Recycled Computing

Nerd-vana? School Network Means Installing Windows on a MacBook

- 2009.08.10

I've been out at the lake this summer, and the rustic charm of myuncle's cabin, the cry of the loon, and the quiet lapping of the waterhas introduced a salve for my soul.

the lake

So why would I jump back into the dark side of the computerworld?

My son is going off to college this fall. The campus intranetrequires Windows as an operating system.

The only reason Windows exists is that someone, somewhere requiresit. Nevertheless, as I left the tranquility of nature behind, I had toinstall Windows on my son's virgin Intel MacBook. It makes youdirty just thinking about it.

Installing Windows

So I fired up Boot Camp and ran into my first dilemma.

Boot Camp wants you to print out the instructions. Okay, that'sprudent, but I hate wasting paper. However, you really want to have theinstructions around, because you'll be venturing into the dark forestsof Microsoft. I ended up firing up my daughter's MacBook (for obviousreasons, I don't have Boot Camp on my trusty Pismo - it has a G3 processorand doesn't run Mac OS X 10.5"Leopard") and "printed" the file as a PDF to my daughter'sdesktop.

As a said, you're going to want to have this handy, as you have tonavigate some non-Apple screens (the shock! the horror!).


Imagine me surrounded by three computers on the coach. My daughter'sMacBook is displaying the Boot Camp instructions, I have a Windows XPdisc in my son's iBook, and I was blogging on the Pismo. Nerdnirvana.

It does take a while to partition, format, and install Windows. Ifollowed Apple's instructions, and the software install was a breeze.Apple has included the drivers necessary to make Windows "see" thehardware on the MacBook install disc. Easey peasey.

I still have to run down some specialized software that I will haveto install on the Windows side. And I have decided that I probablybetter not register Windows XP with the mothership in Redmond. (DoesSteve Ballmer read Low End Mac? I have a policy that says, "if youdon't ask me, I won't tell". Guess I have to snag any updates on myown.)

Mac vs. PC

My son is thrilled and wants to go show his PC buddy the install. Ibelieve that he was going to ask if his friend could run OS X onhis PC.

Here's what I like about those "laptop hunter" ads: That machinecosts less, but it can't do as much. I have a buddy who has a tripleboot machine - Windows, Linux, and Leopard.

How does Windows run on a Mac. Pretty good. Even better than on ourDell desktop. Of course, the MacBook install isn't loaded down with 5million bloatware applications.

That reminds me, I've got to get on the Dell to get rid of all thoseridiculous programs that came with it. Yuk. LEM

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