Quick follow-up regarding OSX and the MSI Wind

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I just wanted to write a quick post to let everyone know how I’ve been getting along since I installed OSX on my MSI Wind netbook

So far things are going pretty well. Keep in mind that I’m only using the netbook for the following tasks:

– Surfing various sites using Firefox
– Reading RSS feeds using Firefox and google reader
– Reading / responding to email using my server’s web based client (I may go ahead and use Apple mail at some point though)
– Chatting via Adium
– Some review writing tasks using TextMate
– Copying images from SD cards to internal HD
– Cropping and resizing images using GraphicConverter (I really want to find something better though)
– FTPing images to my server using Transmit
– Accessing my iMac using TeamViewer

So far I’m doing / using just a couple of things to help me get the most out of this netbook:

– Syncing my bookmarks using the Foxmarks Firefox plugin
– Using the iFox compact Firefox theme
– Turned off the status bar at the bottom of Firefox
– Set the OSX dock to automatically hide at the bottom of the screen

As you can see, I am not using the Wind for anything extreme. Of course, once I got it, I started thinking of other things I could do with it. One thing I wanted to do but have so far failed at is to use it as a hulu.com viewer while I walk an hour on the treadmill 3 times a week. It fits perfectly in the book slot. While it works just fine viewing the video via WiFi, the built in speakers are not loud enough to hear over the motor on my treadmill.

Unfortunately, the OSX install does not support the headphone or microphone jacks. :o( I had even planned to try to control the Wind using the built in voice recognition in OSX because it’s pretty near impossible to use the touchpad when you’re walking at 4mph. Sadly, I am unable to do that either because the microphone jack is also not supported. Sniff… You can use a USB microphone / headphone, but so far I’ve not tried to find one.

Another issue that I have is that the battery life with the 3 cell battery is even less under OSX than it was with Windows XP. Instead of getting 1hr and 45 minutes, I’m barely getting 1hr and 30mins per charge. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a hi-cap battery from Mugen Power at some point.

All in all things are going pretty well. I’ve even acclimated myself to the keyboard and am not having as many typing mistakes. The real test though will be when I take it with me on my vacation to Florida at the beginning of October… we’ll see how things turn out with that trip.

12 thoughts on “Quick follow-up regarding OSX and the MSI Wind”

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  2. Just curious how it is running heat wise? It doesn’t have a fan correct? I’m just thinking that the reduction in battery life might have something to do w/ heat or lack of the same power saving features that XP might give it.

    Regarding the microphone / speaker issue – don’t give up on finding a solution for that. I suspect that as this hack becomes more common (and I’m reading more of these posts on blogs everyday) that someone will write or mod a driver to make those work.

  3. Mike:

    The netbook doesn’t feel hot, but I believe the fan is running more than it did under XP. So, you could be right. Some people are using an app called Coolbook to underclock the processor. I haven’t purchased the app ($10) to see if it makes a diff.

  4. Julie – Have I got the gadget for you!
    The Foxl portable Bluetooth speaker. Although I haven’t heard one – all reviews out there say its great and although its spendy at $250 its uses are pretty widespread. Downside being the stereo isn’t particularly useful because the tweeters are so close but this is meant to be the creme de la creme of Bluetooth ultra-portable speakers that might be useful when you are on your treadmill. You shouldn’t be using the built-in speakers anyway – in the words of Charles Barkley – they are turrible.

    Here’s Giz’s info

  5. Julie,

    With all of the things that don’t work, I have to ask this question:

    What do you gain by using OS X versus something like Ubuntu Remix or the OS that came with the Wind?

  6. Tyler:

    I can’t answer about Ubuntu, since I’ve never tried it yet… But for OS X, it’s just that I have a much higher level of comfort with it versus Windows XP. I can use all the same programs that I use on my desktop.

  7. I don’t think Apple would take kindly to a company converting these machines to use OS X. That’s basically what Psystar did and Apple shut them down.

    I am not a lawyer, but it would seem to me that what an end user does with their legally purchased family pack of OS X with a few licenses left is their business.

    Julie: when you get a chance, check out Ubuntu Netbook Remix on their site. It’s pretty cool.

  8. “I am not a lawyer, but it would seem to me that what an end user does with their legally purchased family pack of OS X with a few licenses left is their business.”

    Sadly no as you didn’t purchase the software you purchased a license to use it according to the end user license agreement that you can find on Apple’s web site. I recommend not looking at it as I think it’s better not to know 🙂

    The Wind looks good. I’ll be interested to see how it goes on a trip.


    [Edited at September 24, 2008 01:20:54 AM.]

  9. Thanks for the update… but it (-hopefully-) seems that I misunderstand some thing: is it a fact that the battery will only last 1hr and 30mins? I must have missed the point since english isn’t my native language. That pretty short and I wonder to how long one could expand the battery life with a proper battery… mh.

  10. patte:

    The 3 cell battery has a very short life 1hr and 45 minutes is the most I’ve gotten out of it per charge. Another model of the MSI Wind ships with a 6 cell battery which last much longer. Mugen Power is currently working on a high capacity battery as well.

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