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Dec 21

The MacBook Pro Dual Boot Experience

(Hey, that would be a great name for a band!)

So last week, I was authorized to buy a MacBook Pro and try it out to see if we should issue them to the development staff. (One of the benefits of being the chief technical guy in a small company).   Since I’m the guinea pig, I decided to try out both Boot Camp and Parallels, as well as native Mac Os as well.  Here, then, are my thoughts on each of them.
Mac OS

  • Much faster setup and boot sequence
  • I like the desktop widgets
  • The “download something that turns into a disk on the desktop that I can’t get rid of until I reboot” is annoying, but not deal-breaking
  • I use a dual monitor setup, which works perfectly, except that it is very frustrating to have to go all the way over to the left monitor to work the menu.   This is one area where Windows seems better.
  • My Firefox bookmarks, settings, etc, even the secure password thing transferred over from WinXP flawlessly. Kudos
  • It is already loaded with the latest version of Java 1.5
  • The Photobooth thing with the built-in camera provided a couple of hours of fun for the kids (and me too, I admit)
  • Eclipse runs great.  I haven’t tried the beta of flex Builder 2, but I expect it will work fine as well.

Boot Camp

  • Easy to set up.
  • Can’t get the touchpad to work properly.  Had to download a third-party app to help with that.
  • Performance is phenomenal
  • This will mostly be used for games and such, although I did go ahead and install the full MS Office suite.
  • Games look outstanding.  I’m having crashing problems with Medieval II : Total War, but I suspect it’s the game, not the hardware.

Parallels

  • Setup was easy enough.  A little trickier than Bootcamp, but not significantly so
  • I was able to mount the Bootcamp partition as a Network drive on the Parallels setup, so I can reuse my existing Office setup, and I’ll have one common place for documents across both Windows variants.  It’s not working yet, but I have hopes that it will 🙂

Asthetics

  • The MacBook Pro is slim, sleek and lovely.  I’ve never had a better laptop in terms of look, performance or features.

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