We had great weather for the trip to Maine and we caught a Memorial Day parade on the way home in Rochester, New Hampshire. It’s been rainy ever since, with some big thunderstorms in the afternoons. We managed to get all the screens installed but the garden is behind schedule because of the wet ground. It looks like it will be a good year for apples, though (the kind that grow on trees!). I’ve been trying to grow apples for as long as I have lived in Warren and have yet to have a good crop. My micro-climate is not conducive to apple growing, but the mild spring seems to have helped this year as my trees were covered with blossoms. Maybe 30 years of pruning and fertilizing will finally pay off.
Speaking of apples, Apple seems to have taken the gloves off in the battle with Windows even while there is a truce of sorts with the ability to run Windows on the new Intel-based Macs. We have a comprehensive issue this week, with an excerpt from the excellent series of eBooks, Take Control, about running Windows on your Mac. We’ll follow up next week with more details about Parallel Systems and their virtualization scheme. Apple posted a page on their website this week that talks about one of the strongest sales advantages we enjoy as a reseller of the Mac OS X operating system. They state that by the end of 2005, there were 114,000 known viruses for Windows. In March 2006 alone, there were 850 new threats against Windows. How many for the Mac? ZERO.
Small Dog Electronics has recently started to offer Windows pre- installed with Boot Camp on new Intel-based Macs. I am very surprised by the number of people who want that versatility. We are doing dozens of these installations each week. I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, because this dual-boot capability is only available on the Mac. My theory is that switchers who are coming to the Mac because of the dual-boot capability will start out using Windows for about 80% of their work and after three or four months will be using Mac OS X for 80% after they discover what we have known all along, that Mac OS X is the most powerful and intuitive operating system on the planet.
Don @ smalldog.com
The Mac / Intel Revolution Continues by Ed @ smalldog.com
It was almost exactly a year ago (June 6, 2005) when Steve Jobs announced that Apple would be switching from PowerPC to Intel chips in all of its computers. It was an electrifying announcement, not only because Apple was cozying up with its perceived enemy, but because Apple said they wouldn’t prevent users from installing Windows along with OS X on Intel-based Apple hardware. A machine capable of booting into multiple operating systems is a grail long sought by tech enthusiasts. A single computer that runs multiple operating systems is extremely useful, and, when it comes to the vast array of Windows-only games, extremely fun.
Time went on, and contests were hatched to encourage people to try to get Windows to run on a Mac, Apple announced Boot Camp and Parallels announced their amazing virtualization solution. It’s now completely possible to run XP, Linux, and OS X all on the same computer, and sometimes even at the same time.
I’ll admit that there never is a time when I wish I was running Windows. I’ve never had a real reason to use it in the past five years, and every time I use XP, I am reminded of how great OS X truly is. In my opinion, OS X is much better than XP. However, for many people, there are times when it’s useful to run XP or Linux, and Apple is aware of this.
Apple continues to “ignite a revolution in the personal computer industry,” by creating the tools we want and need to remain productive and creative in our brave new world.
Enjoy the following excerpt from the “Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac” ebook. The Take Control series of ebooks are excellent, and highly recommended. Their ebook have been great use to many of us at Small Dog Electronics. See them all at:
If you order an Intel Mac with an installation of Windows from Small Dog Electronics, you’ll also get a copy of the full text of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac installed on the new computer. Installation of XP and the new Intel Mac must be ordered at the same time.
Bootcamp installation on any Intel Mac – Windows XP Home, with copy of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac – $134.75
Bootcamp installation on any Intel Mac – Windows XP Pro, with copy of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac – $188.75
Ed @ smalldog.com
The following is an excerpt from Joe Kissell’s Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, a 104-page ebook from the folks who also produce TidBITS. To pick up your copy of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac, follow this link from the Small Dog store:
DECIDE HOW TO RUN WINDOWS
by Joe Kissell
Broadly speaking, you can use either of two approaches to run Windows on an Intel Mac: dual-boot (using Apple’s Boot Camp software) or virtualization (using third-party software such as Parallels Desktop or Q). In this section I describe these two approaches and help you choose which path to take; I also describe the two major virtualization options in some detail.
In an ideal world, you could run both Boot Camp and virtualization software using a single Windows installation, switching to whichever environment is best at any given time. Currently, however, this is not possible, and though Parallels claims to be investigating a way to do this in the future, using one copy of Windows in two different environments–even though they’re part of the same physical machine– may violate Microsoft’s End User License Agreement. However, nothing prevents you from installing two separate, individually licensed versions of Windows on a computer: one using Boot Camp and the other using virtualization software.
——— Apple’s Boot Camp software (<http://www.apple.com/macosx/bootcamp/>, currently in public beta testing) enables you to divide the hard disk of an Intel Mac into a Mac OS X partition and a Windows partition, install Windows XP onto the Windows partition, and choose either partition as your computer’s startup volume. Then, after choosing the Windows partition, you can run Windows XP on the Mac just as if you were running it on a PC.
