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fabfour fabfour is offline
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Posts: 15
Join Date: May 2009
Default Successful installation - A story - 06-06-2009, 01:51 PM

Hi there,

just want to tell my story of a full installation.
First of all i was looking for a replacement of my home chat and email laptop.
So i was looking what could be suitable on the market and i found this sweet machine here and as i love osx cause i have a mac mini here as tv box i thought, thats it.

After unboxing, i bootet XP, which was so damn slow... Well not important.
I only did this to install the A05 Bios which can be downloaded from the dell support site. To patch you have to wait until the battery is fully loaded. Otherwise it will abort with a cryptical failure.
Next thing i checked was that bluetooth and wlan is enabled before i threw Win XP away.

Afterwards i used the Runcore Installation Method.
I installed OSX 10.5.6 retail dvd following mechdrews guide Guide Method 4: Install via Mac to External Drive or RunCore SSD | DellEFI | mechdrew
I had some problems, thinking all the time wtf, i did exactly every step as in the tutorial... But OSX only bootet up in the -x mode.
What i did wrong was inserting a dummy sd card... This issue took me about one hour to figure out. After unplugging there were no more issues.
After the installation, i did the bluetooth terminal mod to geht bluetooth tethering work with my wm6 phone:
Luckily i had the same numbers so i hadn't to search for a scientific calculator to generate the values...
Next thing was the umts card. I installed the driver out of this thread:
HOWTO: Using mobile broadband / WWAN module in OSX
I have genion from O2 germany so i used ap "surfo2"
You must disable the PIN on your simcard otherwise it will not work.
After all this and 4 hours of installing i was quite surprised that all these things worked like a charm.
I installed the aboutthismac package
and then i tried meklords touchpad drivers.
I didn't use the install script, just copied the files as mentioned at some place i am unwilling to search now, but as unexperienced user i suggest to use the install script which is also available somewhere in the deeps of this forum Use search...
I am quite impressed of the 2 finger scrolling. No false positives or negatives, yet.
Also the acceleration code is very nice.
I disabled the click function because i am too stupid to write without touching the touchpad... And i did not understand this drag functionality - never used a touchpad, always had thinkpads with this nice red nibble...
I'll maybe have a look at the click stuff again, if the disable touchpad on typing feature will be available.
Next annoying thing was the keyboard layout. I didn't find something appropriate for a german keylayout so i created one.
Deutsches Tastaturlayout
For the screen resolution thing. I currently use the settings:
defaults write NSGlobalDomain AppleDisplayScaleFactor 1.0
defaults write AppleDisplayScaleFactor 0.9

The result of this is, that only the SystemSettings are scaled. When i use normal apps, i figured out it's just to tiny to work with if i scale... (my opinion) I needed this only once to configure Skype and Mail.
I also had a graphical issue with firefox where the background is looking quite strange when scaling, as if the background still has scale factor 1 which leads to white rectangles and so on.

Didn't try out these apps to change the scale factor by a click. I was not willing to spend time in searching for that. If there is one which is located in the menu bar, feel free to answer me

Thats were I am now... I did a full feature test (as far as i thought of all things).

What works:
Display - Graphics, no lags. Works like on my mac mini
USB - works
VGA - works even better than in XP. XP was unable to scale over the whole 1680x1050 of my lcd. OSX does that. (Or maybe the screen found the right mode out of luck)
Integrated Audio - works
Audio out - works
MIC in - didnt check but i read it doesn't work
Integrated MIC works
Webcam - works (tested in Skype) but seems to recognize and only use my 1.3 mp cam as 0.3 mp. Quality in XP was better.
SD-Reader - didn't test so far, maybe i buy a supported card in future, the reader doesn't like dummy cards
Sleep - works, with the known issues.

Remaining issues:
Reboot after sleep - hangs
Hibernate - is disabled. I don't need this. But what i am interested in is a replacement for the hibernation when the battery runs out. Is mac os shutting down instead when hibernation is not available? Didn't check that, yet. Maybe someone of you knows. If not, is this maybe something i can set somewhere?
Typing on this tiny keyboard - a plastic surgeon here to modify my fingers?

App specific:
After rechecking the speed of office 2004 for this post i found out, that office only works with the original system keylayout. Does anyone know if i can do something about it?

Usability of this netbook:
Well, i am very impressed how smooth OSX runs on this tiny part of hardware.
With the feature richness of this device you can do nearly anything.
I even installed Eyetv and plugged my Eyetv hybrid stick and there were no lags at all.
Normal system usability is okay so far. I had one time very laggy inputs in Office 2004. Tested it again. Now it seems to be okay. Nevertheless this is no high speed system and you have to remeber this when you buy such a device.
What i don't like is the tiny keyboard... I am still not sure if i'm getting used to it in a way i can say, i don't appreciate a normal keyboard.
I hate touchpads - there is no more to say. But whithout click functionality what i was triggering all the time accidently and with two finger scrolling it is bearable... Nevertheless i miss my thinkpad trackpoint!!!
The fonts and all have to be very tiny, to have a overview of your desktop. For me scaling is unattractive. It is tiny enough! (and i have good eyes, i am a pilot).
I guess it is tiring to work on this device for longer time with all this tiny fonts and so an and if you make it all bigger, your desktop becomes to small.
For me this is near at the limit of usability. The guys who want to mod the display to a higher resolution - i think you are completely crazy
Thats what i have to say after 2 days of usage of the dell mini 9 with osx

At last i want to thank all of you guys for this wonderful site with so many hints.
Took me about 6 hours or so to get all this work (including 2 hrs to modify the keymap)

Have a nice time with your device you all

Greets fabfour
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  (#2) Old
emdc emdc is offline
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Posts: 153
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Birmingham, AL
Default 06-07-2009, 12:20 AM

A while back I changed the scale factor on my Dell Mac mini 9 & forgot to put it back. Next time I used it I couldn't understand what was going on with Firefox. Everything was fine once I restored it to 100% & I haven't bothered with it since.

I hate trackpads too & found a WONDERFUL Logitech wireless mouse that clips to my computer.

Enjoy your new computer! Glad your tale wasn't a horror story.

Dell mini 9, 2GB RAM, 32GB RunCore SSD, OS X (10.6.7)
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