How does a compact “Travel MacBook” sound? With a little effort, some transplant surgery and moderate outlay, you could DIY just that: The Gadgeteer’s Julie has just switched software on her MSI Wind netbook, and rather than pick between the usual choices of Windows XP or a Linux distro, she’s installed Apple’s OS X.
The hardware transplants boil down to the RAM and the networking. Julie made a 1GB upgrade to give OS X some headroom, and since the Apple software doesn’t like MSI’s choice of WiFi card, she switched it out for a Dell alternative that came from eBay.
As for the patience and effort, that came from working through the the installation guidelines for putting Leopard where Leopard wasn’t meant to go. Right now, Julie says that WiFi, sound and sleep functionality is all operational, but the Wind’s built-in webcam is not. The fan is also running more than when the netbook was using XP, which sounds like it could be something to do with OS X not having the right power management drivers for the Wind’s hardware, and she’s finding that the 1024 x 600 display looks blurrier than it used to.
Still, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap way to get a functional, compact and portable mini MacBook, this is definitely worth a look. Julie is promising battery tests, and hopefully she’ll have a report on how well Leopard copes with a mere 1.6GHz Atom to drive it.