installing dual boot os x and ubuntu on a dell mini 10v

Posted in gadgets, how-to on November 27th, 2010 by fabienne

Another friend of mine is going to get a dell mini 10v: the now discontinued easily hackintoshable netbook. Since I did the install and it was hellish from the current how-to’s available in June of 2010 (because of bit rot and lack of updates regarding versions of software in those how-to’s), I thought I would include some links and notes on how I got it finally working.

I bought a retail version of os x snow leopard 10.6.3 and tried to install it, but it didn’t work for me in the least. In the end I borrowed a retail version of snow leopard 10.6.0 from a friend, used it in conjunction with netbookmaker 0.8.4 rc1, from an external usb harddrive formatted from a working snow leopard 10.6.4 machine. You can’t format the external usb harddrive from anything lower than an existing snow leopard 10.6.0 machine.

Just to be clear: installing hackintosh directly from 10.6.3 doesn’t work, and won’t ever work. Find an earlier os x version 10.6.0 or 10.6.1 (in the retail version, single user copies won’t work) then upgrade but only step by step upgrades to 10.6.2 then 10.6.3. Currently my hackintosh runs 10.6.3 fairly happily, with some kernel panics about once a week.

I first formatted the internal harddrive when setting up os x to have 2 large partitions so I could then install linux as a dual boot.

To do my initial install I followed this how-to:

step 1:

and then this forum post to step up to 10.6.3:

step 2:

Then for the dual bootness with linux, I did a classic ubuntu install from usb stick and I think I fixed the grub issues by following this … but I’m not sure since it has been several months.

I then successfully reflashed the hackintosh’s built in broadcom wireless card (from the ubuntu partition) with airport product + vendor id’s, + most importantly, region free for wifi channel 12 + 13, using this how-to: . Please note that in step 8 of the how-to, the git path in that how-to has moved to this: git clone git:// .  The system profiler on os x now reports my card as an AirPort Extreme with the Locale: ETSI  and adds and subtracts channels based on my current location.

So now I have a working system where I use the chameleon bootloader to dual boot os x snow leopard 10.6.3 and Ubuntu 10.04 LTS Lucid Lynx.

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makerbot 'lectric cupcake cnc 3d printer

Posted in gadgets, hardware hacking, open source, projects on November 13th, 2009 by fabienne

just a quick update to let you know i was sponsored a 3d printer by wim of and i built it and got it working. i presented some slides (odp format, pdf here) about open source hardware and how the makerbot fits into all that at openchaos at the C4 in cologne a few weeks ago. a photo build log of me putting mine together (some assembly required) is here.

i will be bringing ‘lectric to dorkbot aachen next week on wednesday, so stop by if you want to print something out or if you want to see a 3d plastic extrusion printer built from scratch up and running. you can design your own stuff to print and upload it to the thingiverse ahead of time, or just contact me with your digital file and some contact info by email fabienne attt fabienne do0tt us.

a 3 second short video clip showing ‘lectric, my makerbot, printing its very first print (a lego brick) is here below:

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drobo + airport extreme + time machine + multiple macs

Posted in gadgets, how-to on February 26th, 2009 by fabienne

i struggled a bit getting backups going for our (mostly mac) office at, but now things are finally up and running. i combined a first gen drobo, an airport extreme (wired over gigabit), time machine, and multiple macs with os 10.5.6 (leopard).

i mostly followed the “use sparse image” section from this post. here is what i did step by step:

