Section A5 Group 1 Brainstorming Page
The Project’s Premise
We have been developing this idea ever since we read the syllabus. We are planning to make a “very user friendly” server on Goergia Tech’s local network to stream privately accessible content (password protected) in a very organized way which any operating systems can access. The hacking aspect of this project comes into play by attempting to custom build a PC that is compatible with the “hackintosh” project. We aim to install the latest version of Mac OSX on non-Mac intended hardware. At first glance it seems like a straight forward task; it seems that configuring drivers for the hardware for the machine to operate successfully is going to require significant tweaking and modding of drivers or “kexts”. This is not even considering hardware compatibility itself. Macs rejects most PC hardware, therefore precise hardware selection is crucial. A significant allure to building a hackintosh as opposed to buying a regular mac or PC is that it obtains the best of both worlds - low priced hardware with an excellent operating system. We intent on pooling our own funds to purchase the necessary hardware and resources. We have also started budgeting and window shopping around for our narrowed down list of hardware. The hack itself is just a product of the idea; our plan is to share the idea throughout Georgia Tech. We don’t just want to limit ourself to campus but also aim to share our results through a “how-to” blog about the process. By doing so, we hope to compete with “hack-a-day’s” blog on the subject. This project is much more likely to be successful with the collaboration of group members who have experience in computer construction/ hardware or experience with the Mac Operating System.
Benefits from the Hackintosh
- Macs make the process of implementing the networking techniques for remote user’s access easy for the networking is very easy to configure and user friendly to many macs and PCS.
- A hackintosh is the best bang for the buck for what it can due and be (light photo editing work and HD video editing work and production) during the summers.
- We will be taking advantage of many Mac only applications to implement the streaming of content and to test various networking situations. Some applications include Plex (which is practically a hack in itself of XBMC), potentially iVPN, Mac's Network preferences, potentially various iphone apps, and potentially SABnzbd. Also these applications are advantageous because they allow much room for manipulation and coding.
- There are many development tools available for Mac which is beneficial to manipulate available open source applications. There is huge aspect in this project of developing the end user interface to access and organize the data on the server. This is an aspect under development in mac.
- Building an ultimate hackintosh is a tricky project which has been documented all over the internet; these documentations, the OSx86 wiki project, and other tutorials are essentially the only way to succeed in establishing a hackintosh -- potential users rely on other's attempts to succeed. The whole hacking a PC to run OSX is relatively a new phenomenon. A phenomenon that this English class and the hacker convention at the end of the year can encourage in the positive direction if given the chance.
Michael and Mayank: hardware research, purchase, build, and install
Stephanie: Blog, updates, manage writing, tutorial
Ky: User interface an point access, users limitation, networking, "hosting responsibility"
Chris: participate in blog and hardware research
How would access be limited/controlled? What can we do with the server once it's up? Why Mac over Linux? Aspects of Project:
- Hardware Construction
- Interface design/method
- Hardware construction, mostly figured out
- still have concerns about what exactly we want to do with the interface
Meeting Time and Location
Thursday, February 3
7:30 in the Library
"In about 200 words, describe the final project your group will work on. For the gold level badge, clearly describe the nature of the project, the contribution you believe it will make to our class themes, and (if necessary) how your project will ensure that the requirements for legality and safety are met. Descriptions that are unclear or underdeveloped will be awarded the silver or bronze level badge. If the proposed project does not make a meaningful connection to class themes, or is judged to be illegal or unsafe, no badge will be awarded and you will have to resubmit!"
Our main objective is to create a server that allows universal data access, data collection, remote management of data hosted by the server. The thing that will set our server apart is its friendly user interface by utilizing Mac OSX. Rather than buying a Mac, we want to build a hackintosh to create the server with the benefits of a Mac OS but at a more reasonable price. It addresses the question of who decides how technology will be used because we are using software created by Mac for Mac hardware but installing it on our own hardware. It particularly relates to the concept of the 'manual' presented in “The Winter Market”, because we will not be using the Mac OS “according to the manual”. However, we will not be directly violating Apple's copyright laws that apply to the Mac OS because we will be pursuing a “vanilla” install—that is, we will not be modifying Apple's OSX installation retail disk. Rather, we will be manipulating our hardware to read Apple's software. We do not anticipate any safety issues in constructing the server.
"In about 200 words, describe the final project artifact your group will prepare to document your project. Be sure to explain the medium (website, video, etc.) you intend to use for your artifact, and why you believe this medium will be an effective means for communicating the accomplishments of your project. In addition, explain what steps you will take to record the information you will need to prepare your artifact, and why your artifact will successfully communicate your project's accomplishments to an audience of Georgia Tech community members across a span of years."
We intend to document our project through a blog (URL: comosus.wordpress.com) where we will update the status of our project, as well as noting any problems we may encounter along the way. We will also host a webpage that will create a step-by-step tutorial on how other people can create their own “hackintosh” media server. A blog will also serve as a method of communication between our own group members. This will be effective because it is easily accessible, it archives any updates, and allows for public comments and input, which will allow for critique and additional creativity. Our blog will be the means by which we record all the information needed for our step-by-step tutorial, which will explain the process, using our “hackintosh” as an example. By using this electronic medium, it ensures the longevity and accessibility of our artifact. We may also transform our tutorial from an electronic medium to a written one by printing a handbook for distribution at the hacker convention.
"List the full names of all group members here:"
- Michael Hudson
- Stephanie Lui
- Mayank Tahilramani
- Chris Agular
- Ky Lee