PermaLink The MacBook nano has arrived!12/19/2008 10:56 AM
It's white.  It's tiny.  It runs OSX and Notes.  It's... the nano!

I got home last night a little sooner than I otherwise might, because I knew there was a box waiting for me from In it was an MSI Wind U100-279US, a tiny little netbook that happens to be a pretty good deal right now, not so much for what it comes with, but what you can put on it.

Like, Mac OSX.


And yes, it works. Pretty well, actually.

The Wind is equipped with a 1.6ghz Intel Atom processor, a gig of RAM (theoretically expandable to 2Gb), a surprising 160Gb drive, three USB ports, factory 802.11n wireless, factory Bluetooth, an inbuilt webcam, an inbuilt multiformat memory card reader, and a 10-inch, 1024x600 display.

Yeah, really. I don't know how they fit it all in there, but it fits. When I powered it up, it auto-installed Windows XP Home, but that was only the beginning. I plugged in a neat little LG USB-powered DVD drive, and within about an hour I had a running copy of Mac OSX 10.5.4 on the thing. Most stuff ran perfectly right off the bat, other things required drivers, but by the end of the evening the wireless, the Bluetooth, the audio, and almost everything else was working just fine. It initially thought of itself as a MacBook Air, but another kext tweak fixed that, so it reports itself as "Mac, U-100" and correctly reports the Atom processor.

The thing is hilarious. It weighs practically nothing, the battery lasts five or six hours, I've already loaded most of my usual strange tools on it, and about the only thing remaining to put on it is a Notes client, on both the Mac and XP partitions. Yes, I left it as dual-boot... 100Gb is enough for Max OSX, and I don't want to give XP any more space than it already has.

Total cost: $437, shipped second-day Federal Express. If you want to add another $107 for the external DVD drive I bought (which can be used on anything), then for barely over $500, you can have a tiny, serviceable MacBooklike beast that actually outperforms my old G4 iBook 1.42 and is better equipped than my now-dead G4 iBook 933, which didn't come with BT or WiFi originally.

Expect to see this thing at Lotusphere, where only last year I laid eyes on my first eee-PC. The Asus can also be installed with OSX, but the consensus around the OSX86 world is that the MSI is a much better fit. I would tend to agree, since I've had very spotty luck on installing OSX on other Windows machines, but this one was quite annoyance-free and really pleasant.

By comparison, my MacBook Pro feels like a horse.

Speaking of horses, we keep getting word from the breeder who has the Flemish Giant kits that they are doing well. Their eyes should all be open now, he says they're all doing well, though one is slightly smaller than the others. We will get to see them the Sunday after Christmas, and they will probably come home to live (with their surrogate mother) around January 9. The temptation will be strong to bring all eight of them along to Lotusphere.

Speaking of which, if you haven't heard, yes, I'm doing a session on Sunday evening right before the beach party, it should be outrageous and I likely will get little sleep over the next four weeks as I do up all the spectacular sound and light shows, lasers, aerobatics, and other attractions. And of course, Saturday night after the B.A.L.D. dinner, come join us for the tenth or eleventh (or maybe twelfth, we forget) annual Gonzo Lotusphere Gathering at ESPN on the Boardwalk.

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2. Bill12/20/2008 08:21:02 AM

Yeah. Share!

I'll be on the harleys on Saturday PM, but should be back for BALD. And ESPN, since I've given up pretending I like a formal dinner on Saturday

---* Bill

3. Turtle12/19/2008 04:14:44 PM

By far, the best resource is { Link }

In particular, check this thread...

{ Link }

and follow the links to Paul's guide to setting this stuff up.

My own caution: have a USB keyboard and mouse handy if you let Software Update upgrade your Wind to 10.5.6 from 10.5.4. The .iso for the install can be found on The Pie Rat Bei by searching for "msiwindosx86" or "MSI Wind." It's about 3.6Gb.

4. Gregg Eldred12/19/2008 03:04:38 PM

I'm with David; share please. This could be a nice little project for me over the holidays.

5. David Leedy12/19/2008 01:28:29 PM

Did you follow any particular guide for this? I'm interested in this but haven't attempted to run OSX on non Apple hardware yet.


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