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Thread: Using Windows on a Mac

  1. #1

    Using Windows on a Mac

    I finally bit the bullet and installed Windows XP on my Mac. I have an Intel Mac Powerbook (2 Gb RAM, 180 Gb HD, 2.5 GHz dual core, 17 inch screen). I had Parallels installed in the machine at the time of purchase and bought Windows XP Professional version 2002. It took about 30 minutes to install the operating system, another half hour to configure it, and have spent the last two hours using it to surf the web and installing various software (including Firefox and an anti-virus program).

    Some first impression:
    1. Speed. It is not fast. For example, Firefox is faster on the Mac. This is of course due to the fact that this is a translation program. However, it is fast enough once you get use to the short pauses between pressing a button and getting a response.
    2. Reliability. It has been remarkably stable. No crashes, no apparent bugs, and no problems. I changed the screen resolution, the default window size, the default font sizes, and operated it both in the window and full-screen mode.
    3. Disk Space. The system takes up 8 Gb of my hard disk and I can put documents into a shared folder that can be accessed by both my Mac and Windows. This is the main way of sharing between the two operating systems. Parallels has an automatic compressor that continually operates in the background to maximize the file storage in that space. The operating system takes 256 Mb of RAM.

    So far, everything seems to be working fine. Amazing. I am impressed. I will report more when I try more programs.

    Wise.

  2. #2
    Wise;

    I am very interested hearing more from you and others using Parallels. Noah is going to Law School in the fall. Most schools recommend a PC and he is very partial to Macs. He will need a computer upgrade before school starts and I'm sure he would like to stay with a Mac, if at all possible. Parallels my be the answer.

    John
    "Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence." Lin Yutang

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zeus's Avatar
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    I will be installing Windows on my MacBook soonish, although I'll probably need more RAM (only 1GB here). Wise, I just thought I'd point out the likely reason you are seeing a 'speed-hit'. Parallels is a virtualisation technology, as opposed to emulation, so there isn't a real performance drop as such. However, since the Mac OS X has to keep running Parallels only runs on one core of your microprocessor - thus Windows XP has half the processing power it could possibly have under BootCamp when running under Parallels. However, Parallels makes it easier to share documents between Mac OS X & Windows, and that coherence mode looks delightful.

    Chris.
    Have you ever seen a human heart? It looks like a fist wrapped in blood! Larry in 'Closer', a play by Partick Marber

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by john smith
    Wise;

    I am very interested hearing more from you and others using Parallels. Noah is going to Law School in the fall. Most schools recommend a PC and he is very partial to Macs. He will need a computer upgrade before school starts and I'm sure he would like to stay with a Mac, if at all possible. Parallels my be the answer.

    John
    I was initially reluctant to install Windows, because I did not want to clutter my brain with a second operating system. However, to my surprise, it is not so bad. Enough things are similar so that I can operate the programs. However, it is sufficiently different that I don't get fooled. It is actually not bad at all.

    It seems to play music and videos with no trouble. The fact that it takes up only 256 Mb of RAM (and I have 2 Gb) means that I just leave it on with no toll at all on my Mac use. This makes switching back and forth really easy. I am considering whether or not to invest in another set of Microsoft Windows programs. I think that install the student package which is reasonably low cost and Noah can do so as well.

    I am not sure that there are any programs that is available only on Windows that I must have. However, I have many programs that is only Mac and cannot run on Windows: Statview, Writeroom, Journier, and of course iTunes and iPhoto. I recently found an incredible program that is only Mac: Tinderbox. I am thinking of using this program to store and organize all my posts on CareCure and directly porting it to a web site. It is not available on Windows.

    So, I am strictly a diletante in Window. However, I want to learn how to use operating system and also be able to see what people on Windows see on Powerpoint and Internet. The fonts and displays are quite different. Powerpoint presentations are particularly problematical. Finally, I think that the Chinese programs are much better in Windows that in Mac.

    Wise.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Foolish Old's Avatar
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    I believe Itunes runs in Windows. There is also a freeware MS Office suite clone that knowledgeable people have reviewed favorably.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

  6. #6
    Yes, I run iTunes on Windows easily.

