iMessage solved and Jim finds joy with his Hackintosh

So there were a couple things tried to get iMessage working.  This post on is where I started.  I will admit, I didn’t follow the instructions completely.  I wanted to fill in the gaps that I didn’t have cause I have a working installation and just installed days worth of software so didn’t want to bork it all up for something I’ve been living without for years now.

But it was this post on reddit that clued me into an essential piece I was apparently missing.  “Board Serial Number” … I got that in there and iMessage now works a treat.  The original post covers this.  I just think the simplicity of the reddit post cleared things up for me.  It also has you delete all your old Messages – maybe they contain something that causes iMessage to regress?

That’s the thing about a Hackintosh.  If you buy the suggested hardware, it should “just work.”  When it doesn’t, there’s something you’re missing and you just don’t know what it is.  I mean if you’re not a systems engineer on Cupertino’s payroll that has all the answers.  And it can be very frustrating.

This brings us to Jim’s solution.  Seems the motherboard series he purchased required the installation of a particular Clover thingamahbob.  Once that was installed, “BOOM” as he said, everything started working.  After that solution, he moved on to his individual problems and fixed them one by one.

Again, if you’ve got the time and patience to work these things out.  Sometimes wait for answers.  It most definitely pays off in the end.

macOS Sierra finally on the Hackintosh!

So I finally bit the bullet and upgraded to macOS Sierra. 10.12.4 and then the next day they released 10.12.5.  I think I tried once before to upgrade, but maybe it was to El Capitan?  I’m not entirely sure, but regardless, whatever the install did, I ended up having to flash my motherboard’s BIOS in order to get back to Yosemite.

Because the newer versions switched to Clover from Chimera as a bootloader, I decided to go with a fresh install rather than an upgrade.  For whatever reasons I had problems in a prior attempt, this Sierra went on without any problems.  The hardest thing about it was acquiring all the software I’ve amassed and getting the serials, registration and everything from the developers websites, etc.

Some plugin companies I think counted this as an additional activation whereas some didn’t.  I guess it depends on how they do what they do.  Also, Apple’s Keychain in the Cloud is wonderful.  Anything in Safari – all the usernames and passwords were saved and it wasn’t like it was all new compared to Firefox where I had to figure all that stuff out or have passwords reset or sent by email.

Biggest thing for me? iMessage!  I haven’t had iMessage in a very long time due to whatever Apple did to their network.  It’s still kind of wonky at this point, but working all the same.  I can’t seem to talk to immediate family, so I don’t know if that’s an AppleID thing or what.

Anyway, this Hackintosh has been great since I built it (however many years ago on whatever operating system).  It’s been like a real Mac in every way.  The only thing that changed along the way was I decided to go to 4k and that required a beefier video card.  That video card requires a driver in order to run.  I found out the hard way that if Apple releases a new version of their operating system, I have to wait until I’m sure there is a new Nvidia driver available.  First couple times I just edited the version number in the Nvidia driver, but now I just wait.

What made me do it was my son Frank upgraded to Sierra on his Macbook Pro so I created the boot USB to go forward but have been putting it off until I didn’t need my computer for work. Then my oldest, Jim bought/built a Hackintosh and was having issues with it.  I thought that installing it on mine may help in me being able to help him with issues he’s been having getting all the stuff to work.  Unfortunately, my success is still seeing him suffer.  I had him bring the machine over and I installed everything from scratch and got the same results he did.  I suggested he get in the forums and read and possibly post if he finds no joy.  This is by no means to deter anyone from the Hackintosh experience.  I couldn’t be happier.

Snow Leopard Black Screen Fixed?

MacSnowLeopardBoxI ordered Snow Leopard from Amazon.Com and waited patiently for it to arrive.  I read up on some sites about things to watch for when I upgraded, etc., but nothing can prepare you for when you actually go and do it.

I opted to run Carbon Copy Cloner as suggested by one site found by Google to make a complete backup of the hard drive inside my MacBook Pro 17.  I tested by booting from the USB hard drive (hold down ALT at power up) to make sure I could “go back” if I had to by reversing the Carbon Copy Cloner step.

All of the FUD on the Internet was crap.  Everything just worked.  Until …

I had been working on my MacBook Pro 15 and the Snow Leopard blanked out (as my MBP17 normally does after about 20-30 minutes).  Working on another MacBook Pro is a suggested method for passing the time.  Yes, I suggest you have more than one Mac (if you’re cool enough).  As I do sometimes, I swipe my finger across the trackpad to bring back whatever is on the screen.  When I did this, the keyboard illuminated, but nothing shown on the screens (I have a 24″ external).  The screen was black!  I thought maybe the brightness went out of range and pressed the “f2″ key to bring it up.  I see the dialog for the brightness level, but there’s nothing on the screen.  I see the backlight getting brighter, but the screen is black … nothing there.  I try the volume and that shows on the 24” (which is set as the main display).  I Google on the MBP15 and find that people close their cover and open to a working Mac.  After I wake from sleep, moving the mouse I see it as the spinning beach ball that it is.  I hold down the power button to power off the Mac, there is no other choice.

Turn the MacBook Pro 17 on again and I have a working Snow Leopard.  All the things that “they” said didn’t work work for me.  I installed the 10.6.1 update and iTunes 9.  So everything is up to date.  It happens again, same symptoms.  Black screens, can see volume and brightness dialogs when keys are hit, no mouse until after I sleep and wake to spinning beach ball mouse with black screens.

