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Going To Boot Camp 531

An anonymous reader writes "PC World has first impressions of what it's like to run Windows with Boot Camp, the recently announced official dual-boot software for the Intel Macs." From the article: "Back in Windows, I got right down to business and installed a few games to put the graphics and sound support to the test. The quick and dirty verdict on performance? Most impressive. Doom 3 and Far Cry both ran smoothly with high-end graphics options turned on. In both cases, I had to tweak visual settings manually, since the games automatically set themselves to very low settings. Far Cry, for example, autodetected very low settings, but it ran without a hitch when I bumped the resolution up to 1280 by 720, with all visual quality options set to 'High.'"
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Going To Boot Camp

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  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:11AM (#15076276)
    This is truly a week of firsts.

    Virtualization company Parallels [parallels.com] announced a public beta of its Parallels Workstation virtualization product to Intel-based Macs [parallels.com] (direct download [parallels.com]. Parallels is a quasi-hypervisor-based (with a kernel module) virtual machine solution already shipping for Windows and Linux, and is the first desktop virtualization product to support Intel VT/Vanderpool CPU "partitioning". Once out of beta, It will also be only $50. Parallels also has a long list of officially supported guest OSes [parallels.com], and that's just the ones that are *officially* supported. It will likely run any x86-based OS you throw at it.

    It's *very* fast, and has full support for Intel VT. Using Windows (or any other OS) inside of the environment is almost like using it natively on the hardware. Literally. It is quite amazing. (Here's a video someone made of it with SnapzPro [prodedgy.com] - that is not my site. )This is the solution many people are waiting for; not dual booting - with the exception of things that need native 3D graphics support, of course...but otherwise, Parallels absolutely screams. This won't be novel to people who have already used things like VMware Workstation on other platforms. But to someone like myself, who has been hoping for a virtualization solution since the very second Steve Jobs uttered that Apple was switching to Intel, this, when polished and in its final form, will be something of a holy grail.

    Virtualization will still be a HUGE benefit to people versus the annoyance of dual-booting. There's some overlap, but both technologies have their places.

    Also, for those concerned about running a Windows environment alongside Mac OS X, this is just like the old Virtual PC model (except not horribly slow ;-). It's much less likely to be problematic for the following reasons:

    - The entire environment is "sandboxed", network-wise, within the host OS's networking. Most Windows XP installations will now be behind the integrated software firewall anyway, but this is just another layer of protection: it's essentially like being behind a NAT router.

    - A virtual machine environment, being secondary to the primary environment, is typically only used for targeted tasks, not routinely used for things like web browsing, email, and downloading - the major vectors of infection for much spyware/malware

    - Since the virtual machine's disk is just a file on the host OS's drive, it can be immediately trashed and restored from a known-good pristine backup in seconds

    - If no filesystem sharing is done via the VM between the Windows environment and the host (Mac OS X) environment, there is no[1] way that even severe malware within the Windows environment can cause any damage to the Mac OS X environment

    - If filesystems are shared, e.g., a folder on the Mac side is shared as a drive letter on the Windows side, any malware that alters filesystems could theoretically alter the shared filesystem. If a virus, for example, attempted to delete all files on drives other than C:, that would be affected. But, 1.) Most malware doesn't just arbitrarily delete files, because its goal is to spread itself, and 2.) ONLY files that are shared could even theoretically be affected. Also, Windows malware will typically target Windows OS features and filesystem elements. But if you really are paranoid and want to be safe, you probably wouldn't want to, say, share your entire Mac OS X volume as a drive letter into the PC environment.

    The bottom line is that from a technical and practical usage standpoint, running Windows in a VM is probably the safest possible way to run Windows, and there aren't really any ways, except for very specific ways via the explicit filesystem sharing, that anything that happens in t
  • by SeeMyNuts! ( 955740 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:19AM (#15076386)

    Virtualization is more significant in the long term, because it allows Windows to truly become a legacy system hosted on Mac OS, Linux, or Solaris. This way, the infrastructure can be UNIX based while people still using Outlook can avoid gutting and relearning their workflows. Another huge benefit is that the image files can be backed up easily, and malware attacks are mitigated simply by replacing the image!

