Archive for the 'Mac OSX' Category

Hackintosh home project

After fiddling about with Linux, Windows XP, Windows 7, Linux again (different flavours) and totally hating the new Gnome3 desktop, I’m now trying something new for my home project.

Building my own Apple Mac machine. 🙂 But then cheaper!!!

Around this time, my home PC was about to go dead, so I had to buy new stuff. After 7 years of loyal work, I decided to create a new home PC with the Apple Mac specifications in mind. After all, the new macs are Intel based so it is easy to get this to work.
I’ve done some investigation and decided to build one using the following specs in mind:
At least an Intel i5 of the 4th generation, plenty of RAM, 16GB. An SSD drive of 250GB. Small case and quiet, a WIFI adapter.

According to this nice site: I could spec my own CustoMac and it had to consist out of a Gigabyte motherboard. The big issue to get the thing working is basically the WIFI stuff to work, and yes, I have only WIFI available at the place I’m sitting currently. Just too lazy to pull some cables in the house. Also, since I’m going for Apple, the bluetooth adapter should work as well because of the Apple keyboard and the magic mouse. (The last one seems the most difficult part due to the Bluetooth detection inside OSX).

I’m new to OSX so I hope I can manage the thing. Fortunately very experienced with all sorts of Unix and when started at CSC (or TRW at the time), I used to work with Mach/OSF i386 machines (in 1997). In fact OSX and iOS still has the TRW branding in all header files of SCSI driver stuff.

Gigabyte Motherboard: GA-H87N-WIFI (not using the WIFI because it’s an Intel 7260 mini-PCI-half card = no OSX driver)
Intel Core i5 4570 boxed
Kingston HyperX blu KHX16C10B1K2/16X
TP-Link TL-WDN4800
Samsung 840 EVO 250GB
be quiet! System Power 7 300W
BitFenix Phenom Mini-ITX Zwart
Targus Bluetooth 4.0 Micro USB Adapter
Apple keyboard (wired)
Apple magic mouse

USB3.0 stick to place OSX install files on (no CDROM/DVD on board)
Currently I’ve attached 2x 24″ Illyama screens on the HDMI ports. 1080p.

Basically the building of the motherboard is pretty straight forward. Just put it together and make sure the small cables are in the right position on the motherboard.

Preparing the software:
Unfortunately I could not get the Apple installation media because of the restriction of me not-having-a-mac and thus not having the Mac version of the App store. Fortunately I could get my hand on a VMware Virtual Machine with OSX and used that from my Windows PC to prepare the USB files. I’ve used Mavericks 10.9.3.

I followed the guide here:

Configure the BIOS according the manual.

Inside the OSX Virtual Machine:
Basically what you do is download the Apple OSX, download the install software, use a nice software program to put it all on the USB stick.

Boot the new PC from the USB stick and the installer starts.

When the installer has finished, I had to use the -x bootflag. Otherwise it didn’t start-and-complete the post-installer.

When done, I had to download the Multibeast kext- and boot-installer tool.
Select your drivers, that is:
DSDT free, Soundcard: ALC892
and the rest is pretty much default

Reboot and you are done.

The configuration was quite easy but it took a while to get used to all the screens inside OSX.
I’ve disabled the power save-sleep stuff to prevent issues where the machine doesn’t wake up.

I’ve used on older version of the FileNVRAM to get iMessage to work.

Some things that are not working yet:
I cannot shut the machine down for some reason and it does not wake up when using keyboard/mouse. I’ve digged around and it looks like there is some interference with USB- or PCI card. Probably the Intel WIFI card. I can shut down OSX, but it does not power down the PC. Simular to some Linux bugs related to ACPI.
Simular thing with sleep mode. I’ve disabled powersaving stuff and display power save mode.
Fortunately the whole machine starts up within 5 seconds so no big deal here.
Currently I just use the shutdown option inside OSX what brings down OSX cleanly and after that the power-button on the case to shutdown immediately (configured inside the BIOS to do that to prevent the 5-secs wainting time)

I’m still waiting for the USB bluetooth dongle so my Magic Mouse is not connected yet.
The Intel card on the motherboard has bluetooth AND is also detected inside OSX, but
I’m unable to get something connected. I’ve decided to use an USB dongle with a supported
Broadcom chipset, the BCM20702a0. I found a local reseller who had a dongle with this chipset
with the name of a Targus. Hopefully that works.

The whole setup was about 650 euros, which is not really expensive for this kind of power.
The cheapest Apple starts around that price but you get an Apple mini with i5-laptop slowgrade CPU of 2 years ago and a few MB of RAM. Now I have a 4-core 3.5Ghz fast CPU and 16GB or RAM.
I was initially waiting for the NEW Apple mini but still no word when Apple was going to bring it out. I didn’t want to buy such an expensive machine with these poor specs.
Eventually maybe a Mac book pro, but I first want to see if OSX is something for me.

