Now that we’ve got all the parts for our Hackintosh, it’s time to put them all together. This is the really fun part of this project: You’re turning processors and chips and motherboards into a working computer that’s going to do all kinds of things for you.
You’ll get an incredible sense of satisfaction at the end — especially if you’re building a computer for the first time.
In this piece, I’ll walk you through the building process from start to finish.
Building a computer is actually a pretty simple process — much simpler than most people realize. So long as you’re careful with the components and you make sure you’re installing them in the right places, there’s little chance anything will go wrong.
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac
I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.
The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.
I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.
I just recently got into writing in Markdown, a special syntax that lets you easily convert to HTML for publishing on the web. There are several decent Markdown editors out there, but the best one I’ve used has to be Typed, a new app from Realmac Software.
The discreet word count view, keyboard shortcuts, and preview options are all great, but my favorite feature is Zen Mode. Typed goes fullscreen and plays six ambient, soothing music tracks in the background to help you focus. Don’t knock it till you try it.
Realmac is most well known for making Clear, a quality todo app for iOS that’s pretty popular. Typed serves a little more of a niche market, but for those interested in a minimalist, easy to use Markdown editor for the Mac, it’s an excellent choice.
By bringing together some of the best mobile app designers out there, Themeboard has created an attractive repository of custom keyboard themes for iOS 8.
Once granted access in Settings, Themeboard lets you install new keyboard designs and layouts from designers all over the world, and many of the available themes look quite good. Keyboards function the same as Apple’s default layout with predictive text support and everything, and there’s an optional Emoji Bar add-on that displays your most used emojis in a row above the keys.
Themeboard is slick, and while it won’t necessarily give you any extra typing functionality, your keyboard will stand out from the rest.
Available on: iPhone/iPad
Price: Free (with in-app purchases for certain themes)
Telltale Games, maker of the famed Walking Dead game series, is back with a Game of Thrones role playing game that looks amazing.
Based on the first book in George R.R. Martin’s saga, A Song of Ice and Fire, the first installment of Telltale’s six-episode release is called, "Iron from Ice.” Reviews have praised it for masterfully inserting itself as a side story surrounding the infamous Red Wedding (if you know, you know).
Several actors from the show lend their voices to the game, and although App Store reviewers have noted some early bugs in the game itself, the general consensus is that playing it feels just as gripping as watching the TV show. So buckle up for a couple of hours and play through this bad boy before the next episode from Telltale comes out.
When Square bought the food ordering service Caviar, it wasn’t immediately clear if the functionality would be baked into an existing Square app or continue to operate on its own.
The latter turned out to be the case with the release of the new Caviar iPhone app. See mouthwatering pictures of local dishes and have them delivered right to your door with the ability to track a delivery in transit.
Hungry yet? Too bad you can only use Caviar if you live in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Manhattan, or Brooklyn. The service is still in the early stages, but here’s to hoping it expands to more cities soon.
Junecloud’s alternative to Apple’s stock Notes app has been updated with a design makeover for iOS 8 and OS X Yosemite. We’re big fans of Deliveries at Cult of Mac, and Notefile is another quality app by Junecloud that usually doesn’t get as much attention.
iCloud Drive integration, easier access to share, export, and delete options, Dynamic text support, and a visual refresh are just a few of the updates you’ll find on the iOS and Mac version.
But instead of a modern digital interface, NASA designed the controls to look like something from the Gemini missions from the ’60s. Orion’s computer screens are full of virtual flip switches and levers that would put Yuri Gagarin at ease.
It’s a little like Apple putting a virtual rotary dial on an iPhone.
If any of the 7,500 riders at Levi’s Gran Fondo are on your gift list, we have some suggestions for you. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
We here at Cult of Mac love bicycles almost as much as we love our iPhone 6 Pluses and iMac Retina 5Ks.
Maybe it’s the feeling of almost flying. Or the passionate design coming out of the bicycle industry. Or maybe it is just the idea of being a part of something else that drives intense passions in people. Whatever it is, we love it.
So we scoured high and low to bring you a list of crazy gift ideas for yourself or for your two-wheeled companions. Take a look, but remember to take a deep breath before firing up your Apple Pay.
Apple co-founder Ron Wayne’s archive will go up for auction this month. Photo: Christie’s
In a universe where things worked out a bit differently, Ronald Wayne would be a billionaire.
When Apple was incorporated on April 2, 1976, Wayne was named alongside Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak as one of three founders, with a 10 percent stake in the company. However, just 12 days after Apple started up — feeling out of his depth because he “was standing in the shadow of intellectual giants” — Wayne threw in the towel and sold his shares for just $800.