  1. setup drobo with drobo dashboard directly plugged into one computer, format for max size (i chose 8TB because it would be faster boot time than 16TB, and frankly right now only 2TB drives are at a good price point, which makes 5.5 available TB if you have 4 x 2TB drives. i currently have 4 x 1TB drives in the drobo which makes 2.7TB available space. you can estimate available space with the drobolator), even if you don’t have that much space, this means you can slot in some bigger drives in the future without touching your setup, so make this max size BIG.
  2. next format the drive with os x’s disk utility with “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)”. if you don’t, you won’t be able to use it for time machine over the airport extreme. disk utility should see it as an 8TB drive (even though it really is much smaller). this step is currently incorrect on this page. you must chose “Mac OS Extended (Journaled)” (aka hfs+). this setup will absolutely not work if you choose just “Mac OS Extended”.
  3. the next step is the step outlined here under the heading “Best Method: Use a Sparse Image”. i repeated this step for all our macs at the office, making a sparse image for each with the correct hostname of each machine, the correct MAC address for each machine, and a different name for each -volname. for the sizes, i took the total disk space of each machine and added a bit of headroom for extra weekly backups with time machine. once time machine uses up the space alloted by the sparse image for that particular machine, it will start deleting older weekly backups. currently we don’t have any machines that are even using their full disk capacity, so i have a feeling my headroom will be plenty. make sure that when you add up all the sizes of your sparse images, that your total is less than 95 percent of the drobo available space you estimated with the drobolator. so i, for example, have 4 x 1 TB drives in the drobo, which gives me 2.7TB of available space, so i should keep the sum of all my sparse image files under 2.565 TB. the nice thing about definining these sparse image files is that you can make them bigger later, if, for example, you add a new drive into a machine (or if you upgrade the total usable disk space of your drobo by putting more/bigger drives into your drobo). to increase the sparse image size , “disconnect all users” in the airport utility and plug your drobo directly back into a tower or laptop.  in the command line:
    $ hdiutil resize -size 1500g nameofsparseimage
    you can also add more sparse images by doing the same thing, disconnect all users, plug the drobo back into a machine, add a new sparse image for a new machine you want to backup.
  4. once you have all the sparse images on the drive, eject it from your computer, and plug it into the airport extreme (via usb). now setup your airport extreme with the airport utility. choose “Manual Setup” and the “Disks” tab up top. the airport extreme will not report the right size of the drive, don’t worry about that. under the “File Sharing” tab, check “Enable File Sharing”. for me, the way it seemed to be happiest was to choose “Secure Shared Disks: With a disk password” and “Airport Disks Guest Access: Not allowed” and leave “Advertise disks globally using Bonjour” unchecked. Click the “Update” button at the bottom of the airport utility and let the airport extreme reboot completely. i had some problems when playing with configs that the airport extreme wouldn’t reboot properly. a friend noted that this was because the airport extreme sometimes pulls power from the connected disks and doesn’t totally reboot itself. my solution was to unplug the usb from the drive and unplug the power cable from the airport extreme. then repower the airport extreme, then plug in the drive once it has booted back up again.
  5. now you can configure time machine. on one of the machines for which you have made a custom sparse bundle, open a finder window and select your airport extreme from the “shared” tab on the left. click the “Connect” button and enter the disk password you defined in the airport utility. the drobo should now be mounted as a shared drive in your finder window, and you should be able to see the sparse bundles you previously made there. now open time machine preferences on this machine and choose disk/change disk. if you have followed everything above, you should see the drobo in the list of available drives. you won’t see any different partitions or the sparse bundles, just choose the drobo drive. time machine may ask you for the disk password again, this can be your username and the disk password you set in the airport utility. (backups should work for all users on the same machine, even if you don’t expressly go into each user and setup time machine, this should be a system wide backup.) now start your backup. when your backup is going, the sparse bundle should mount as a drive on your machine (maybe even on your desktop if you have the Finder pref “Show these items on the Desktop:” “External Disks” selected.) your backups should be only written to this sparse bundle and not write anything extra to the drobo. verify this by navigating in your finder to the airport extreme and make sure that only your sparse bundles that you first made there are listed. if there is anything extra apart from your original sparse bundles, you made a mistake in step 3 with the name of the machine or the mac address. each machine should only write to its own sparse bundle for which you have defined a set size. now time machine won’t try to eat up your entire drobo’s space (in my case 8TB) and stay within the size parameters you set in step 3.

this setup has been up and running for a few days at this point, and i can use time machine (though it is a bit slow) on each machine to step back in time. i will report later if there are any issues with the airport extreme requiring reboot or issues with the drobo. for now it’s all crunching along quite nicely, and i’ve even swapped some disks in and out of the drobo to upgrade my total raid space. i don’t have an offsite backup solution yet, but i’m considering doing backups every two weeks using super duper! with external terabyte drives for each machine. all in all, the drobo is an awesome raid solution that works so painlessly with different sized drives, but getting it to work with a multi-mac setup was a tad more than i bargained for. feel free to leave comments if i left something out, or if something in this outline doesn’t work for you.