  • by gihan_ripper ( 785510 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:19AM (#15076387) Homepage
    As the summary states, Boot Camp is there to enable Windows / Mac OS dual booting on an Intel based Mac. It includes a non-destructive partition tool plus the device drivers Windows XP needs to run on the Mac hardware. More info and the download [apple.com] are available from Apple. Though it's not yet officially supported by Apple, a release version should be included in Mac OS X v10.5, "Leopard".
  • by Otter ( 3800 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:34AM (#15076569) Journal
    I don't understand why people are so excited about booting Windows on Macs. To the degree that one is kept off Macs by the need for Windows-only software, isn't emulation (or better yet, a WINE-like translator) much more useful? If you want to run Windows to the exclusion of MacOS, why buy the Mac at all?

    Or is this just about gaming?

  • Re:Oblivion? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:34AM (#15076571)
  • and a video too! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Uneasysilence ( 784183 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @11:45AM (#15076693)
    For those of you who actually want to see the entire install/configuration process... http://features.uneasysilence.com/mactel [uneasysilence.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:08PM (#15076944)
    I went through the XP installation process on my MacBook Pro last night. It worked perfectly. The only disappointments so far:

    - Nothing available to configure the TouchPad (no tap-click)
    - No way to right click with the touchpad/button (need an external mouse)
    - No support for lighted keyboard (I can live with this...but it makes OSX look WOW)
    - No support for auto adjusting the display for lighting conditions- this I really need
    - The MacBook Pro melted right through my legs off when running a high workload 3D demo

    So far it looks great. I downloaded some demos from ATI's developer web site to test out graphics and it looks great.
  • by legLess ( 127550 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:10PM (#15076967) Journal
    To everyone who thinks this is going to be Apple's demise, you are completely wrong. No one buys a Mac for the hardware.
    I agree with most of your post, but this is flat-out wrong. I bought my G4 aluminum Powerbook for the hardware, period. Sure I like OS X, but I spend 90% of my time in the terminal, and the OS isn't as big a deal. This is true for many Perl developers I know. Sure, OS X is nice, but having Perl running natively on the best hardware available -- that's why we buy these things.
  • Mac mini benchmarks (Score:5, Informative)

    by SilentChris ( 452960 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:25PM (#15077120) Homepage
    I've started benchmarking this morning on a Mac Mini. Now, granted, I don't expect it to blow me away in performance, but in 3DMark05 it scored around 600 and didn't complete all the tests. My Dell laptop (nVidia Go 6800) scores around 3000 and my desktop (nVidia 7800 GTX) around 8000. Nearly all of that is due to POS integrated graphics, but I was at least hoping it'd get around half the laptop's score.

    Here's a link:

    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?c=1569427_1 [futuremark.com]

    In PCMark05 it compared more favorably. This is a comparison between my rig, a Mac Mini and a blade server we have at work. The blade server didn't totally complete the test because of its graphics card. In some cases the Mac beat my rig (stuff like media encoding/decoding), which is surprising.

    http://service.futuremark.com/compare?c=1569427_2 [futuremark.com]

    And I understand I'm comparing Apples and oranges (literally). I've heard Macbook Pro users are floored by the performance in Windows of popular games, and I'm looking to get my hands on one.

    I will say, without a doubt, Apple has the easiest to use dualboot installer I've ever seen. Getting Grub et all to work without frying partitions in Linux has always been a pain. With Apple's, couple clicks and I'm done.
  • by dbrutus ( 71639 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @12:36PM (#15077227) Homepage
    um, There's been an outlook client on the Mac since forever. The Exchange group has been maintaining it but hasn't been advertising it. If you have an exchange setup, the client disk has a hidden mac partition on it that only shows the mac client. A large number of exchange admins don't even know it exists.
  • by schnell ( 163007 ) <me.schnell@net> on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:06PM (#15077546) Homepage

    There's been an outlook client on the Mac since forever.

