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Anybody using Mac OS X on a Dell Mini 9?

So everybody’s talking about installing Mac OS X on the lovely $250, 2 lbs. Dell Mini 9 netbook computer….

It comes with a 16 GB solid-state harddrive…

question, and nobody seems to have answered this (or, at least I couldn’t find the answer) on the dell mini forum…:

Can you run Photoshop CS3 on this?
Photo Mechanic?
Microsoft Word?

these are pretty much the only programs i would need to install…any experiences?

this could be the best lightweight travel computer yet, for Mac users?

by [a former member] at 2009-04-22 07:50:07 UTC (ed. Apr 22 2009 ) Brooklyn , United States | Bookmark | | Report spam→

Check out the hackintosh and insanely mac forums. Often have list of compatible machines there. There s another big bunch of os x on pc heads that name escapes me- quick google will find them and they ll defo know. Let up know how you get on- very interested in this:)

by Con O'Donoghue | 22 Apr 2009 08:04 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
I run those apps on a 16gb sandisk cruzer but I leave lightroom on the mini for back-up. otherwise it rox. Important leason though is that one can deal with the small screen but it really helps to get a mouse. (Which I have never needed before on any other lap top.)

by Anton Lazarus Hammerl | 22 Apr 2009 09:04 | London, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I know Bill Putnam is running Lightroom just fine on his Dell netbook, but on a PC platform. So there is plenty of capacity. Don’t know what else if anything he has crammed into it.

And wouldn’t you want to include a Web browser on it?

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 12:04 (ed. Apr 22 2009) | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
oh yes, of course, Neal, Firefox.
and the OS X comes with Safari as part of the system package, no?

doesn’t running the apps off of an external drive like the sandisk cruzer slow them down, a lot? wouldn’t it make more sense to spend $100 and install a bigger (32 GB) SSD into the computer itself?

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 13:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
btw, neal, you see i’m not completely a luddite. did you get some 620 film to try in your french camera?

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 14:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
You’re no Luddite! I know that…you just cleverly bridge good old tech with new. The 620 film from B&H is sitting in my mailbox..I just have to pick it up.

Can’t help you with the speed issue as the netbook I bought (Acer) has an internal drive with a whopping 144 GB. It’s not solid state, but it seems to work fine. But I don’t think it scored as well on the OS X compatibility index as the Dell.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 15:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Im running LR 2.2 and a FTP program (the name escapes me) and dump to an external hard drive. It zips along great. Dumped 12 gb of cards in 15 minutes during my last trip.

However, alas, I am on XP.

I have other issues with the netbooks. Due to their lack o’ CD drive you can’t run re-installs if the OS is having issues. Like mine is now.

Other than that, Alan, its a great little rig.

by Bill Putnam | 22 Apr 2009 17:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
how do you do re-installs then?

by DPC | 22 Apr 2009 17:04 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
despite being a hard core mac user, i just got an acer aspire 8.9 inch netbook with 160gb hard drive. barring the annoyance of windows XP, it’s a swell little machine for traveling light…along with a 250 external g-mini hard drive (formatted for both pc and mac), it’s an ideal setup. will test it in the field in a few weeks. all my imaging software is mac, so i had to download gimp instead of CS…and will try to download/work with a trial version of LR2. wi-fi plus built-in camera allows skype et al.

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 18:04 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
Dunno. I am still sorting that out.

by Bill Putnam | 22 Apr 2009 18:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
can’t you run installs off of an external CD/DVD drive and/or hard drive?

