Booted Boot Camp: WIN10 on Mac

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Although Apple has provided Boot Camp for those who likes to have Windows OS on their system, it is still a daunting task because of its complicated installation process. There are disk partition, dual boot, switching between OS, …Even being a tech-savvy guy, I don’t  want to create two systems on the same machine: be there, done it with Linux on WinsXX.

When I had had my Classic Mac eons ago, I bought and used Parallel Desktop, but it was painful to wait and watch. Obviously, my Classic just didn’t pass muster because of inadequate CPU and memory for the demands of. I ended up buying an used IBM desktop for my self study course.

In 2017, in order to run WinsXX OS on Mac, the choices are Parallel Desktop, VMWare, Boot Camp and Virtual Box. The decision was easy for me, I pick that one that is simple and free: Oracle’s Virtual Box. I had mine setup in last than 30 minutes, and it’s running great. I set it up so that I can run the defunct Microsoft Money 2004 on my Mac, and give my laptop to my mom. After I bought the Mac Mini(2014), my Win10 laptop has become redundant.

But before you start, here are the caveats you should take note:

  1. need and authenticated product key, and the version of Windows OS you want to install. Microsoft offers free ISO (disk image) for Win10.
  2. I used a USB memory stick to store the  Win10’s ISO, but you can try loading directly from Mac’s Desktop, if you save the file there, when you set up the Virtual Box.
  3. Make sure you read Virtual Box manual provided by Oracle, especially if you are a novice.
  4. If your CD/DVD drive doesn’t work, liken mine, you will need to create an ISO for the program disk, and mount it for installation. (You can create a Mac’s  .cdr image and convert it to ISO, Mac will do it for you when you change the extension)
  5. Pay attention to the settings for the VBox, it may get complicated.
  6. VBox manager will set a network-like connection, so you can use files directly from the Mac. Drag and Drop is possible to, but I haven’t tried it.

I am surprised that the Vbox running Win10 is actually fast, even though I only allocated 2MB of RAM for my virtual machine. Everything seems to run perfectly as if you have a separate computer; I connected to my network printer with no hassle.

This setup is probably more suited for light use. If running memory demanding software, Boot Camp may be a better choice.

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Networking Win-Xp with Win-7

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If you still have Win-Xp machine(s) around in your household and want to network them with your Win-7 machine(s), it is not hopeless. Here are the steps. Oh it only took me an entire afternoon to figure out with googling and trials and errors, so it should be easy for you now.

Before I get to the steps, you need to understand the architect behind the two systems are  totally different. I believe Win-7 is built on the more stable corporate platform Win2000, so its networking methodology is certainly different from Win-Xp, which derived from Win98…

Differences:

1. Win-7 connection with Homegroup of other Win-7 machine is easy as long as you name it correctly in all machines. Miraculously even media sharing is quite easy to set up, i.e., PS3. There is something called media sharing in network sharing to enable that function.

2. Win-Xp has NO Homegroup,  but Workgroup. So before with an all Win-Xp network, you did the same naming all machines with same name like the Win-7 above, and you will be able to shares drives and map them if you wanted to…

Steps:

1. Do the same and consider Homegroup and Workgroup are the same thing, so name them identical so that all machines despite OS version will find each other.

2. If you do it correctly, you should see on either machine its Network Center(7) / My Network Places (Xp) displaying named PC/laptop, at this point, if you click on it, likely, it will say “…talk to your administrator” or “… need permission”

3. Most important: on Win-Xp machine, right click on the folder or drive will give you the option of “sharing”, the thing is “Network sharing and security” is turn-off, so turn it on, if it isn’t so. Then as usual click on “Share this folder on the network”. On Win-7 machine look at the setting of rights of Public Doucments . That’s how I finally figured out to get files from my Win-7 machine, cause it showed up on my Win-Xp automatically, and I had no problems getting to files. On the other hands, other folders gave me “… talk to administrator…”, until  I put “Everyone” in the rights  in “Choose people to share with…”.  To get there:  Right-click on folder you want to share, Select Share with / Advance Settings. The share drive should be //xxxx.xxx  , click Share button will bring to the “Choose people to share with…”

4. Caveat: I haven’t set up password for folders yet, so you may have researched this if you want to make sure no one can hack into your networked folders.

There you have it, as usual Microsoft !!

P.S. I remember in the 80s, a regular phone cable is all you need to network two Mac Classics, and you just had to set rights of what each could see or not see.

Cheers.

October 26, 2012 – Windows 8

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The date has been announced and you can research it at windows.com. Downloaded version is $39.99 + taxes, and DVD version is $69.99 + taxes for Windows 8 Professional. I did test out the preview version for about two weeks, and got the gist of the look and feel; now comes the question whether I am ready for it?!

I mean my relatively new i3-2330m, 4GB under Windows  7 – 64 bit is doing quite well, and growing up from Windows 3.1, personally it is hard for me not to have a Start Menu. While fooling around with the preview I felt lost sometimes, and honestly never got to load up microsoft office suite with those tiles.

I see the appeal having it on a tablet or one of those hybrids, but to upgrade now, and to anticipate what can go wrong with a new operating system, I think I will pass for now. Nonetheless, $39.99 + taxes is quite a bargain coming from Microsoft, previous upgrades had always been from $129.99+taxes or you might have got away with an OEM version+ hardware for $99.99 + taxes.