    I was hesitant to throw Vista on my TabletPC with all of my school stuff, so I'm running Vista on a Virtual PC within my XP Tablet edition (like XP Pro). I'll switch over to Vista and Office 2007 when the semester is over, but it's fun to play with for now. Vista is a wonderful upgrade from XP.

  7. #7
    Senior Member JustinB's Avatar
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    The speed hit is likely from only assigning 256MB Ram to the virtual machine.
    Try it at 512 and see if there is a noticable difference. If not, drop back to 256, no harm done.

    -- JB

  8. #8
    Senior Member CapnGimp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Young
    I was initially reluctant to install Windows, because I did not want to clutter my brain with a second operating system. However, to my surprise, it is not so bad. Enough things are similar so that I can operate the programs. However, it is sufficiently different that I don't get fooled. It is actually not bad at all.

    Wise.
    just wait... after it starts crashing, randomly 'loosing' critical system files, spyware. virii, hangs or crashes programs at inopportune moments, etc., etc., you will understand WHY you never used it b4.

    Patience grasshopper....

  9. #9
    I've been running XP on my iMac for 9 months and have yet to have a serious problem, except for a bad keyboard driver, which I simply disabled. I run XP on a 170Gb partition, too large for seamless file swapping, but have never suffered any memory problems or crashes other than those that were my fault.

    You'll definitely want to install the free Anti-virus and Anti-spyware programs available online. I use AGP Free Edition and Windows Defender. Also, if you haven't yet, look over the built in security options in XP. There may be many "features" you'll want to turn off.

    Glad to hear it is working well for you
    "I'm lost. I'm no guide, but I'm by your side." - Pearl Jam

    "It decomposes, mendicant, therefore, truly, one calls this the world." -- Loka Sutta

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CapnGimp
    just wait... after it starts crashing, randomly 'loosing' critical system files, spyware. virii, hangs or crashes programs at inopportune moments, etc., etc., you will understand WHY you never used it b4.

    Patience grasshopper....
    Not so quick Master Po as I snag the pebble from your hand. Just because you have these problems with your old, slow and outdated laptop doesn't mean the rest of do with our PCs.

    I know that you're partial to certain releases of Linux but a lot of stuff that's standard fare on Mac and PC operating systems don't always correlate with Linux. You need to be a computer wizard of sorts to get a Linux distro to operate properly and many people don't have the time or knowledge on how to install (hell, even find) third party programs that emulate Mac and PC programs. Or are willing to roll the dice with their important files on much of that freebie stuff... as well meaning and hardworking as the writers of it are.

    Since we've been flying "Lock On: Modern Air Combat" together have you been able to find a program that will let us fly it in Linux? I don't think it's possible.... just like other popular programs that haven't been written for a particular OS aren't.

    I'm all for free OS' like Linux and the proggys written for it but it's for those who are have or are willing to take the time to tweak the hell outta their computer (OS) trying to get a freebie.

    We all know why Macs are less susceptible to viruses etc. and that's because they only populate 10 or so percent of the online community and the malware script writers are going after the biggest bang for their buck audience. They just don't target Macs very much. If Mac OS' held the "revered" position of Windows (XP etc.) it would be the same consequences but in reverse.

    Man, that was one nasty tunnelling pressure sore you finally had taken care of Capn. Why in the hell you let it go for so long I'll never figure out. I couldn't do anything knowing that I had something that nasty burrowing into my buttock until I got it healed (or on my feet etc.) .... and still be sitting on it! You be a crazy dude. Being a Vegan isn't the be all and end all of good health. Now excuse me while I spark up a cigarette and crack open a Samuel Adams. I'd eat a hot dog too but I don't snack while I drink.

    It's nice to hear that you're expanding your horizons Wise. Like you don't already have enough on your plate! And that you've hooked yourself up with an anti-virus program so fast. You shouldn't be online for even a second before installing that. And a good firewall is a necessity. Best of luck with your eXPerience.

    Bob.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

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