And the whole point for hardcore Mac users is that the Dell Mini 9 is FULLY compatible with Mac OS X….according to the internets…

but none of y’all on Lightstalkers have done this yet? I’m surprised. I thought that everyone’s already running OS X on their Dells…while I determine how many minutes my Tri-X should be pushed in D-76!

by [former member] | 22 Apr 2009 20:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
hahaha ill never go mac. unless im forced to.

you can run the reinstalls off an external cd drive, sure, but i dont have one right now. its all good. i downloaded LR and the FTP from the internet. im sure you can do the same with others.

now go count those minutes. i need to get back to my fricking quadratic factoring.

by Bill Putnam | 22 Apr 2009 22:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
So does that mean that if you buy a netbook you will also need to have an external CD drive to hand the day you need to reinstall your system? Do they come with installation CDs?

by DPC | 22 Apr 2009 23:04 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
I have installed programs on my netbook (which has two USB ports) by copying them from the CD in my CD/DVD drive on my laptop onto my 8 GB thumb drive, then from the thumb drive into the netbook. I also get some programs from the internet, such as Firefox, Open Office and Thunderbird, all surprisingly good and relatively compact freeware programs.

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 02:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
boot processing unit plus compatibles


by Con O'Donoghue | 23 Apr 2009 06:04 | Dublin, Ireland | | Report spam→
I have seen OS X working fully on one of those little dells. the interwebs speak truth. the analogy was made to an airbook, so I’m not sure how good it is for production.

by Ida | 23 Apr 2009 13:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Tim Cook of Apple says no to Mac on netbooks, but…


by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
okay, interwebs speak truth and lies. Hello 1984.

Alan, I say go for it. Just keep asking around to make sure you can pull off the projection work you need. If the concern is OS X portability for a good price, I have every reason to believe the Dell will do the job.

by Ida | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
OK, Ida, I’m going for it. If it doesn’t work perfectly it’s entirely your fault :)

by [former member] | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
I knew you’d jump at the opportunity to blame me for all technological failures. I guess now is a bad time to let you know about my Fluxus tendencies… but you probably guessed that much already. ;)

by Ida | 23 Apr 2009 14:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
OK, I went for it!

I got a Dell Mini 9, loaded with Mac OS X. pumped up ram to max. of 2 GB. HD is 16 GB, which is plenty of room for Photoshop CS3 (just PS, not the whole suite), Photo Mechanic, Skype, and Microsoft Word.

All functions seem to be working fine. The computer is 2 lbs., very light.

Definitely a BIG increase in mobility!

by [former member] | 24 Apr 2009 08:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
Yeah, Alan! You are the guiding light!

by [former member] | 24 Apr 2009 12:04 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Very interesting… Keep us updated.

by J-F Vergel | 24 Apr 2009 13:04 | New York, United States | | Report spam→
i looked at the instructions how to install mac osx unto my acer one…but i don’t have the technical knowhow to duplicate what Alan did with his machine. congrats! at least i know it’s do-able.

by [former member] | 24 Apr 2009 13:04 | NYC, United States | | Report spam→
i didn’t actually do it myself, i found a student here in NY who is doing the labor of installing. I thought it was well worth the additional $50 or $75 to pay for somebody else to do this, rather than muck around myself.

i did maximize the RAM myself, this was easy and cost $25.00.

see: http://gadgets.boingboing.net/2008/12/17/osx-netbook-compatib.html

the Dell Mini 9 is the absolute most compatible. I don’t know enough about computers to know why, but such is the wisdom of the internets.

see: http://www.mydellmini.com

for all the info specifically on the Dell Mini 9. Most of it is way over my head but it will be very helpful to those of you in the know.

Further comments on usage:

The small keyboard, trackpad, and clicker take a bit of getting used to. But i imagine i’ll get better and using it, especially once i go on a trip when it’s my only computer.

The screen is surprisingly nice. Colors and photographs look great when opened in Photoshop or Photo Mechanic.

One problem is the Adobe Camera RAW requires a larger minimum screen size than the Mini 9, so the bottom is cut off, depriving you of a lot of the controls. Anybody have any idea how to work around this?

Is there another program I can use other than CS3 to open these Canon 5d RAW files?

The tiny speakers definitely do not provide great sound quality. But Skype, iChat, and iTunes all work perfectly.

Hooking up my 250 GB Lacie portable drive to it works fine. Keep all your image files off of the tiny 16 GB drive. Only apps in that.

Next step: anybody use the Pacific Image 3650u scanner?