I will keep you up-to-date

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Stop OSX lion from opening all applications after reboot

One VERY annoying feature of OSX lion is the fact it opens ALL applications you ever opened despite the fact you disabled the “Restore windows when quitting and re-opening apps” feature in the system preferences.
After some googling around i found a solution that actually works!
Here is the solution:

– Open a terminal
– Run the following commands:

$ chflags nohidden ~/Library/
$ cd ~/Library
$ chmod a-w Saved\ Application\ State/

– Reboot

I hope this helps anybody with the same annoying problem.

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Connect to Windows Samba share on Mac OSX with SSH

After some googling around i found this post. It’s a very clear howto on connecting to a Windows Samba share on your Mac OSX with SSH. For example your NAS at home from any other location.
I copied it to my own site to be sure it stays on the web.

All credits go to the author.

Chances are if you are seeing this, you’ve tried quite a bit but it hasn’t worked. Look no further. If you are seeing this and haven’t been researching it, then this should still be enough info to get a good start.

First, here’s the point: Using windows file sharing (Samba/SMB) is a good way to access your files across your home network, but don’t even think about trying it over the internet. In order to access SMB shares across the internet you’re going to need to get creative. A method which works reasonably well is using a zero-configuration VPN program such as Hamachi, Remobo, Wippen, etc. to create a virtual lan connecion, thus fooling your computer into connecting like you were on the same lan. That works, but in my experience it isn’t very reliable, it has limitations, it has overhead, and it means you have to have that ZCVPN client on both ends. So here’s my solution, skip the program, jump straight to the solution. If you use an SSH tunnel to connect to your computer, you can access your SMB shares, you can use VNC to view your screen, or do just about anything that uses a port on your host computer. The best part about it is, once you have it up and running, it’s really simple to use!

Note: This post will assume that your “server” machine is running windows and your “client” machine is running Mac OS X Leopard.

Here’s how to do it:

1. Enable file sharing on your host computer (I’m going to assume this is running Windows). This will allow your files to be shared across your local network. If you don’t know how to do that, there’s a very good guide Here.

2. (Optional) Disable simple file sharing and edit the permissions on your shares so that the shares are password protected. You only need to do this if you don’t want just anyone on your local network to be able to access your files. (Google it)

3. Install an SSH server on your host computer, I’d recommend freeSSHd. This will allow your to create a secure connection between your computers. I’d suggest freeSSHd because it’s free and much easier to use than many of the alternatives (OpenSSH/Cygwin).

4. On the SSH tab in the freeSSHd settings, change the port to whatever port you want, I’ll be using 12345 in my examples. I’d recommend something in between 10000 and 50000 so that a network scanner is less likely to pick up the port.

5. On the Users tab in freeSSHd, add a user with the username and password of your choice, set your password as “Password stored as SH1 hash”.

6. On the Tunneling tab in freeSSHd, enable local and remote port forwarding.

7. Test your SSH server to make sure you can connect to it using a computer on the same network as the SSH server. You will need the local IP of the SSH server for this step you can find it using This guide.

To test it from your mac machine:

Open the Terminal (Applications/Utilities/Terminal)
Use the command ssh -p port username@hostip (Example: ssh -p 12345 lococobra@

8. Enable port-forwarding on your router to your SSH server at the port you used – Follow one of the guides for your router Here but use the port for SSH (12345)

9. (Optional) Set up an automatic DNS server for your host computer, you can set that up Here for free. I’d really suggest you do this, its very useful! Once you have that set up, install the No-IP Dynamic Update Client so that your DNS always matches your dynamic IP.

10. Test your SSH connection via the port forward. This is almost exactly the same as before, except instead of using the IP you got from ipconfig, use your global IP (or the DNS you set up in step 9). You can find your global IP Here.
Example: ssh -p 12345

Now that we have all that set up, we’re almost done. What we’re going to do is connect via SSH and forward the SMB ports from our host computer to our client. This will allow you to access your shares remotely. It works because your ssh/smb server will think that it’s directly connected with your client computer, when in fact the connection is all handled through SSH. The tricky part is, OS X Leopard will not allow you to do this. If you forward the SMB ports from the server to client computer, then the client will think that it’s connecting to itself, and so Leopard will deny the connect. In order to defeat this we’re going to have to work some magic.

11. Set up an alias for your loopback connection (localhost/ on your Mac. This will fool your computer into thinking it’s connecting to an external IP. This command needs admin privileges, so you have to use sudo. The command is:

sudo ifconfig lo0 alias up

This will create a temporary alias for your loopback connection which will stay active until the computer is restarted.

12. Edit the all users configuration file for your SSH settings so that you can connect quickly without setting it up each time.

Open the Terminal and run sudo pico /etc/ssh_config
Enter the following text above the line that says ” #Host *”, change the user and port to the ones you have used in your SSH configuration.

Host AliasForHost
HostName hostip
Port 12345
User YourUserName
ServerAliveInterval 200
ServerAliveCountMax 3

Keep in mind that you can add any number of ports to this list. For example, if you want to connect to VNC, add 5900 to that list. Then to use VNC, connect to

Hit control + x, Y, and enter to save the file. Since we’re saving it as a dotfile (there’s a dot at the beginning) you won’t be able to see it. If you need to edit it again, you can do it through pico the same way.

