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Running Apple Mac OS X on Windows PC!

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In the best case, Mac OS X Leopard on standard PC hardware can use the full graphics acceleration (Quartz, Core Image) and all the characteristics of CPU

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Apple MacBook Air, iPhone and iPod May be fashionable, but the company desktops are still relatively rare: analysts although the figures vary, desktop computers Apple certainly less than 10 percent of the global market.

This low market share is often attributed to the relatively high prices of Apple computers. However, another reason could be the fact that users rarely have an opportunity to experience Mac OS before buying a computer. This would require a visit to one of Apple stores or Mac host a landlord friend. But there is another way: For some time, different images of Mac OS X have been available on the Internet that have been modified to circumvent the tight coupling the application equipment. These allow the operating system to be installed on a standard PC. So far, Apple has taken no action against such activities, indicating perhaps that the "buzz" around its OS is not entirely unwelcome.

However, Apple licensing agreement states that Mac OS X should be installed on Apple hardware is therefore a matter of controversy. The versions available for download that we discuss in this article are not permitted. You can feel morally justified in using any of these after you have purchased a legitimate copy of Mac OS X Leopard, but you will still be breaking copyright. Combine that with the dangers of downloading software from unofficial sources, and it is clear that this road is just for the thrill, firmly isolated computers test. We do not recommend you do - but the results interesting May.

In the best case, Mac OS X Leopard on standard PC hardware can use the full graphics acceleration (Quartz, Core Image) and all the characteristics of CPU

Motherboard, processor and chipset

Updated Mac OS X Leopard images called Kalyway and Iatkos are ideal for Intel-based systems, while PCs with AMD processors are better served by the Zephyroth variant. A picture published recently which covers all platforms is well Leo4All. A successful installation of Mac OS X Leopard is far from guaranteed, but it is very probable.

For the Intel platform, plus ingredients are those who have a real Mac, the more chances of success. Concretely, it means a motherboard with an Intel processor / chipset combination that supports SSE3. However, it can still have problems. In our tests, for example, we could not convince ESPRIMO P5925 with Intel chipset Q35 to cooperate with Mac OS. Perhaps the Q35 vPro technology integrated remote client management is the culprit. However, we succeeded with the help of motherboards Intel 975, 965 and X38 chipsets.

Regarding Zephyroth image for AMD platforms, some limits must be accepted. For example, it is not possible to run 64-bit programs with an AMD processor. Nor are extensions virtualization programs such as Parallels Desktop for Mac and VMware supported. We also failed to install on AMD's Leopard Phenom quad-core processor, although some users report EFI success if emulation is bypassed.

It is also important to note that the hard drive and DVD drive installation May be problematic. Success is more likely if the two components use a Serial ATA (SATA) interface. The reason is that modern Intel chipsets are no longer integrate an UltraATA, if the motherboard uses a microchip additional JMicron or another manufacturer. However, these solutions are far from being compatible with Parallel ATA (PATA) specification (older chipsets such as Intel 975, have a PATA-compatible interface, and installation happens). In addition, all input devices such as keyboard and mouse, must attach to USB ports.

There are some stability problems with certain motherboards. For example, in our tests, Gigabyte 965P-DS3 crashed with more than 2 GB of RAM installed. However, once AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) is activated on the SATA controller, the 965-DS3 Mac OS works with 4 GB of RAM without any problem. For stable operation, you must also ensure that the CPU extension of protection against the buffer overflow (No Run / Execute Disable or NX / XD) is enabled in the BIOS.

Network, sound and graphics cards


A support network equipment, sound and graphics cards is generally good, although problems may still arise. Marvell network and Realtek chips generally work, but some newer Intel processors may be problematic. The drivers are not generally available, so an extra network card will be necessary. The same is true for Wi-Fi: Atheros and Broadcom chips are mostly OK, but Intel 3945ABG is not supported. Some manufacturers, including Ralink and ZyXEL, now offers Mac OS drivers to download.

Audio integrated, most often used on motherboards, is supported by default in the latest images. Drivers for a number of ALC88x-family chips are on DVD installation. However, with Sound Blaster products, you'll have to accept some reduced functionality. Often, 5.1 analog output does not occur, although the digital output supports this standard. Also, the sound inputs that rarely function.