“I was 40 and these kids were in their 20s,” Wayne tells Cult of Mac. “They were whirlwinds — it was like having a tiger by the tail. If I had stayed with Apple I probably would have wound up the richest man in the cemetery.”
In Apple lore, Ron Wayne is the man who won the lottery but lost the ticket. He’s Cupertino’s version of Stuart Sutcliffe or Pete Best, the musicians who played with The Beatles but left before the band made it big. Unlike Wozniak and Jobs, who became multimillionaires at a young age, Wayne’s finances have been “in a hole for the last 40 years.”
Now he’s selling his Apple archive — which includes original proofs of the Apple-1 manual he created and unused designs for a proposed Apple II case, among other documents — in a Christie’s auction later this month. Expected to go for between $30,000 and $50,000, the archive will give its new owner a tangible piece of Apple’s early existence.
And the sale will help Wayne, who claims he does not regret his decision to leave Apple, pay his bills.
App icons float on the Apple Watch’s tiny homescreen. Photo: Roberto Baldwin/The Next Web
Despite never having laid their hands upon an Apple Watch, developers are feverishly crafting apps for the long-awaited wearable.
To do this, they face considerable challenges: The size of the device is unlike anything most of them have ever contemplated, and they must design for an entirely different kind of user experience. To make matters worse, the Apple Watch’s functionality will be severely limited, at least at first.
Still, the independent developers that Cult of Mac spoke with are unabashedly delighted to take on the design challenge as they seek to colonize the next frontier of computing: your wrist.
Each month, Cult of Mac's Lust List reveals the products we're reveling in right now.
Garmin Forerunner 920xt
Swim, bike and run your way over to your local Garmin dealer — the multisport watch you have been waiting for has finally arrived. Adding all the good stuff from the other new computers in the Garmin lineup, the Forerunner 920xt arrives with activity tracking, a color screen that actually shows colors, cycling VO2 max, a metronome and the ability for devs to create additional apps through Connect IQ. All in a package you could wear all day without feeling like a complete goober.
Unlike its predecessor the 910xt, the new watch can actually be worn and used as a watch. And if you are willing to carry your smartphone on your workouts, Bluetooth pairing can deliver real-time tracking and push notifications from your phone to the watch (although HealthKit compatibility remains limited at this time).
The Garmin Forerunner 920xt ($449.99 list) is packed full of features designed to help you track your data better; with third parties developing apps, at some point we might see heart-rate capability while in the pool. If you unlock half of this watch's capabilities, you might also start to unlock your own. — Jim Merithew
"Oooh, sweet toothbrush." Until recently, I could honestly say I'd never heard those unexpected words before. But that's exactly what my wife exclaimed when she spotted the Philips Sonicare DiamondClean rechargeable toothbrush sitting quietly on our bathroom counter.
It's easy to see why: The black matte finish looks and feels amazing, more like a high-end smartphone than a dental hygiene product. Luckily for our teeth and gums, the luxe brush is just as practical as it is beautiful. After my better half demanded that I hand over the spare brush head, she took the sleek sonic tooth-scrubber for a spin and declared her pearly whites felt cleaner than ever. She's hooked, and she still hasn't seen the cool travel case that holds the DiamondClean and cleverly recharges by USB.
I like the DiamondClean too, although it took a few sessions to get used to its high-pitched howl. Its polished bristles feel exceedingly gentle, and the at-home charging glass is unique (and dishwasher-safe, delivering us from the evil pool of drool that accumulates on pedestrian plastic chargers). All in all, the DiamondClean ($219.99 list) is more delightful than I thought a toothbrush could be. — Lewis Wallace
Strap these bad boys onto your head and use the included Xbox One wireless adapter to connect to your Microsoft gaming console, or just plug the standard 1/8-inch wire into any headphone jack on your iPhone, iPad or PlayStation 4 controller. The Strikers are comfortable, sound great and look pretty rad along the way. At $89.95 list, you won't have to break open your piggy bank to afford them. — Rob LeFebvre
The updated edition of Jonathan Zufi's coffee-table book Iconic costs a cool $250 — but it features a cool pulsating light!
The book, originally released to wide acclaim last year, is a photographic tribute to Apple's products that’s elegantly crammed with more than 150,000 glossy photos of every single piece of hardware out of Cupertino. It also includes practically everything else, from prototypes to packaging.
