My sister is going away to Africa this summer for a month and we were trying to figure out what kind of computer she should take with her. She has a very nice 15″ MacBook but she didn’t want to take anything that she couldn’t easily replace in case of theft or damage. She wanted to be able to copy her photos off her camera and do some blogging while there. With these requirements in mind, at first the iPad seemed like a possible solution but it didn’t really meet the cheap and easily replaceable requirement so we decided on a netbook. It would be small and light so it wouldn’t take up much room in her luggage or wear her down when carrying it in a day pack.
I had heard good things about the Dell Minis but when I heard the Mini 10v could easily be turned into a hackintosh, I was sold. The only problem being, the Dell Mini 10v has been discontinued so I had to act quickly before the prices went up on any available units from independent sellers. I was able to pick one up from a seller on Amazon for roughly $299. This came with a 160 gig HD and 1 gig of RAM.
The computer came in about a week and I instantly went to work on converting it and installing the Apple OS. I found very clear directions over on Gizmodo.
The hardest part (and even this wasn’t that hard), was that after you do the install, you can apply the available updates ( be very patient, it can take a while to get 10.6.3, I was told to be patient and I still wasn’t patient enough). But after you apply the updates some of the hardware will stop working (sound stopped working on my hackintosh Dell Mini 10v) but all you had to do to fix it was run the NetBook Installer mentioned in the Gizmodo instructions and reboot. voilà! Sound was back and everything was working.
The NetBook Installer is a magical piece of software on the Dell Mini 10v. It allows all the hardware to work, including the built in camera and the volume and brightness control buttons on the top row. Even putting the laptop to sleep by closing the lid works if you turn off legacy USB support in the BIOS.
A minor drawback to the hackintosh is that you are left with keys on the keyboard that don’t match up to a regular mac keyboard. He physical location matches to a mac keyboard but the labels are off. So the Windows key is actually the option key and the ALT key Is actually the Command (Apple) key.
The performance is solid for web browsing, I didn’t do much else with it but I will be handing it over to my sister so she has a month to play with it and work the kinks out before she leaves.
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad