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sonatacreative sonatacreative is offline
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Default Help Clarifying Some Newbie Questions - 09-22-2009, 05:59 PM

Hi All- first off just wanted to say 'THANK YOU!' for this awesome community that has built itself around the Dell Mini 9 'Hackintosh' machine. To see this mini universe of private developers and troubleshooters is nothing short of amazing I was originally turned on to this whole thing via Gizmodos step by step tutorial (as I'm sure many of you were). I have spent hours searching through the forums and now have a gameplan for modding my Mini 9 when it arrives (just ordered yesterday with the $40 discount to make it $199). I have a few questions/clarifications that I was wondering if you could help me with. In an effort to minimize asking the same questions that have already been asked, I have made sure to diligently search through the existing forums for answers. This post is more about confirming my findings than anything. Hopefully I didn't miss anything. Now on to the questions:

1) My understanding now is that the most current and reliable method for installing OSX Leopard is mechdrew's “NetbookInstaller 1: USB Installation via Mac” method (listed in detail here: Can anyone confirm this? As I mentioned earlier, I was originally turned on to this whole thing by Gizmodo's posting of the Type11 method. Is the Type11 now outdated? Would there be any reason at all to use the Type11 method over the NetbookInstaller 1 method? I know there will most likely be an official updated NetbookInstaller method for snow leopard soon as well- should I wait for that or will it be possible to update the OS to snow leopard from a leopard install on the Mini 9? Right now I'm leaning towards the leopard installation since stability is key.

2) I think the glowing apple mod is amazing (as seen here: Surgery for Apple Logo). I'm all for doing this, except I've got some trepidation over opening up the netbook itself to that extreme in order to access the top panel. If I'm understanding this correctly, this is the only way to detach the back panel: Display: Dell Inspiron 910 Service Manual Can anyone confirm that? I'd like to just detach the panel and send it to Kyle at Economy Engravers for $50 as was listed in an earlier forum post rather than to try the cut myself. I guess at this point I'm just worried about safely getting the lid off and safely reattaching it once its back from cutting. Is there alternate way of doing this or did I hit this pretty much on the head? Any advice, pointers, or urgent cautionings would be appreciated. While this isn't a necessary upgrade, I can't shake the desire to have this done as I really want to see the reactions of people to seeing this out in the 'wild'. This is less about brand loyalty and being a poser and more about a twisted social experiement (My MacPro is proof enough of my Apple fan-boi-ism). If Apple offered this at an affordable price I'd be all for it but as it is now there is no off-the-shelf alternative.

3) I'm planning on upgrading the netbook with a 64GB RunCore SSD as well as the additional 2GB RAM upgrade. I'd also like to purchase a 32GB SD card for the memory slot to beef the total space of this machine up to 96GB total. My goal is to install some basic everyday apps: OpenOffice, Skype, Tweetie, Firefox, Screnflow, Times RSS etc as well as some heavy lifting apps: CS4 Photoshop, Indesign, Adobe Illustrator, Acrobat Professional. This will predominately be a traveling/portability machine not meant for major design editing, HOWEVER- there will be times where I will do extensive editing on the machine while I'm away or at a coffee shop. I have no problems with the small screen size and keyboard (my goodness if you had a problem with this why are you ordering a Mini 9 in the first place?). My expectations are not that this thing is going to be a lightning fast editing machine, but I do expect it to be a fully capable machine that gets the job done albeit more slowly than a desktop. I just want to make sure I'm being realistic with my expectations. This will be an extension of my workhorse computer in that I'm keeping my working files synced via Dropbox (my dropbox never tops out at any larger than 20-30GB). So I guess my basic question is this- with the above pieces of info in mind am I being realistic in my expectations?

4) Lastly, I'm thinking about getting the extended life battery (the one that adds a tilt to the machine when it is resting on a flat surface). Just out of curiosity, can anyone who has this offer opinions on it? I had heard some concerns about how hot this machine runs after being modded. Would this battery with the tilt actually help the machine dissipate heat more efficiently due to the lifted area underneath it created by the tilt? Heat doesn't bother me, I just want to make sure I'm not pushing this little guy so hard that he gives up on me prematurely.

Sorry for all the lengthy questions- wanted to nail this all out with one sweeping post. Your answers and time is appreciated!


---------- Post added at 10:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:21 AM ----------

One brief additional question- being that I just ordered the Mini 9 (it should be arriving early next month) will the bios be A04 or A05? I ask this only because I know that the extended life battery only works with A04. Thanks!
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bmcclure937 bmcclure937 is offline
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Default 09-22-2009, 06:32 PM

Welcome to MyDellMini

I am sure you will learn a lot here and there is a bunch of information at your disposal to help you learn more about your Mini.

1. You are correct. The mechdrew guide you are referencing is fairly "up-to-date". You can use NetbookInstaller .8.2a [final] for the most updated, fully supported method. And you can use Snow Leopard just fine... it works great (check that thread, there are installation instructions)

2. -no experience with that mod-

3. I believe your expecations are realistic. You even said it yourself... "I have no problems with the small screen size and keyboard (my goodness if you had a problem with this why are you ordering a Mini 9 in the first place?). My expectations are not that this thing is going to be a lightning fast editing machine, but I do expect it to be a fully capable machine that gets the job done albeit more slowly than a desktop."

4. The extended battery will obviously help with battery life and does allow for a little bit more airflow. I do not really know much else in that regard and it is difficult to say what BIOS will ship on the Mini.

Good luck, and welcome to the community!

 Mini 10v  | 2Gb RAM | 320 Gb HDD | Ubuntu 10.04 | OSX 10.6.3 | NBI .8.4RC1 | Chameleon Bullet Theme | BIOS A05 | USB Wake : OFF | USB Legacy : ON | No BlueTooth
Meklort's Blog | NBI Google Code Page | -- the best OSX installation guides
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sonatacreative sonatacreative is offline
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Default 09-22-2009, 07:08 PM

Thanks bmcclure937- your response was helpful! Would you suggest I dive right into the Snow Leopard version right off the bat or stick with the regular Leopard install until the Snow Leopard version has been refined? I'm looking for as full/robust an install as I can get (stability again being the key- sound and sleep are huge for me). Is the Snow Leopard one recommended given those caveats? I'd like for pretty much everything to be accessible/usable from install if possible. I only ask because I know it is a recent development. If you'd advise me to go with Leopard off the bat and then upgrade a month or two down the road to Snow Leopard once its been refined OR to just hit Snow Leopard right off the bat, I'll go with whatever you recommend.

That being said I understand that everything is a perpetual process of improvement and there won't ever be one 'final' solution- I just don't want to have to spend excessive time updating over and over again as improvements are made. Ideally refreshing the OS version every 3-4 months is cool- I just was worried about the time-sync involved with refreshing the OS every few weeks or every month- it would seem that could really ding your productivity. Does that make sense? Thanks again really appreciate your insight and help!

Any additional comments/insights are appreciated as well!
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IDKwutName IDKwutName is offline
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Default 09-22-2009, 08:10 PM

first of all, if u meant leopard leopard, i would recommend snow leopard, but thats not me to be buggy about

about the photoshop, i am actually using a dell mini 10v as my main computer, which means i do all my photoshop work with it, it has the same resolution as the mini 9 and is quiet comfortable with the eyes, but a bit of the bottom icons are cut off if you use side dock, one tool is cut off and if you use bottom dock, a couple of tools are cut off and so is half of the shape tool, but thats not to worry. other than that, PERFECT cs4 machine

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