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cavemonkey50

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About cavemonkey50

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    InsanelyMac Geek
  • Birthday 03/22/1988

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    Allentown, PA
  1. Thanks for the PAR uploads Fiber. I hope I won't need them, but you never know.
  2. cavemonkey50

    EFI Firmware Update for all Intel Macs

    It's time for yet another round of Intel bug squashing. Today, Apple has released EFI firmware updates for every Intel Mac. The documentation for the updates are pretty vague. All that's known is that the EFI firmware apparently addresses issues with Boot Camp and sleep issues on notebooks. So, go download the firmware update for your Mac Pro, MacBook Pro, MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, and enjoy whatever the heck Apple fixed. It should be noted that Apple has provided a handy recovery CD should something go wrong. To me, that says there is no reason not to update. Good luck updating (and may you never need to use the disk)! Let us know your experiences with the updates here!
  3. cavemonkey50

    10.4.8 Seeded to Developers

    While Leopard has been stealing the show lately, it might be time to start thinking about Tiger again. Mac Rumors is reporting that 10.4.8 has been seeded to developers. The most interesting news regarding the upcoming update is the size. The build weighs in at 305 MB for intel and 147 MB for PPC. If left as-is, the updates would be some of the largest in history (Mac OS 10.4.7, released in June, was only 133 MB intel and 64 MB PPC). However, many of Apple's early builds are significantly larger than when they are released to the public. With all of those changes, there are bound to be some notable bug fixes. Personally, I'm hoping for a fix for the MacBook's colored lines on boot issue that appeared around 10.4.7. What fixes are you hoping for in 10.4.8?
  4. cavemonkey50

    Apple Releases MacBook Firmware Update

    Great news MacBook owners! Apple has just posted a new firmware update. MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.0 changes the MacBook's fan behavior, thus fixing the mooing issue while bringing down the overall temperature of the unit. Initial results of this firmware update are very positive. The mooing issue is now gone for good and the temperature drop is astounding. Some users are reporting as much as a 20C drop in temperature. The fixes don't come for free, however. The MacBook's fans will now run at a very low speed all of the time. I personally don't notice it at all, and only hear the fans when my ears are directly up against the fan vent. For a 20C drop in temperature, a small increase in sound is worth it. If you're looking to download MacBook SMC Firmware Update 1.0, you can get it on Apple's website or download it from Software Update.
  5. cavemonkey50

    Adobe Releases Universal Flash Player 9

    Today, Adobe has released the final version of their Universal Flash Player 9. The new version numbered 9,0,20,0 is compatible with both Intel and PowerPC Macs. Oddly enough, Adobe is still offering a PowerPC only version, however it appears to be an earlier build. I expect Apple to push the new Flash Player out with their next OS update, but if you want to be on the cutting edge, you can download the stable player now.
  6. cavemonkey50

