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Opinions Of Using Windows XP On An Intel Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:35 pm

Hey, guys.

I am an old school Mac user (think LC II through PowerMac G3 350) that was forcibly converted to Windows by work requirements. With the new Intel Macs, I was thinking of returning to my roots. However, I have to consider how well Windows XP (or Vista) runs on the new Macs, particularly on the MacBook Pro. I plan on visiting one of the Apple stores here in Pittsburgh next week to see what they have, but I also wanted to get some feedback from other users. Has anyone been able to compare Windows on a Mac to a standard Windows PC? How about Vista? I plan on using Mac OS X more for home use (i.e. web browsing, video and photo editing, music, etc) and Windows for work (some specialized applications that are Windows only). Any thoughts are welcome.
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RE: Opinions Of Using Windows XP On An Intel Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2007 5:04 pm

I use Windows XP under Bootcamp on a Macbook Pro 2.16Ghz Core Duo 2GB ram system, and my experiences are mixed.

It works, and it works well. Windows runs on it like it does on any other system.

However, I have run into two issues, one of them inexplicable and one of them just the result of it being in a beta.

1. Under certain apps, the trackpad stops working. Well, it doesnt totally stop working, but it stops moving the pointer, which is interesting. I see this as a result of it being in Beta, it just needs bug reports and it will be fixed. Im getting around this by using a USB mouse at the moment when in Windows, works perfectly.

2. Now this is the one that Im baffled about - the "/' key on the keyboard (Im using a British Macbook Pro, so they may not be the same key as yours) returns the correct keycode (00_28) but the keymap supplied by Apple under the Bootcamp driver set doesnt return ascii code 34 - it returns ascii code 168, which is a *similiar* character on screen, but impossible to use in all programming languages. Im getting around this by using the bog standard Windows British keymap, which means keys are in the wrong place according to the labels, but it all works fine.

Number 2 only seems to have affected myself, Ive asked several people using bootcamp 1.1.2 and the same system as myself to check and they are getting the correct character, so I dont know wtf it is.

So by all means use it, its no different to any other Windows system in actual usage - theres no fundamental change.
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RE: Opinions Of Using Windows XP On An Intel Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:08 pm

Unless you need to why would you? I;ve got and Intel iMac and a PC laptop running windows. At the moment the setup works well for me as a number of devices I own aren't supported on Macs. However, when the lease on my laptop runs out I'm buying a macbook which will probably run windows. So in closing, unless you have a specific need for it, I wouldn't bother.
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RE: Opinions Of Using Windows XP On An Intel Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:50 pm

I use Parallels to run Windows XP on a Mac Mini with a 1.66Ghz processor and 1GB of RAM. This works very well for me. I work from home two days per week. On these days, I turn on the Mac, boot Parallels, unPause XP, connect to my Corporate VPN (I have a 15Mbps connection at home), then select remote desktop to connect to the computer on my desk at work. With this setup the processing is happening on the work PC and I just see the screen image on my computer. In this setup, Windows appears as another application running within the Mac OS and I can switch back and forth with no problems. This works very well.

I also switch between Mac OS and XP every few minutes as I use Skype to make outbound phone calls to work. I don't believe this would be possible with Bootcamp. I also use Safari for personal web use while at home.

The only problem I have had with Parallels is that every few days it will tell me I don't have the right tools installed and it wants me to go through a tools uninstall / install cycle. I finally just clicked the box to stop reminding me of this and it works fine.

I also use XP if I want to view a web site that is not Safari friendly. Such as viewing video content on cnn.com.

Overall Parallels was the best $80 I spent on my Mac.

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RE: Opinions Of Using Windows XP On An Intel Mac

Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:02 pm

For almost all Windows-based applications you might need for office work Parallels will be the best solution.

The current version also comes with the new Coherence feature which lets you freely mix Windows and Mac windows on the same screen; On my MacBook Pro I've put the MacOS X Dock on the left side of the screen and Windows in Coherence has its task bar at the bottom (in auto-hide), so I literally have both systems at the same time, with complete transparency.

Since it is relatively rare that I need anything in Windows (mostly to make a presentation to show how something looks in Windows), it's mostly a funny toy for me rather than an actual necessity.

Parallels shares the clipboard and even parts or all of your Mac file system if you want, so even drag-and-drop of files across both systems is possible.

It's oddly fascinating how well such an integration can work in practice... Big grin

Running Linux under Parallels is possible and works well, but Parallels doesn't provide just as much integration support as for Windows XP at this point (Vista support is planned as well, apparently). Technically it works through the Parallels tools installed on the Windows side which are "talking" to the Parallels VM to realize the integration.

Quoting Adh214 (Reply 3):
The only problem I have had with Parallels is that every few days it will tell me I don't have the right tools installed and it wants me to go through a tools uninstall / install cycle.

Strange... I only have it asking after upgrading Parallels, which is normal and expected.

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