 1440x900 resolution. built in 640x480 webcam. Priced as configured: $2000
Things you gain by using a Compal:
higher resolution (if you can find this model anymore, i hear it's rare)
Things you lose by using a Compal:
No internal wireless (i use a USB wifi card and it works perfectly)
No sound through headphones
the fingerprint scanner and memory card slot don;t have drivers available for mac os x.
I figured I'd save $550, and I'll show you how you can too!
Hardware and Drivers
You're gonna need drivers (known in the mac world as Kernel Extensions or kexts) Make sure to download these and burn them to a CD so you can install them, because right after the install you'll have no working network.
The internal wireless doesn't work (neither the gigabyte nor the intel) so you're gonna need a wireless card. I recommend wholeheartedly the Belkin FD7050. It works great and is only $30.
belkin FD7050 USB wireless card: http://gutbomb.net/wireless.zip
Getting and installing the system
Since you can't buy OS X in stores you're going to have to obtain a prepatched installation disc from somewhere. You can get them from various places (that is outside the scope of this article, please don't PM me, I can;t tell you where to look, but you can probably figure it out). The version i used is called "Mac OS X 10.4.8 [JaS AMD-Intel-SSE2-SSE 3 with PPF1 & PPF2]". It contains all the patches you'll need to get it to work and install on your machine. I chose to go all mac, so I didn't bother with partitioning for dual booting.
Download and burn the disc, then boot up with it. Hit F12 while the bios screen is up to select the CD to boot from. Wait a little while while the installer loads, and once it's up select all the items you want, and then the Intel CPU option. don't select any AMD or ATI stuff and you don't need the loginwindow replacement (you'll know what I am talking about when you see it in the installer). Don't select any of the common hardware drivers either, but do select the nvidia titan thing. don't select the ATI titan thing.
After you've installed you'll boot into a pretty welcome/first-sign-in thing. Do everything except register. when you get to the screen where it wants you to register just press cmd+q. I guess now would be a good time to tell you that on the mac, the cmd key has the apple logo and a cloverleaf logo on it. the compal by default uses ALT as the cmd key, and the windows key as the alt (aka option in macland) key. simple enough to swap the keycaps so you don't get confused later.
You're in! but right now you have to install your hardware so you can get online and play around. You may notice that even if you're in 32 bit color mode that you're seeing 16-bit color style bands on gradients. let's fix that first. go to the terminal (it's in "/Applications/Utilities") and type all of the following. special instructions will appear in brackets ([ ... ]):
sudo -s [type your password] cd /System/Library/Extensions/ rm -Rf /System/Library/Extensions.* mv ./Titan.kext ~[your username]/Desktop/
leave that terminal window, we'll be coming back to it later.
This removes part of Titan, which is a video driver system. We're going to replace it in a sec with something else though that will fix the color banding.
Copy those drivers off your cd to your desktop and unzip video.zip. then go back to the terminal and type the following:
mv ./IOGraphicsFamily.kext ~[your username]/Desktop/ mv ~[your username]/Desktop/IOGraphics_NvEFI/*.kext ./ chown -R root:wheel ./IOGraphicsFamily.kext chown -R root:wheel ./LaptopDisplay.kext chown -R root:wheel ./NVidiaEFI.kext chmod -R 755 ./IOGraphicsFamily.kext chmod -R 755 ./LaptopDisplay.kext chmod -R 755 ./NVidiaEFI.kext reboot
Your machine should then reboot, and when you get back in you should have full resolution, 3d accelerated video with no more color banding on 32 bit mode.
next unzip the audio.zip and double click the resulting ALC883Audio.mpkg. go to the end of the install until it wants to reboot. then go to a terminal and do the following:
sudo -s [enter your password] cd /System/Library/Extensions/ rm -Rf /System/Library/Extensions.* chown -R root:wheel ./ALCinject.kext chmod -R 755 ./ALCinject.kext exit
Close the terminal window, go back to the audio installer, and click reboot. when you get back into the system you should have sound. once you're back in, unzip ethernet.zip and double click the resulting RealtekR1000_release package. do the same as above, once you get prompted to reboot, go to a terminal and do the following:
sudo -s [enter your password] cd /System/Library/Extensions/ rm -Rf /System/Library/Extensions.* chown -R root:wheel ./RealtekR1000.kext chmod -R 755 ./RealtekR1000.kext exit
click reboot on the installer. once you're back in go to the apple menu and choose "system preferences." go to the network preference pane and it should say it detected a new ethernet device. that's good. pick it from the list and just click "apply now". you should have working ethernet now. unzip the webcam.zip, mount the resulting dmg, and run the installer. no terminal hacking on that one. finally it's the wireless. unzip wireless.zip, and run the installer for 10.4. no terminal hacking here either, just reboot. once you've rebooted go back to the apple menu, system preferences, network preferences again, and it will say there is a new port detected. go to it's properties and click apply now. then slam that card in your usb port, go to the new wlan app in your dock, click the setup menu and choose "open setup window." it will search for a network. enter your wireless network information and away you go.
You can go ahead and do any system updates you want EXCEPT OS updates. for now anything above 10.4.8 doesn't work well on the HEL-80. Also, NEVER install an OS update from "system update" as these will kill your installation and you'll have to reinstall. Also steer clear of "security updates." Any other updates from there should be fine.
Enjoy your new HackBook!
My compal has an empty space for a case badge on the back. I am thinking of designing one, and sending it to a company that does custom badges. The company will only make a minimum of 10 badges, so if i end up doing it, I'll buy all 10 and for a couple bucks I'm sure I can send you out one too for your hackbook.