Back on a plane heading North for another look at Japan, maybe a solution on how to write, sort photos, do some work on eLife and generally keep my online worlds alive while I’m there; a Hackintosh!
A few weeks before leaving I hit the shelves of eBay and managed to get myself a very slightly used Dell Mini 9 at a very good price. A couple of evenings with the excellent instructions from Gizmodo and the beast lives! In only a 16bg drive I have Xcode, Eclipse, Aperture, Ecto, Macjournal, Skype and a few assorted other tools I can’t live without. Makes me wonder what is filling most of the 250 gb on my other laptop.
Of course I do need an external drive for the Aperture and iTunes library, but that is OK, most of the time it isn’t attached.
And the verdict on performance, with a quick memory double to 2gb it isn’t bad, the small keyboard is, well, small, but it is usable – and the whole thing weighs less than 1kg, runs OSX even down to the webcam working.
It is no Macbook Air, but it is a pretty good compromise, time will truly tell.