Bottom-line is that I like my Windows 7 machine, and it seldom gives me problems. The wise thing to do is to wait and see. Apparently the special prices end January 31, 2013, so I will keep reading reviews and decide later: NO RUSH!

Cheers.

Windows 8 – neat!

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Finally I got it installed on my old laptop that I was thinking of throwing out! So the good news is that, at least, the preview version will work on the minimum requirements it set out: 1GHz, 1or 2 GB RAM. Mine is 1.6 and 4.

There is a bit of learning curve to find where things are (10 mins), cause the familiar “Start” button is no longer, kind of. Instead there is a start mini-screen now, left bottom corner, that I find it is sometime hard to get to, it disappears if the mouse is not in the right place. On top left, mini screen(s) will open for your previously open windows, that you can point and go to: like the Aero in Vista and Windows 7 that I never use. However, this is a bit more intuitive.

I have seen the Windows Phone layout in commercial, so I know how it looks. First, you have large rectangular tiles and half-size ones of various colours. Each is like an icon, or app (that’s what it’s called), and you can certainly move them around. If the app is about weather, current weather will display, and if it is news, the pages will change on the tile, etc. So it means screen-savers can be a thing of the past. There is a little zoom button on bottom left that will allow you to shrink the start page, I assume this will help if you have lots of apps. Right mouse button click on start page will get you the All App, that’s where you find those familiar things like control panel, calculator, computer, etc.

The Desktop tile will get you into a page where the IE icon and Windows Explorer is on a taskbar. To get to the settings, you can point your mouse to the bottom left, five transparent icons will show: zoom,share,start, devices and settings. Inside settings, more pc settings give you more choices and the selections look prettier than the old control panel, which you can still get to BTW.

Since Microsoft really wants to promote cloud-computing, you now even can connect directly to Window -Live when log-in, so to save a step. Once connected, your email and calendar tiles will show you if you have new mail and appointments.

There is an app-store, it’s just called Store. Same premise, some are free, some are not, like Mac’s and Android’s.

After installation, I didn’t seem to have driver issues. My USB wireless adaptor is working, webcam is working, and so forth.

So far I like it, it’s different enough from all previous Windows versions, which mostly were the same from Windows 98 to Windows 7, am I right? It works well with a mouse, but it should be interesting with a touch device like tablet, or Windows coffee table (using the table top as monitor)? I still need to be convinced for a touch desktop ( Acer and HP had tried it) though: who want to stand and swipe all day long?

Cheers.

P.S. still looking for the shut-down button without logging out as user first.

Windows 8 consumer preview(free)

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April 9, 2012: Okay, it is installing now. I am using the 32-bit from DVD boot. After you key in the product key, use “CUSTOM” install, and not “Standard”! Using that gives you an option to partition your drives as well. We’ll see how it goes!

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As usual I don’t want to bash Microsoft, when we must use it for our daily work-life and most likely at home too, but a good consumer product is good when a consumer doesn’t get frustrated!

Okay, I read somewhere this morning that Microsoft has Windows 8 consumer preview for free download. After reading the fine print, I was hesitant to download it on my new laptop, cause the install will wipe your existing OS and you must re-install from recovery if you decide Windows 8 is not your cup of tea. After a while, I pulled out my old HP tx1100ca, blow-dried it again, and it booted,so I figured it would be fun and cool to do it. Went to the site http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download downloaded the ISO image,burn to a DVD disc, and I thought the installation should be easy. Ah ha, think again!

First hurdle: there were two choices, 32-bit and 64-bit, since it was an older laptop I figured best I used the 32-bit version. The download file size was 3.2 GB, and took about 30 mins to download, guess the server had throttle control, so transfer rate was at about 1,100 kb/sec (yawn …zzzzzz). Finally, I burnt the image using Roxio… Okay, everything was good. I re-booted the computer, and DVD was in,changed boot from DVD and all was good. I managed to put in the purchase key, and then it said I needed to boot while Windows 7 was running, why? Since I could not proceed, I boot to Windows 7 and run setup, and then it said, my Windows 7 64-bit was not compatible with the 32-bit Windows 8. Really!

Second hurdle: Since I had time, I downloaded the 64-bit version which was at 3.5 GB. Patiently I had the image burnt. Ran it inside Windows 7, it gave me two error messages, so no go. Re-boot, blah, blah, same process above. Now it got to a point and said, “Load Driver: A DVD driver your PC needs is missing. If you have a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive with the driver on it, please insert it now. Note: If the installation media for Windows is in the DVD drive, you can safely remove it for this step”. Seriously !!!! Laptop has CD/DVD driver for over 10 years, and Microsoft was asking me to find a freaking driver for my DVD-ROM, and burnt it and continued with the process?! Maybe I had missed a step to get the drivers first from Windows 7 ( like MAC boot-camp that creates a drivers -disc first), but I doubt Microsoft is that thoughtful or thorough.

At this point, I give up, that’s after three hours tinkling with it! Who cares about Windows 8. Now even Ubuntu Linux does it right: we can create a boot-able disc with totally useable OS, and only if one likes it he can install it on a new partition or wipe out Windows altogether. As I say at the beginning, we have to keep using something that is popular-mediocre just because.

Perhaps, someone who is reading this can enlighten me with the installation. Wait, I hardly interest in messing with this new OS, 7 is fine.

Cheers.