MacBook and Windows

Ideally, we should only use OS X in a MacBook, that’s why Mac should be used anyway, since Apple used a lot of proprietary things that optimizes the performance of the whole system. But due to Microsoft’s huge influence, no matter we’d like to admit it or not, there are many reasons for which we have to use Windows. A few examples include:

  • Microsoft Office: of course, there are Mac versions, but GUIs are different, and you need to pay for them again…
  • Visual Studio: good IDE for C++, and good RAD tool like VB and C#, etc.
  • Windows Live Mail: if you have some Hotmail accounts for historical reasons like me, you will find it very handy.
  • IE: oops, but there are some banks like those in China with out-of-date tech that requires this.

So I managed to install Windows right after I got my MacBook. It was a pain by the way, since my Windows XP installation CD is the MSDN version, with more than one versions of Windows in one CD, this proved to have problem installing: Mac’s Boot Camp failed to handle the prompt of choosing Windows to install. So I had to customize and burn a CD with only one version of Windows…

It seems that there are still some issues with Boot Camp. I feel the following two major ones annoying:

  • It consumes more resources: When I use OS X, the temperature of the machine is fine; while when I boot to Windows, it’s hot, even when it’s not busy (for example, just put it there without doing anything). I think that this could be caused by Boot Camp since Windows XP is not that bad.
  • The Blue Screen of Death occurs occasionally. This seldom happens (in fact, almost not) in my previous PCs and notebooks. So this may also be caused by Boot Camp.

Although there are these problems, I still enjoy using Windows in MacBook. One good thing is that this notebook has 4GB RAM, while Windows XP can only use 3GB. So I used the extra 1GB to create a RAM disk, and I configured the system to use this place to store garbages like temp files and cache data of web browsers. This is really cool.

Note: After I wrote this article, I found in Microsoft’s web site that Windows XP can also be configured to use 4GB of memory. But I still keep the current settings since I really feel the idea of having a 1GB RAM disk is very cool…

Categorized as IT

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