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no longer a nokia fangirl

Posted in gadgets on February 1st, 2009 by fabienne

so after all those nokia posts over the years, for the first time ever, i don’t use a nokia as my mobile device [updated feb 6th, 2009, see bottom of post] (mobile phone? cellphone? does anyone make calls anymore with these devices?). yes, i broke down after seeing eliot‘s dev version g1 android google phone and bought a new phone. i was waiting way too long for a replacement for my aging nokia e70, and i couldn’t wait any longer after the release of the curse of silence at the end of congress (my pics of 25c3 here). so why would i break down and use a google phone after all my anti-google rants? i can’t stand the iphone’s touchscreen soft keyboard: the iphone is just a pull device for me, not a push device. the openmoko is great in theory, but once again i need a keyboard. the google phone is pretty much the only option for me right now, short of getting another nokia that i’m not happy with.

it’s a bit shocking to realize the uptake in the open source mobile development community around the android. i guess i never thought about the iphone app store having a competitor in the google android market, but it’s got crazy uptake. some thoughts on my g1 in the last 21 days i’ve had it (largely compared to e70, rockstar of an old phone that it was):

  • 24 days ago: omg omg omg my g1 dev version arrived just now! my g1 android phone’s back battery cover smells like rubber in new shoes. i’m like a kid in new clothes on the first day of school. yay data plan working in g1 android dev phone. (i must find a shorter way to say that.) i feel so dirty as an ex-nokia-fangirl.
  • 23 days ago: acquired 8gb micro sd for g1, 1tb ext hdd for photo backup/processing. space: i has it. yay k9 mail on android g1 phone works with self signed imap certs! i can haz email on my new phone! i want a real jabber client for the g1 phone (general xmpp, maybe off smack?, sexier than this. ) who wants to help?
  • 20 days ago: @timbray The truth bout multi-touch and the Android G1.
  • 17 days ago: the g1 dev version standard headphones suck so so bad. guess i will have to mod them with minijack. oh wait wasn’t i doing this in 2005?
  • 14 days ago: g1 shows up fine over usb with g5 tower at work, not on ubuntu media server or g4 tower at home, with card reader or tethered. frak. 1gb micro sd from g1 mounting just fine on ubuntu media tower, syncing just fine with amarok. 8gb frak up is a mystery. arg found a how-to for repartitioning large micro sd cards for g1 android right when i needed to leave the house. less travel, more nerding.
  • 13 days ago: so amarok did sync all the songs, id3 tags, file folders, + even album art to g1. BUT: no playlist file. meh, “repeat all” for my shower. cannibalizing hacked nokia popport to mod g1 headphones. deja-freaking-vu.
  • 8 days ago: weird bug on the g1, camera takes one pic, then says i need to insert sd card. playing music at the same time off sd card.
  • 4 days ago: my g1 has lost connection to my cell carrier 3 times in 2 days and requires hard reboot. wtf?

so the basic thing is, this is a sexy phone, with a backlit full keyboard, but it’s definitely beta to the max. the battery life sucks (haven’t tried different battery mod patches yet), and it has some issues with keeping a cellphone connection in places of crappy signal that cuts in and out. however, that being said, the android market with its over-the-air downloads and installs is a huge HUGE huge contender to the iphone app store. i must say that’s the big point of this phone, it’s in an interesting position of open source and useability. when i bought it at the beginning of the month, i did not expect to be inspired to write or patch apps for it. and now, well, i very well may code some stuff up. final verdict for my g1: i don’t hate it i’m going to switch back to nokia for the time being.

update feb 6, 2009: i tried tethering and couldn’t even get this broswer proxy server to work. not being able to share my 3g connection with my laptop was the last straw for me. i am going to switch back to my nokia until the g1 has:

  1. a jabber client that deals well with disconnects and saves your login credentials.
  2. better battery life.
  3. a way to share a calendar without going through gcal.
  4. a way to tether 3g properly to a laptop, either cabled or wireless.
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Two weeks with the Nokia E90

Posted in gadgets on September 2nd, 2008 by fabienne

I was offered the chance to test out a Nokia E90 (aka the newest Nokia Communicator) for two weeks. As I’m a gadget hound, I jumped at the opportunity and here are my thoughts. Be forewarned that I used the E90 in place of my usual E70. Many of the criticisms found in this post have to do with comparisons between my E70 and the E90. Right off the bat I noticed that the keys on the E90 felt less “clicky” than the keys on my E70. I personally love responsive keys on a tiny keyboard, otherwise I can’t really touch type. The hinges on the E90 are a bit strange, and they grew on my slightly by the end of the two weeks. However, I would have loved to have a 45 degree angled mode between completely open and 90 degrees.