    WWDC 2006 Keynote Impressions

    Now that they dust has settled a bit from yesterday's keynote, I think it's time to give my opinions of it. First of all, it seems that the general consensus is disappointment. Speculated products weren't announced, and neither were some of the speculated Leopard features. Part of the problem might be our mindset. It's easy to think that the Worldwide Developer's Conference is for consumers. While consumers certainly benefit from the conference, the main focus is developers. If you look at it from that sense, Apple delivered everything developers wanted. They released professional-grade machines and showed off features of Leopard which are important to developers. Leopard features like a new Finder or virtualization technology are things which can be added later with very little effect on developers, and the existing Macs can easily get a Core 2 speed bump with just a simple press release. The Hardware Now that we're in the right mindset, it's time to talk about what was announced. Apple released some amazing new hardware. The Mac Pros are insane powerhouses, with the Xserves getting a huge speed bump over previous hardware. While I won't be purchasing a Mac Pro, the prices are perfect. Apple's standard configuration is perfect for just about anyone's needs, and it doesn't break the bank either. What's even better is the price when you downgrade some components. If you change the dual 2.5 GHz processors to dual 2.0 GHz processors and only get a 160 GB hard drive, combined with the student discount, it's only $1950. That's not bad at all considering a slower MacBook Pro is right around that price. Finally, I'm very impressed with Apple's build-to-order options on their new machines. Apple has always stuck with pretty much standard configurations across their product line since there wasn't very many options with the PowerPC chip. Now that Apple is on the x86 platform, they have a more room for flexibility, which is showing through in the amount of configurable options on the new machines. I'm looking forward to seeing what other options Apple will provide for their other machines in the future. Leopard While nothing too groundbreaking was announced with Leopard, I'm still very exited. First of all, I can't wait for Time Machine. I don't backup enough, and when I do backup, I don't have a great method. I'm dragging files to an external drive or CD, just like Steve Jobs mentioned. Having a Subversion-like solution for OS X will just be amazing. There have been times where I have accidentally overwritten files, so selective restoring will be perfect for me. There has also been times where I've wanted to do a complete restore, so that functionality of Time Machine will rock also. Apple seems to have created the perfect backup solution for anyone with external storage. The other major feature that Apple has announced is Spaces. I'm not too excited about Spaces at all. I've always found multiple desktops confusing, so it's a feature I probably won't be using. However, Apple does seem to have a couple of great ways to try and prevent it from getting confusing. Spaces exposé seems like a great way to easily see where everything is, and if you're really lost, clicking on the application's dock icon is perfectly for jumping to the "space" which contains that application. Maybe Apple's approach will finally get me to use multiple desktops, but for now, I'm not jumping for joy. Finally, hearing about updates to Mail, iCal, Spotlight, Dashboard, iChat, Front Row, and Boot Camp is certainly getting me excited. I've tried Apple's Mail in the past, and never could switch to it. This upcoming version looks like it will finally bring me onboard. In regards to iCal, that's another application which I haven't really touched. Depending on how well it integrates with Mail, I might find myself using that application also. Advanced searching and application launching with Spotlight is something that should have been there from the beginning, so it will be a welcome addition. The new ways to create widgets are looking great for Dashboard, especially how easy it will be for anyone to create a widget. The new iChat also sounds great, especially sporting its new Unified interface. From the previews of it, it looks like it will finally have a combined buddy list for different services, a welcome addition. Finally, while we don't know what's coming for Front Row and Boot Camp, just hearing that they're going to be updated is music to my ears. Conclusions While this year's WWDC Keynote was a disappointment for many people following the rumor sites, if you were trying to stick with reality, I think it was perfect. The new professional-grade hardware is blowing the competition away at a cheaper price, and Leopard's new features are already ahead of Vista. Things are only going to get better from here. Apple has laid the frameworks for a great operating system, and when they report on Leopard at Macworld in January, I'm sure they're going to have some more great features and enhancements to tell us about.
  7. cavemonkey50

    A Problem Free MacBook?

