The Core Dump

A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures

[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 06 May 2006]

A window darkly

In the end, resistance was futile.

Ended up installing Windows on the Intel Mini. But in my defense, I had several reasons, one of them even altruistic:

  1. We video conference with my parents every few weeks. (It seems they have some kind of strange desire to see their grandchild.) The only app that seems to work okay cross platform† for video conferencing is iChat on the Mac and AIM on Windows. Unfortunately, AIM on Windows is a gargantuan pile of crap, and only shows postage-stamp-size video. So while I’m basking in the goodness that is iChat AV on my end, my parents are squinting. That’s no good, since the object of the exercise is for them to see their grandchild. So hopefully straight-up Messenger on Windows will work better.

  2. Sometimes you need to see what a web site looks like in Internet Exploder.

  3. On occasion, a man does feel the Need for Speed. As a bonus, the integrated graphics on the Mini forces you to stay in the $20 section at CompUSA, which is good for the wallet.

So now there’s a Windows partition invading my hard drive.

There really isn’t much to say about the Boot Camp process—pretty damn straightforward. That is, until you get to the point of actually using Windows XP. Sigh. Running through activation, updates, and installing virus and spyware defenses really did kill (yet another) little bit of my soul. But hopefully there won’t be any need for a full reinstall for a while.

Interestingly, Disk Utility on the Mac will happily make an image of an NTFS partition, but throws an error message if you try to restore that image. I’d hoped a block level write wouldn’t be hampered by the lack of write support for NTFS, but alas that does not seem to be the case.

Oh, and Apple really does mean it when they say you can’t install XP on an external drive. I figured it needed an internal partition to do that boot manager voodoo it does so well, but since an external hard drive shows up fine in the installer, why not just install on the external drive? Yeah, that will earn you a blue screen and a hand-edit of boot.ini.

In the end, running Windows XP on a Mac is just like running Windows XP on any other kind of Intel gear…

†Hey, Skype, any time you feel like releasing version 2 with video conferencing for the Mac is okay. Really.

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