My MacBook Pro is back from repair, and the first thing I do? Install Windows XP Pro.
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Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some
of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
Several weeks ago I mentioned that I had purchased a MacBook Pro. Unfortunately
it suffered from a couple of problems – the worst being an unusable trackpad. I
ended up taking it to the local Apple store for repair.
I was disappointed at the fact that it needed repair right out of the box.
But my experience with the Apple ‘Genius’ and the repair process was smooth and
efficient. No hoops to jump through, and I was kept up-to-date on the status of
my repair by email begining the day I dropped it off.
So my trackpad works and the machine’s running cooler. It’s time to start
The first thing I did on getting it back? I installed Windows.
Now, I know that many Mac purists will consider that “pollution” of their
beloved hardware, but now that I’ve been playing with it for a bit, I see it as
a huge strategic play for the Mac.
For what it’s worth, I’m not using Apple’s “BootCamp”. The thought of having
to reboot to switch between operating systems just didn’t do it for me.
Especially when I heard of a virtual machine solution.
I’ve been very impressed with Parallels Workstation for the Mac. Using it, I’m able to run a
complete Virtual Machine in a window under Mac OSX. That Virtual Machine, when
run, starts with a virtual BIOS that attempts to boot from a virtual hard disk
– or from the system’s CD-ROM. The theoretical bottom line is that it allows
you to install and setup pretty much any operating system – from MS-DOS to
So I grabbed an XP Pro install CD and installed Windows. Now, Windows is
running in a window on my Mac. And, so far, with installs of Office, encryption
software, the Hamachi VPN software, and more random tools and utilities, I’ve
not stumbled into anything that didn’t just work. I’ve even been able to use
remote desktop on another computer to remotely access the Windows virtual
machine on my Mac.
So why put Windows on a Mac? For the very reason that so many PC users are
reluctant to try a Mac in the first place: they have an investment in their
Windows-based software and solutions. With Windows in a window on a Mac, PC
users might just be able to preserve their investment as they, like I, dip
their toes in the Mac pond. Now that I have both Windows and Max OSX in front
of me, I can safely start playing.
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