    With all the problems that MacBook owners have been reporting, I thought it would be a good idea to give you the complete scoop on my new MacBook. Since I've had my MacBook for about two weeks, I think I can finally say that I've given my MacBook enough time to show any trouble spots. For the most part I've been fairly lucky. Since I went to an Apple store the day after they received a new shipment (I called ahead of time to make sure), I received the latest build at the time (week 24), thus receiving the latest fixes for the numerous problems which have arisen. Black and Blue MacBooks One of the biggest issues which MacBook owners have reported are the heat issues. While my MacBook certainly does get hot, in my opinion it's nothing out of the ordinary. My MacBook will idle around 55C and get up to 80C depending on how much processor power I require at the time. While the temperatures certainly are a little toasty, it hasn't stopped me from using my MacBook on my lap in shorts. Sure, the first day I used it I thought it was a little uncomfortable, but since then I've either gotten used to the heat, or the first day damaged my skin cells so I can no longer feel pain. Either way, it works out in the end for me. One of the other major problems with the MacBook in white has been discoloration. Derek Punsalan has been raising awareness of the issue ever since it happened to him. In his unfortunate case, he went out of his way to cover up his MacBook to prevent discoloration, and was only rewarded with an ugly yellow finish. Due to his campaign against discoloration and the hundreds of bloggers who supported him, I can say that I don't have the issue at all. Since Apple was made aware of the issue, they have changed the plastic to a much smoother material; one which doesn't change with time. Since I have a later MacBook build, I have been lucky to get the new plastic and avoid the issue completely. For the unlucky MacBook owners with an ugly top case, Apple is replacing the affected portion with no questions asked, so be sure to get that done. Out of the other well known issues, I have experienced none of them. I have yet to hear the mooing of a cow coming from the back of my MacBook, so I'm safe on that front. As far as AirPort reception goes, it couldn't be better for me. I've taken my MacBook to previously thought WiFi dead zone in my house, and have been surfing with ease. I've also avoided power adapter humming and the ever so popular melted MagSafe. So, on the well known fronts, I've been good so far. Other Concerns I'd wish that I could say I haven't had any issues at all, but I can't do that - I have experienced some very minor issues which aren't that well known. One of the first is crappy sleep times. While most of Apple's laptop fleet can stay days in sleep while only loosing a few percentage points, my MacBook looses about 10% of its battery every eight hours. While it's nothing that will greatly affect my battery life, since I'll either be plugged in or shut off, it's a minor inconvenience. Unfortunately there isn't much I can do, as I've been told by the people over at Broadband Reports that the extra 2GB of RAM installed is drawing more power than normal. Oh well. Another minor issue which I have experienced has been insanely long Lead-Out times when burning a DVD. When burning a 2-3 minute DVD, my Lead-Out step can take as long as 6-10 minutes. That's roughly 4x longer than it takes to burn the DVD. Luckily I've gotten some help from the Apple support forums and so far my burning times have been normal. If for some reason the problem reoccurs, it's nothing I'm going to worry about since I don't burn DVDs that often. In the "that affects every manufacture" category, my screen developed a stuck pixel about a week ago. Within minutes of noticing it I was able to successfully rub it out, only for it to reappear later that night. After seeing it a second time, I rubbed it out again, this time while playing one of the stuck pixel videos. Since then I haven't seen it again, but if it decides to come back I feel confident that I'll be able to take it down once again. In the "that's freaking weird" category, I've on occasion smelled some sort of burning chemical coming the MacBook. I initially thought it was just the MacBook's "new car smell," but since I don't smell it all the time, and I still smell it two weeks after my purchase, I have a feeling that it's not normal. Apparently a few other people have noticed this problem, claiming it irritates their nose and throat. It hasn't irritated me at all; in fact, I think it smells quite good. Maybe I'm just a druggie at heart. All in all, my MacBook has been wonderful. I've avoided all the well known major and minor issues, but have experience a few issues of my own. Luckily none of my issues have dramatically affected my MacBook, so it's nothing which makes me doubt the MacBook and Apple's quality control. If I can never find a solution to my problems, I will still love my MacBook for years to come. So, if you've been reading all the issues about the MacBook Pro and the MacBook, and are thinking to yourself that every unit is broken, think again. Apple has at least one customer with a working MacBook with no complaints to file. I just think what we've been reading about these laptops is only the opinion of a small minority, much like Microsoft's issues with its 360. Sure, a few people have units which are complete {censored}, but the majority of people's MacBooks are working perfectly fine, giving them no reason to tell anyone about it.
  8. cavemonkey50

