My original plan was to install Vista on the Dell Mini, but I was sidetracked when I came across an article about someone’s “Run Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) on a Dell Mini 9” article.
I was intrigued.
I’ve always wanted play around with the Mac OSX, but I could never justify the purchase of a Mac nor did I have the patience to go through the “Hackintosh” route. I also wanted to be able to use my desktop machines at their full potential.
With the Dell Mini 9 and its reserved goals as an Internet browsing machine, I finally had an opportunity to try Mac OSX. While, I did manage to install Apple’s beloved OS onto Dell’s gift to the netbook market, I wasn’t completely happy with the setup.
So what did it work? Just about everything major component of the laptop was working fine. Wi-fi, sound, video and even a majority of the function keys were working. What eventually irked me from sticking with Mac OSX were the little things. Some examples include:
- Sleep does not work properly with the factory STEC SSD (8 or 16 GB)
- Card reader is not recognised due to lack of driver.
- One is being worked on by the community.
- Trackpad ‘s right hand scroll bar doesn’t work
- Audio line-in doesn’t work properly
- Either have working with static noise, or disable the function completely.
- Headphone jack doesn’t toggle from speaker.
- You can install the SoundSource application to toggle between speaker and headphones
- Sound muting doesn’t work properly
- Power managment doesn’t work properly
They may seem like minor issues on paper, but in practice, it’s quite bothersome. There’s an excellent Wiki page which was most helpful, but the latest and greatest info comes from either MyDellMini’s Mac OSX forum or InsanelyMac’s Dell Inspiron Mini 9’s thread. I’ll check that thread regularly, but for now it’s off to Windows Vista.
As for impressions of Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard)? Mostly positive. That OS is incredibly pretty. The prettiest stock OS I’ve ever seen, in fact. I didn’t have too much trouble installing, configuring, or removing applications. I was also given an opportunity to play with kexts (Kernal Extensions). Overall, it was an interesting experience and one I wish to revisit once most of the major kinks have been ironed out.