The main thing to keep in mind about Boot Camp is that when you use it, you have to make a choice: at any given time, your Mac is running either Mac OS X or Windows, but not both. Depending on which options you choose, you may or may not be able to see your Mac’s files when running under Windows (and vice versa). But while running Windows you won’t be able to use any of your Mac software, and while running Mac OS X you won’t be able to use any Windows software.
Boot Camp offers some benefits over virtualization software:
* With Boot Camp, Windows has access to all the RAM installed in your computer–more than it would if Mac OS X were also running.
* The performance of Windows, and particularly of graphics, is some- what higher; the difference is especially noticeable in games.
* Boot Camp was designed and tested by Apple for use on their computers, and is likely to be well supported in future versions of Mac OS X.
* It’s free. (In the future, it may be available only as part of Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, but for now, if you already have Tiger, it’s free.)
On the other hand, although the situation may change with later versions of Boot Camp (or with Leopard), Boot Camp also imposes some limitations, including these:
* Unlike virtualization systems, Boot Camp does not currently support installation of any version of Windows other than Windows XP, SP2; you can’t, for example, use Windows 98 or Windows 2000. (You can, with some hacking, install certain distributions of Linux, but this ebook is only about Windows.)
* Some peripherals won’t work, including iSight cameras, Apple Remotes, Bluetooth keyboards and mice, and Apple USB Modems.
* Even if you plug in headphones or external speakers, all sound will come through your Mac’s built-in speaker(s).
* Using an Apple keyboard, you may not be able to enter certain characters, such as the euro (O) symbol, or perform a Print Screen command, without special procedures (see Type special characters and Take screen captures, later).
In addition, the process for installing Boot Camp can be somewhat cumbersome, and more so if you have a Windows CD without SP2. (I get into these details later in Install and Use Boot Camp.)
All things considered–especially keeping in mind that Boot Camp is still incomplete–these are not serious trade-offs. The most significant factors you should think about when deciding whether to use Boot Camp are whether you need every last ounce of performance possible while running Windows, how quickly you’ll want to switch between operating systems, and the extent to which you’ll use files from one OS while working in the other. (See Joe’s Recommendations, ahead, for more information.)
———————– If you’ve been a Mac user for any period of time, you’ve probably heard of a product called Virtual PC (once published by Connectix, and now owned by Microsoft). With this software installed on your Mac, you can install Windows (or another operating system) and run it inside a window on your (PowerPC-based) Mac.
Any program that provides a way for one operating system to work within another can be called virtualization software. When virtualization software is running, the environment it creates for another operating system is called a virtual machine, and an operating system that runs inside that virtual machine is called a guest operating system (to distinguish it from the main OS the computer is running, called the host operating system).
But Virtual PC is also an emulator–that is, software that simulates specific hardware so that a CPU can run a different OS than the one it was designed for. Because the Mac’s CPU has to do its own work while also mimicking a completely different type of processor, Windows running within Virtual PC on a PowerPC Mac is invariably quite slow.
Intel Macs have the same type of CPU as PCs, so processor emulation is no longer necessary. However, to run Windows within Mac OS X, you still need a virtual machine. One reason is that apart from the CPU, there are still other hardware differences between Macs and PCs and thus other hardware components that must be emulated. Another reason is that Windows expects to have direct access to your hard-ware, but the host OS (Mac OS X in this case) controls the hardware. A virtual machine tricks the guest OS into believing it has direct access to the machine’s CPU and other hardware, and it emulates any physical devices (such as sound cards) that might be different between platforms.
When Apple announced the transition to Intel chips, conventional wisdom held that Microsoft would quickly adapt Virtual PC to provide virtual machines for Windows on Intel Macs. After all, it should be easier than what they had to do before, since the emulation problem is gone. However, for reasons known only to Microsoft, no version of Virtual PC for Intel Macs exists yet. (Microsoft does still sell Virtual PC for PowerPC Macs; see Appendix A: Windows on a PowerPC Mac.) Luckily, other developers have taken on the challenge, and you can now choose from two virtualization tools that enable you to run Windows within Mac OS X on an Intel Mac: Parallels Desktop and Q.
Both tools share several basic features: you can install and run multiple operating systems (even at the same time); you can run a guest OS in its own window or in full-screen mode; you can share files between the host OS and the guest OS; much of the hardware attached to the computer is available to the guest OS; you can pause (or “suspend”) a guest OS, saving its state so that you can quit the virtualization application but then retrieve it quickly with everything just as you left it (somewhat like putting a Mac to sleep and waking it up); and you can move the disk image containing your entire Windows environment to another Intel Mac if necessary and run it there without modification. Beyond these superficial similarities, though, the two programs differ in several important respects.