    From Hackintosh to Macintosh

    Hello everyone, I'm cavemonkey50 and I'm the new guy on OSx86 Project. Well, I'm not really the new guy. I've been around here for a while, but I'm the new writer. You may have read some of my OSx86 articles from my personal site on Digg in the past. Mashugly has asked me to write for OSx86 Project, and that's exactly what I'm going to do. To start off this article, you should know a little bit about my Mac background. About a year ago I had never used Mac OS X in my life. Back then I never even saw a Mac computer in real life. Sure, I knew what they looked like, and I saw demos of OS X during Steve Jobs' keynotes, but I had never used a Mac. Although I had never used a Mac, I was still Mac-curious. Being an iPod and iTunes user, I was already familiar with the design and functionality of Apple, and being fed up with Windows at the time, I looked toward Mac OS. There was one problem, though. Macs were expensive, I had a limited budget, and I wasn't going to spend everything I had to buy a computer I had never even used. Then Steve Jobs revealed the future of Macs at WWDC 2005. Macs were going to be running on Intel. That announcement instantly got my head spinning. Maybe I could run Mac OS X on my current PC? I apparently wasn't alone. Since there was a number of people who wanted OS X on generic hardware, fake copies started spreading around. After several fake copies, a real leak was finally released, and thus began my journey into OSx86. The first time I ran OSx86 was at school using the Deadmoo image. I had to run OSx86 on a computer at school since my home computer did not support SSE2 CPU instructions, a requirement for Mac on x86 hardware. My first OS X experience was rather crappy, since the computer at school sucked, but that didn't stop me. When Christmas rolled around, I took that as a great opportunity to build a "real" OSx86 machine; one that could support accelerated graphics and supposedly run as well as a real Mac. So, that's exactly what I did. I built a machine that was identical to Apple's Intel developer kits, and installed OS X on it. From then until now, I have been manually installing every single OS X update, mainly using Maxxuss' instructions. Enough about my OS X history. Flash forward to today. I bought an Intel MacBook on Thursday and sold my Hackintosh on Friday. To keep the lawyers happy, I should mention that I sold my Hackintosh with the hard drive wiped clean, and did not provide the disks necessary to install OS X on the machine. So, basically I went from never using OS X in my life, to buying my first Mac in about nine months. I would have bought my Mac sooner, but it took me this long to save up for one. So, with that said, I thought it would be interesting to compare an install of OSx86 to a real Mac and see how well OSx86 stacks up. The Updates I guess I should start with the most obvious, updates. The major difference between a real Mac and OSx86 is updates. The minute Apple releases an update, I can now download it. Back when I used OSx86, that processes took quite a while. You could never tell if an update was safe. You had to wait for someone to test the update to see if it was safe. Then if it wasn't safe, you had to wait a few days for someone to come up with instructions on how to install the update; usually bypassing the files that were causing problems. Then a week or two later someone would crack the files that were troublesome, you would add those files to your update, and then the easy installers would start appearing for the people who didn't want to manually install. So, if you manually installed, you usually had the updates in days, with a second update a couple of weeks later, and if you were a noob, the update took a few weeks until you could install. Now with a real Mac, updating is no longer a problem. Within the updating process, it should be mentioned that OSx86 users couldn't always take advantage of updates. Often the OS point updates contained performance enhancements tailored to specific Apple hardware, so while Mac users may have been reporting major performance enhancements, OSx86 users were still running at the initial speed. The reasoning to that is along the way Apple has caught onto what the OSx86 scene has been doing, so they have been removing things that apply to generic hardware, forcing OSx86 users to use the original files. The best example of this is the kernel. In 10.4.5 Apple pulled the power instructions for generic x86 CPUs and started using power instructions tailored to the Intel Core chips. Since the majority of the OSx86 scene do not have Core CPUs, the 10.4.4 kernel has been used ever since. So, whatever performance enhancements Apple applies to the kernel, OSx86 users never see. The same thing apply to the drivers. While OSx86 users are seeing the new features and bug fixes of every release, they never fully take advantage of hardware fixes and enhancements. Everything Works The next major difference between Hackintosh and Macintosh is everything works. To run a perfect OSx86 install you either need to be lucky, or build a machine tailored to running OS X. Many OSx86 users have sound cards that don't work, wireless cards with no connectivity, and do not have accelerated graphics. Sure, OS X runs on those machines, but people