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MacOS – the adventure continues

Posted by Kevin on September 10, 2011
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Its been an interesting couple of days.  As previously reported, I received my Mac OS X Lion thumb drive.  Unfortunately, it appears that one has to start with a Snow Leopard DVD install.  Did that.

First thing I wanted to try was getting Snow Leopard to run in a Microsoft Virtual PC.  That was fun, but unsuccessful.  I could get Iboot to load, and the Snow Leopard DVD would start to boot, but it rapidly crashed.

Going back to the Hackintosh pages (I rather like: http://lifehacker.com/321913/build-a-hackintosh-mac-for-under-800 ) it seemed like I could set myself up to dual boot.  I had plenty of disk space, so shrunk my Windows C drive by 128GB and started down the path.  This page http://tonymacx86.blogspot.com/2010/04/iboot-multibeast-install-mac-os-x-on.html seems to be the definitive reference.

Apparently the Mac install disk is pretty picky, and Apple of course does not support using just any old PC, but still, it seemed doable.  I yanked out half my memory (4GB max for Iboot), and started the process.  Iboot came up fine, but died when I selected it from the GUI.  Good reason:  your suppose to boot from the Iboot CD, then remove it, install the Mac installation disk, and hit F5.  Did that (after finding that little hint on page 3 of some post) and the Mac installation started!  Alas, it would only run for a few minutes before the screen went blank and the machine hung up.  Oddly, I would see a bit more DVD activity a few minutes after it went blank, but it never recovered.

Spent a morning learning about boot flags like “-v -x”, but never managed to get much past Mac OS loading its ram drives and network.  I did, however, find a reference to running Mac OS under VirtualBox.  There are several, but I’m currently comparing and contrasting http://lifehacker.com/5583650/run-mac-os-x-in-virtualbox-on-windows with others I have found.

VirtualBox is free.  Originally from Sun Microsystems and now offered free from Oracle.  It appears MUCH more advanced than Microsoft Virtual PC and in fact recognizes Mac OS and pre-configures a VM to be compatible.  Still playing with this, but I have high hopes.

Update:  Making good progress.  Going the IBoot route in a VirtualBox environment seems to be pretty clean.  Note you will need to register on TonyMacs site before that IBoot link works.  Its just a username/password thing, no commitment.  Using Tony’s Multibeast toolkit eliminates the need to boot from Iboot after the install, which is a good thing, since Iboot doesn’t support Lion yet (or so I’m told).  Anyhow, following the instruction at http://www.sysprobs.com/iboot-loader-virtualbox-install-snow-leopard (which also has links back to Tony’s site).  Make sure you continue reading after you get Snow Leopard to boot, there are more steps!

Three side notes: 1) If you appear to have lost your mouse control when running VirtualBox, just tap the RIGHT Ctrl key – it should appear.  2) If you happen to be playing with an old Windows XP license under VirtualBox, make sure you install the Guest Additions under the VirtualBox Devices tab for Windows XP.  Do it as soon as Windows XP finishes loading.  It will save you a LOT of mouse problems.  Mind you, this is a great use for an otherwise obsolete license. 3) If after Iboot sees your install disk, the install hangs, try typing “-x” before you select the install disk.  That will cause the boot to proceed in “safe mode”, which seems to often help.

New adventure in technology: MacOS/IPad development

Posted by Kevin on August 31, 2011
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Yesterday I started down the path of discovering what it takes to develop application for the IPad (and I suppose the IPhone and MacOS in general).  Step one was to register as an Apple Developer (http://developer.apple.com/programs/register/).  That was quick, painless, and free.

Today I went and looked for the Apple Software Development Kit (SDK).  Its free, and is designed to run under Mac OS (of course!).  So… how to proceed?  Would I need to buy a Mac to explore this?  Not an option right now.  A bit of we browsing has revealed a lot on how to create a “hackintosh” – a normal PC running Mac OS natively.  This was made technically possible when MacOS converted to running on the Intel platform a number of years ago.  One needs either a new PC machine (cheaper than a Mac equivalent) or a partition on an existing Windows box.  Fortunately, my Windows 7 machine has several hundred GBs free on its disk, so I just used the Windows disk management (control panel -> Administrative Tools -> Computer Management -> Storage -> Disk Management) to shrink the partition freeing up space for a Mac OS partition.  The hackintosh page indicates I need a Mac OS thumb-drive to boot from.  This can be created by downloading the Mac OS DVD image ($29 from the Mac Store) and placing on your own USB thumb drive, or buy buying the OS pre-installed on a thumb drive from the Mac store ($69).  Given that a 16GB thumb drive cost at least half the difference, and requires some effort to format and move the DVD image over, I opted to order the pre-installed device.  That should be here next week.

I was wondering if I could run it in a VM under Windows and found this link:


Apparently one can.  Seems to me like the legalities are questionable, but I’ll probably explore this while waiting for my thumb drive.  Note the above link is based on VMWare Workstation, which is free for 30 days, but cost $189 to purchase.

More as I progress!

9/1/2011:  Quick update.  I ordered the MAC OS thumb drive from the Apple store at 11:23am yesterday.  Standard delivery.   Order was shipped UPS at 4:46pm.  Delivered today at noon.  Pretty darn impressive!