—————– This commercial application costs a mere $50 (and you can save $10 by using the coupon at the end of the full ebook); you can find it at <http://www.parallels.com/en/download/desktop/>. After installing it, you can set up a virtual machine for Windows (or the OS of your choice) in a matter of minutes. You can then install Windows within the virtual machine just as though you were installing it on a PC. Parallels Desktop offers a variety of settings that enable you to tailor its performance and options to your liking. Even though the Mac version of this product is new, Parallels Desktop has a polished feel and is generally robust. Better yet, it’s fast. Running Windows XP within a Parallels Desktop virtual machine is almost as fast as booting directly into Windows XP using Boot Camp, and the performance is certainly zippy enough to make it comfortable to use for most day- to-day tasks. I have yet to encounter any Windows software that would not run acceptably in a Parallels virtual machine.
Nevertheless, the software is still incomplete as I write this; it has some bugs, and some features are not yet available. For example, Parallels Desktop does not yet support burning CDs or DVDs; Fire-Wire devices do not work; and some USB devices do not work (or do not work at full speed). In addition, the software does not currently emulate a 3D graphics card, so if you want to run a game or other graphics- intensive application that requires hardware 3D support, Parallels is out for the time being. But given the rapid development progress I’ve seen, I expect most or all of those difficulties to evaporate soon.
Q — Unlike Parallels Desktop, Q <http://www.kberg.ch/q/> is a free, open- source application, based on an emulation program called QEMU. One interesting aspect of Q is that it also works on PowerPC-based Macs (though very slowly); see Appendix A: Windows on a PowerPC Mac. And, of course, the price is right. Basic installation, setup, and usage are nearly as easy with Q as with Parallels Desktop.
Like Parallels, Q hasn’t yet reached its final release stage–in fact, it’s further behind in development (currently in the “alpha” stage) and has greater limitations. For example, Q currently offers no way to transfer the contents of a Clipboard between guest and host operating systems, networking options are more limited, and fewer USB devices work correctly. Worse, in my testing, I found that Windows XP under Q runs roughly half as fast as it does under Parallels; I’d call it usable for basic tasks, but barely so. Q’s user interface, documentation, and operation show many rough edges.
On the other hand, Q does offer several different choices of video and sound card emulations, and it has two other particularly intriguing features: it can import Virtual PC disk images, potentially saving a great deal of setup time, and it can download and install prebuilt disk images for numerous other open-source operating systems (mostly Linux variants).
For lots more information about running Windows on a Mac, including step-by-step instructions for installing Boot Camp, Parallels Desktop, and Q; help for making keyboards and mice work properly in Windows; advice on sharing files between Mac OS X and Windows on the same Mac; and important suggestions for how to avoid Windows malware, buy your copy of Take Control of Running Windows on a Mac from Small Dog today for only $10.
Here are the specials for this week, valid through June 8 or while on- hand supplies last. Be sure to use the wag URL to get this special pricing.
Brenthaven Edge I Black for 13.3-inch MacBook, FREE shipping – $39!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16704/mymac
Sennheiser PX200W headphones – excellent quality, FREE shipping – $59.99!
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Harman OnTime iPod Docking Sound Station/Alarm Clock – $159
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100GB 5400 rpm 2.5-inch Internal Drive for iBook or G4 PowerBook – $149
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100GB 7200 rpm 2.5-inch Internal Drive for iBook or G4 PowerBook – $194!
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Keep your laptop cool and comfortable with Rain Design’s 15-inch iLap stand – only $49
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Palm Tungsten TX Handheld color organizer – $274!
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LaCie Bigger Disk Extreme 1.2TB FireWire 800/400/USB – $819!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16717mymac
MacBook 13-inch 1.83GHz 512/60/combo/AP/BT white, Windows XP home installed, FREE shipping – $1219!
To order: http://www.smalldog.com/wag16680/mymac
2 Ghz MacBook Pro, 1gb/100/SuperDrive, Windows XP Pro INSTALLED, Free Shipping – $2459
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It is hard to believe that it is already June. Two of the largest motorcycle rallies in the Northeast are held during the first two weeks of June. Next week is Americade in Lake George. This started out as a Honda Goldwing event but has grown to be the largest motorcycle touring event, with all brands represented. We always seem to find some new, innovative products at this show. It is a perfect day trip, so I’ll be taking Tuesday off and making the trek. The following week is Laconia Bike Week and that is a very different rally. In Laconia and Weir’s Beach, thousands of mostly Harley riders converge for a week-long rally and motorcycle racing. I’ll probably take a day trip over there, too — you can’t beat the people watching!
Thank you for reading Kibbles & Bytes, Have a great weekend!
Your Kibbles & Bytes Team,
Don, Dawn, Ed, and Holly