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The community of hackintoshes, or Macintosh operating systems running on non-standard Apple hardware, has been a vibrant one, albeit silent but that doesn’t mean some of their great achievements should be ignored. Well the latest thing to appear from the hackintosh community is the ability to install Mac OSX Leopard into a diminutive budget netbook costing less than $600, the MSI Wind.

MSI Wind U100

The MSI Wind U100 netbook came out a few months ago and have been very popular, and it wasn’t long before hackers realize that the hardware inside the Wind are Mac-friendly, and have since cobbled together a version of the OSX Leopard that would run happily on this machine. To obtain this, you’ll have to flex your creative muscles a little and look for the exact torrent, but it’s not terribly hard and there are many sites out there for you to search.

The specs of the Wind isn’t incredibly appealing, with 1.6GHz Atom, 1GB of RAM, and a WiFi card that’s not compatible with OSX. So you need to be comfortable to open up the Wind to upgrade the RAM to 2GB and swap out the WiFi module. Both of these should not cost more than $50. Also, you need some sort of external DVD drive because the Wind does not come with any optical device.

MAC OSX

Once you have all of that, the complete instructions can be found here. It won’t be long till you have it up and running on a cheap piece of hardware to the envy of your friends, but be warned that although the OS itself works, it won’t be very fast due to the slow processor. It works fine for everyday use, but don’t think about doing photo or video editing on this laptop. That’s about the only drawback to this otherwise great hack.

You can also do the same thing on desktop, and the performance figures show that you can get twice the performance of a Macbook at half the price, provided you do some overclocking on your machine. Note that if you intend to do this, you need to follow the list of supported hardware which can be found at the OSX86 website. So the next time you’re upgrading your computer, you might want to make sure the hardware is suitable for a Mac OS.

However note that only Leopard 10.5.4 (not the most recent 10.5.5) is supported if you want to install it on the MSI Wind, and leaves some hardware functionality behind, like the microphone and headset. But for the brave, stick-it-to-the-Apple-man-ers, this might just be the best thing yet since sliced bread. 🙂