    Yes and no. For the past several years, MSFT has taken the position that the preferred Exchange client on the Mac is Entourage (part of the Mac Office suite). The problem is that Entourage doesn't "speak" MAPI and instead relies on a semi-kludge of synchronizing through Exchange webmail/WebDAV. It also will not work with Exchange servers older than 2000/SP2. At my office, I can use Entourage to sync nicely with my e-mail, but the calendaring functionality is completely broken, as are task lists etc. (this might be cured if you have a newer version of Exchange than we do). For those interested, Microsoft has a guide for Exchange admins with Entourage users [microsoft.com].

    As you mentioned, there is a true Outlook client for the Mac that synchronizes natively with Exchange servers - but it was dropped in favor of Entourage years ago and hence was never Carbonized to run natively under OS X. So running the program under Classic (which isn't even an option on the Intel Macs) would be your only way of getting 100% Outlook functionality. As a result, those users on Intel Macs or those looking for true OS X solutions are very much stuck with using Windows to get the full functionality.

  • by Imazalil ( 553163 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:20PM (#15077683)
    the mini has the intel 950 (i think) which while being their best integrated graphics chip is still a very very mediocre graphics chip. There is no way to compare it to a 6800go a pretty high end graphics chip for laptops. The 950 is something like a geforce 2 with some pixel shaders thrown in along wiht intels so so drivers. Mind you it has some nice accelaration for video and 2d, but definately a joke for 3d. I imagine that in just about every other benchmark the mini is pretty close to your laptop, but it is the graphics that are holding it back in 3dmark.

    I would be curious how it compares to laptops that use the 950 as well. even more curious if anyone has windows media centre running on a mini (with tuner and external hdd).

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 06, 2006 @01:59PM (#15078053)
    - No way to right click with the touchpad/button (need an external mouse)
    Try this. [geocities.com]
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Thursday April 06, 2006 @04:52PM (#15079700)
    Yes, I recycled that paragraph from one of my previous posts. So? It's my own text. Am I not allowed to post it twice when it's speaking to EXACTLY the same issue? Additionally, the entire rest of the message is different, and both of the complete posts were on different topics. I don't care if it "smells like marketing". It was designed to be informative, and it is.

    As I said, I have nothing to do with Parallels, the product or the company (other than using it).
  • by ramk13 ( 570633 ) on Thursday April 06, 2006 @05:35PM (#15080126)
    In addition to your point, an increase in hardware demand (XP on a Mac) more directly leads to an increase in hardware sales than when you compare software (OS X on PCs) in the same situation. It's because of piracy. That's not to say people don't buy software, but that you can't pirate hardware.
  • Re:Microsoft Tax? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Baricom ( 763970 ) on Friday April 07, 2006 @03:24AM (#15082599)
    No, your parent is correct. The EULA for all recent OEM versions of Windows ties the license to the computer. You cannot transfer it. Here's the relevant text from my copy of the Windows XP Professional EULA:

    THIS LICENSE MAY NOT BE SHARED, TRANSFERRED TO OR USED CONCURRENTLY ON DIFFERENT COMPUTERS. The SOFTWARE is licensed with the HARDWARE as a single integrated product and may only be used with the HARDWARE. If the SOFTWARE is not accompanied by new HARDWARE, you may not use the SOFTWARE. You may permanently transfer all of your rights under this EULA only as part of a permanent sale or transfer of the HARDWARE, provided you retain no copies, if you transfer all of the SOFTWARE (including all component parts, the media and printed materials, any upgrades, this EULA and the Certificate of Authenticity), and the recipient agrees to the terms of this EULA.

    Here's that restated in simpler terms [microsoft.com]: "If the software is pre-installed, the software lives and dies with the PC and can never be transferred to another PC."

    Now, I think this is unethical and should be illegal, but unfortunately the U.S. legal system doesn't agree with me.

System checkpoint complete.