13. Initiate the SSH connection with your host computer using the host alias we set up before.

sudo ssh AliasForHost

14. Connect to the Samba share. Open a Finder window and hit command+ k to open a Connect to Server windows. For the server address, use:


Now click Connect, and if everything went well you should be prompted with a window to enter your Login credentials for the server machine!

Wow, that was complicated, but at this point it doesn’t need to be. Here’s a little AppleScript I came up with to automate the connection. (Don’t worry about running the ifconfig over and over, it won’t hurt anything)

set Command to “sudo ifconfig lo0 alias up; sudo ssh AliasForHost”

tell application "Terminal"
if (count of windows) is 0 then
do script Command
do script Command in window 1
end if
end tell

You can save that script as an application using the AppleScript Script Editor and run it to automatically run those commands.

I know for most people that post was probably really confusing but I tried! If you need help please comment or something. I’ll get back to you.

Edit: Take a look at Fredrik’s script in the first comment for an even more automated solution for connecting and mounting.

Edit2: I found a much more efficient way to actually initiate the connection using a host alias, take a look at the part about the ssh_config file

1 Comment »

Must have Mac OSX Apps: RCDefaultApp

RCDefaultApp allows to set the default applications used for various URL schemes, file extensions, file types, MIME types, and Uniform Type Identifiers from within a very easy interface. You can manage all your default settings from a single point. A handy feature is the ability to be able to override the default application for new files. For example, if you save a PSD with photoshop but you for example always want to view PSD’s with Xee, you will be able to configure this.

The application is freeware.
Go to the homepage of the author here:

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Must have Mac OSX Apps: Xee

Xee is the ultimate replacement for the zero-feature image viewer that comes with your mac.

The features of xee are:

  • Display a large number of image formats – any format QuickTime or Preview
    can open, plus several more, including PCX, Maya IFF and Amiga IFF-ILBM.
  • Easy browse through folders of images – open any file in a
    folder and use the toolbar, keyboard shortcuts or mouse wheel to
    view the other images in the same folder.
  • Browse image inside archives, using the uncompression engine from
    The Unarchiver. It can read almost every format
    The Unarchiver can, which include Zip, Rar, 7-Zip, Lzh, ISO and
    StuffIt. It also supports the CBZ and CBR formats, which are just
    renamed Zip and Rar files, respectively.
  • Effortlessly copy, move, rename and delete of images while viewing.
  • Losslessy rotate and crop JPEG images. This lets you edit your
    digital photographs without losing quality by re-compressing them like
    most other editors do.
  • View more EXIF data for JPEG files than Preview, and also other kinds of
    metadata, like XMP or IPTC. It can even try to identify what program or
    camera created a JPEG file by analyzing its quantization tables.
  • Extract bitmap images from inside PDF and SWF files. Many PDF files contain
    scanned pages in bitmap form, and Xee can read these and show them as
    bitmap image, and even save them. The same goes for bitmap images inside
    SWF files.
  • View images in full-screen.

Get it here:

1 Comment »

Must have Mac OSX App: TotalFinder

The Finder is the worst thing on the mac if you ask me, there are several missing features for example the abilty tho show folders before files, show hidden files, no creation of those irritating .DS_Store files etc.

TotalFinder, from BinaryAge, does everything i miss in the default mac finder. A few features i like the most are:

  • Tabbed browsing
  • Side-by-side mode, 2 finders in one window
  • Show hidden/system files
  • Folders on top

Go to the TotalFinder website

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The best editor on mac osx #textmate create your own commands using PHP

With the bundle editor it’s possible to create your own commands. And the best thing ever is you can use PHP in your commands.

Now i can do virtually anything, advanced text conversions, even with database lookups!

Textmate PHP command

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SVN and Mac OSX hidden .DS_Store ._ .AppleDouble files

If you work on a mac (as i do) your directories get poluted with .DS_Store, ._ and .AppleDoubel files. Apple (this is THE missing Finder feature!) has no option to turn this crap off.
Now when you use svn, you will also import all these useless files.

Thank god there is a option in svn to globally ignore specific files.
Just edit the file:


Find the line global-ignores, uncomment it and make it something like this:

global-ignores = *.o *.lo *.la #*# .*.rej *.rej .*~ *~ .#* .DS_Store .AppleDouble ._*


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Create new file option in OSX

In my opinion this is THE missing finder option… The ability to create a new file.
This finder plugin has exaclty this functionality: NuFile

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Screenshot howto on MacOS X

Keep forgetting this commands. Copy/pasted this from

* Command-Shift-3:
Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it as a file on the desktop
* Command-Shift-4, then select an area:
Take a screenshot of an area and save it as a file on the desktop
* Command-Shift-4, then space, then click a window:
Take a screenshot of a window and save it as a file on the desktop
* Command-Control-Shift-3:
Take a screenshot of the screen, and save it to the clipboard
* Command-Control-Shift-4, then select an area:
Take a screenshot of an area and save it to the clipboard
* Command-Control-Shift-4, then space, then click a window:
Take a screenshot of a window and save it to the clipboard

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