MacinDell

February 21, 2009

Dell Mini9

Dell Mini9

The Dell Mini9 is an awesome piece of kit…I have used it extensively with WinXP & Canonical’s Ubuntu, but it seems that itis also right at home with OSX. I’ve seen that it can be done before, but this is an extremely nice full guide to hacking your Mini9 to run OSX.

Maybe I need to get myself an “Arctic White” Mini9 to test this on 🙂

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Dell Mini-9 ESX Server

February 7, 2009

Dell Mini9
No, really. Discovered entirely unintentionally. But this can be added to the list of why the Mini9 is a great piece of kit.

This has got to be the most portable quickest implemented ESX Server ever.
Ingredients:

  • Dell Mini9
  • ESXi (v3) on a bootable USB stick

Instructions:

  • Insert USB stick into Mini9
  • Boot from USB stick

Instant ESX Server!

Clearly the 2Gb of installed memory and Intel Atom processor might severly limit the capabilities of this new ESX Server, but I’m sure someone will find a use for it… maybe to physically move live VMs from one building to another, as long as you don’t loose your Wi-fi connection 🙂

Windows7 Take 1

February 2, 2009

Microsoft Windows

I finally got around to downloading and burning a DVD of Windows7 beta.
It was a close run thing, as I was also busily downloading openSUSE 11.1; that’s next 🙂

The first machine that came to hand was a splendid Dell Latitude D610, with the following spec.:

  • Pentium M 1.8GHz
  • 1.5Gb RAM
  • Intel 915GM integrated graphics
  • Broadcom BCM 4309 a/b/g wireless
  • 14″ XGA (1024×768) LCD
  • 40Gb 2.5″ IDE hard disk

No exotic hardware… so there were no driver issues 🙂

Observations during/post the install:

  1. At the very first “Get ready to install” screen, the helpful “Guide to installation” makes copious references to Windows Vista installation 🙂
  2. Once you press the “Go install” button you have the option to choose a partition on which to install Windows7.
  3. Windows does like its restarts 🙂
  4. I don’t mind, as I like the Win7 logo… I’m a sucker for the shiny lights, and cylon-like flashing bar.
  5. Having to enter a license key is still weird for me… as I’ve only ever used corporately pre-activated Windows builds and Linux.
  6. Faultless detection of wireless hardware, slick connection to the access point, smooth instant download of new patches. An altogether reassuring experience.
  7. The D610 scores a 1.0 out 7.9 on the Windows Experience Index…all due to the rather poor performance of the integrated video card. Doesn’t matter – I wasn’t expecting a killer gaming machine!

Altogether, a nice first pass.

Next up for the Windows7 treatment will be the Latitude XT (first generation) tablet.

[Edit: for handy Latitude XT installation notes, please see the comment from Andy. Nice one, thanks for sharing!]