The updated version of Zufi's good-looking book — with 16 new pages — comes in plainer, cheaper editions (the Classic Edition costs $75, while the $99 Classic Plus Edition adds a black slipcase), but you’ll want the Ultimate Edition. That’s the one with the LED embedded in its classy Cromwell Aristo Grain-White clamshell case. When you pick up the book, the LED gently pulses in homage to MacBooks of yore. Now that’s iconic. — Leander Kahney
With Thanksgiving in the rear-view and Christmas eggnog in the offing, perhaps it's time to consider – just consider, mind you – a little dietary moderation. I've never been a giant fan of fruits and vegetables (especially the really healthy green stuff), and I certainly don't get as many daily servings as I should, but after seeing lard-ass fright flick Fact, Sick and Nearly Dead and taking a realistic look at my waistline, I got nudged in the direction of juicing.
And by "nudged" I mean my wife bought me a fantastic Omega J8006 Nutrition Center Juicer ($240 from Amazon). This chrome-and-black masticating monster uses a single menacing augur to crush and squeeze every last delicious drop out of fruits and vegetables. I especially love what it does with carrots, turning a pile of orange root vegetables into a nutrient-rich thirst-quencher. Toss in a few bits of ginger or a couple handfuls of kale, and you've got a surprisingly delicious drink that's guaranteed to give you a boost.
It's not all about health, either. Fresh fruits like cantaloupe and pineapple make shockingly good additions to fanciful drink recipes. And that ginger juice? Unbelievably potent and awesome for kicking cocktails up a notch. I'm still fat, but I don't feel nearly as sick or dead. — Lewis Wallace
If you've ever tried to record your own vocals, you know that the built-in microphone in your Mac or iPad, while competent, isn't something you'd want to use to create a world-class song demo. IK Multimedia knows iOS audio, and their iRig Mic HD ($129.99) is an incredibly good condenser microphone that will let you unleash your inner rock star (or podcaster).
It connects easily to your Mac or iOS device via the included standard USB or Lightning cable. And it's serious business, as the iRig Mic HD has a 24-bit audio-to-digital converter, a 44.1/48 kHz sampling rate and a fantastic pre-amp to reproduce your vocal performances at a rate of stunningly high fidelity. — Rob LeFebvre
“Is that a sticker or what?” I get asked that question at least once a week when I’m in public working on my MacBook. The same protective skin has clothed its aluminum exterior since 2012, and it still looks as good as the day I put it on.
The maker is iCarbons, a great U.S. company that makes protective skins for everything from Macs to iPhones. The one I’m rocking is black carbon fiber, and it feels a lot sturdier than a mere sticker. I know my Retina MacBook would look a lot more banged up without this bad boy protecting it from minor scratches and bumps.
Some people see it as sacrilegious to cover a MacBook with anything, but I like this skin because it’s minimal and looks cool. In a sea of gray, I stand out. The iCarbons MacBook skin (normally $49.95 but on sale now for $32.99) will cover the trackpad area on the inside of the MacBook, but I recommend not installing that part on a Retina model. Because everything is so densely packaged together for maximum thinness, even the tiniest bulge will cause the screen hinges to warp over time. — Alex Heath
If you are going to cover up your beautifully sleek new iPad mini, it might as well be with Italian leather and microfibers. The Nodus Access case (89.99 pounds) exudes an elegance and simplicity that can’t be overstated. Or is that understated. Either way, it is beautiful.
Using micro-suction technology to hold your iPad firmly in place, the case couldn’t be any simpler. — Jim Merithew
If you play darts, you know it's all about the doubles and triples. Landing your pointy projectile in those choice slivers of bristle board real estate make all the difference when you are playing to win.
The Bandit Plus ProTrainer ($65 from A-ZDarts.com) can help. On this fiendish and well-constructed training tool, the double and treble beds are just half the size of a regulation steel-tip dartboard. Practicing with this demanding mistress is the darting equivalent of running in ankle weights or sliding a doughnut on your bat while taking a few cuts in the on-deck circle. Spend some quality time with the ProTrainer at home, and those precious moneymaker slots will look gigantic when you step up to the oche during your next pub match. — Lewis Wallace
Available just in time for the holiday gift-giving season, the SteelSeries Stratus XL is the first full-size wireless controller for iOS. It mimics larger home controllers, with a button layout that will be familiar to most console gamers and a 40-hour window of battery life eked from only two AA batteries.
The build quality is insanely good, making this an ideal choice for anyone who wants the comfort and style of a full-on gaming controller for the hundreds of iOS games that utilize Apple’s new made for iPhone (MFi) controller system. The Stratus XL will be available starting December 9 from the SteelSeries website and other fine retailers. — Rob LeFebvre