Mac OS X is particularly rich in animation, to support for graphics chips is critical. The pilots are present, but rarely work for the new ATI and Nvidia GPU (Graphics Processing Units); older graphics chips in the series Radeon X1000 give fewer problems. With new graphics chips, it is preferable to complete the installation without selecting a graphics driver, so that Mac OS starts in VGA mode. In our test with an ATI X 2600 HD, however, that even failed. The successful installation is compatible with some graphics cards, though. We succeeded with ATI X1400, X1600 and X1900, while new graphics cards with HD 2600 XT, HD 2900, HD 3850, HD3870 and HD 3870X2 chips required Mac OS to start in VGA mode.

After booting Mac OS X Leopard X1000 with a graphics card, drivers can be installed to ensure that the new GPU offers plenty of graphics acceleration. You can even use an ATI HD 3870 X2, although Mac OS X will not use the second in this high-end GPU card. Nevertheless, the second chip is recognized and you can use the (four) DVI outputs to connect other monitors - like a Mac Pro with two graphics cards. Almost all outstanding graphics drivers digital LCD connections, but it is possible that in certain configurations only analog VGA mode will be active. Multi-screen operation is not a problem: after connecting a second monitor, Mac OS extends the area office automatically.

Installation leopard on a standard PC

For our test installation leopard on a standard PC, we used the Gigabyte GA-X38T-DQ6 for the Intel platform, and the GA-MA790FX-DQ6 for AMD platform. The hard drive is a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 with a 750GB SATA interface and capacity, while the DVD player is a ASUS DRW1814BLT, also with a SATA interface. Both systems use the Radeon HD 3870 X2 graphics card and two were equipped with 4 GB of memory Aeneon.

We've installed Mac OS X Leopard Leo4All of the image, which offers an excellent hardware support and works with Intel and AMD. Leo4all also includes numerous updates, including Leopard 10.5.2. The image Kalyway also works well for Intel systems.

DVD System

About five minutes after the start of the installation, a graphics setup mode is where you choose, among other things, the partition in which Mac OS must be installed. Mac OS initially finds no partition on a new disc, Disk Utility and must be used to create one or more partitions. Thanks to EFI emulation, hard drives can be partitioned using the GUID regime; GUID is the successor to the MBR (Master Boot Record), supporting more partitions and provide greater flexibility. However, most Windows operating systems do not support the GUID partition plan: you will need to install GRUB bootloader and jump through hoops to get both Windows and Mac OS on a GUID - partitioned the hard drive - something that goes beyond the scope of this article. With MBR disk partitioned, it is relatively simple to install Mac OS alongside Windows.

The installation process takes a good 30 minutes. Thanks to Leo4all good hardware support, network and audio devices are available immediately after installation. However, you will need to install a graphics driver later. After completing the installation, Mac OS plays a short video and asks for a username and password.

It is interesting to note that, using the emulation Netkas EFI, you can install the "vanilla" Mac OS kernel. However, it is not recommended, as you're likely to meet stop / restart problems. Instead, it is preferable to use the kernel Netkas modified 9.2.0.

Tips and Tricks

As we have already mentioned, you are experiencing difficulties May, during the configuration or installation. For example, if the system crashes shortly after the start of the installation DVD, or if an error message appears, we go to the Bootloader Darwin may be helpful: - f - x-v, - inheritance. Also, a cut of a dual-processor cores in the BIOS can be useful.

After installation, a flashing cursor may appear on the screen, followed by nothing. In this case, the score was probably not marked as active, which prevents booting. You can recover from this situation by launching manually from DVD, calling the Terminal program and enter the following instructions:

fdisk-e / dev/rdisk0 (If a hard disk is in the system)
p (See partitions)
f 2 (1 Be active partition (GUID), to enter MBR 1 here instead 2)
w
y
Release

Post-installation problems: orange disk icons
In many cases, the leopard drive is identified as a removable device - especially if the disc is an Intel ICH9 AHCI mode. Accordingly, the disk icon is orange instead of gray. This is not bad, but it can also cause problems with access rights. This can be solved by replacing two kernel extensions ( "kexts"). The tool Kext Assistance, which is often installed by the altered image, you can install easily AppleAHCIPort.kext and IOAHCIFamily.kext in / System / Library / Extensions without being in the parking rights with super - user (sudo-s).

'About this Mac "
Apple does not have a standard desktop processors in its systems (Mac mini, iMac and laptops use Intel mobile processors, while the Mac Pro is equipped with processor server), which means that Mac OS generally misrecognises standard PC processors . In the 'About this Mac "box" information ", he said simply" Unknown manufacturing. " The memory is also complement often not recognized, while the CPU functions supported by Leopard no longer appear.

