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HTML October 4, 2010

Posted by jrthomas in : CSIT1110WW1 , comments closed

HTML is something that I believe is fairly straight forward. I have been “messing around” with it since I was about 12, so I feel fairly competent with it. The exciting thing about this task for me  is getting to talk about some of the things I am interested in. I almost guarantee you that there are very few people with interests as eclectic as mine. The three hobbies I chose to focus on in my HTML document are air raid sirens, free to air satellite and OSx86(the version of Mac OSx “altered” to run on hardware that is not made by apple). I am the type of person who spends literally hours and many sleepless nights learning all that I can about these three things and many many more random things.


Building a Computer October 4, 2010

Posted by jrthomas in : CSIT1110WW1 , comments closed

Josh Thomas

Build a computer lab

With the release of Mac OS X snow leopard recently my thoughts have turned to back to something I spent countless hours on a few years ago, the OS X86 project. The basic goal of the OS X86 project is to run Apples OS X on hardware that is not produced by apple. This is possible because Apple recently began using Intel processors, which are the same processors found standard in machines designed to run windows, in all of their machines.

In the past when I have attempted to install OS X on my machines I always have some sort of error with the hardware, most often kernel panics due incorrect chipset drivers for my motherboard. My hope in building this machine is that I can use guides on the internet and information in forums to successfully install OS X Snow Leopard and have it support ever piece of hardware as natively as possible.

The Motherboard:

I chose to use the same motherboard that the guide I was following used because it seems to be the most universally compatible with the Apple operating system. The only thing I would like to have that is not present with this board is DDR3 support.


The Processor:

Since I am trying to build a system that will basically mirror an Apple system it is imperative to use hardware that is as similar to the actual Mac desktop as I possibly can. That is why I am going with an Intel Core 2 Quad 2.66GHz Yorkfield. It is not the fastest and it’s not the most energy efficient, but it is cheaper and it is compatible.



For the memory I want to have 8GB minimum. All of the machines I currently use daily have one gigabyte or less, and I am ready for a change. I chose the OCZ DDR2 1066 4GB “kit” which is just two, two gigabyte memory modules. Since I want 8GB I will buy two of these “kits.” It also has a $20.00 mail-in rebate which is nice.


Video Adapter:

When it came time to pick a video adapter my main goal was to save money. I don’t play games or do anything that is too heavily taxing on a video adapter. So I chose a fairly modern, but not still expensive Nvidia GeForce 9800+ with 512MB of GDDR3 video memory.  This Video adapter is PCI express 2.0 X16 so it will support the highest data rate available on my chosen motherboard, and it also supports HDCP so I can output protected HD content to a HCDP compliant display. The video adapter also has a $10.00 mail-in rebate.


Secondary Storage:

For secondary storage I chose to go with two Seagate Barracuda 7200RPM 1.5TB hard drives with 32MB of cache. These drives have the SATA 3.0Gb/s interface which is the fastest supported by the motherboard I am purchasing. Space to store files is very important to me, as this machine will most likely handle all of my media also I would like plenty of room to install other operating systems or virtual machines.


Also for optical storage I would like to be able to burn and read all types of media with the exception of Blu-Ray. The Plextor 24X DVD/CD writer does just that plus it has a neat feature called LightScribe. LightScribe basically uses a laser to “burn” an image onto the top side of optical media.



The motherboard I chose includes networking support onboard, but it does not work properly with OS X86. The solution is to buy an aftermarket network interface card. Here I am going to use the exact same model that the folks at lifehacker used. Also I would like to purchase a good gigabit switch to improve network speeds.



For the case I just chose a standard black case with power supply included. It’s a simple steel model with a 585W power supply. Looks are not nearly as important as performance in my opinion.


This should be a very solid computer that should run Mac OS X just like a Mac Pro. The actual assembly of the computer is very straight forward and something I consider myself very proficient in. The most challenging part of the build will most assuredly be the installation of OS X. Once it is installed it should continue to function just like a Mac Pro, it can even take automatic software updates just like an official Mac. This would be my everyday machine.







Binary September 27, 2010

Posted by jrthomas in : CSIT1110WW1 , comments closed

Binary is all around us, yet it very rarely discussed. With out binary all of our countries infrastructure would very rapidly collapse into a total mess of confusion and chaos.  To me it is very amazing to think that this screen I am currently staring into while I type this is being instructed by instructions originating in binary.

I remember learning about binary in high school and being totally overwhelmed and amazed at the same time. At first it seems like binary is never going to make sense, but once you get your mind set on it, learning binary is just as easy as learning how to crimp cat5 cables.

Josh Thomas