Google searching brings up black screen during the install, and some similar to my problem, but not all the same.  Some blame just on the install blanking and they can see images on their screen with no backlight.  I guess they’re fine after they upgrade cause I see no follow ups.  I see more and more people blaming things having to do with the video or their video card.  Some it’s playing games and some it’s running VLC …  So I decided, mine “hangs” when the computer screen sleeps (that’s SCREEN, my MacBook Pro never sleeps), so I think *screen saver!*

While the computer is running, I click on the Apple, go to System Preferences… into Desktop & Screen Saver.  Immediately, spinning beach ball.  Aha!  I can Force Quit System Preferences until I can get in there and click on the first screen saver I can click on to change it.  What was selected when it hung was a directory “Screen Savers” … I don’t know where it came from – only thing I can think of was a shareware copy of that Aqua Marine fish tank-like screen saver that I never ended up buying.  I’ve been using Flurry forever (and that was my first thought when I thought it might be OpenGL or something, which never worked on my KDE installs on cheap PC hardware) and thought that might have been hanging the computer’s video card or something.

So far so good, I will update if the longer the screen sleep gives different results.  Here’s hoping this helped someone.

Two out of Three ain’t bad; 10.5.7 Mac OS X Update Failed

mbp10-5-7mbp15-10-5-7mini9-10-5-7 Out of the MBP17, MBP15 and the Dell Mini 9, the MBP15 wins with no issue, but I’ll tell you about the others.

By the way, if you didn’t know, “MBP” is short for MacBook Pro. I have the silvers w/matte displays. Bring back the matte and firewire Apple! =)

Let’s start off with a complaint, cause that’s what I do. I use MenuMeters for the Mac. I was made aware of its existence by it being on one of the OSX386 Project distributions. Anyway, because I’m running it, I see activity on my Mac that others are oblivious to … I like to know why something is taking so long, or if there might be a problem. So the complaint is, it takes me a while to figure out that the Mac is downloading updates. 10.5.7 was a kinda big one, and when the Mac is downloading that long and I didn’t initiate it, I’d kinda like to know about it. I think Apple should notify you it’s doing so, that’s all.

Pictured is the 3 About This Mac windows after I was all done. They all made it without any serious perspiration. I started on the MBP17. After the update, the 17″ screen remained gray. It did automatically boot twice, but after the second boot went nowhere. I waited an ample amount of time while I saw nothing happening. You know, I’m used to having to wait when I don’t have my meters. So then I started Googling on the Mini 9 while it downloaded its update. After reading a bunch of the obvious posts from people that shouldn’t be allowed access to computers, I decided to unplug everything from the MBP17. External screen, external hard drives, external keyboard and mouse. Lo and behold, MBP17 solved, and the screen hopped right over when I plugged the 24″ back in.

I let the Mini 9 run its own update and it did a fine job, although on the final boot, the graphics were horrible. The screen could not be seen at all. So, I fired up the MBP15 so it could download its update and I could Google what was up with the Mini 9. I was expecting something might have happened to it since I read what the update did and there was something in there for video. I just figured I would boot via CD and reinstall the kext files, etc, but I skipped Google entirely and went straight to the MyDellMini.Com Forums … There was a forum about the 10.5.7 update and apparently it’s been out for a while. I just got it this morning, weird … One thing in the forum was the noticing that although we were all there discussing something that shouldn’t work anyway, regular Mac users all over the place were having 10.5.7 update problems … same as I described above with the MBP17. There’s articles from Macworld and Computerworld out there about using the Mac as a firewire device, etc. Work arounds for the update problems. Anyway, I digress.

Fix for Mini 9 was what I expected and even easier than I had thought it would be … I went to the trouble of hooking up the external CD/DVD drive, etc, but all I needed to do was start in Safe Mode and rerun the Dell EFI proggy … I got the latest (1.2a5 I think), popped it on a USB stick and shoved it into the Mini 9. Let Finder unzip it, ran the program and off to the races. Mini 9 is fine, and that rhymes three times. Whoops! Four.

Leaving the MBP15 for last, it gave no problems what-so-ever … Nothing external about it, and nothing weird going on with it …

From what I heard (read) while surfing around, this is the last release before Snow Leopard. How anyone would know that, I don’t have a clue.

So there you have it, Meatloaf would be proud. “Baby we can talk all night, but that ain’t gettin’ us nowhere.” (or maybe Utopia would be proud, the band on Bat Out of Hell, Todd Rundgren, Kasim Sulton, Roger Powell, Wee Willie Wilcox). I always say Bat Out of Hell is Utopia with Meatloaf fronting. Good luck on your own 10.5.7 update!

Dell Mini 9 and Mac OS X

dell_mini9_running_osx If it weren’t for the fact that I’m using a Dell Mini 9 running Mac OS X 10.5.6 to post this entry, I guess I could be skeptical of the claims that a little tiny thing like this would be able to run Mac OS X like my MacbookPros. Well let me tell you, it’s pretty dern neat!

Using a formula easily found on the MyDellMini forums, it’s true. You can run the Mac OS X you purchased on the Dell Mini 9 and everything appears to work. Some things I haven’t tried yet, but those things I would probably never use. Only snag I ran into installing was my external DVD drive didn’t work with the install DVD. I bought an LG specifically for this purpose, but a borrowed Sony got it done.

I can’t say that this would be a replacement for a Macbook, but for someone like me who likes to have his OS X not very far away, so far it’s amazing! Only things I wonder about is space on the SSD and I have a 32G installed. I’ve already installed Xcode and my Rails development environment. The SSD shows as being 28.38 GB in size and has 19.46 GB available. I wish they would standardize the size of storage devices. You know, the 1000 vs. 1024 thing. Bah!

So having 20GB to play around with I think is fine. Again, I think this is more for the away from home convenience rather than a power house of storage. I mean, at least I can develop in cramped spaces and I don’t have to worry about fitting a 15 or 17″ MBP anywhere. This little guy rocks.

I’ll update in the future after having more experience with it. But so far, can’t beat this thing with a stick! Mobile Mac OS X for less than $500.