miss out on a lot of the functionality. Looking at my own install of OSx86, I had to do some wacky things to get certain functionality. Since OSx86 didn't like my wireless card, I had to run a wire from my Hackintosh to my Windows machine, using Windows' to share its wireless connection with my Hackintosh. Sure I got internet, but my Hackintosh was never part of my real network. The Windows machine created a network just between it and the Hackintosh, thus preventing my Hackintosh from sharing files with the rest of the network. Then there is Front Row. In order for Front Row to work, I had to hook up an separate USB mouse, using the mouse's USB profile to fake it was a Front Row IR receiver. So, the majority of OSx86 users either have something that doesn't work, or they're doing something crazy to get it to work. Performance The next major difference I noticed between OSx86 and the real OS X is performance. Now I'm going out on a limb here, since my switch from Hack to Mac was a substantial hardware upgrade. I went from a 2.5 GHz Intel Celeron to a 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo, from 1GB of RAM to 2GB of RAM, and from an Intel GMA 900 to an Intel GMA 950. As you can see, I have a feeling the majority of what I'm noticing is from that hardware upgrade and does not have anything to do with custom tailored Apple hardware. I'm still going to mention my findings though, because they may mean something to someone. The first major difference I noticed is with the video. Animations run smoother, and things just feel snappier. On top of that, colors look more vibrant. Previously I felt that the colors of OS X were washed out and never looked that good. I calibrated the color profile several times, and could never get it looking the way I wanted. Now with my MacBook, the colors look great and no longer suffer from that washed out look. I should probably clarify here, since I know I'm going to get some person tell me it's because of the glossy screen on the MacBook. I'm not comparing the screen of the MacBook at all. I'm comparing the colors of OS X through my LCD monitor. I should also mention that I have re-calibrated the MacBook's color profile, so it has nothing to do with the color profile that ships with the MacBook. Yet another performance enhancement I have noticed has been Rosetta. Previously on OSx86, I dreaded every time I had to use a PowerPC application. The performance of Rosetta was so bad I could barely use it at all. Word was so slow it couldn't even keep up with my typing speed. I couldn't even get Photoshop to load without leaving my computer on overnight. Alright, that last statement was a bit exaggerated, but it certainly did take a while. Now with a real Mac, Rosetta runs like Apple's been demoing since day one. I can barely tell that Word is a PowerPC application and Photoshop runs well enough that I no longer have to switch to Windows for my Photoshop work. Conclusions So, that brings me to the crux of this article, is OSx86 good enough as a real Mac? Being an OSx86 user for sometime, I can say that the hacked version of OS X isn't too far off from the real thing. By running OSx86 you certainly have all the features that real Macs have, but you miss out when it comes to performance. You can keep your operating system up to date, but it takes some time until you can finally install the updates, and on larger updates you often miss out on hardware enhancements. On top of that, just to run OSx86 you need to have the right hardware, otherwise you'll be missing out on key features of the OS, or end up doing some funky things to get them to work. So overall, it's not bad, you just have to do some work to maintain the operating system. Now of course, you need to keep in mind that there is always the threat of Apple putting an end to the OSx86 community altogether. Sure, OS X may work on generic PCs now, but when 10.5 Leopard comes around, Apple could easily add things that prevent generic machines from functioning. You could always use the last version, but I know how I function when I don't have the latest and greatest. I feel like I'm missing out on something, and I hate that feeling. I personally think that OSx86 is perfect for what it's there for. I look at it as a transition point. It's a way for geeks who might not have the chance to try OS X and give it a test run. If they're curious like I was on using Mac, they can try it without the high costs of buying a Mac. If they like it and they're interested in becoming a serious Mac user, they'll buy a Mac sometime down the road. It may not be immediately, but at some point they will buy one. I say that because I can't see anyone going through all the trouble of updating the OS for the rest of their lives. Eventually it will get annoying and the person will either buy a Mac or go back to using Windows. So, in my opinion, OSx86 is a perfect for a certain group of people. It's not something that you're going to run as your main machine for the rest of your life. You're going to try it for a while and then either go back to Windows or buy a real Mac. I don't think Apple has to fear OSx86, since it's not meant for everyone. The people who are going to use it are potential Mac users, and OSx86 is simply their trial disk.
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