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Summary:

Recently, I installed Mac OS X Leopard on my MSI Wind netbook to get a feel for a 10-inch Apple notebook. The device came with Windows XP pre-installed and I have it running Vista for the moment. Yes, I’m generally OS-agnostic. One of the challenges I […]

Recently, I installed Mac OS X Leopard on my MSI Wind netbook to get a feel for a 10-inch Apple notebook. The device came with Windows XP pre-installed and I have it running Vista for the moment. Yes, I’m generally OS-agnostic. One of the challenges I had to address with a small display using only 1024×600 resolution was screen real estate, so I did something I don’t often do: I set the Mac OS X Dock to auto-hide. It provided me more room for my tasks but it also took away one of my most important bits of visual information: the unread count from my two Gmail Inboxes in Mail.

I’m generally not a huge fan of plug-ins due to performance challenges, but I’m making an exception for Mail Unread Menu. This 2.2MB free application for Mac OS X 10.4 or better does one thing, but does it well. It places a configurable icon in the Mac menu bar that shows the total number of unread e-mails waiting for me. You can pick and choose which mailboxes it monitors, modify the menu bar icon and even show the subject lines of unread e-mails to give you a preview before moving your attention to the Mail application.

I also use Growl for e-mail notifications, but that’s more of a real-time information updater. Sometimes, I don’t want to see every single e-mail coming in and just want to check the count every so often. With Mail Unread Menu, I can ignore the Growl and the Dock on my smaller-screened device but still keep my finger on the pulse of my information lifeblood. Now if I could just convince Apple to make a netbook similar in size to my MSI Wind, I wouldn’t have to cobble together my own.

  1. How did you get Leopard on your >>MSI<< netbook???

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  2. Stephan, http://www.osx86project.org is your best friend in this particular case.

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  3. I’ve been pondering getting a Wind and running OS X, but I’ve hear rumors some apps won’t run due to the small screen size. I don’t suppose you can confirm that any of the following do/don’t work: Aperture, Photoshop CS3, InDesign CS3, Coda, BBEdit?

    Of course given the machine’s specs, I don’t expect many of these apps to run well, but I’m dying to verify if they’ll run at all… many thanks.

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  4. Oh, I’ve also heard Flash has problems and won’t play more than the first few seconds before choking…

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  5. 2Ben Byrne, I have set up Leopard on my Asus laptop. OS run pretty well (no LAN though), but native Apple apps (iWorks, Aperture, Logic) would not even start :(

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  6. I’m running Photoshop CS2 on my wind in Xp. it’s works great. It’s perfect for doing basic image editing but sluggish with anything substantial. I’m going to instal OSX on it soon (when my wifi card comes in). I’m pretty it wouldn’t be a problem to run any of these programs. Of course, XP isn’t a hacked version so there’s not telling what would happen in OSX. Anyway, on XP it works great.

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