The screen was nice and bright, but often too bright at night. I tried adjusting the brightness and having the screen brightness auto-adjust with the light sensor, all to no avail. Also impeding proper usage of the E90 in the dark is the very dimly backlit keyboard in the fully open qwerty mode. My E70 has keys that are much more brightly backlit than the E90 when open. As far as I could find there was no way to increase the keyboard backlight’s brightness; it supported either on or off. Another usability annoyance for me were the two select buttons (they look like blue parentheses up to the right of the screen in the photo above). The select buttons are difficult to reach while thumb typing on the qwerty keyboard. On the E70 those buttons are on the screen in the middle and are very easy to access without any reach or stretch.

One happy feature of the E90 is the strong vibrator. It makes my E70 seem positively wimpy, and I have missed calls on my E70 in silent mode since switching back a few days ago. The four-way joysticks on both the outside and inside of the E90 work significantly better than on my E70. Coverage of 3G (UMTS) seems to be very similar to the antenna strength on my E70.

Now let me discuss current mobile apps for the Nokia E90. On my E70 I use the built in email app. The E90’s email app is very similar, though it is more pleasant to use on the interior widescreen than the outer screen. Web browsing still requires usage of the built in Nokia browser, as Opera doesn’t support the E90 as of the time of this review. Shozu supposedly supports the E90, but I tried installing it three times without success. The crash error message on the E90 that I had with many apps — “KERN EXEC 3” — is at least different than the usual “Out of Memory” error on my E70. I couldn’t upgrade to a newer firmware on the E90 because I didn’t have access to any Windows machines during my two week trial, so perhaps some of the bugs have been ironed out. The music player on the E90 is much better software-wise than the aging one on the E70. Annoyingly enough the E90 uses a 2.5mm connector instead of the standard 3.5mm mini jack connector on most commercial headphones. Yes, I use my cell as my mp3 player, when 2 and 4 GB cellphone memory cards are so cheap why shouldn’t I?

What I did enjoy was trying out Nokia Maps 2.0 with the E90’s built in GPS. It took a little while to lock to satellite, as GPS does in many gadgets, but once synced worked wonderfully. I used the search feature while walking to a new destination, subway stops were well marked, and switching between street/satellite/mixed/3d views was seamless. Saving screenshots of maps to the photo gallery was a snap. Map data is cached every time you search, so you use less and less of your data connection as time goes on. The only part of the whole experience that I found a bit lacking was the difficulty in saving a location. Location tagging/saving/sharing is in the works for the next version of Nokia Maps. In conclusion I have to say that I wish all the apps on the E90 were as compelling as Nokia Maps. The E90 is just not the best phone for me. It is too large and unwieldy compared to my past phones. I will continue on my quest for a replacement for my E70, which I will have had for two years in October. Next up I hope to test the E70’s replacement, the non-flip over candy-bar style Nokia E71.

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e70 on the go

Posted in gadgets on July 7th, 2008 by fabienne


since i upgraded the firmware on my nokia e70 last week, i’ve been testing free phone apps. my favorite right now is talkonaut. talkonaut is a sip and chat client which i’m using as a jabber client. it’s clean and yet feature rich (various beep and vibrate profiles for when new chats arrive). it works splendidly over my 3g/umts data connection, and hands over seamlessly to gsm when the 3g drops out. the ui doesn’t really understand the e70’s portrait mode as far as menu button placement, and a joystick press is sometimes required to navigate between chat tabs, but it really is quite clean compared to anything else i’ve tried.

shozu is a bit of a mixed bag. it works well for cameraphone photo uploads, even with my photo site smugmug. at first i had a sort of kludge with emailing photos to smugmug, but it turns out that if you go to the shozu webpage (not on the phone) you can add a lot more available apps and services than just the default phone installation choices. tagging doesn’t stick with the shozu-smugmug system, but titles and uploads are fairly seamless in the nokia ui. the twitter part of shozu sucks, but it’s better than the dedicated twitter phone app twibble. i also tried out the symbian s60 jaiku app, but it’s not all that different or more feature rich than a basic twitter client.

since i still don’t have a way of sharing my 3g connection with my netbsd4 subcompact lappy from my e70, i want to try joikuspot lite. this app allows one to share a mobile connection over wifi. the newest version even includes wep if you want to be stingy (not that wep isn’t easily cracked, but whatever). where is the ubiquitous net? it’s not low-cost 3g data, but it’s the closest we have.

