That's right, peoples, the Hack is back. Again. For an encore I kinda sorta vowed would never be. But let's not get ahead of ourselves. Instead, let us get behind ourselves, grimace at our technological cellulite (does this mobo make me look fat?), and see if hindsight really is 20/20. Dear lord, let's hope not.
Back at the dawn of 2010, I decided to cobble together my first Hackintosh using now-antiquated directions from Lifehacker.com's Adam Pash. After many fits, starts, bechunked fingertips and assorted threats against technology in general, the Hackintosh lived. Not a fruitful, benign existence, mind you, but one plagued by odd bootloader issues, random kernel panics, misadventures in kexting and a general lack of performance. The machine wasn't slow, but it always performed less than the sum of its parts. The fact that it had cost me less than half the price of a new Mac Pro, however, bought it time.
A lot of time.
Twenty months to be exact.
I had not planned on assembling a new Hackintosh. I had intended to hold out for the iPad 3. Why? So I could get a Core i7-powered iMac as my main machine and use LogMeIn Ignition on the iPad and its Retina display when I needed to do work out in the field. But with rumors now pinning the iPad 3's release in the third quarter of 2012 (with an updated iPad 2 hitting in the interim), that plan was deemed untenable. The Hack 1.0 had been chugging along on OS X 10.6.4 for quite some time. I had achieved relative stability and didn't want to lose another weekend or two scouring the Hackintosh forums for solutions to obscure problems. And installing Lion? Ha! As if.
As if I wouldn't eventually give in and try it.
Given the flaky bootloader issues I had experienced since day one, I knew the only way to upgrade my system was from scratch. Which I didn't want to do. Buying a new machine would be so much simpler. And who doesn't love that new Mac smell? Turtleneck with a hint of Ive, I think. But, living the life of a freelance writer, I didn't have the spare wad of bills stuffed inside a fake shaving cream can with which to procure an iMac or MacBook Pro. Sure, I could've gotten an older machine. But then I'd have an older machine. Do you know what old Ive smells like? English leather and haggis, that's what. No thank you.
Nor did I want to build another machine. New motherboard. New processor. New OS install. New headaches large and small. But I was rapidly getting left behind as iCloud, Lion, and other goodies kept emerging from Cupertino. Goodies I could not forgo if I wished to remain a suspect Mac pundit. So I opted for what seemed to be the route of least pain (note, not pain-free): I would do the install-from-scratch bit on the Hack 1.0 and hope for the best.
You already know the rest of the story.
After bopping back and forth between Tonymacx86 and InsanelyMac for a couple of days, I thought I knew enough to avoid major issues. Tonymacx86 has put together a fairly bulletproof install system for both Snow Leopard and Lion (earlier this week, Tonymac released a new Lion install guide that should be even simpler called UniBeast). Which was good, since the Lion install required that 10.6.8 already be up and running. Getting the new Snow Leopard install working was actually fairly easy. Indeed, so was the Lion install. I only had to redo everything twice do to my own over-enthusiastic installation of old kext files. There was much semi-rejoicing.
Until programs tried to open windows. And they got stuck. Sometimes halfway open. Other times as a tiny, tiny, 10x10 pixel blob barely visible on my screen. In any case, it made the system just slightly unusable. So, after a weekend spent doing what I didn't want to do—hunting down kexts and scouring forums—I gave up. I couldn't find a single message related to my issue. Or a kext that would help. And, with Tonymac's MultiBeast install wizard, such a kext should have been unnecessary for a 9800GTX. And so I resigned to limp along with 10.6.5 until the day my iOS 5-sporting iPhone self-Siri'ed and forced the machine to commit hara-kiri. Except that's just crazy talk. Everyone knows Siri doesn't work on a 3GS.
Yet, the allure of even counterfeit Eau d' Ive was too much for me to resist. And so a desperate man (me) made a desperate decision to go all Steve Austin (not the wrestler) on Hack 1.0 and rebirth it as a Sandy Bridge Hack of Unusual Size. Or Scorn. Or Similes. I don't know. Haven't settled on that "S" word just yet.
But slip-sliding over that bridge of 100-grit will have to wait for another Hole.
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