Archive | May 2010


Where do you get yours?

I got into a discussion with my girlfriend about BSF (That’s Building Schools for the Future), although with the Tories now in power it looks to be in doubt so the point may be moot.

Like all good discussions it should be based on facts and evidence, but I didn’t have any to hand and I can’t recall many if any papers on the impact of BSF on learner attainment and achievement. So I’m going to be looking into it in more detail to see what’s what and any interesting links will be collated in here or on twitter ­čÖé

Hack Different?

I’ve been messing around with my netbook (an Advent 4211 – Think an uglier MSI Wind). ┬áSome of you may know my usual success when it comes to fiddling with things, but this time round I had a reason.

My netbook used to run Windows XP, that was until the harddrive died in spectacular fashion (second time its happened this year, both times the hard drives ended up as coasters).  This happened the day I bought a shiny new 6 Cell battery, as my previous 3 cell was only giving me 20 minutes worth of power.

So I had a netbook that could only BSOD, but at least it could BSOD for four hours!


However, way back last year I installed OSX on external hard drive when the hackintosh thing first bursted on to the netbook scene. I hadn’t made the full jump as running an OS over USB is cludgy, bulky and I didn’t use the netbook due to the aforementioned battery issue. So I went back to XP and left the hard drive to one side.

Until two days ago, when the XP drive died and I was left without means to re install XP (I’d left my external Dvd drive at a friends), ┬áso I installed the OSX drive and was back up and running fairly quickly.

And it was good and for a time things were fine. I made baby steps into OS X, found out what Expose was its shortcuts and how easy it was to install applications, the usual Mac transition joy.

I should have stopped there….. I didn’t

I had the good sense to check out software update and on seeing on their being an update to 10.5.8, had the really smart idea of click the break button (in this case named install updates).

The update installed and I restarted, the result was someone similar to this:

well truth be told I had a kernel panic (that’s right my Mac had taken a turn for the Emo), as I was greeted by this lovely image when I restarted:

And I hadn't got a dvd drive to sort it out

Let’s review:

  1. I had a shiny new battery and a working netbook
  2. I then had a shiny new battery and a broken netbook
  3. I then had a shiny new battery and a shiny new operating system
  4. I then had a shiny new battery and an apparent out of date operating system
  5. I then had a shiny new battery and a updated shiny new operating system, that hadn’t been restarted
  6. I then had a shiny new battery and a coaster

Now doesn’t that sound like progress!

So I admitted defeat and went to bed, cursing my fiddling until it breaks nature.

The next day I popped round my friends house and regained my external dvd drive and set to sorting out my hackintosh. I was decided that I would try out OS X even though I could now reinstall Windows XP, as during the 30 minutes I had a working copy of OS X I saw enough to convince me that it was worth the time.

So I was all set to reinstall and then I saw that this:

It's a Snow Leopard

It's a Snow Leopard

So why go with a proven hackintosh capable OS, when you can try something that could be buggy and untested?!

So I did,  luckily I found a ISO that was set up for the Wind and apart from the com.Apple.Boot.plist pointing the boot loader to the wrong partition and breaking, necessitating alot of this:

Want to hack da mac? Get used to this....

Want to hack da mac, get used to using this....

But plists aside it was a pretty seamless process and most things work (trackpad, wifi, camera, sound etc), the only thing that is currently broken is the built microphone, but that’s a small price to pay imo. Even updating to 10.6.3 didn’t prove to be too onerous.

So after three days I’ve got a working netbook with Snow Leopard 10.6.3, and a shiny new battery:

The Finish (non broken) Article

None of this would have been possible without the tireless work of those intrepid members of, truly have I stood on the shoulders of geeks.