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upgrading nokia e70

Posted in gadgets on July 3rd, 2008 by fabienne

not only is the nokia firmware upgrade for my e70 annoyingly windows-only, it didn’t exactly work on the first try. on nokia’s page it says “Windows 2000 (SP4 or later), Windows XP (SP1 or SP2), or Windows Vista”. well guess what, it didn’t really work:


then i tried downloading and running on xp, also a fail. the only thing that worked was using the nokia updater that someone already had installed on an xp machine and having it manually search for the e70’s firmware. luckily it managed to flash an english version on the phone (because i have a chinese branded qwerty e70).

since reflashing, i had some (non-nokia-related) issues with my 2gb minisd and ended up reformatting and losing all my contacts. other than that, things are looking great, the refresh rate on the flip screen is MUCH faster. hopefully i’ll get some happy web2.0 software installed now and email pushed to my phone again.

update: email works MUCH better now, but i think the phone didn’t really get updated to the newest firmware (3.0633.09.04) — right now it has 2.0618.07.10 for firmware. a friend mentioned that they had a properly working nokia pc suite to help me get it to upgrade. i’ll update as the situation gets fixed.

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updating my nokia e70 and — eek — joining twitter

Posted in blawging, gadgets on July 1st, 2008 by fabienne

phone on head

i held off joining twitter for a long time mostly because i felt a bit of social network fatigue after leaving the web2.0 world a year ago. now i need your recommendations for the best twittering tools: one for desktop use, one for my nokia e70. what i’m looking for:

– a desktop tool that pulls twitter messages in some sort of coherent fashion so i can see the difference between messages that are aimed @ me, in reply to me, private to me, and just general tweets. i hate that all those are just blobbed together into one big feed. yuck. the formatting should be different for these different types of messages so that i can easily reply to the ones i want to reply to. right now it feels like some sort of evil stream of consciousness. so what’s your favorite app for sorting out your tweets? it should be open source and *nix compatible and not a webapp. it can be a plugin for pidgin or a jabber client add on. i sifted through the twitter fan wiki list and couldn’t find a darn thing that fits what i’m looking for. suggestions? drop me an email or a tweet.

– a twitter client for my nokia e70 that rocks. i have an unlimited data plan. if i can find a winblows machine around somewhere i may even upgrade the firmware on my phone this week.

which brings me to my next project, integrating my e70’s voip over my cellular data plan with an asterisk system at home and my sip byod service with broadvoice. i have some friends that are already running similar scenarios and i am late to the party on this as well. more details on that when it’s up and running.

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getting DNS to stick in OpenWRT

Posted in gadgets, hardware hacking on June 12th, 2008 by fabienne


as of a week now, i have OpenWRT version “Kamikaze” 7.09 running on my linksys WRT54GL v1.1 (marked WRT54GL-DE on the box). by following the setup instructions here for PPPoE, almost everything worked perfectly.

one part of the setup did cause me trouble. i need to manually dictate DNS addresses for my ISP. it turns out that it’s not /etc/resolv.conf one should worry about, but /etc/dnsmasq.conf instead.

in /etc/dnsmasq.conf change the line:


…and change the ip addresses at the end of the line to match the DNS addresses that play well with your particular ISP. now the DNS entries will survive a router reboot. now if only i had something interesting to do with my old BEFW11S4v2:


phones on a table

Posted in gadgets, photography on June 10th, 2008 by fabienne

e70 fans turn up all over the world

i’ve had a little photo project going regarding people and their cellphones which i call phones on a table. somehow i manage to hang out with a lot of nokia fangirls and fanboys. i know a lot of nokia e70 users (of which i’m a fangirl). the nokia n95, the new communicator (aka the e90) and the n810 internet tablet are creeping into the photos as of late.

phones on a table the leet edition

i thought i would be more excited about a 3g capable iphone announcement. am i just not as much of a gadget hound as i used to be or is it that i just haven’t tasted the iphone kool-aid? i have tried the keyboard typing interface on the iphone on more than one occasion and frankly i struggled to get the letters i wanted out of it. i just hope that nokia changes their mind about discontinuing the e70 flip-over full keyboard line of phones.

nokia kids unite

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