01 January 2009

Macadventures: Using Boot Camp

I've been a fool to use Virtual Box to run WinXp as a virtual machine on my Mac all this time (the whole of 2 weeks.) At first it was full of promise. A minimisable window running Windows, one of many tasks running without every slowing, hanging or going into a coma (like XP does). But I soon ran into problems - the shared folder started to hang and I realised that I can't get USB, soundcard or camera access. (Now why would you need that you ask? I'm a sucker for functionality I guess, either I have it all or not at all.)

Then I stumble on 'Boot Camp' on my Applications folder and remember somewhere in my ask-Google-for-an-answer forays that Boot Camp was one of the ways Windows could be run. And I had it on my Mac OS X all this time?? Darned. I should've read the manual. (And I know I will say that again a few hundred times before I actually open the manual. I love rainforests. Manuals should not have been printed in the first place.) It took me about 5 attempts to get it right, but right now I'm on seventh heaven. The first time I partitioned the Windows drive at 5GB. What was I thinking? Then I partitioned it right but realised that I had no access to CDROM, USB, soundcard until I put in the Mac OS Installation CD, which, courtesy of Apple has all the drivers Windows needs... (Now I wonder why they are being so helpful to us Windows die-hards.) But the next thing I find out is that my copy of Windows has an outdated Win Installer which can't handle the Mac CD's installation files!! I try upgrading to Service Pack 3 which invariably hangs.

Finally, it dawned on me that the partition for Windows can be accessed as a drive on Mac OS. Which means I can easily download Windows Installer 4.5 and slip it into the Desktop folder of WinXP and restart the system. Wa lah!! Problem solved. Installed installed. Mac drivers installed. Sound card functioning. Camera functioning. Video display perfected. All that's just fantastic.. but dig this... DRUM ROLLLLL... With Boot Camp, the mouse is left-click and right-click enabled!! How the heck is that possible with no left and right buttons? Why did they manufacture a mouse with left and right click abilities, hidden-albeit, when the Mac doesn't even use it?? This is plain sinister or am I dreaming? And the keyboard is rewired so that Ctrl is Ctrl and Alt is Alt and the Cmd Key is the good old Windows button! Talk about full Windows functionality.

I have got it made. My PC is going to the grave. The next thing to do will be to install MacDrive so that the Windows system can access all of the Mac's files and vice versa. That way I have two partitions that cross-communicate freely, obviating duplication of data (think 14,750 photos and 80GB of MP3s and you'll get the picture.)

Ahh.. the pleasures of Mac. And the journey's just begun!

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