To view the processor and memory information, you need to edit the file AboutThisMac.strings. To do this, go to / System / Library / Core Services / loginwindow.app, right-click on the program and select Show Package contents. Then open another Finder window and navigate to the / Contents / Resources / German.lproj file. Here, you have to find AboutThisMac.strings file, you can copy on the desktop and open with TextEdit. Scroll down to the line "ABOUT_BOX_MULTIPLE_PROCESSOR_FIELD_FORMAT" and, after the equal sign, replace the two operands "% @" with the CPU correct string - for example, "Intel Core 2 Extreme CPU X9650." For a single processor system, do the same for "ABOUT_BOX_SINGLE_PROCESSOR_FIELD_FORMAT" and enter the memory to information "ABOUT_BOX_MEMORY_FIELD_FORMAT." Then save the file and replace the original with the modified version.

With a little judicious editing, you can get Mac OS X to display processor and memory correctly.

Assistance, drivers and instructions for installing Mac OS X on standard PC are available on the Internet. The largest forum is insanelymac.com, there are also tips and tricks to osx86scene.com and hackint0sh.org.

Performance

Regarding the performance, there is no difference between Mac OS on a standard PC and an official Apple Mac - as the processor and graphics card are properly supported. The Intel platform manages better than AMD, that it can not operate in 64-bit mode and the lack of CPU virtualization extensions to optimize performance. In contrast, overclocked 3.6GHz Penryn quad-core (Intel Core 2 Extreme X9650) is working to Gigabyte motherboard with a speed of 1600MHz frontside bus and is fully supported by Mac OS: all CPU extensions may be used.

As our tests show, Mac OS Leopard running on a single 3.6GHz quad-core Intel processor compares very well with its performance on a Mac Pro pair of 2.8 GHz quad-core chips. It surpasses even Apple's high-end work in some areas - especially the memory of reference. This is partly the result of Intel system 1333MHz DDR3 non-ECC memory (Aeneon DDR3 1333) and the clock speed 3.6GHz, compared to the Mac Pro with its Fully Buffered DIMM at 800 MHz and DDR2 memory. More serious, however, is that with two memory modules installed in the Mac Pro, only two of the four channels available memory are used, cutting the theoretical maximum bandwidth by half. As a result, even the AMD system matches Apple high-end work in memory of reference. In pure arithmetic operations, however, dual quad-core Mac Pro is higher than the Intel system, despite its low clock speed.

Mac Pro: 2 x 2.8 GHz quad-core. Intel PC: 1 x 3.6GHz Penryn quad-core. More bars are better.

Mac Pro: 2 x 2.8 GHz quad-core. AMD PC: 1 x 3.0GHz Athlon 64 dual-core. Intel PC: 1 x 3.6GHz Penryn quad-core. More bars are better.

Conclusion

With the hardware components, a standard PC running Mac OS X Leopard is, prima facie, not different to a genuine Apple Mac. Special CPU extensions as Intel VT-x provide support for software solutions such as Parallels Desktop for Mac. Even Adobe Photoshop, which queries a Mac, to verify its authenticity, is well on a standard PC through emulation EFI. You can also use. Mac and integrated Time Machine backup feature, which does not work with older Mac OS images. Graphics acceleration is no longer an issue, as well as control digital LCDs. However, you must accept some reduction in audio functionality, and will be in vain for drivers for most add-on PCI cards.

Although the amendment of Mac OS images show no problems of stability on the best equipment under normal conditions, not all functions are supported. Sleep Mode - which puts the system in a state that consumes only a few watts of power - works only in exceptional cases, when all kernel extensions are available.

You will need to be careful with software updates, too. Although most of updates to Mac OS, those affecting the base operating system (kernel) are often incompatible. For example, the automatic update to version 10.5.2 caused a system crash, which is very difficult to repair. The main change engines following a May update also prevent Mac OS boot on a standard PC. Installation of Windows using Boot Camp does not work. Whatever the difficulties encountered in the installation and implementation of Mac OS on a desktop PC, the situation is often exacerbated on a notebook - for example, it is generally not possible to replace a graphics accelerator or chip network.

Installing a modified version of Mac OS image on a standard PC should not be a productive exercise for most users, because of technical obstacles may be encountered. However, it can be a rewarding experience for amateurs and professionals to Unix expertise. As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, it is a legally questionable whether the prosecution is undoubtedly not be undertaken without buying a legitimate copy of Mac OS Leopard.

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