Obviously slugging the Nikon 5000 along makes absolutely no sense. But what about that Pacific Image machine? It’s light, small.

by [former member] | 25 Apr 2009 23:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
alan, read this and you will be happy to lug the nikon around:


by Heinrich | 26 Apr 2009 02:04 | Barcelona, Spain | | Report spam→
“Is there another program I can use other than CS3 to open these Canon 5d RAW files?” There’s obviously Canon’s DPP (but I’m sure you knew that). I reckon that Raw Developer from Iridient Digital is really good: solower to use than some of the competition but it produces beautiful files that I don’t think I can get elsewhere. Very good highlight recovery possibilities.

by DPC | 26 Apr 2009 08:04 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
no, what is Canon DPP? I bought my 5d used without any of the CDs that might come with it in the box…

and Raw Developer costs $125…too much!

by [former member] | 26 Apr 2009 16:04 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
DPP is Canon’s raw developing software that’s on one of the cds you didn’t get. Free with the camera. There’s some things it doesn’t do (I still haven’t worked out how to do highlight and shadow recovery well) and some things it does really well: recognizing and then correcting the distortion and vignetting of your lenses, for example. If you know another photographer who shoots Canon you could borrow their cd perhaps…

by DPC | 26 Apr 2009 16:04 | Paris, France | | Report spam→
Alan I may have missed this but Lightroom 2.0 will open the 5DmkII files. Also, just get out your #3safelight filter and develop your black & white by inspection.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 26 Apr 2009 18:04 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→

This is the most up to date info on the OP. Our techs have tested the Dell Mini 9 with Leopard, the comment:
“works fine
not as fast as a real mac
but not a dog
like, PowerBook G4 speed”

wait, is that a haiku?

by [former member] | 30 Apr 2009 18:04 | | Report spam→
exactly right. that has been my experience so far. but you’re not expecting it to be as fast as a real Mac, are you? these are not meant to be anybody’s main computer, rather, it’s a travel machine.

no new scanner for me, at least not at this moment. instead I went out and got a Canon G10, put my 28mm finder on it, and figure that this will give me a down-and-dirty rapid transmission capability on travels when i’ll travel light just with the netbook, the G10, the film Leicas and thus will just have to bring that film back to base.

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 07:05 | Brooklyn, United States | | Report spam→
FWIW, the Atom Intel processor running XP II Home in my Acer Aspire One is pretty slow as well.

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 12:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
I have a fundamental, quasi-legal question. How do you get the OSX system for your Dell netbook?

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 12:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
um… BUY it? lol!


oh yeah, you tole me i had to beehave messef.

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 13:05 (ed. May 1 2009) | | Report spam→
Careful, or you’ll have to go back into the corner, put on that hat and sit on that stool again!

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 13:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
oh actually the Apple deal is that it’s TECHnically only for Apple hardware, but they’re not enforcing it, and looking like they’re going to go more lax on the language in pretty short order. Gossip is that Apple is coming out with their own netbook soon, so that may change… who knows.

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 14:05 | | Report spam→
deets here from my tech boyz

by [former member] | 01 May 2009 14:05 | | Report spam→
Yes, people I know who ought to be in the know (or close to people in the know or who ought to be in he know — how’s that for mystery!) have strongly hinted there will be some kind of Apple netbook. But nobody will venture even a hint as to when.

by [former member] | 02 May 2009 09:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→

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Con O'Donoghue, Photographer Con O'Donoghue
Dublin , Ireland
Anton Lazarus Hammerl, Photojournalist Anton Lazarus Hammerl
London , United Kingdom
Bill Putnam, Producer. Bill Putnam
Washington, D.C. , United States
DPC, Photographer DPC
Paris , France
Ida, Media Strategist Ida
Media Strategist
Brooklyn , United States
J-F Vergel, photographer J-F Vergel
New York, Ny , United States ( JFK )
Heinrich, Heinrich
Berlin , Germany ( TXL )
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Indianapolis, In , United States


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