My Hacintosh Experiment

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Building my own Hackintosh was a very satisfying project: It gave me a chance to learn a tiny bit about computer hardware, test my patience, appreciate the work of complete strangers working to expand the audience for Apple's excellent operating system, and create my own new computer while saving a bunch of money in the process (I wonder if that cute insurance gecko uses a Mac?).

Would I prefer a new Apple computer? Certainly! I've been a champion of Apple for many years, and always admired their elegant operating system, ease of use, superb industrial design, well-considered and consistent user interfaces, and tight product integration. But Apple's higher prices, despite the adoption of PC hardware, reminds me of a quote by their co-founder, Steve Wozniak:

"Apple saw itself as a hardware company; in order to protect our hardware profits, we didn't license the operating system. We had the most beautiful operating system, but to get it you had to buy our hardware at twice the price. That was a mistake."

 - Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, as quoted in "Apple Confidential: The Real Story of Apple Computer", by Owen W. Linzmayer, pg. 195 (ISBN 1-886411-28-X)


I'm sure that the Mac Mini will evolve, with the next version almost certain to include an Intel "i" series processor and probably a discrete graphics chip: This model will almost certainly out-perform my MicroMini Hackintosh. The upside is that my MicroMini will always outperform and be far more expandable than the Mid-2010 Mac Mini used as the benchmark for this experiment.

My biggest concern involves the announcement of Apple's "Mac Store": Articles suggest that the Mac Store, designed to give Apple a convenient, electronic, secure, and highly profitable way to deliver computer software in the same manner currently being used for Apple's "iOS" devices, will prevent modifications or additions to the operating system's kernel extensions ("kexts"). More ominously, it could be used to restrict downloading of future Apple operating systems and their updates to Apple computers registered during purchase. Together, they could herald the death of the Hackintosh community.

Kudos to the following:

  • The employees at my local Microcenter (especially Mike in their Apple Department: While he did not help with my Hackintosh per se, he's a great guy and has always been a fantastic resource for all things Apple).
  • for their compendium of all specs Apple, 
  • tonymacx86 for the excellent installation method and tools "iBoot 2.5.3" & "Multibeast",
  • Daywalkr3 for being the Hackintosh pioneer on the GA-G41M-Combo motherboard,
  • Xbench, Chris Hyle, and Marcel Bresink for the very helpful testing and monitoring software, and
  • Steve & Karen for the "subsidies".

Legal Notice:

Rather than add a "©", "®" or "™" symbol to each protected mark on each page and then hope I didn't overlook any, here's a list of the protected marks used in this document that I'm aware of, along with the usual generic acknowledgement in case I actually did forget to mention anyone:
Intellectual Property Notice
This/These Mark(s) the Intellectual Property of:
Apple, "Apple TV", Firewire,  iLife, iPad, iPhone, iPod, iWork, Lion, Mac, Leopard, "Snow Leopard" Apple Computer, Inc., 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino CA 95014
Cooler Master Cooler Master Co., Ltd.,Taipei Hsien 9F, No. 782, Chung Chen Rd., Chung Ho City TW
Micron Technology, Inc., 8000 South Federal Way, Boise ID 83707
Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Boulevard, Santa Clara CA 95052
nVidia, GeForce NVIDIA Corporation, 2701 San Tomas Expressway, Santa Clara CA 95050
MICRO ELECTRONICS, INC., 4055 Leap Road, Hilliard OH 43026
Whac-a-Mole BOB'S SPACE RACERS, INC., 427 15th Street, Daytona Beach FL 32117

To keep the Lawyers happy, let me add that this document may contain additional marks protected by US and/or International law: These marks are the property of their respective intellectual property holders, and it is not the intention of this site to undermine or dilute such marks. If you believe your property has been improperly acknowledged or used, let me know and I can acknowledge the mark or remove it.
Next: Caveats Update & Son of MicroMini?