Tonymacx86 includes an interesting thread on using the Clover UEFI boot loader for mackintosh: ultrazones guide for Z77X-UD5H + Mavericks + Clover UEFI mode.

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These two articles – Multi Environment WordPress wp-config.php and One wp-config for Multiple Servers — provide nice configurations for automatically switching between development, staging, and live deployments of WordPress.

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Amazon’s Video Event Tomorrow

Just thinking out loud…

What if Amazon’s video event tomorrow goes in an unexpected direction?

1. Lots of rumors of both a set-top box (a la AppleTV) and an HDMI dongle (a la Chromecast).
2. Game controller rumors.
3. Rumors – immediately denied – of a free TV streaming service.
4. A $20 annual price hike on Amazon Prime, which includes a steaming video library.
5. A proven ability and willingness to sell hardware at or slightly below cost to build share and profit later on sell-through of other Amazon products (a la Kindle).

Amazon is launching a video device – that seems pretty certain. And they are launching into a crowded field and need to stand out. So what if you combine different parts of the facts and rumors listed above?

Here’s my prediction of what could be a pretty radical announcement from Amazon tomorrow…

“Starting to ship out tomorrow, Amazon will ship a free Kindle TV HDMI device to every Amazon Prime member. Additional devices will be available for $30 each. Each dongle will ship with access to the full Amazon Prime video library, as well as the ability to rent and purchase other videos from our extensive library of movies and TV.

“Of course, users will also be able to access music and video from their Amazon cloud accounts. And each Kindle TV will come with other apps built in for access to Netflix, Hulu, Pandora, and Spotify with universal search across all content sources. More apps will roll out from other partners in the coming months.

“And for those who are interested in gaming, we have a solution as well – Kindle TV Plus. Kindle TV Plus is a small set-top box that ships with two game controllers, and a library of games from free to paid offerings including many of the top hits available on iOS and Android. Kindle TV Plus includes all the features of Kindle TV, and is available tomorrow starting at $99 each – or $79 each for Prime members.”

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Rampagedev has posted step-by-step instructions on how to install install OS X 10.9 Mavericks on a Hackintosh with the Clover boot loader (as well as with MyHack).

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13 Sources For Free Public Domain and CC0-Licensed Images looks like it points to some great image libraries.

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ScreenSleeves uses album art from the tracks you are playing from iTunes or Spotify to provide your screensaver. Mac only.

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Integrity for Mac OS X

Easily find your website’s broken links with Integrity for Mac OS X. This app will check every link in your website to make sure they still work!

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Network Rockstar has some tips, and scripts, that should help speed up CrashPlan Backups by changing a configuration parameter. Seems to work fairly well…

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DreamHost PHP.INI installer

This DreamHost PHP.INI installer makes it very easy to set custom memory and filesize upload limits on a DreamHost shared hosting configuration. Very useful for WordPress installs.

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The Hackintosh Way – Part 3

I’ve slowly added back in some of the additional hardware I got for this machine, ensuring that everything works smoothly across the way. I also set up the machine to use my machine’s iTunes library in order to test fullscreen video playback there, where I was getting a black screen but could hear audio. Here’s what I did:

  • Hooked up power and SATA to my two optical drives (DVD writer, BluRay player with DVD writer combo); installed Bluetooth 4.0 dongle. Restarted. Paired Magic Trackpad to the computer successfully, confirmed optical drives are visible to the system.
  • Ran Software Update to get the latest version of iTunes and a couple other things (I checked online at Tonymacx86 to ensure all available updates were safe to install – they were).
  • Launched iTunes to test video playback there — video was great, but I had no sound at all!!! Then I remembered that I had actually assign sound output to a device (internal speaker) to get it working. Whew!
  • Instaled FireWire card to get both two FW800 and one FW400 ports on the machine. (Motherboard has a header for FW400 only, but I couldn’t find the right port bracket only to use with the headers.) System sees both the busses just fine from the card. Tested system sleep/wake, works great even when clicking the Magic Trackpad to wake.
  • Connected a USB3 hard drive, mounts fine and shows as available on a USB 3.0 SuperSpeed bus.
  • Set up all my System Preferences so that once I clone the working system for an archive point prior to installing all my applications, everything will be set up the way I want it. Also created other user accounts I need.
  • Cloned the system to a 32GB USB key to capture my setpoint backup.
  • Downloaded purchased apps from the Mac App Store. Had an initial problem where the App Store wouldn’t let me install — the buttons were greyed out. Turns out I still had a backup drive from previous Hackintosh installation attempts connected up and the App Store figured they were all installed already as a result. Quit the App Store, ejected the drive, and relaunched the App Store to make it all work.

After I got some of this initial setup work out of the way, I downloaded and installed Geekbench to get a reading on just how fast this system is without any overclocking. I scored a 14082 – compared to the 2007-era Mac mini I was running, which scores a ~3000. That’s nearly a five-fold improvement — not too shabby!

xMac Geekbench Score: 14,082

My new Hackintosh build, called “xMac”, scored over 14,000 on Geekbench!

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